Photoessay: Window seat IV

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Continued from the previous series of Window Seat photoessays…

Sometimes you get extremely lucky on a single round trip – and one of short duration on a budget airline, no less! I don’t think I’ve ever had this high a yield on a total flying time of about six hours before – at least not when the purpose of the flight wasn’t photography and I wasn’t able to direct the pilot. Most of what made the images interesting was the variety of weather conditions; no doubt because we were flying during monsoon season (which could itself be amply felt) with the heat and humidity required to create spectacularly dense/large clouds quickly, and the winds to whip them up into spectacularly interesting formations. For some of the ground locations – such as the lake that looks like a section through a brain – I can only imagine how much more spectacular they might have been at the right time of day (possibly at the expense of the clouds). It always pays to pick a window seat!

This series was shot with a Nikon D3500 and processed with Workflow III.

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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. Frederick Saunders says:

    Absolutely stunning! The second last in the set was my personal favourite. Thank you for sharing your images (and writing).

    Did the plane have particularly clean windows?

  2. Time to get bigger, square windows on Boeing’s new 738 ( comes out in 2030 ). Also, reserved photographer’s seats far enough back to avoid engine heat waves. Or close enough forward to avoid engine…………and finally, an accommodating pilot willing to bank the plane briefly so you can get your shot! Am I asking for too much?

  3. Dustin Gilbert says:

    Shot on Nikon d3500. Lens?

    D3500 is surprisingly light. I had a 3rd party 50mm lens that was so heavy, it felt like a dawg. But I recently put a 10-20mm lens you had recommended. And, wow. Really light and mobile.

  4. Emmanuel says:

    For Photos #5 and above, you managed to open the window ? 🤪
    They are incredibly well defined, and gorgeous (as usual).

  5. John Pangilinan says:

    Beautiful, I especially love the “heaven glow” from the clouds on most of the second half of these… makes me want to dig through my archives and see if I have some “MT-like” airplane window shots….

  6. Mark Rustad says:

    Ming. You have 7-8 images here that are flat out staggering. Circumstance combined with your own timely appreciation for what nature was offering has offered up remarkable Art. Well done.

  7. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing these images with us.

  8. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Yes, and you can also avoid having a big fat person with bladder problems, who drinks too much on the plane, clambering over the top of you all the time!

    Ming what you are showing us here, is how to “look” – how to see things from a different angle. And the results are quite spectacular, when you look at these cloud formations with the light shining onto – or through – them from another direction.

    It’s always refreshing to see another of your posts!

    • Until you have to clamber over them 😛

      Otherwise – thanks! I must be one of the few people with window seat anxiety…will it be on the right side to get something interesting? Will it be clean? Did I pack the right lens? Etc.

      • You are not the only one Ming.

        Once on an early morning flight to New York City, an elderly woman was sitting in my assigned window seat, so I was asked to move to an empty seat on the other side. Wouldn’t you know it, as we approached, the sun came out and lit up all of Manhattan, and I now was on the wrong side of the plane. Grrrrr…

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