Very often something that you experience for the first time can seem extraordinary to you, but repeated exposure with time can make it feel more “ordinary”. The novelty can wear off.
In this context, the series of pictures that I am going to present may tend to be less noteworthy to a certain subset of population that is used to flying on commercial aircraft across the United States on a regular basis. But I also suspect that not all of this subsection of the population actually even sees what I see. They probably would not handle the flying experience the way I used to. Most folks are who on these trips regularly are doing it for business purposes, and the flying part of the experience is used for pursuits other than taking pictures out of the window of the aircraft. The more energetic folks are usually catching up on work, most often on their electronic devices, while most others are trying to simply relax, either reading, or watching a movie or taking a nap. An alcoholic beverage or two can also sometimes help the time pass by.
But I took a different approach. I would attempt to get on flights that were at the right time of the day for taking pictures from the air, and if possible even try to find a window seat on the side of the aircraft that provided the best views at that time of day. My face would be stuck to the window pane. (The Airbus 320 family of aircraft have much more comfortable windows than the Boeing 737s in this regard.) I would take pictures of whatever I could see that seemed remarkable (extraordinary?) to me both in the sky and on the ground. I flew quite a lot for many years, but none of this stuff ever became ordinary to me.
Looking back in time, I was quite fortunate to have found something to do that was exciting and extraordinary to me, something that made the routine and the drudgery of unending business trips for the purposes of making a living and putting bread on the table more tolerable.
Most of the flights I used to take happened to pass over the southwest of the United States, a particularly remote and rugged area of the country with a low population density. Here are few shots that from those days.
The black spot in the picture is from water on the ground. I wonder if people live in this area. And here is a picture taken with the sun low in the sky.
It seemed to me that I was flying over a different planet. And then there was this shot that reminded me of fractals.
The structure seen in the following picture reminds you of the complexity of the processes that have shaped the earth. My guess is that the material of the structure is able to withstand erosion much better than the material around it.
Sometimes you see the impact of the combination of nature and man on the ground in a different way, as on this wintry day when I was flying cross-country.
Finally, here is a very simple phenomena that I saw from the window of my aircraft.
I have never seen a circular rainbow anywhere else. Here is an explanation for this phenomenon. Apparently this is not an uncommon thing for people who fly frequently to see. It goes to show that something that is extraordinary to one person may be ordinary for somebody else.
Here are some other pictures I have taken while flying.
Here is a link to this week’s photo challenge.
4 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary Planet Earth”
These are stunning!
Wonderful captures, great choices for the challenge
These are really wonderful. Earth from a different perspective for sure. Well chosen for,the challenge
I have several pictures from my last flight with the circle rainbow in the clouds. I too thought it was extraordinary too. Nice photos!