One could say that my Window Seat book (and ongoing aerial projects) are a byproduct of my position at Adobe. As an evangelist, I spend a great deal of time on airplanes and shooting photographs allows me to stay sane during those long flights. What what most people don’t know is that I‘m scared to death of flying. Fortunately, I discovered that shooting pictures out of the plane window allowed me to view the scenery in a different context: I became a spectator – an observer of the scene rather than part of it. The camera became a comforting buffer between the reality of that moment and my own thoughts.
While my enthusiasm for aerial photography grows, I’ve continued to try new approaches to it. Instead of limiting myself to taking photographs on commercial flights, I recently hired small aircraft to see what the difference would make in my photos. While I can’t dispute the benefits of being able to plan your route, the time of day, removal of doors etc, I still look out the window on commercial flights and make photos. This past year, I packed my big camera in the overhead bin and used Lightroom on mobile to capture in HDR, edit, and share images taken from commercial flights. Here are four of my favorites taken on the approach to San Francisco.
And here are six more from through out the year.
Flights from left to right: top row – Orlando to Houston, San Jose to Denver, Las Vegas to San Francisco, bottom row – Singapore to Kuala Lumper, Orlando to Houston, Orlando to Houston.
It seems unbelievable that I’ve been photographing out of plane windows for more than a decade, but sometimes you choose your personal projects, and sometimes they choose you. This project remains ideal (for me) because as photographers, we don’t always have a lot of free time to make photographs. By taking advantage of “idle” time in the plane, I have been able to create an entire body of work while getting from point A to point B.
And just FYI, this is what the previous six images look like straight out of the camera – thank you very much Lightroom! : )
Finally here are two abstract images taken in Chicago while waiting for the plane to push back from the gate (that’s rain/slush/deicing liquid covering the windows). Technically they’re not aerial photographs, but I still really like them.
Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018.