Swimming in the Clouds


I was flying from New York to Atlanta after shooting a project with an actor in the city. When I booked the flight I selected a 5:00 pm departure knowing at that time of year it would be close to sunset, so I might get some really pretty light to shoot photographs & video from the plane. Uncharacteristically I had selected a window seat so I could take photos and video out of the window, typically I only book an exit row aisle seat. However I was bumped up to first class (thank you Delta) 5 days before the flight which is great because the wing causes issues for me in the photo or video. As soon as I got the upgrade I selected a window seat because my Delta profile says aisle only.

Unfortunately the weather was a solid gray overcast and drizzly afternoon, not real pretty. But I still got out my camera with the wide angle zoom lens and sat down in my seat, buckled up and waited. I still took a few snapshots & a bit of video knowing full well they would be ugly, I just could not help myself (And I was right, they were ugly.) Within 3-4 minutes after rotation (takeoff) the plane was in the clouds so I put the camera on the floor and waited for the chance to put the camera back in the bag. Within 3 minutes we were out of the solid cloud cover to a wondrous and dreamy scene of color & puffy clouds, the timing was perfect and the finished results were stunning.

Go here to look at the 40 second video.

The video was shot with a Canon Professional Digital Camera set at 160 ISO, 1/50 sec. shutter speed, 24 fps, and the Canon 16-35 mm zoom lens was at 16 mm, f8. The video file was then processed in Photoshop.

If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Any educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!

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