Taking Aim From 10,000-Feet.

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Makaha and Leeward Oahu en route to Kauai.

 Story and photography by Allan Seiden  

Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on a sunset flight to Honolulu.



Over midtown Manhattan preparing to land at La Guardia Airport.

Every trip offers unique perspectives that begin as soon as take-off sets things in motion. I always try to book a seat early enough to secure a window free of the wing, ready to marvel at the diversity and beauty that are uniquely apparent from the air.

Clouds clear over the Grand Canyon.
Mt. Aso, Kyushu, Japan.

From iconic landmarks like the Grand Canyon to Hawaii’s volcanic summits rising above a blanket of clouds, from beach-lined Waikiki to high-rise Manhattan to Greenland’s rugged ice cap there’s dramatic beauty to appreciate and capture, with my camera.


An unnamed island in the south Pacific.

Most people seem to assume that a plane widow doesn’t offer decent photographic opportunities, and while a badly scratched window may be an obstacle, you’d be surprised at just how much can be captured if the angle and exposure are right. Hopefully the pictures that follow prove that point, with useful input as to how to make some really impressive visual additions to almost any trip, be it interisland or trans-continental.


Highway cloverleaf near Minneapolis.

To start off, take a couple of test shots on while you’re taxiing down the runway testing exposure options and framing, keeping in mind that the farther forward or behind the wing you are, the more of your subject you can capture without interference. In urban environments remember that some of the best visual come within minutes of takeoff, so you want to be prepared.  From that point on I check the 



passing scene now and again every to see if
something noteworthy is passing below. 
Landings also offer great visual opportunities with time to prepare.

Cumulus over Mojave landscape.


The Big Island's North Kona Coast, banking for an arrival at Keahole Airport.

I usually check with the airline to get input on which side of the plane offers the best visuals if I have a particular subject in mind.  So fasten your seatbelt, place your seat in a fully upright position, and takeoff with cameras armed and ready.

A crescent moon as dusk tints the airborne horizon., place your seat in an upright position, and get ready to shoot.
Approaching Salt Lake City at dawn.