In 2014, Los Angeles photographer Mike Kelley, “feeling like a total dork sitting inside on the computer,” decided to go out and shoot, ultimately creating this composite image of all the planes taking off from a particular runway at LAX in an eight-hour period. He spent another eight hours doing the compositing. The picture went viral.
I whipped that image together in one (16 hour) sitting, paying not-so-close attention to Photoshop perfection, and just getting it done. Well, obviously the concept had legs as that one image altered the entire course of my life. After a bit of thinking, I decided I wanted to repeat the concept at airports around the world, and by doing some back-of-the-napkin planning I threw together a list of 15 or so airports that I felt would benefit from a similar image.
I often get asked exactly just how ‘real’ these images are. And on one hand, they are as real as they get. I’d sit in one place for an entire day, and take a burst of pictures of each plane as it crossed in front of me. I’d then take one of those captures, wherever I thought I’d like that plane to be, and put it on my base image.
You can buy prints of Kelley’s work here.