40 Minutes of Airplanes at Phoenix Sky Harbor
Sometimes as a photographer, I find myself wanting to tell a story in a single image. However, telling the story in a single image isn’t as easy as it may look. About a year or so ago, I shared an image called, “The Rhythm of the Urban Sky.” In this image, my goal was to capture a landscape that showed how busy the skies were above Phoenix were. While this made for a really cool light trails shot, you didn’t see the airplanes themselves.
“WHOA Airplanes!” | Buy Print | Buy Canvas | License this Image
This image is the result of nearly 40 minutes of airplane spotting at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. I took approximately 30 photographs, mainly when an airplane was taking off. Some photographs have more then one airplane in the shot, while others were just a single airplane. Each image was captured with the exact same composition thanks to placing my camera on a tripod.
While you see several airplanes in the photograph, not all were used. The reasoning behind this is simple. Believe it or not, I had a few airplanes that right on top of the other. So I had to chose which one I wanted to see, because one hid the other. I also had more airplanes on the ground taxing to chose from, but because of the complexity, I only kept a few.
Finally, as a pilot myself, I can’t help but notice how the image tells the story and complexity of an airplane take off. Contrary to popular belief, a bigger airplane doesn’t always need “more runway” to take off. There are a lot more factors involved including destination (how much fuel is onboard), passengers, engine power, and weather. If you look closely, some of the biggest airplanes I captured are on the top left which means they used less runway then the airplanes that are on the bottom right. In fact, one of the smallest airplanes captured is the US Airway Express CRJ-900 about half way up and to the right of Air Traffic Control Tower.Read More»