Spotters: a tribe in formation a true multinational: people who never turn over in the life, in two minutes talk as two compadres. People who pass hours under hot sun or cold Siberian of foot, without eating right, for periods that they exceed up to 12 hours. People who travel 20 hours of airplane for a distant country and... badly leave the airport. Are they wild? No: they are the observers of aircraft, trains, boats and even bus: they are spotters. This tribe has its origin in the Second War in England. Boys congregated hours the wire to the roadsides of iron observing the compositions. This age one of the few available diversions in the years of iron of the conflict. To hobby was called "Trainspotting": trains that passed "were marked" or either, "spotted" for the boys, who wrote down its numbers in litlle notebooks. Of notebooks, one evolved for an eventual photographic machine here and there. In the postwar period, these boys had witnessed an explosion in the air traffic. Company distant land comings, with different names and paintings, had started to call the attention. Hobby was spread out and conquered the right of being called "aircraft spotting". Leaving Great-Britain, hobby soon conquered other European countries. Today, Germany, Holland and Switzerland divide with the English the passion for hobby. Another country with an enormous number of practitioners is Japan. In Germany, i sow some women spotters, rare species for here. Sow even a "Oma Spotter", one granmather spotter: I did not resist and I was to confirm it said me that she practised hobby since the Second War, when "date pilots". In the USA hobby is comparativily small. In the South America also, Brazil including itself there. However, if it lacks public, surplus passion: our green-yellow fraternity is of most fanatic, even so small. The group most frequent in São Paulo is formed by the Polati, Daniel Spat, Barbosa, Renato, Ricardo João, Robert, Vitor, Danielzinho, Masagão, Barros, Flávio, Pablo Berger... Different shades of nuts exist, clearly,: it has those that simply write down in litlle notebooks the registration school - spotters classic. It still has the ones that only observe of binoculars, lenses or by rough estimate , many times of ears glue to the sccaners that syntonize the frequencies of the towers. Finally, between the photographers, it has subdivisions. Insiders - the elite that inside photographs of tracks and ramps of airports - and outsiders - the majority, that for not having access to the ramps, observes of is of the airport or terraces and "observation decks". In both the cases, the photographers still present sub-sub-divisions: it has those that like action photos (landings and takes-off), others that side airplanes only like photos them, others that cannot see people in around the airplanes. An Cuban-American of Miami, Crazy Jorge, takes the goblet: he cannot at least have ONE - none exactly - CLOUD in the photo. Discarded: or the sky is blue total or it does not have photo. True and false spotters This is easy to recognize: the true one spotter wakes up early. It sacrifices its "social life" for hobby and makes everything to be "there" in the alias process and the certain day. He makes sun or he makes sun. An example illustrates the desmedido love of the true one well to spotter. Certain day, was I going for a barbecue in the Helvetia Polo in Indaiatuba. The way made me to pass in front to the airport of Viracopos. Of far, of the road, it conferred the ramp, always of eye in some newness. Unnecessary to say that my camera travelled of "stand-by" in the door-luggage, ready for some eventuality. Rule number 1 of the good one for spotter: as the credit card says, "never leave home without it". Then: of far sow a strange aircraft. I deviated and I was to confer: nothing less than one rare (only 10 constructed) Shorts Belfast was in the ramp. At this time, years daily pay-cellular, I ran for the public phone next and bound for São Paulo for my good and friend Alberto Fortner. The transcription of the dialogue explains everything: - Alberto, good day, as goes? It is the Gianfranco. - All good, Gianfranco? What it orders? - You are busy, Alberto? - Yes, I am leaving to buy things that my woman asked for, and later we have a lunch. Reason? - Because it wanted to inform to you that it has a Shorts motionless Belfast in Viracopos here. - I will be there in 50 minutes. This demonic compulsion is what it separates spotter of the average human being: nobody can understand the level of devotion and passion that around joins this fraternity of the world. Already I made and I make friends forever in you surround of airports. Chinese, Australians, Japanese, Europeans, Argentines, malteses, zambians, friends with which I correspond myself. People that of one day for another one enter in my heart, joined by the same passion. What the ONU tries to make the decades, a Dc-8 makes in seconds. Homesickness of the start As to spotter exactly, I started in 1975, year of my first notations of traffic: I have today until the leves, that are kept as treasure. One late in Congonhas, in March of 1975, shows well: these had been some of the landings: Pp-cje, SDS, VLD, VLE, VJW, SME, VLV, Cp-861, Lv-liv, Pp-sma, Pp-smg, Zp-cby, Pp-cjc, Pp-srh, Pp-vjl, Pt-tbf, Pt-tcb. My first "photographic machine" was a Olympus Trip, of that they fold the taken off photos, dividing the negatives. In 1980 I only bought my first serious camera (a Canon Av-1) with teleobjetives that had allowed me to make my first registers with some quality. I did not stop more, until today arriving approximately the 200,000 photos and slides. Spotting also if learns As everything in the life, the practical one makes the perfection. It follows below the decalogue of professional spotter, learned of the worse possible skill: attempt and error. 1-Always, always, has always taken its camera to the airport. In that day that you will be only to take its fat aunt and patusca to travel, it will have the Concorde with the painting of the Pantanal parked in Congonhas... 2-Plan and confers before leaving house. Films? Batteries? Regulation of the camera? This last one is a common error: to change of film and to forget to regulate the ISO of the camera. It confers everything of new after arriving at the place: to the times, when handling the camera, you can desregular some thing. And never, never forgets to take batteries - one in the camera, another one in the bag. It saves in everything, less in the batteries. Light and more film that you need. It is never known. 