Thousands of airliners take off and land every day. Photographer Mike Kelley’s composite photographs show just how busy some of our biggest airports are.
The new face of air travel
At any moment of the day, nearly a million people around the world share one thing in common – they are in the air, in hundreds and thousands of airliners which have helped transform travel and trade.
Our desire to visit new places, and the realities of international business, mean many thousands of aircraft take off and land each day.
Los Angeles-based photographer Mike Kelley has captured just a tiny fragment of this aerial armada in an ambitious project called Air portraits, taking photographs of plane after plane to create composite images of a day in life of the world’s busiest airports.
Los Angeles International
‘I’ve always been fascinated by aviation and one day while out at LAX [Los Angeles Airport] plane spotting, decided that I wanted to try capturing multiple takeoffs and putting them together into a single image to show their flight paths and the sheer volume of traffic departing LAX,’ says Kelley.
‘The inspiration behind the entire set of images was somewhat simple given the success of the original,’ says Kelley.
‘I didn’t want to be a one-hit-wonder, and I knew the idea had potential, so it was something that had to be done. There are a ton of amazing airports, airlines, and airplanes out there I wanted to photograph, so the plan was set in motion to try and capture as many as possible.’