Story and photography by Allan Seiden
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.