To photograph different phenomena during air travel consider following tips:
It is easy to determine where the sun will shine during your flight (except perhaps for takeoff and landing directions which change with wind conditions) and so you can choose seating either on the sunny side or on the shadow side of the plane.
It is better if your clothing is dark thus diminishing unwanted reflections in the window. In long flights, flight attendants often demand that you should close the window shades - because they are concerned about leaking light into the plane while people are watching B-class films on a fuzzy screen. It is advisable to bring with you a dark piece of fiber (coat is OK) to cover the window and you while photographing. It often helps when you explain what you are trying to do!.
*Use your lens aperture setting near fully open to avoid the effects of the window scratches.
*Focal lengths 28-100mm cover almost all necessary phenomena which can be photographed through the window.
*For white and bright clouds, be brave enough to overexpose by 2/3 - 1/1 stops.
*Ordinary films (even fast ones) should not suffer in security checks.
*Do take stereo photographs of clouds! Just check your aiming and register your following picture similarly. 1-3 seconds between exposures creates a nice 100m-300m baseline for stereo viewing. 3D-pictures can be viewed either with ordinary small plastic lupes or can be shown to a larger audience simultaneously using polarizing filters. The 3D-effect will always be breath taking!
Which seat should I ask for?
Of course, the front rows are usually for the 1st/business class. Note that different airlines can use different seating configurations. Just to confuse us all, they also use different seat numbering schemes. This is mainly because of the boundaries between classes, but also because some rows are "missing" on some planes (not just row 13). In fact, the numbering schemes are totally inconsistent - even on nominally identical planes on the same airline.
Beware: some "window" seats, such as 5A and 5F on some of the Airbus series, do NOT have any windows!
To find the best possible seats for each plane type and airline, go to search engines with keywords like "air plane seating" to find sites such as:
So the following list offers, at best, a unreliable guide.
|Plane||OK rows||Possible rows||Notes|
|Airbus A-300||1-17, 34-||.||.|
|Airbus A-319/A-320||1-4, 20-||.||.|
|Airbus A-321||1-8, 38-||.||.|
|Airbus A-330/A-340||1-12, 35-||.||.|
|Avro RJ85/100||1-2, 13||3(turb.),12(wing)||.|
|Boeing 737-400||1-2, 17- s||.||.|
|Boeing 747-200/747-400||1-15||Upper deck, 43-||Upper deck has lim. downw. vis.|
|Boeing 757||1-8, 26-||.||.|
|Boeing 767||1-16, 34-||.||.|
|Boeing 777||1-9, 30-||.||.|
|Fokker 28||1-6, last row||.||.|
|Fokker 100||1-9||10, (11)||.|
|MD-81/82||1-11,27,28||(12), 26, 29||Turbines at 30-32|
|Saab 2000||16,17, last row||.||.|
|Clouds from plane & Plane seating root|
|Clouds from plane page #1||Mixed clouds page #1|