As an avid traveller I often get excited to see a plane taking off, wondering where the passengers are heading and what adventures lay ahead.
The sight of a plane taking off from the airport is pretty impressive, but it’s not exactly new, however the sight of hundreds of planes leaving the runway at the same time however is definitely something we’ve never experienced before, until now that is!
Take a look at this stunning series of “Airportraits” to see what we mean. They were taken by Mike Kelley, an LA-based architectural photographer who spent the last two years taking pictures of planes departing the tarmac at different airports around the world. Afterwards he compiled the images to create these stunning compositions that serve to remind us just how busy our skies are.
LAX 24L – No Turn Before Shoreline
This is shot from Dockweiler beach in Los Angeles directly under the path of departing flights between the hours of 5-7pm, when light from the setting sun illuminates the bottoms of the planes.
Dubai International 12r (morning Heavy Departures)
In the background, the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. I shot this between 6-8am, when there is a rush of departures to all over the world.
Wake Turbulence: Lax
This is the original image which was supposed to be a proof-of-concept for the series. It was extremely successful and convinced me to expand the project to airports around the world. This image shows a day’s worth of takeoffs from LAX’s south runways, though some aircraft have been omitted due to redundancy – i.e., we don’t need to see 84 737s!
London Heathrow 09l (100, 50, 40)
This image was shot during the morning arrivals rush at London Heathrow as flights from Asia and North America descend on one of the busiest airports in the world.
Zurich Airport Runways 28 And 16
Due to a complicated noise abatement scheme, Zurich Airport actually uses runways oriented in different directions depending on how light or heavy the winds are. This made for a very interesting photo when combined with the idyllic Swiss countryside that surrounds the airport.