Beauty of the Earth From a Window Seat

Globetrotting for business might sound exciting, but the reality is a lot of time spent staring out of plane windows. Photographer Julieanne Kost has been travelling the world for business for over a decade. Fed up with hotels and conference centers, Kost decided to take advantage of the aerial view of the earth from the plane — photographing the views below. In this story published by CNN Travel, Adobe employee Julieanne Kost shares how the airplane window seat became her biggest inspiration.

California-based Kost however found that photographing from the plane window helped her enjoy flights more. The travelling executive began photographing the sights she saw out from the window.  “It was wonderful to be able to put the camera between me and the ground below,” she says. “It really helped me to disassociate from it — I became an observer instead of a participant in the scene.”

In search of an outlet for her creativity to complement her busy job, Kost quickly realized how much she enjoyed photographing her aerial vistas. “Most creative people go into a creative field because they have all these great ideas and they want to do all this creative work, but that’s not always the reality,” she says. “It’s really important for people to have these projects they work on just for themselves to stay motivated and to stay engaged and keep growing and learning.”

She started to plan her flights based on the time of day — to ensure good light — and picking her seat based on the view. “Sometimes it was successful and sometimes you just get the seat that you get,” she says. “I really tried hard to get in front of the wing because behind the wing you get the rippling effect from the engines.” This was back in the days of film, she explains. In this pre-smart phone age, fewer people photographed the view from the plane.

Kost initially started photographing on board airplanes to tackle her fear of flying. She said, “I’m also afraid of flying, so for me it was wonderful to be able to put the camera between me and the ground below, it really helped me to disassociate from it”.

Kost began curating her collection of Window Seat image is the early 2000s, before social media had truly taken off. Kost, who runs regular Photoshop workshops for Adobe, decided to publish the photographs in a book: “Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking.” The book showcases Kost’s collection, but is also designed to help others find a creative outlet if they are feeling unfulfilled.

Now Kost has branched out into digital photography — and her aerial photographs have taken a step up too. She occasionally hires a helicopter or small plane with the doors off and photographs the local California landscape from the sky. But she still travels frequently on regular flights for work. Below are more of her works.


NB: This post was originally published on CNN Travel

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