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Saturday, 10 September 2016


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Are you from North Dakota or just went to school at UND?
Sierra is plural, you don't need the 's' - at least that is what I have been told by the Spanish teachers in College in CA some years back.
Enjoy seeing your images. Keep it up.

Great article & looking forward to the next episode.

Being impatient for more, http://www.photos4u2c.net/

Lovely photographs!
It reminds me of Julieanne Kost's very nice 2006 book Window Seat, which discusses creating and organizing a photographic project, using the example of photos she took while traveling on commercial airliners.
The view from the cockpit surely has more potential than the images framed by an 8 x 10" piece of scratched plexiglass complete with intruding wing and engine.
Can't wait to read the next installment!

The posting by David Raboin looks like it is going to be a good read! Thank you David.
And thanks Mike for another interesting
commentary from an outsider so to speak.

Beautiful work uniting my own two passions of flying and photography.

I can currently only fly in space on the computer, but hope to fly light aircraft one day and love propeller airplanes.

Thanks for this post, Mike and David!

PS. Love this shot of yours on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJITnB_DzRu/?taken-by=lonesome_sky

What a fascinating journey through photography and the lower atmosphere, can't wait for part 2.

Great article! I love looking at the earth from above take pictures out of the plane window whenever I can. But I do have one question: how in the hell do the outside of the windows get so scratched?!!

I fly a couple times a month as a passenger. I always get a window seat. I revert to being a 10 year old staring at the wonders of the earth and sky during the flight. It has not gotten old, though I have, by evidence of the sore neck at the end of the flight. I snap a few pics, but getting a clear window can be problematic. Plus the white balance is a mess. Very nice work David, both your photographs and your day(night) job.

For me, looking out of the window at the landscape, sky and weather is the sole redeeming feature of what is otherwise the complete tedium and indignity of commercial flying (as a passenger).

Airlines seem to discourage looking out of the window, at least on long-haul flights, appearing to prefer that passengers sleep or watch movies on the near-dark. I assume this is intended to pacify us and make us more compliant and easier to manage. On one flight from London to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, I was was almost shouted at by a member of the cabin crew because my window blind was raised when the rest of the aircraft was in darkness. No meaningful explanation of why this was so essential was able to be provided, but like a naughty schoolboy I waited five minutes and gradually edged my blind back up until I had a couple of inches to look out of as the other passengers in my row slept happily.

Drone photography is going to make aerial photography accessible to a lot more people but until flying on commercial jet has been, for most of us, our only opportunity. I usually pick an aisle seat, but on certain routes I will forgo the comfort and choose the window. This is on our way back from Grenada a few years ago.


Dust and wind from the airspeed scratch the passenger windows from the outside. Imagine camera lens subjected to those elements!

Gorgeous work! I'm envious that you guys get to look out those big cockpit windows on a regular basis.

That said, I do OK on my stints in the window seat.

Mount Fuji, May 14, 2016

I-80, Utah, April 23, 2013

Great article. If only digital existed during the 20 years I spent flying around the world in Air Force cargo planes, I would have tens of thousands of shots compared to the hundreds of prints I have from those days!

I didn't know what I was doing with my first Minolta 35mm (purchased at the Base Exchange), and wasted a ton of money on film and processing awful pictures :-)

Looking forward to the next part!

The other, practical aspect of taking pictures from a plane, at least if using an iPhone, is identifying location. Even in airplane mode the GPS keeps tracking.

As a photography student at the University of North Dakota in the early 00's, I remember having class with aviation students.

The funding for the art classes was small. For our color printing class, we each were provided one pack of 25 sheets of color paper per semester. We had to have our slide film developed at the Med School. Needless to say, we didn't show a lot of prints.

The majority of our class time was spent critiquing our photos on a Kodak slide projector. We were to shoot a roll per week, have it developed, edit it down to our favorite 5, and then present it to the class. Critiques were to follow. Most of the class shot with hand me down cameras from parents or uncles. However, there was one kid, an aviation student, who had a brand new F5. Those in the class, in the know, were beyond jealous.

When it came time for fly boy to show off his weekly work, instead of 5 slides he loaded the carousel with an entire roll. The photos amounted to him trying to photograph his final approach while flying. Most of the photos were out-of-focus instrument panels at dutch angles with the solid blue sky as the focus point. The occasional photo that managed to show something other than a sharp blue would show the ever approaching runway. Whether it was his poor control of the camera, or the plane I wasn't sure. But, the world was tilted at horrific angles with each successive shot.

The professor just rubbed his temples and thanked the student. The professor left after that semester to play in a punk band. He couldn't handle it anymore.

Hopefully that kid is a better pilot than photographer.

A great article, and "to be continued" too! I now know, having looked it up, what a turboprop engine is. I always wondered.

Outstanding, lyrical writing. Great photos too! Keep going!

Thanks all for the kind comments. Writing and presenting my photography to this distinguished group made me tens times more nervous than navigating around a line of severe weather. I'll try to answer all your questions after the follow-up post goes up. I'm home with the kids right now and try to limit my internet activities until I'm on the road.

Mike Hess... I can't wait to respond to you though. Your comment cracked me up and made my day. Guys like the one you describe made it difficult to be an aviation student on the normal, non-aviation, side of the UND campus. I am still trying to remove the massive chip on my shoulder from going to school with so many privileged students. Every now and then I fly with a fellow UND alum (the airline industry is full of us) and we reminisce about the spoiled students, long winters, and debauched Spring Fest.

You can certainly string a few words together now. There's some Wind, Sand, and Stars in there. Looking forward to part two.

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