17A on Southwest 508

Tonight I completed an impromptu photo project within 2 hours and all on my iPhone while at 35,000 feet.  While flying from San Francisco to Houston tonight, I found myself sitting in the window seat and noticing the wonderful abstract nature of the Southwestern landscape as seen from above.  Even better was that it was near sunset and there were these wonderful shadows that were being cast across the landscape. iPhone in hand, and 17A on Southwest 508 was born.  (Click through to view the full set of photos)

With it being winter, you get the added bonus of snow in the various mountain ranges and the wonderful contrast that provides.  Earlier this year I did a flight from San Francisco to Raleigh, North Carolina about the same time of day and noticed the same wonderful landscape.  Back then I thought to myself “I need to bring my DSLR and zoom lens next time I do this trip”.  Of course, didn’t have my camera with today.  So I did what I could with my iPhone (hence the often seen plane wind in the photos) and edited everything using Photogene to adjust the exposure, boost the contrast, and crop here and there.

Of course, the scratched up and dirty window of an airplane makes for a horrible filter to photograph through, hence the need to do more contrast adjustment than I would have normally done.  This helps to bring out the sunset contrast that I was seeing in the landscape below.  The wonderful alluvial plains, river valleys, and hills of the Southwest are very dramatic when seen from above.  Too bad I didn’t have a GPS device to be able to know where I was and what I was looking down upon.  At one point, it must have been near the four corners and this looked like it might have been the Colorado River:

What was even more ironic was that I was listening to my back log of Jeff Curto’s Camera Position podcasts while I was taking all these photos.  Talk about changing your camera position to get a unique perspective!

I have another trip coming up soon to the East Coast where I will be traveling with my larger photo kit.  I’m already planning on traveling the same time of day, getting a window seat in the back, and use the good glass of my zoom lens to see what I can capture.  Stay tuned for that follow on arial photo project…

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