Sunrise at 38,000ft

This is the first of my images from Tenerife, and we start, ironically, at the end. As we flew home, on an early flight, we caught a lovely sunset out of the window of the plane.

1/100sec, f/4, ISO 100, 28mm

I’m actually quite proud of this set, not for the quality of the final images, but for getting the shots in the first place. It was one of those times when I realised various elements were on the verge of coming together and just needed a tiny prod to get it all in place.

We had an early flight back from Tenerife. It left Tenerife South at about a quarter to seven in the morning, which I knew was almost an hour before sunrise. I also knew we’d be flying near enough due north, so the sun would be rising on our right. So I made sure we got on the plane early enough to get our pick of the seats, selecting some that were fore of the wings to get a less restricted view.

All I had to do then was wait, and hope that the fasten seatbelt light went out before the sun made it up.

1/160sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.33 (+0.94), 20mm

Needless to say, it did; I suspect the title of this post is a bit misleading because we were still climbing and in all honesty I have no idea how high were were at the time the sun actually rose. Does it really matter?

I did have a bit of trouble capturing the shots; we were on a RyanAir plane and they – and I’m sure most airlines – aren’t overly concerned with the optical quality of their windows. Sometimes, however, I was able to try to use the smeary dirty window to my advantage, and make it part of the image.

1/80sec, f/7.1, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67, 21mm

It was interesting seeing a sunrise from above the clouds for once. I’m not sure it’s the best angle to observe a sunrise, I think something has been lost when the clouds become shadows blocking the light rather than reflectors bouncing red hues back at you. Still, it’s different.

There’s just a few images from me today, although there are a handful more in the gallery below. I still have plenty of images from Tenerife to process, but I’m still working through those at my own pace (like most of my images these days) so don’t expect the Tenerife posts to all come along at once.

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9 Comments

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  1. petit4chocolatier November 13, 2012 — 1:30 am

    Beautiful pictures!

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  2. Great shots! I’m always wary, because I never know if you’re allowed to take photos on a plane or not! :S

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    • I just figured it was the same as any other electronic device, and so we weren’t likely to drop out of the sky if I used it. I made no effort to hide the fact I was using my camera, but I’m not sure if I was seen so I don’t know if I was allowed to. However, I’ve seen a few images taken from commercial aircraft, so I assume there’s no issue…

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  3. Second one with more clouds is definitely my favourite. The most annoying bit of when you’re trying to take photos from a plane window is when ice starts to form on the glass!

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