Photo Essay

San Francisco to Boston, Feb 3 2009

2-3-09 (SF-Boston #2)

Over the course of a flight, the view out the window changes according to topography, density of human presence, weather conditions and time of day. This creates opportunities for images that have very different color palettes, and also that vary in the degree to which they are abstract vs. representational.

I recommend using a zoom with a wide range of focal lengths, to go from fairly wide angle shots that give a sense of the overall view (as in #6 and #10), to tight ones that emphasize specific features or patterns (as in #2 -the main image for this series- #3 or #4).

This particular series of images is more on the abstract side, which is why none of them include a horizon. Including both land and sky in the image gives a sense of scale and directs the eye to a rational interpretation of the image, whereas not including that boundary will tend to emphasize the formal qualities of the image - line, pattern, shape, color - and direct the eye to read it as an abstract.

I hope you find these enjoyable, and that they will inspire you to decide that, when you travel, photo opportunities begin when you board rather than when you land!

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—The JPG team

16 responses

  • Jim Hart

    Jim Hart gave props (25 Jul 2009):

    you're so good at this -- they're all really wonderful

  • Lise Utne

    Lise Utne gave props (25 Jul 2009):

    Beautiful -- all of them!

  • Michel Vaque

    Michel Vaque gave props (25 Jul 2009):

    exceptionnelle série !

  • ina:botao

    ina:botao (Deleted) said (25 Jul 2009):

    Alexis, this is the best collection of photographs of that kind, which I've seen here...I love every single one of them and the outstanding marvelous abstraction!

    I'd love to vote, but there's again no possibility...??? (on my own essays on certain days there's the button for voting, on other days it doesn't exist...???)

  • Kevin House

    Kevin House gave props (25 Jul 2009):

    A beautiful collection of aerials. I too have no vote button. I'll be back.

  • ina:botao

    ina:botao (Deleted) said (25 Jul 2009):

    Oh...just the voting button has appeared! my vote of course for this excellent essay!

  • Didi Witchard

    Didi Witchard gave props (25 Jul 2009):

    i love them all, i am a huge fan!! voted for sure!

  • claudia luthi

    claudia luthi gave props (26 Jul 2009):

    my vote, too, outstanding series, indeed!

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist gave props (3 Aug 2009):

    Incredible series of imagery...My Vote!

  • Paul Lavallee

    Paul Lavallee gave props (4 Aug 2009):

    Stunnig, as always, Alexis

  • Michael Risenhoover

    Michael Risenhoover (Deleted) gave props (4 Aug 2009):

    Congratulations on being a featured story Alexis!

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt gave props (5 Aug 2009):

    Massive YEAH vote!

  • Michaela K.

    Michaela K. gave props (5 Aug 2009):


  • Pascal Fellonneau

    Pascal Fellonneau said (9 Aug 2009):

    yeah vote

  • diana

    diana (Deleted) gave props (9 Aug 2009):


  • mean MR mustard

    mean MR mustard (Deleted) gave props (20 Jan 2010):

    voted! awesome! I love taking photographs of something like this and turning it into something abstract. i've done a couple of these myself but with closeups of fabric and foam. since i created a collage i had to post the actual pictures on flickr though...

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