Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bird's-eye View

Being an ardent birder as well as a photographer, I always think how lucky birds are. They can get views of many different perspectives of places and things at no cost, and can travel without the hassles of getting visas.

Aerial views that I had during my flights only increased my jealousy, some flights that strictly enforce no electronic devices on-board policy to blind my camera make my enviousness with birds even worse, and those air hostesses get cursed. The list of enemies are not just limited to the flight crew. For example windows with uncleaned outer surface (I carry a polishing cloth to clean inside), acrylic plastic windows with scratches and/or craze, direct harsh sunlight, glares, internal reflections, fog, mist, and clouds, all stand in my way.  Yet I do not give up easily. I always try to chose a right seat on a plane considering a number of factors such as flight timings, places of interests along the flight path, sun's relative positions during the flight, and take-off and landing directions. And, I endeavour to use my camera on-board the planes whenever I get a chance.

Here are some of my captures of interesting moments and aerial views of places that could only be seen by birds and not by human in their day to day life.

Bird's-eye view: Start of rain
Start of rain @ Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bird's-eye view: Sunset over a city
Sunset over a city @ Bangkok, Thailand

Bird's-eye view: Selective Lighting by the sun
Selective lighting by the sun @ Auckland, New Zealand

Bird's-eye view: Mountain-range as dam of clouds
Mountain range as dam of clouds @ Greece

Bird's-eye view: Cotton like clouds over Mesopotamia
Cotton like clouds @ Iraq

Bird's-eye view: Snow capped mountains
Snow-capped mountains @ Turkey

Bird's-eye view: Rocky Mountains
Places with no signs of life @ Oman

Bird's-eye view: the tallest building in the world
The tallest building in the world - Burj al Khalifa @ Dubai

I am yet to travel by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which has got the largest window size for any commercial scale long range passenger plane, and am looking for a sponsor to get on-board ;). While I am sure that a larger window would certainly be of great help to compose shots with ease, Dreamliner's electronic tinting of windows (Electrochromic windows) keeps me busy guessing on multiple aspects: whether these tinting would introduce some colour shades on photos taken, whether phase detection based auto focus would work, whether it would limit the opportunities to take photos due to centralized tinting control, i.e., no opportunity for secretly opening the window and shooting once the passenger on the next seat started snoring, etc, etc.    

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