PetaPixel

Long Exposure Airplane Trail Photos Shot at Airports Around the World

kevincooley_nachtfluge-17

Nachtfluge is a series of photograph by US landscape photographer Kevin Cooley showing long exposure photos of airplane light trails streaking across the sky.

Cooley visited major airports around the United States, including LAX in Los Angeles, JFK and EWR in New York, and ETC in North Carolina.

The photographs were shot using a Linhof Technikardan 45s large format (4×5) camera and a 135mm Schneider Apo-Symmar lens. Aperture was set at f/22, and the shutter was left open for up to four or five minutes for each shot (or in some cases much longer than that).

Here’s Cooley’s artist statement for the project:

Photography is by nature an exploration of time. The blink of an eye may be frozen by the shutter. Or in the case of this series, many minutes or even hours add up to construct a single image punctuated by the paths of commercial airplanes traversing the night skies. These white streaks, the only aspect of the planes visible in the photographs, are created by the landing and navigation lighting on every plane. Each line represents the amount of time it takes a commercial flight to pass through the frame.

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

Nachtflüge Series - Planes in the night sky

You might recognize Cooley’s name from two of his other projects that we’ve featured here before (here and here), both of which involved long exposure photos and military flares.


Image credits: Photographs by Kevin Cooley and used with permission


 
  • http://www.tutvid.com/ Nathaniel Dodson

    I love these! This is great stuff…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312995208 Christian DeBaun

    Nice work.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    the military flares were worth the efforts of 5×4 but I don’t think light trails from aircraft are worth spending all that money on, unless he uses expired film and picks it up cheap. depending on which film you buy a box of 20 sheets could be anywhere from £80 – £100+. no way would I spend that on aircraft light trails. Also – I think some of these shots would’ve been better without the light trails, shot 7 in particular, love that shot – just not the light trails. Still, these are technically brilliant shots, using 5×4 scares me enough in the studio and daylight – wouldn’t want to attempt using one at night, kudos!

  • DamianM

    Repetition does seem to become a gimmick for an easy way to make a series. But then it becomes less interesting as you keep seeing the same thing over and over
    and over and over again. So in the end it seems more of a pet project really.
    Good way to keep on shooting till your next big idea really takes shape.

  • DamianM

    I use my 4×5 as a point and shoot. Ha

  • DafOwen

    I’m not overly keen on some of the conceptual stuff featured here or stuff like the under belly of planes – but I really like these. Something picturesque about them as well as interesting.

  • ned

    ive taken heaps of photos of chemtrails… no need for long exposure.. probably unhealthy even slight exposure

  • Jan Plähn

    Why does the title have a German Title? “Nachtflüge” is actually German and means “Nightflights”.

  • Nikola Milijević

    niceeeeeeeeeee

  • StronglyNeutral

    Lovely!