Vaishakhi Lahoti


From the Sky

From the Sky

A few things have changed my life the last year. We moved to California, I began working from home, and for reasons I am still trying to fathom, I stopped writing this blog. Its not for lack of creative fodder, we’ve traveled more than we ever have, and captured more beauty with my camera than I had hoped for. I’ve started a post and left it midway. Oh well, lets just hope I get to the end of this post.
And for those reasons I will add one other thing that changed in the last year. I started flying a lot to St Louis. The four hour one way ride gives ample time to look over those little rounded windows and peer down. And what I saw (if the cloud gods were willing) was surreal. Day or night, the views from 35,000 feet or just before landing are nothing short of spectacular. As a shutterbug, I first tried taking some snaps with my phone. Naturally, the results were far from ideal. I had to take my SLR with me, only problem is, that while flying, the lesser you can carry, the better. The Canon 60D with the 24-1o5 lens is as wide as 10″ tablet and heavier than a laptop. I also knew that shooting with a point and shoot would just not satisfy my need for perfect photos. And here in comes the almost miraculous 40mm pancake lens I acquired within last year. At just about an inch in length, its almost within the size of the body. It makes my SLR just about as portable as it can get.

Photo Credit to Digital Story

I will now skip over to the best part of the story. During the last two trips, I was able to get greats shots of LA in the night and St Louis downtown and suburbs. The first time, it did not occur to me to map (or geo tag) them to get an idea of what I was looking at. The route to St Louis is particularly good as it crosses over Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, the Colorado Rockies and  the great Kansas plains. And the view from up high is particularly deceiving about scale. It wasn’t till the last trip that I decided to figure out a way to map the track of the plane. Turns out it was public information and was easily converted into a gpx format file which I could use to geo tag photos. What I found amazed me. I had already known a few of the landmarks I had seen while flying, but what was surprising is that I was miles away from them. The angle of the view is limited to what is far away rather than what is right below.
Below are some of the really cool shots from the last two trips. For fun, you can compare my photo to a satellite image from Google. A full resolution download can be done by clicking on the caption on top of the photos or from the gallery just below. But be warned – the full resolution files are HUGE in the range of 12-18 mb each
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Leave a comment below if you do 🙂