Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Categories: Photo project | Travel |

A plane taking off over an airport runway is an impressive sight, but it's unlikely to surprise anyone. Hundreds of planes taking off at the same time is much more interesting. Los Angeles photographer Mike Kelly created a series of images of Airportraits, and it took him two years. He filmed departing and arriving planes at 18 airports around the world. After that, he compiled the images to get amazing shots. They remind us of how busy the sky over the cities really is.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Los Angeles Airport (LAX). This picture was taken from Dockweiler Beach directly under the trajectory of departing flights between five and seven o'clock in the evening, just when the rays of the setting sun illuminate the lower part of the fuselage.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Dubai International Airport. In the background you can see the tallest building in the world — the Burj Khalifa. The picture was taken between six and eight o'clock in the morning, when rush hour comes for departures in all directions.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Los Angeles Airport, "Turbulence from the air trail." This is the initial picture, which became an experimental test of the concept of the photo project. The picture turned out to be very successful and convinced the photographer to expand the project to a global one. The photo shows departures from the southern runway of Los Angeles airport in one day, although some planes had to be removed: it is unlikely that the viewer needs to look at all 84 Boeing 737s.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Heathrow Airport in London. This picture was taken during the peak of morning landings at London Heathrow Airport. Flights from Asia and North America are landing at one of the busiest airports in the world.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Zurich Airport. Due to the complex noise control system, Zurich Airport uses runways directed in different directions, depending on the strength of the wind. Thanks to this, a very interesting photo has turned out, in which air traffic flows are combined with the idyllic Swiss nature surrounding the airport.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Amsterdam Schiphol. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is surrounded by typical Dutch canals and green meadows. Stormy weather provided an interesting backdrop for this shot.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Munich Airport. This picture was taken at the edge of the runway. Planes land on it at the end of the morning rush hour.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

London Heathrow. To take these pictures, it took three trips to London. The weather is harsh there. It was very difficult to catch a whole day of clear sky, and although there were clouds in the sky on the day when this picture was taken, the photographer was lucky: the sky was not covered with clouds and there was no rain either. According to the author, this is one of his most favorite pictures in the series.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Frankfurt am Main. This picture was taken in July 2015, when thunderstorms were raging in Europe. The photo shows that one of the planes goes to the second round.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Dubai. Planes take off from the DXB airport runway 30R against the backdrop of gloomy clouds that have gathered over the neighboring city of Sharjah.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Tokyo Haneda. The picture was taken from a fishing boat in Tokyo Bay. For the photographer, this picture became a big headache from the point of view of logistics: it was necessary to guess the ideal weather and wind. Using a long telephoto lens, Mike was able to capture the legendary Mount Fuji behind the airport, despite the fact that it is more than a hundred kilometers from the shooting location.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Amsterdam Schiphol. The farmer's field in the foreground added yellow and created a pleasant contrast to the blue sky and the departing planes mainly of KLM Airlines.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Auckland International Airport. Auckland Airport is surrounded by an amazing landscape, and there are farm meadows here.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. Planes take off over Botany Bay and Sydney's central business district.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Munich Airport. Plane watching is very popular in Europe, especially as a family pastime. When the airport is in such a picturesque place, why not watch the amazing aircraft in action?

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

London Heathrow. Father and son are watching the planes.

Flocks of iron birds: what traffic flows look like at airports around the world

Frankfurt am Main. Against the background of excellent weather and clear skies over Frankfurt, swirls from the wings of soaring planes are visible. This picture was also taken in July 2015, when there were severe thunderstorms in Europe.

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