I must be in an aerial mood this week – here’s a picture from a different flight, this time somewhere over California, on the approach to LA.
One of my problems when taking pictures from a commercial flight is figuring out afterwards exactly what I’ve taken a picture of, especially if I’m not familiar with the location. In this case, a quick look at the flight tracker and google maps showed my flight only crossed one significant mountain range, so I feel confident declaring this is a picture of the Rocky Mountains – more exactly, part of the Southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
I could see the thick clouds settled over the mountains as we approached, so didn’t hold out much hope of getting any pictures – I was pleasantly surprised to find some photogenically located gaps in the clouds as we passed over!
We only had time for a quick stop at Elgol, not enough time to even scratch the surface of the photographic possibilities of this tiny village, but I did pause to grab this picture as we walked back to our car.
One of the things I like about this image is its deceptive sense of scale – it isn’t until you know the two tiny dots directly under the large rock slab in the centre are people that you realise the rocks making up this beach aren’t pebbles, but boulders, and the Cuillin mountains towering in the background are a lot larger than you originally thought.
Luskentyre beach, on the west side of the Isle of Harris, is considered one of the best beaches in the UK, and for good reason – it was truly spectacular. That said, it was the high, grassy sand dunes at the northern end of the beach, looking out to the hills of Taransay and North Harris, that really caught my attention.
Aerial photography on a scheduled commercial flight must be one of the most frustrating photographic pursuits. You have no control over the subject, the time of day, or the perspective, shooting though tiny panes of thick, dirty plastic at a target that is constantly moving underneath you… when you think about it, getting any decent pictures at all is an indication of just how amazing our planet really is, when viewed from 30,000ft.
Here’s another picture from one of New York’s parks – this time of the stark winter trees and winding paths of Central Park. Though you can see the Manhattan skyline peeking through the bare branches, with the lamppost in the foreground the scene reminds me of Narnia – an impression probably helped by the freezing weather!
The common definition of the word ‘macro’ is ‘large scale’, but in the world of photography, its taken on the opposite meaning – extreme close ups of very small things. It seemed a suitable title for this picture – it may be a large-scale aerial photo, taken from ~ 30,000ft up in the air (about as large-scale as I can manage), but at the same time, it reminds me of a close-up of a rock, piece of wood, or some exotic living organism. Two meanings for the price of one!