If you’re going on a trip, you’ll obviously take your camera to take pictures there, and keep your camera with you on the plane as carry-on baggage, so that it arrives in good condition. So you will have the opportunity to take a picture from the planewhich deserves some advice on how to make a success of these images of fleeting moments.
Maybe I’m doing this article because I’m planning a trip myself, but it’s true that it’s not necessarily easy to take pictures in a plane. So let’s review some tips that’ll keep you from biting your fingers off for missing a beautiful sunset above the clouds (which is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen).
Preparing for the trip
To get you in the best possible position on the plane, you’re going to need to make a little flight preparation to choose your seat wisely. There are typically 2 types of photos you’ll want to take: those of the sky above the clouds (sunrise or sunset is even better), and those of the earth shortly after takeoff or shortly before landing.
In the first case, if you are flying during the time of sunrise or sunset, you can use The Photographer’s Ephemeris software to find out where the sun will be. It works on Earth, but also at any place on the globe 😉 The time will not be exact since your altitude will be different, but the orientation will be the right one.
You’re going to tell me: but how do I know where my plane will be at sunset time?or what I’d see on either side of the plane? Well you can use a nice tool that I discovered on an American site, called Flight Aware. By entering the number of your flight, or simply the airport of departure or arrival, you can see the route from previous flights of the same type, so you can get a good idea of your trajectory, and therefore know which side of the plane you have to throw yourself on to get the right picture 😉 You can use Google Maps to guess what you’re going to see from the window when you take off or land, and spot interesting landscape elements.
It is also important to know that depending on whether you are flying east or west, the sunset and sunrise can be much faster, or on the contrary, can last for a very long time. If you are going eastwardit will be smallerwhereas if you’re going westwardit will be longer. You can see the sunny area of the Earth by date and time on this excellent animation from the University of Nantes.
To choose your seat, it all depends on whether you want to include the wing of the aircraft or not, but if you don’t, choose a front-most seat possible, or all the way in the back if you can’t.
How to take a picture?
What to photograph?
There are in fact many different ways to photograph in an airplane, with or without the inclusion of airplane parts.
- Photograph an element of the landscape with a telephoto lensThe viewpoint of the mountain, for example, can be isolated with an original point of view.
- Photograph thevastness of the wide-angle landscapenot including the plane
- Taking the side ofinclude part of the wing of the aircraft in the image, even its shadow on a cloud for example, which can evoke it in a discreet but elegant way
- Step back slightly and Include the portholeso that it’s clear that you didn’t take this picture with your Superman (or Harry Potter :D) powers. Joking aside, this type of photo can give a frame to your image, and with a little imagination you can associate an element of the plane with an element of the landscape.
How to solve technical difficulties?
What you need to understand is that the porthole is there to maintain pressure inside the camera, not to facilitate the photos 😛 The multiple layers of Plexiglas will misrepresent as you move away from the center of the porthole. That’s why you shouldn’t shoot down: always place your lens approximately in the center of the window..
Then, like any shot through a window, you may have light refracting and spoiling your shot. The first trick is to Place the front lens of your lens parallel to the glass.. Next, you have to block as much light as possible. Avoid sticking your sun visor (and even more so your unprotected lens!) to the porthole, as you will transmit the vibrations of the plane to it. Instead, use your handsa scarf or anything you can get your hands on to block the light around the optics. Be careful to make sure it’s invisible on the image (especially at the wide-angle).
Here you go, I hope these few tips will help you to keep yourself busy on the plane (it’s always better than watching Destination Finale 12 in Uzbek :P), and can make some pictures that will make very good first and last pictures on your holiday album 😉 Leave a comment if you have any questions! 🙂
And don’t forget to share the article! 🙂