I fly a lot for business … and I greatly enjoy it. Approaches to airports near large cities are especially exciting for a photographer. Quite often the light is as formidable as it was during my landing approach into Hong Kong. Admittedly one has to be lucky to land around sunset to get such dramatic light scenes. But if you do … you need to be ready.
I almost always have my camera ready. Not an iPhone, not a point and shoot. I have my EOS5d MKIII with my 70 – 200 lens mounted at the ready. If one wants to catch special scenes then you are much better up with a tele zoom lens then anything of shorter focal length. Let me give you some pointers for shooting out of planes . the way I do it:
Long focal length zoom lens
High enough ISO to get short enough exposure times
shooting into the light is tricky as the windows on planes are usually scratched
if the cabin lights are on pull a something over your head and tightly around the camera to prevent reflections on the window
Besides equipment I also try to plan my seating if I can. I usually check flight routing before hand to understand which side of the plane has the better view when during approach. This however is not a guarantee ans routing might change. With that information at hand I try to pre book a seat on the “right” side of the plane an try to get a window seat. People next to you do not really appreciate you leaning over them to take photos. And bear in mind that your best chance for good pictures is close to landing. At that time you need to be buckled up so there is hardly any moving around possible.
Well enjoy the pics from Hong Kong and don’t forget to take some air to ground shots on your next flight!