Photoessay: Window seat III

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Continued from the previous series of Window Seat photoessays…

I’ve attempted to sequence these in some semblance of causal plausibility, but honestly – there’s no way one could do that unless the images were from the same flight (which these weren’t, but they were from the same continuous trip). As always, with these things – sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don’t; I had one flight recently that ended my blank streak (seat with no window or awkwardly positioned one; seat with dirty scratched glass but great light; seat with great window but clouds and rain; night flights; etc.) and it seemed that got things flowing again. I’ll say one thing though – repeated experiences with aircraft that have electronic/ LCD-dimming shades have left me with a preference for plain windows; you just can’t shoot through those things because somehow everything lands up as though smeared with vaseline. Oh how I wish for a chance to shoot through one of those 30×20″ Gulfstream windows… MT

This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S, 50/1.8 S and my custom SOOC JPEG profiles.

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Prints from this series are available on request here


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved


  1. Airline windows are the worst (but you still managed some great work). I have a Window Seat series and always book the earliest flight, hoping the plane is still clean from the nighttime washing. Have you done a door-less helicopter? Very scary but a clear, unobstructed view is incredible. Highly recommended.

    • Actually, I do doorless helis quite often for a couple of clients…low altitude, too. Kinda gotten used to it. I’ve also done a doorless Cessna, which was a lot scarier (and windier) – heli didn’t have the range for what we wanted to do…

  2. Were you in Dublin for that first shot? If so, hope you enjoyed your visit!

  3. Embrace the suck, take what you get ;-p I’ve been shooting out of planes for my career and while I like open seating on Southwest so I can pick my window, the overall quality of the windows has been ever declining. At a certain point you just accept the grunge aspect and take the shot regardless. Last flights are in the blog section, I went back to using old Leica thread mounts since it’s not like I can ever get a perfectly clear shot.

    • Absolutely! The new windows are horrible because of the LCD shades – give me a sliding blind any day.

      And resolution doesn’t matter when you put a piece of plastic in front, so I often also use my phone as I can get the lenses physically closer to the window, making it easier to block out stray reflections and increase your effective FOV against mechanical vignetting by the depth of the window itself…

  4. Sigh, I always have scratched up windows or positioned too far back on a plane! But it’s a very satisfying feeling when you get a nice clean shot! Good work MT!

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