Being at an altitude of 30,000 feet gives you an amazing perspective on the world. From city views to incredible cloud formations, you have some spectacular photo opportunities that await you. Since most airlines now allow you to keep your phone on during the flight, why miss the opportunity to take a photo to send to your friends and family? Since you don’t want glares, blurring, or shadows to affect your picture, explore some of the following tips to help you take a great photo through a plane’s window.
When you look down from 30,000 feet, you see some fantastic city and landscape views, and you may be tempted to try to get a great shot by putting your phone at a downward angle to capture that view. However, when you put your phone’s camera at an angle, the windows will distort the shot. Keep the phone straight, rather than angled down, and you’ll get much clearer photographs with less distortion.
With your cell phone’s in-air, Wi-Fi ability, such as the Gogo Inflight feature available from T-Mobile, taking pictures early in the flight and sending them immediately lets your family and friends know you got in the air safely. You can avoid distorted views and send as many gorgeous shots as you’d like using the unlimited in-air photo and text messaging available from T-Mobile, the nation’s largest 4G LTE network carrier, on Gogo-equipped flights.
Taking pictures early in your flight also gives you a better opportunity to get a good shot. Assuming the weather is clear, the windows will be free of ice and moisture, giving you an uninhibited view. As the plane reaches a higher altitude and the temperature drops, the more likely condensation or ice could accumulate on the window.
You may think that using the flash on your phone’s camera for airplane pictures at night or in dim lighting will help you get a clearer shot, but unfortunately, it isn’t the case. Keeping the flash on will create an unattractive reflection in the picture. Plus, the flash doesn’t work past a few yards, so using it for taking a picture through an airplane window won’t illuminate anything on the ground or any photographs of the night sky. Also, using a flash is startling and disruptive to other passengers.
In order to keep the camera on the phone steady or cut down on reflection, many people will press their phones up to the airplane windows to take photos. Doing so typically does not give you a clear, crisp picture worth sharing with friends and family. Since the vibrations from the plane will make the picture blurred around the edges, you’ll want to keep the phone 1 to 2 inches away from the glass to cut down on blurring from the rapid vibrations.
Auto-focus is an excellent tool on your cellphone’s camera in most situations, but taking a picture from your airplane seat is not one of those situations. The windows on an airplane are incredibly thick, and they are often scuffed and scratched from many years of wear. These conditions will throw off the auto-focus and will focus your camera on the windowpane itself. Switch to manual focus when you choose your focal point and lock your focus on your subject to prevent getting a picture of a blurry window scratch.
Commercial airplanes are flying at speeds greater than 600 mph. At takeoff or if you’re in a smaller plane, the plane may not be traveling that quickly, but it’s still moving faster than you may think. You want to be ready to take photos because the opportunity to get the shot you want could be gone in only a few seconds, and you don’t want to miss the perfect shot for social media or your travel journal.
Photos from the perspective of an airplane are breathtaking. Whether you want to capture a gorgeous sunrise, show an impressive cloud formation, or simply let loved ones see what you’re looking at, photos are an excellent way to share the experience. Follow the tips above to get the best quality photo possible.