Topographies of Air and Light

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Flying over the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan to be exact, I glanced down at an angle and caught this display of light and color, illuminating an otherwise barren landscape.

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In addition to adaptability, air travel in our post-9/11 world requires a nearly masochistic willingness to face numerous indignities and inconveniences. We’ve come to expect random selection for secondary security checks, carrying toiletries in plastic Baggies, and removing your shoes only to find your big toe has found its way through a hole in your sock.

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En route to JFK from SFO, I opened my window to allow in an explosion of light that surely disrupted every neighboring passenger’s enjoyment of Despicable Me 2.

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We’ve also been groomed to accept the unexpected, beyond provisions of force majeure, with deadening fatalism. We now respond with bovine passivity to egregious examples of corporate venality, from delays due to neglected aircraft maintenance to capricious policy changes.

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But, before spiraling deeper into despair over the state of air travel…

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Now and then, we are also rewarded with an unhoped for upgrade to first class, a thoughtful conversation with the refined gentleman in the seat next to yours, or an airline meal that contains something that is actually edible.

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And, then – there was this spectral display of terrestrial beauty.

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The photographs, all taken with a Canon Powershot SX50, pressed up against an airplane window, are not altered or filtered.

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4 thoughts on “Topographies of Air and Light

    • I would have missed the show if I had looked straight out the window or down. I caught the first blast of color out of the corner of my eye when I looked down and back. It was quite a display.

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