Up in the Air

Clouds storm updraft airplanes

(Click to see the image full-sized or so it fits your monitor)

It’s another Movie Title Wednesday and this one comes from the sky and a Southwest Airlines window seat. I can’t tell you how lucky I was to sit on this site of the plane…the other side I believe didn’t get to see the action in the clouds that I did.

First off…Up in the Air. A fantastic film starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. It’s such a brilliant film and really tells the story of what it’s like for some of these guys who are constantly and always traveling. It kind of resonates just a teeny bit with my frequency of work trips to Vegas lately. They never are home enough to even have a home, so their apartments sit empty aside from a few items and their main concern in life is how many miles they’ve collected. The job Clooney has is a brutal one and I can’t image ever doing that. I loved the film. Kendrick was brilliant as well, never really noticed her before until this movie. Check it out if you haven’t.

There is a memory I have from sometime in the past, maybe when I was younger, of being in a plane and suddenly passing by a towering thunderhead off the wing of the plane. There is something about your aircraft being 37,000 feet (or so) in the air and then passing by something that makes you feel so small. I’ve always remembered seeing that cloud and everytime I get on a plane, I’m wishing for that to happen again.

So of course, last week was awesome. The plane weaving through these treacherous skies, giant clouds exploding all around us. This one above was absolutely beautiful and could have been a supercell. Hard to tell from the ground, but the height was impressive.  I love this photo with just a bit of the wing making an appearance in the bottom right to get you an idea of scale.

Something that kind of befuddles me though. The shot is at ISO 100, but there is a lot of noise in the clouds. Might have been because of shooting through a window, but it’s still a bit strange.

I actually like the noise. And I’ve learned to accept a bit of grain in my images. I’ve noticed a few times when I’ve printed an photo with noise, it really doesn’t show up as much as it does on my computer screen. Also…using any noise reducer would have destroyed the gorgeous textures these clouds have going on.

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 35mm, iso 100, f/8, 1/320th)



  • http://www.curtfleenor.com Curt Fleenor

    Nice shot Mike – looks really ominous!

  • http://lussierphoto.com Bob Lussier

    If there was a little gremlin on that wing, you could have called this one “The Twilight Zone.” But “Up in the Air” works perfectly! Either way, I absolutely LOVE this image! The clouds are perfect and image is perfectly framed. Great one!

  • http://www.chrisnitz.com Chris Nitz

    Man those are some crazy big clouds. It almost looks like a giant piece of cotton candy. Really cool shot today!

  • http://www.behindmyeyes.me Jim Denham

    Beautiful work Mike. Nowadays, I prefer to be far away form the storm clouds while flying – the least amount of stress the better! But I too have enjoyed the same view and was in awe of God’s beauty! You’ve captured quite well here!

  • http://hdrexposed.wordpress.com Dave DiCello

    This looks like something out of a sci fi movie man, great work

  • http://www.chrisfrailey.com Chris Frailey

    Looks pretty intense. Hope the ride home wasn’t too bad.

  • http://theperfectsunset.net Jason Hines

    Great shot, the wing in the corner of the image really makes it!

  • http://www.doephotog.com A.Barlow

    Awesome!! Love these really dark contrasty mono shots. nice!

  • http://scottwyden.com Scott Wyden Kivowitz

    No matter where you go, you manage to find cool clouds!

  • http://www.cdeangelisphotography.com/ Chris DeAngelis

    Crazy clouds! That is a great shot and I love it in B&W!

  • http://www.murphyz.co.uk murphyz

    Beauty – agree with Jason that the wing really makes this shot.