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May 9, 2011 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by Andrew Sullivan's recent post on views outside airplane windows, BuzzFeed compiled a collection of "100 incredible airplane window views" from Flickr. (bandwidth-heavy single page version.) Click through slideshow at Business Insider.
posted by zarq (56 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
buzzfeed is the new cracked.com.
posted by crunchland at 7:22 AM on May 9, 2011


If they could put a puppy or kitten in each one, this would be just about perfect.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I eagerly await a Hipstamatic filter that inserts an airplane wing into your every photo.
posted by chavenet at 7:33 AM on May 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Beautiful!
I grew up in San Francisco and I have never seen those multi-colored lake looking things before, weird!
And who knew Nebraska and Wisconsin were so interesting looking to the birds?
And some of them are giving me a good case of trypophobia.
posted by like_neon at 7:33 AM on May 9, 2011


Wow, Cairo is depressingly monochromatic. Would expect to see more pollution in the air, but maybe it just settles on the buildings?
posted by Glinn at 7:34 AM on May 9, 2011


100 photos on a single page! Yay!

I take a lot of photos while flying small airplanes. It's remarkably hard to get a good shot. The most interesting one I snagged is this potash pond near Moab. I must have gotten lucky, the colour wasn't nearly as dramatic on Google's overhead photos.
posted by Nelson at 7:39 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm amused by the ones labeled "The Midwest" or "Great Plains, USA". Not that I'd expect the photographer to know exactly which state they are over, necessarily. But, it does reconfirm the Midwest as fly-over region.
posted by achmorrison at 7:39 AM on May 9, 2011


Or, if you prefer, you can look the other way. See John Schabel's incredible "Passengers" series: photos of people inside planes waiting to take off, taken with a very long lens usually from an overpass near the runway. Schabel has called them psychological portraits of people at moments when they are awaiting something over which they have no control.
posted by The Bellman at 7:41 AM on May 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


This one looks like one of those little puzzle things where you have to slide the tiles around to form a picture.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:54 AM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


#75 - Hong Kong is great.

I am surprised that there isn't one of the Bungle Bungles in there, although I guess the subtext for this collection is photos from a scheduled flight.

Also: LA from the air looks like Chicago after a nuclear bomb has gone off, IMHO.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:55 AM on May 9, 2011


I'm amused by the ones labeled "The Midwest" or "Great Plains, USA"

I thought the same thing about "Bavarian Countryside, Germany."
posted by chococat at 8:01 AM on May 9, 2011


I like your musical title, but looking at all of these photos puts me in mind of another tune--

Boom De Ah Dah, Boom De Ah Dah, Boom De Ah Dah, Boom De Ah Dah...
posted by tzikeh at 8:03 AM on May 9, 2011


I like how they all have place names except "Midwest, USA" and "Great Plains, USA". Sure, it looks like that all over, but....you can't see rolling green hills anywhere but San Luis Obispo County?
posted by DU at 8:03 AM on May 9, 2011


tzikeh: "I like your musical title, but looking at all of these photos puts me in mind of another tune--"

Check the tags. :D
posted by zarq at 8:06 AM on May 9, 2011


# 18 was what? Found in a camera that was picked out of the wreckage?
posted by Mike D at 8:09 AM on May 9, 2011


I love, love, love gawking out of aeroplane windows. I still vividly remember the first time I flew to NY from London & spent the last few hours of the flight marvelling at the landscapes of Greenland & NE Canada and then on over Long Island realising that I was flying over baseball diamonds & parking lots full of little yellow school buses – something you rarely see from the air in Europe.

Best flight? Probably Bangkok to London. Despite being deathly tired I stayed glued to the window as we went over the Bay of Bengal, across India and watched in amazement as the landscape folded & rose in Pakistan, saw an F-something fighter jet in the distance as we skirted the border of Afghanistan and then marvelled at the stunning mountains in Iran, the Caspian Sea and then worked out that the peak I saw in the distance as the light was finally fading was Mount Ararat.

It's always good to fly over somewhere you've been so seeing the Grand Canyon from the air a few weeks after I'd been in for the first time was fun.

Seeing the Sky Bar on top of the State Tower in Bangkok as we circled out of the airport the day after I'd found out that I did suffer from vertigo when I'm standing on the roof of a 60-something storey building was a kick.
posted by i_cola at 8:16 AM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


zarq: Check the tags. :D

Ah, but can the tags embed video? I don't THINK so!

I have not yet had caffeine
posted by tzikeh at 8:18 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear Eagles... Apparently, there are no corners in Winslow Arizona. (#99).

"Shit, get me re-write!" (Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne)
posted by Mike D at 8:28 AM on May 9, 2011


Look at all those open windowshades back in the 1970s. Maybe my memory is selective, but it seems that flights these days are turning into sensory deprivation chambers. I really don't get the idea of the cabin being dark at lunchtime on a 3 hour flight.
posted by crapmatic at 8:28 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't mind that Cairo is monochromatic -- it's a desert, what do you want? What's depressing about it is the uniformity of the building designs.
posted by empath at 8:37 AM on May 9, 2011


Ah, but can the tags embed video? I don't THINK so!

