Alien Landscape

Alien Landscape

Alien Landscapes

Recently, during the final hours of a very long flight from Detroit to Seoul, Korea, I was getting restless. The twelve-hour flight had been delayed another 5.5 hours in Detroit because of weather and I was stir crazy. Watched two movies, ate, dozed, read, ate, dozed. Sheer boredom led me to check our position with the flight tracker app on the entertainment monitor staring mindlessly at me. We were flying at about 37,000 feet, heading a little West of South at a speed of something over 500 mph and were in the vicinity of the Artic Circle. Wondering what it looks like flying near the Arctic Circle I pried open the window shade just a little. The cabin crew threatened everyone to keep the shades down to give the illusion of nighttime so we would sleep and leave them alone for a while.

Alien Landscapes

Alien Landscapes

I fully expected to see nothing but an endless cloud bank. But, what I saw was a snow covered mountain range that stretched to the horizon. At this altitude, the horizon arcs slightly because of the curvature of the earth. And above that, the clear sky becomes a very dark blue/black and I am now peering through the upper layers of the stratosphere into space. Being a photographer. I usually have a decent camera nearby. And in a few minutes, I saw and photographed landscapes for a lifetime, at least for me.

Alien Landscapes

Alien Landscapes

The mountains are the Kolyma Range located in extreme Russian Far East and are bound by the East Siberian Sea and the Artic Ocean. Permafrost and tundra cover much of the region and winter lasts most of the year. The area was the most notorious region for Stalin’s Gulag forced labor camps.

Alien Landscapes

And thus began over five weeks of travel through much of SE Asia. Two weeks traveling in Vietnam photographing indigenous people in both the north and the south. Then on to Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Malaka in Malaysia. And lastly, a return visit to Luang Prabang, Laos. Stay tuned!

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. What wondrous photographs, and how enlightened of you to prise open those shutters on the windows. I’m usually quite intimidated by the flight attendants and do exactly as I’m told so I would have missed these if I’d been on your ‘plane. I did get some brilliant shots flying over the Alps two years ago only to have my camera stolen before I’d managed to transfer the photos. Since then I’ve invested in smaller SD cards and more of them so that I can change them often. Now I only have to hope I don’t lose the SD cards.

    1. Not sure how enlightened I was, just bored and restless after such a long flight. πŸ™‚ What a bummer having your camera stolen.

    1. Thank you, Carolyn. It was a cool experience.

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