Welcome to the second of my blogs about my recent trip to Singapore. This time I shall focus (excuse the pun) on my flight home and the rewards of keeping your camera handy. With time a plenty of time to pass on a long flight, it’s fun to see what you can snap out the window to add to your holiday photos. You never know what interesting features below and even if the ground isn’t visible, looking down on clouds can be fascinating too.
My first photo is just after take-off from Singapore’s Changi Airport. This was my ‘souvenir shot’ of Paulau Ubin island which I’d visited a couple of days before. It’s a small rustic forested nature reserve, with several small lakes. Sandwiched between Singapore and Malaysia, it showed up quite well from above, despite the high humidity making it hazy. If you are in Singapore, this island is well worth a visit.
The trick to getting good results, apart from using a good quality camera and lens (and avoiding sitting over a wing), is to press the lens to the window to minimise reflections, set a fairly fast shutter speed to ensure your image is sharp, slightly underexpose to maximise detail and make good use of a powerful zoom/telephoto lens. Be careful to avoid catching the window frame in your shot or getting to near to the edge (where the glass distorts more). If you shoot in RAW format you will have much greater scope with editing. Look for interesting features, especially if later you can name where they are.
Don’t be too disheartened if the view looks very hazy, as Photoshop (or similar editing software) can work wonders. This was my original unedited shot (left), which isn’t much to shout about. But the edited version cut through the haze nicely. It may not be perfect, especially where colours are concerned and some slight reflections and distortion is probably inevitable, but it’s not a bad effort and I find, interesting to scrutinise. If you are keen then it’s great to find out what you are photographing (ie the name of this bridge/river/town below etc). Despite my best efforts on Google Earth, I unfortunately couldn’t be sure of these locations except that they are all in India.
Fields and water show well in this shot which I can only identify as somewhere fairly near the city of Bengalura. In-flight information often tends to be rather vague. I dare say if I researched Google satellite images long enough, I would eventually work it out where it is, but for now, let’s just enjoy the photography!
This large Indian lake or reservoir made an interesting feature in a cloudless sky.
As we flew nearer to the west coast and somewhere between Goa and Mumbai, I snapped these mountains, which showed up quite well.
A complete change in landscape out the window, as the plane flew over the United Arab Emirates. I liked the contrast between the baron desert, clouds and blue sky here at a much lower altitude.
Approaching Dubai airport in the final decent, I spotted these alien-like markings out in the desert. My Google research has drawn a blank as to what these strange man-made grid patterns are. Comments welcome!
So, next time you are flying somewhere, be it a short flight to Dublin or half way round the world, have fun seeing what you can snap out of the window! More Photographer’s Ramblings Coming Soon!…