3-Have to try hard. The good photo, the good section of spotting is directly proportional to the effort. To wake up of dawn, to walk 4 km with the equipment in the back, to be with sleep, cold, boring, fear, 727 are the basic ingredients to obtain "that one that it always escaped me..." Thinking to be much time? It plans its feeding. It is healthful, more cheap and it prevents the classic "shutl-come-the-such-airplane-just-in-hour-that-I-be-to eat." It brings food and house drink will be necessary. 5-Dress adequately Already I had myself that to interrupt sections of spotting because it was dying of cold or heat. It plans, is inquired. That is aviation: it is not taken off without studying the letters and alternatives. 6-Cover its head. As the good one for spotter photographs in day of sun, excess of exposition to the astro-king provokes the precocious aging, cancer-of-skin, collateral feet of hen and other effect. Moreover, I do not know no to spotter bronzed uniformly. You do not want to badly play one role in pool/beach/club, right? A good hat and solar protector are item of first necessity when experienced spotter. 7-Never focus excessively its attention. In very moving airports, its attention in one is common inexperienced spotter to concentrate all determined aircraft and to lose something that pass/take off/lands to the side. On radar to the maximum! 8-Respeite the authorities. You one is suspected "pair excellence" nowadays, especially after 11 of September. It explains smoothly what it came to make, reason came to make, etc. Good ways had never confused nobody. If it will be able has led I obtain some photos that you already made, to prove its not-filiation to the Al-Qaeda. 9-Informe in relation to the traffic. It studies the aircraft that will have to settle and to take off in the day where you intend to photograph. 10-Nunca pronounces that word started for "C" and finished by "huva". It attracts cold fronts, tyfuns, become and similar. Mentalize that will go to make sun. It will make. Joys and sadnesses of spotter talk what you to want, filisteus: I did not know to spotter that it was not above of the average. The fact to study a subject develops its mind. E you almost that obligatorily it needs to understand a little of English. This without saying in the geography knowledge and history that finish if mixing hobby. The capital of the Mongólia asks to the colleges student which. It swims. It asks then spotter: he will not only answer, as he goes to inform the national aerial company to you, the painting new-that it did not like and still goes to ask to you if you have one spare sphoto of that Twin Otter... More: you travel, supreme glory of the existence human being: to know other peoples, languages, customs, races, cuisine. To try the winter of Alaska, the heat of Johannesburg, the altitude of La Peace, the civilization of London, the Japanese hospitality. If you it is married or compromised, it has taken its companion (the word must have its origin there). You go for the airport, it shopping or for the beach goes pro. To the night, you it counts to how many Dc-10 you registered and asks for a massage in the tired shoulders to load the equipment... They exist there it are until specialized travel agencies in organizing trips for spotters. Perhaps but the great same joy is of if finding a flock of people sharpened with you, its friends spotters. This world-wide fraternity says the same language: the passion for the airplanes. Another joy is to be able to look at the sky, to give attention in its signals, nuances, colors. How many times I witnessed majestical dawn and setting of fire (Poetical this text... seems until thing of immortal Jose Sarney: "Marimbondos and Poentes de Fogo") in the airports where I photographed? How much to the sadnesses... they are related with the impossibility of if practising hobby. Mainly after 11 of September, in some regions of the world, especially the European and Asian USA and some countries, "spotting" entered for the black list of the "otoridades". Instead of looking for to fight and to prevent the true causers of as many tragedies, they had opted to the solution most easy, as always: they had given to forbid the presence of spotters in the environs of airports, to close terrace (you already I heard to speak of some attempted against carried through from a terrace) e to fight who in the truth, could help. Or a true terrorist would not be more to the will to act without witnesses, penetrating for surrounds them however emptied of the airports? And exists the unhappy meeting with the "sugar cane-brave one". My particular cases are several. Citing some: weapon pointed with respect to my head for a policeman in Saint Louis (1997), machine gun in the face in Bogota (1997), assaulted for a policeman in it México(2001)-reads more in the substance on the airport -, booked for the policy of Miami(2002) and most spectacular: surrounded for top for a helicopter of the Italian Polizia and for the front for an car of assault of the Carabinieri, in the airport of Rome in 1998 (The photo of the helicopter gave to only make one). Already I got used. Smiles,side looks. Spotter is a solitary being. Discriminated between its pairs, it is seen with guarded irony or blatante disrespect for its friends of the race human being. It comes a fellow worker and it says: Good day, Gianfranco! It was to photograph little plane of new? Or then, a wittier brother-in-law: "What you it saw today, they hem? The Zeppelim? The 14-bis? The Concorde? "It prevents to answer that you it saw the mother of its interlocutor of open leg. Commentaries as this only serve to increase the inelegance of the situation. It moves of subject. Pass for top in level 390. This Bozos, mísreble poor person-devils unprovided of passion, never will understand the psicotrópic effect that exists in if discovering a new prefix, to photograph a new painting, to registar a new type or aerial company. Just dont mind. One remembers that the Tone sell Jobim 20 a thousand records and Alone the Pra Contrariar 20 million CDs. good Things are for few. Awnser asking who was eliminated of the House of the Artists, if the Feitiçeira more is marombada, if the "Curingão" and the Flamengo need to change of technician... There yes, you rútilo of satisfaction of its interlocutor will see the look, who, finally approaching things "normal", will have subject. While it animadamente to give the answers, its thought will take off for Heathrow, Los Angeles, Congonhas, Haneda. He arrives of papo. We go to the airport?
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