And thus, an awesome pony request was born! ;)

Jokes aside, I love that commercial and the song. Really am glad you linked to it. Thanks!
posted by zarq at 8:37 AM on May 9, 2011


The SF Bay salt ponds one is spectacular, although I wonder if a little color tweaking was done; I've flown over them a lot and don't recall them looking quite that colorful (though they do definitely stand out from the rest of the bay.

I took this one on the way home from Seattle, and was surprised when Shasta stood out as well as it does.
posted by rtha at 8:37 AM on May 9, 2011


Compare to the equally mono-chromatic Fez in Morocco
posted by empath at 8:38 AM on May 9, 2011


Wife had recently to book flight. Lady working for airline said most people prefer aisle seats because you can stretch legs out and get out to bathroom and off place faster. I have always been afraid that if I looked out the window I would see a wing beginning to fall off.
posted by Postroad at 8:38 AM on May 9, 2011


achmorrison, I realize you are not trying to be, but that term...? "Fly over country", has a kind of sneering pejorative tone to it for many people who actually live and work here.
posted by edgeways at 8:39 AM on May 9, 2011


Postroad: "I have always been afraid that if I looked out the window I would see a wing beginning to fall off."

There are worse things....
posted by zarq at 8:41 AM on May 9, 2011






I guess the subtext for this collection is photos from a scheduled flight.

No. Photo 25 of the Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay was taken a long way from scheduled flight paths. I'd guess it was taken from a chartered sea plane out of Broome or Derby.
posted by Ahab at 8:57 AM on May 9, 2011


Window seats, ATW. I think half the reason I am unable to sleep on planes is that I am too interested in looking out the window and seeing where I am, what is below me, trying to pick out cities and freeways and county roads in the darkness. The one time I did manage some sleep on a fly was an overnight trans-atlantic. Nothing to seem between Boston and Ireland in the dark. By the time I could see the Isle of Wight out the window in the early morning light, I was wide awake again. (Totally crashed when I landed at my final destination though. Oops.)
posted by maryr at 8:59 AM on May 9, 2011


# 18 was what? Found in a camera that was picked out of the wreckage?

Pish, formation flight is safe if the pilots know what they're doing. You don't hit the thing you can see. I was gonna say something about how the massive zoom lens meant the planes weren't that close anyway, but that photo was taken at 70mm, not that much zoom.

There's a whole world of air-to-air photography with some really beautiful shots of neat airplanes. This one makes me a bit nervous; those Tiger Moths are awfully close to each other.
posted by Nelson at 9:00 AM on May 9, 2011


I like how they all have place names except "Midwest, USA" and "Great Plains, USA". Sure, it looks like that all over, but....you can't see rolling green hills anywhere but San Luis Obispo County?

Clearly you didn't get down near the end with, "Somewhere between Salt Lake and Paris."
posted by Navelgazer at 9:04 AM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


London: looks better when you can't see it.
posted by Jehan at 9:07 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pish, formation flight is safe if the pilots know what they're doing

Yes, but definitely the scariest thing I've ever done in an airplane. Flying as a passenger in the wingman position, the pilot was not looking anywhere except the tail of the lead plane - we were maybe four or five feet away from each other. Watching that was frightening, because even though I rationally know it's the correct way to do it, I went into it with the mentality of "eyes on the road" and it felt like we were trying to drive down the highway by staring at the sidewalk. I've been pilot in command for a formation flight and we stayed a few hundred feet apart. So maybe not so much of a formation as "flying kind of close to each other".

I have photos somewhere... meanwhile, here's Philadelphia.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:10 AM on May 9, 2011


No. Photo 25 of the Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay was taken a long way from scheduled flight paths. I'd guess it was taken from a chartered sea plane out of Broome or Derby.

So I was in Broome on September 13th, 2001. I was camping, and the entire campground, which mainly consisted of pensioners from New South Wales and Victoria escaping the winter, was abuzz discussing the impact of the terrorist attacks and the new reach and scale of global terrorism.

I was talking to the lady in the caravan next to me. She was planning on taking a scenic flight out to the Horizontal Falls with her husband the following day. And she asked me whether I thought it would be safe from terrorists.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:21 AM on May 9, 2011


If I'm flying from Vegas back to St. Louis, I always get a flight an hour before sunset, and get the right-side window seat (even if it's the back row). Watching the shadows fall over Monument Valley is fantastic. Just for kicks here is a shot I took of, well, somewhere in northern AZ - never been able to figure out exactly where.
posted by notsnot at 9:33 AM on May 9, 2011


Just had to say that this is an awesome post!
posted by Quasimike at 9:54 AM on May 9, 2011


achmorrison, I realize you are not trying to be, but that term...? "Fly over country", has a kind of sneering pejorative tone to it for many people who actually live and work here.

edgewise, that was exactly my point. I've lived most of my life in Iowa and Illinois, and I'm well aware of the tone that "fly over country" has. I was trying to say that having generic labels like "Midwest" don't really do a whole lot to counteract that idea.

