Sometimes it pays to look out the window

American Airlines Sunrise, Austin-Bergstrom Airport - Austin, Texas

American Airlines Sunrise, Austin-Bergstrom Airport – Austin, Texas

Last week I took a trip to California. I was on a 7am flight from Austin connecting in Dallas-Fort Worth to another flight out to Sacramento. I was sitting in an aisle seat on a 737, a bit sleepy and getting ready to catch a few winks on my flight out to the coast. I was one of the early ones to board and the others in my row still had not arrived. The window shades of the plane were pulled down and the interior was lit with the dull yellow – green fluorescent mood lights. On a whim, I reached across 2 chairs and pulled up the plastic window shade. To my surprise, I saw the most glorious sunrise out the right side of the plane. Th sun the rising behind the terminal building and the cloud configuration was perfect to scatter the light and adds some interest to the sky. The rich color also reflected off the silvery wing and in the distance there were several more American Airlines’ planes ready to make their journey to distant hubs.

I quickly took out my Olympus E-P3 with the attached Panasonic Lumix 14mm lens. I was traveling light this time and only brought one camera and one lens. However, I always keep the camera handy, ready to use at a moments notice. I like taking architecture photos and the airports are one the best places in the United States to capture some decent modern interiors. I would have never guessed that I would be treated to such a wonderful sunrise. I quickly took several images, changing the composition and settings between the frames. I had only a few minutes until my fellow passengers would block my access to this spectacular scene.

Sometimes it pays to look around; lift the covered shades and observe the environment. Try to have your nice camera with you because you never know when you will be treated to a spectacle. Sure, a camera phone is better than nothing but it’s not going to capture this scene with this much quality. That’s why I like the mirrorless cameras so much like the Olympus E-P3. They are small enough to bring anywhere but have the image quality without compromise. Sure, I could have taken this with a DSLR, but would I have brought it with me on this trip? Maybe not. How many of you who have DSLRs bring them with you on short trips? Especially these days when carry-on luggage space is at a premium. Yes, I use my small, mirrorless cameras all the time, but these are the times this kind of camera truly excels. So pack lightly, take a high-quality, small camera and travel often. Oh and remember to pull up the shades just to make sure, because you never know.


I took this photograph with my Olympus E-P3 with the Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.5. Please make sure to click on a photograph to see a larger image and hover over the photo to see the exposure details.

See more images taken with the Olympus E-P3 at mostlyfotos, my one photograph per day photo blog.

Are you interesting in the camera I used to take this photograph? Here are the links to the Olympus E-P3 in Black or Silver from Amazon. I used the Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.5 lens which is sold separately. If you are thinking of buying this camera or lens please consider using these links. You will get the same low Amazon price and I’ll get a small commission, which helps support this site.

14 thoughts on “Sometimes it pays to look out the window

  1. I was on a trip to Seattle back when I was still shooting film. I was flying of course from east to west in the early evening, and the most glorious light entered the cabin. Creamy and golden, the light entered in beautiful soft streaming swaths, There were blue accents from the video displays airing the movie . By the time I dug my Nikon f4s film out of the bag – Poof – gone. Oly PENs weren’t even on the radar back then – thank goodness they’re here now.

  2. Now that photo is pure magic. I wonder if this was last Wednesday? I shot a few frames that morning and it was the best sunrise I had seen since early February. Morning light is very dynamic and before you know it all the highlights are washed out. Ace timing!

  3. I covet your DSLR. Just wrote about what I saw from a plane window the first time my husband took me to Los Angeles. It IS amazing and magical what can be seen when we stay open.

    1. Sometimes the view out the plane can be magical. I remember a few scenes in the past, a long time ago, which I would love to have shot.

  4. Very nice, you caught the moment to show us what is was like to be there. Just wondering why you chose the Lumix 14mm over your other lenses for this trip? thanks

    1. Andy Modla, no deep thoughts of choosing the 14 over the 20. I’ve been shooting the 20mm for a while now and very familiar with its point of view. The 14 is newer and I’m using it for a while to get the feel of it. I think I do like the wide-angle for architecture and urban shooting though.

    1. Yup, I’ve been enjoying the lens more than I thought. I’ve been thinking of getting one of those metal hoods… Thanks for you visit.

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