Thru The Looking Glass

by Shelly Katz– 
“It’s not always about the destination, sometimes it’s about the journey”
 Flying Over Central California. Photo by Shelly Katz
Flying Over Central California. Photo by Shelly Katz
Often when on my way to photograph at an exotic location, I’m reminded of that cliché as I make a very memorable photograph looking out the window of my airplane. In fact, sometimes looking out the window are beautiful, dynamic, even poetic, images just waiting to be captured. Perhaps it’s a colorful sunset or maybe a dramatic or tranquil cloud formation – or the design of the texture of the earth’s surface from such a high altitude. What a great opportunity to take advantage of the changing composition, color and lighting.
Pacaya Volcano rising thru the dust and clouds after takeoff from La Aurora Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Photo by Barbara Guerra

Pacaya Volcano rising thru the dust and clouds after takeoff from La Aurora Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Photo by Barbara Guerra

You do, however, have to overcome a few technical issues – like remembering to turn off the built-in flash – and to manually focus on infinity instead of auto focus which would probably focus on the window. Also, don’t forget to hold the camera lens close to the window to eliminate glare, but don’t let it rest against the window or the vibration of the plane will cause your image to be shaky. Furthermore, you might want to use a fast shutter speed to compensate for any motion of the airplane. Additionally, I highly recommend “Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking” by Julienne Kost to give you a more in-depth look at the definitive collection of stunning photographs that can be done thru the window of an airplane and how they came to be.
Book Cover and Photographs from Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking by Julienne Kost

Book Cover and Photographs from Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking by Julieanne Kost

Now as a variation, imagine making pictures underwater without getting wet or having to purchase expensive underwater gear. If so, consider shooting sharks at an aquarium that is constructed around the audience, or a fish tank that allows you to be so close to the fish and coral formations that it appears as though you are in the water.
Underwater Photos by Shelly Katz

Underwater Photos by Shelly Katz

Remember, don’t let a barrier stop you from “shooting thru the looking glass.” It’s probably just giving you an opportunity to shoot something different.

www.shellykatz.com / email: shelly@tx.rr.com
Note: All accompanying photos were shot thru glass and are reproduced with the permission and courtesy of the photographers. All images are copyrighted by the photographers and any reproduction without written permission is strictly forbidden.  
Resources:
  • Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking by Julienne Kost
  • Artwork of Barbara Guerra Chudej: www.bjgart.com
  • Dallas World Aquarium1: 801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202, (214) 720-2224

Author: Red River Paper

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2 Comments

  1. Good article, thanks!

    I wanted to point out that the book “Window Seat” is by Julieanne Kost (www.jkost.com), not Julienne Kost. She’s my favorite photography teacher on lynda.com; her composites are simply amazing.

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    • Thanks for the note. The mistake has been corrected.

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