On the other hand, a few of the photos identified regions of Nebraska and Wisconsin, so it's not all bad.
posted by achmorrison at 10:02 AM on May 9, 2011


These are so amazing.


I have some questions:

How do the Japanese keep their farmland so perfectly symmetrical and aligned while everyone else seems to have more of a crazy patchwork effect?

What are the yellow fields in Bavaria and France?

How interesting to see how various different lands arrange their houses and farmlands differently - Shanghai, where large dwellings seem to be spread out in rows into the fields, and France, where small tightly-knit villages are surrounded by a sea of agriculture.

What am I looking at in Alberta and Nebraska?

How can San Francisco have one part that is so densely built up and another that seems untouched? What is the lovely green area in the foreground? And in that other picture, what's with the colors in the salt ponds?

What are the red parts of the Great Salt Lake?

The juxtaposition of Cairo and Greenland is stunning.

LA looks so much nicer at street level. I assume Oahu does too. They both look so crowded from the air.

Madison looks so cozy.

I had never heard of Talbot Bay. I found this. Now I'm dying to go see it!


Can you go into the crater at Winslow, Az?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:08 AM on May 9, 2011


How can San Francisco have one part that is so densely built up and another that seems untouched? What is the lovely green area in the foreground? And in that other picture, what's with the colors in the salt ponds?

The green area in the foreground is actually Marin county, north of San Francisco; most of what you see is the Marin Headlands, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area - it's a national park, basically. The densely built part is SF proper; the green bit you can see just south of the GG bridge is the Presidio.

I don't know why exactly the salt ponds are those colors - I assume it's a reaction based on the minerals involved, temperature, and chemistry.
posted by rtha at 11:19 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


And in that other picture, what's with the colors in the salt ponds?

Micro-algae and brine shrimp :)

Can you go into the crater at Winslow, Az?

I've been there. Am not sure. But you can tour the rim.
posted by zarq at 11:19 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


What are the yellow fields in Bavaria and France?
Rape.
posted by brokkr at 11:26 AM on May 9, 2011


What are the yellow fields in Bavaria and France?

Rape.


Well, rapeseed to be precise. Also known as canola
posted by edgeways at 11:49 AM on May 9, 2011


(although canola is a pretty recent term, somewhere about 1977, and stands for "Canadian oil, low acid"
posted by edgeways at 11:51 AM on May 9, 2011


Beautiful!

I once took nearly a dozen shots of the French Alps while on a flight from Nice to Geneva. It was a beautiful, clear day and the mountains were gorgeous. Also, between clouds at sunrise while landing. That was such a neat sensation.
posted by fraula at 12:04 PM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


love this. i always pick the window seat.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 12:18 PM on May 9, 2011


I love airplane window photos and these were all absolutely stunning! Thanks for this post.

If I may share...years ago I started my own Flickr set - aptly named "Airplane Windows" – of self-snapped airplane photos. 33 shots from the sky.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:24 PM on May 9, 2011


I haven't been able to go through them all (damn work!), but I ended up on an evening flight from Atlanta to Long Island on July 4th - imagine looking out and seeing (what seemed like) all up and down the coast - fireworks interspersed with thunderstorms - I only wish I'd had a good camera with me...
posted by pupdog at 12:33 PM on May 9, 2011


Yeah I did that too - also without a camera - an evening flight from NY to Boston one July 4. It was amazing to see all the fireworks in all the little seaside towns and cities. Highly recommended.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:37 PM on May 9, 2011


This is so f'ing awesome. I rarely have window seats when I fly (being 6'2, it really *really* helps to be able to get up more frequently during the flight), but now I'm tempted to try to get one on my next flight. Wow.
posted by antifuse at 12:53 PM on May 9, 2011


Just looking at this shot:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarunas_b/5572901670/

It breaks my brain. Every time I look at it, it's like somebody put together a jigsaw puzzle wrong. Why don't the patterns match up??
posted by antifuse at 1:13 PM on May 9, 2011


*looks out window8


Aggghhh!
posted by stormpooper at 1:33 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


God, it would have been so cool if they had put that as number 100.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:13 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, rapeseed to be precise. Also known as canola
To be precise, rapeseed is the seed of the rape plant, which is pressed to obtain rapeseed oil.
posted by brokkr at 2:44 PM on May 9, 2011


That was amazing. Btw I think Cairo looks GORGEOUS. It's like a whole city made out of antique luggage.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:38 PM on May 9, 2011


The Chicago photo is absolutely beautiful. Gotta love Chi-Town.
posted by dapperkoala at 7:13 PM on May 9, 2011


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