Aircraft take flight from Zurich Airport, Switzerland, in one of Mike Kelley's "Airportraits" images.

Aircraft take flight from Zurich Airport, Switzerland, in one of Mike Kelley's "Airportraits" images.

Image credit: Mike Kelley

Eight hours of air traffic in one image

2222 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save
    Image credit: Mike Kelley

    Sponsored Links

    A couple years back, a composite image showing seven hours of takeoffs at LAX airport went viral. The man behind that image, Mike Kelley, has spent the time since working on expanding his initial idea.

    The result is Airportraits, a photo series that repeats the trick . From Tokyo's Haneda to London's Heathrow, Kelley sat, stood and occasionally danced while shooting hundreds and thousands of photos of aircraft taking off. He then stitched the images together to create a composite image (a single image comprised of elements from multiple photos) that represents his time at each location.

    Kelley leaned on his experience as an architectural photographer to build the images. He often uses light painting, blending natural and artificial light to create composite images that cast buildings and interiors in an almost magical light.

    Where the Airportraits differ from the original viral image is in composition. While the LAX image was impressive, there was no sense of place; it could've been any airport, anywhere. For the new series, Kelley shot from a range of vantage points -- a Sydney shot from a beach, Tokyo from a boat out on the bay, Amsterdam over a meandering river and so on. There are also people, animals, cars and other elements that sell each image as a scene, or a story, more than before.

    Perhaps my favorite from the series is the image atop this article, taken near Zurich, Switzerland. It depicts eight hours of takeoffs from a pair of runways. Speaking to Resource Magazine, Kelley explained what makes this image so special: "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," he said.

    You can view more of the series on Kelley's site, read more about individual images at Resource Magazine or buy prints in various sizes from his store.

    The Big Picture is a recurring feature highlighting beautiful images that tell big stories. We explore topics as large as our planet, or as small as a single life, as affected by or seen through the lens of technology.

    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
    Comment
    Comments
    Share
    2222 Shares
    Share
    Tweet
    Share
    Save

    Popular on Engadget

    The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

    The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

    View
    Google rolls out next-gen RCS texting to Android users in the US

    Google rolls out next-gen RCS texting to Android users in the US

    View
    Google’s Curie undersea cable now connects the US and Chile

    Google’s Curie undersea cable now connects the US and Chile

    View
    Rockstar apologizes for buggy ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ PC launch

    Rockstar apologizes for buggy ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ PC launch

    View
    Instagram expands hidden likes test worldwide

    Instagram expands hidden likes test worldwide

    View

    From around the web

    Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr