For his ambitious Airportraits series, photographer Mike Kelley sets up camp outside of airports and meticulously photographs planes as they takeoff and land—shooting thousands of photos per location. He then uses Photoshop to isolate the planes and combines the images into the composite “portraits” you see here. Each image tells a fascinating story about the nature of each airport and the many unseen variables that affect the flight paths of each airport like noise regulations, plane size, and air traffic patterns.
When he initially began the project two years ago, Kelley’s plan was relatively straightforward: fly to 10 or so cities around the globe and spend a day or two at each airport scouting the location, taking photos, and then off to the next destination. This plan worked well in Europe where the weather was consistent, but soon he faced the reality that seasonal weather in places like Japan was completely unpredictable. In Tokyo he left without a single usable photo after days of trying. Some cities he had to return to 2-3 times in hopes the weather would improve, and in other places it would take nearly a week to photograph enough planes to make an image.
During editing, most planes are left “as is” in the location they appeared in the sky while taking off. Planes in the processes of landing proved to be more difficult. “For the landing images, I did take slight artistic liberty with the position of the aircraft, because in real life the planes follow a very specific glidepath to the touchdown point,” Kelley shares with Colossal. “If I hadn’t moved them, all the planes would be directly on top of one another and there’d be no real dynamics or movement in the image.”
A digital artist and photographer who goes by the name Kagaya recently spotted this unusual sight of a commercial airliner appearing to blast a contrail of rainbows out of its engines. Spotted above Oshino-Mura, Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan, the rare phenomenon is most likely a form of cloud iridescence caused by the perfect convergence of water vapor and sunlight. Kagaya explains that he was nowhere near the event and had to use a long telephoto lens to zoom in on the plane. If you need a few more rainbows today, here’s some more examples of cloud iridescence. (via Neatorama)
If you’re looking to remodel your home or office with ultimate conversation starting furniture, look no further than the 737 Cowling Chair by Fallen Furniture. The behemoth chair is made from a genuine Boeing 737 engine cowling that sits atop a spun aluminum base in the same orientation you would find on an airplane and measures nearly 6.5′ square. It’s hard not to compare the curvy space age design to something Eero Saarinen might have designed. The Bath-based furniture company specializes in making functional objects from “reclaimed, authentic aircraft parts, from both military and civilian aircraft,” and you can see more of their designs on their website and on Facebook. (via Bored Panda)
A traditional paper airplane takes one sheet of paper and approximately 90 seconds. A Luca Iaconi-Stewart-designed paper airplane? 1,000 hours, 100 manila folders, 50 X-Acto blades, and an entire bottle of glue. The San-Francisco based designer has previously built a 1:60 scale Boeing 777 model and to the delight of detailed hobbyists everywhere he’s now constructed another, this time a scale model of a Singapore Airlines A380.
A challenge for Iaconi-Stewart was the variety of seating that comes with the plane’s design, ranging from basic economy seats to first class suites that include fully operating sliding doors. With precision he built each element of the model from delicately folded paper, the smallest piece of the 3,000 used being a 2.5 x 1 mm pin that secures each business class seat.
Videos of the plane’s construction can be seen below. More images of Iaconi-Stewart’s previous 1:60 scale Boeing 777 model can be viewed on his Flickr, and time lapse videos of his model’s construction can be seen over on his Youtube. (via The Kid Should See This and The Awesomer)
Often I use the windows of airplanes as frames in which to view the landscapes just beyond the thick glass— scenes featuring rolling clouds, rich gradient skies, and patchwork fields. Jim Darling has taken this idea of the window as frame and created paintings that place the audience as passenger, showcasing vague yet nostalgic landscapes within his constructed airplane windows.
Darling’s paintings are from this sky-high perspective, painted cities, clouds, and oceans with the occasional wing creeping into the painting from the far edges. Each work includes layered woodwork, acrylic, and aerosol to build the tromp l’oeil nature of the piece, allowing one to finally experience these atmospheric views without the turbulence. (via Stop, Drop & Vogue)