A few weeks ago I took some time out to go on a snowboarding holiday with my sister to Austria and amongst the many shots I was keen to get was some aerial photographs of the mountains from the plane window.
The first challenge was getting myself a seat next to the window, not easy when you have a sister who gets quite bored on planes and is constantly peering out of the window searching for just a whiff of something to talk about. Luckily she had a book with her, so little brother batted his eyelids and window seat was secured.
So just how do you successfully shoot through the plane windows? There is the obvious risk of glare / reflection from the glass and along with the dirt, you might not think you’d be able to get a clear shot. All the photos in this post were taken from the plane window and they are all pretty clear, to the point you’d never know on a couple of them (aside from the one with the big plane wing in it!).
The secret here is simple, but like everything in life, if you don’t know, it’s never that easy I guess. Get your camera lens right against the glass, touching the window if you can. Then because there is no gap between the lens and the glass of the window, there is no chance of reflection from any in-plane lighting. The dirt on the plane window (unless it’s chronic) doesn’t become an issue because it isn’t magnified as the lens is so close to it.
Your images might be a little soft, but for anybody other than a photographer that’s not going to bother you, they will be great! I’ll admit to putting my images into Lightroom and sharpening them a little, but then I do call myself a photographer and I wanted the mountains to be as sharp as possible.
So there we have it. Can you get good photographs from the plane window? Get your camera nice and close to the glass and I reckon you can!