What is it about taking photos through a plane window? They never capture the real depth of the actual view, the windows are dirty so the photos aren’t clear … and, if we’re taking off or landing, we’ll get in trouble if we’re caught with our electronic equipment turned on.
Oops; I’ve done it before, and I did it this recent trip too!
Seeing our earth from thousands of feet up in the air is a surreal, floating experience … and even if photos or words don’t capture that experience adequately, they’re still a glimpse of something almost magical. (Humans flying in heavy machines – that’s magic, isn’t it?)
In all my flights, there are three shots I wish I could have taken; words will have to do:
– In February 2005 I had an opportunity to go to Las Vegas for my brother’s wedding. I’d flown before that – Germany, Mexico City, plus trips in the eastern U.S. to visit family and friends – but I’d never flown out west. Seeing the U.S. landscape change as we flew from Maryland towards Vegas was interesting … but seeing the Rocky Mountains was fascinating! The colors, the topography, the rugged look – so different compared to the mountains of the U.S. east coast. Our flight landed late afternoon, and the sun’s setting colors on the Rockies is an image I carry in my mind’s eye: angular, edgy, raw. Cold, yet warmed by the sun’s glow. Seeing those colors in reality helps me appreciate the color palette of western-themed paintings (or even silly restaurant wall murals).
– Several years ago I was returning from a trip to the States. My flight into Bergen was on a clear and beautifully sunny morning, and our flight pattern took us north of the city before banking south to come into the airport. We flew down the Bergen valley, and looking out my window on the right side of the plane I saw Løvstakken and, on its south side, our townhouse community. It was such an “ahhhhhhh” moment! Everything looked so perfect in miniature. If I’d had binoculars, I probably could have looked into our living room window!
– I also wish I could have taken a photo as we landed at Chicago O’Hare on my way back to Norway this recent trip. It was about 5:30 in the afternoon, the sun was heading down, I was on the left side of the plane, and we were coming in from the north – I had the perfect view of the Chicago skyline and our plane shadow racing us on the ground as we descended towards the runway, getting bigger and bigger, and faster and faster, and then catching us as we touched down. But the flight attendant had already had an issue with someone sitting in front of me not wanting to turn off his phone, so I thought turning on my camera wasn’t the *best* thing to do.
But I had gorgeous travel weather on all the legs of my recent trip, requested window seats because of that, and did snap a couple photos … some “legal,” one perhaps not-so-much. 😉
For perspective, here’s one from October 11th looking at an airborne plane in the sky at approximately the same place I took my through-a-plane-window photo – if you look closely, you’ll see the tiny dot in the sky. 😉