A Pilot & His Photographs
View from the top of the world: Passenger jet pilot’s jaw-dropping photographs stunning vistas… taken from his cockpit at 35,000 ft. They were taken by Karim Nafani, a commercial airline pilot and photographer based in Dubai
Gives pictures ethereal glow by setting camera to take three images at different exposures which he then combines
By Matt Blake
PUBLISHED: 13:07 GMT, 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:17 GMT, 14 June 2013
Most people are lucky to see the sky through their office window, let alone be in it.
But Karim Nafani beholds more than just a few trees and clouds from his desk at work… he gets to see the whole world in shimmering panorama.
And now the Dubai-based commercial airline captain and photographer has taken pictures of his cockpit and posted them online.
He says he began the project in a bid to document his daily routine through a series of otherworldly images that look more like oil paintings than photographs and reveal exactly what it is like for pilots at 35,000 feet.
Stunning view: Dubai-based Karim Nafani sees more than just a few trees and an open space from his desk at work… he gets to see the whole world in shimmering panorama
Panorama: This photograph is of a 1st officer enjoying the sunrise at 37,000 feet above sea level en route to Chittagong Bangladesh
Into the light: He says he began the project in a bid to document his daily routine through a series of stunning photographs that reveal exactly what it is like for pilots at 35,000 feet
The only trouble is, when it gets a bit stuffy, he can’t open the window as any normal office worker would.
He said: ‘I take you far away from skyscrapers and high rise building roof tops this time to somewhere much higher: welcome to my daily office!’
He gives the images their ethereal look through a technique called ‘exposure bracketing’ which involves setting up a DSLR camera to take at least three shots, each at a different exposure, before combining them to create the final print.
Great view: Karim usually has to be behind the camera to take pictures of the cockpit but here he turned the camera on himself
Motherboard: Apart from the beautiful views that confront Karim each day he takes to the skies, his pictures also remind viewers of the incredible array of levers, panels and buttons that cover almost every inch of an aircraft’s cockpit
Hometown: Karim took this picture as he flew over his hometown Dubai
The result looks more like an oil painting on canvas than a real-time digital photograph.
Apart from the beautiful views that confront Karim each day he takes to the skies, his pictures also remind viewers of the incredible array of levers, panels and buttons that cover almost every inch of an aircraft’s cockpit.
And, of course, he knows his way around them just as well as he does around those on his digital SLR camera.
But Karim’s portfolio doesn’t end inside his cockpit.
As a pilot he says he developed a keen interest in how the world looks from above.
So he went about climbing to the top of buildings and skyscrapers to picture cities from above.
Branching out: But Karim’s portfolio doesn’t end inside his cockpit
‘Close up’: This is an aerial view of the artificial Palm Islands in Dubai
On top of the world: Karim often uses a fish eye lens to bend the horizon beyond its natural curve
A view from a bridge: But very rarely, Karim likes to take pictures from underthings rather than over them
Moody: Karim’s braketted exposure technique gives many of his cityscapes a dark edge, almost as if taken from a post-apocalyptic comic book
Rings and roundabouts: One of Karim’s favourite times to photograph Dubai is at night when the city lights up in a kaleidoscope of colour
Marina-nother world: As a pilot he says he developed a keen interest in how the world looks from above.
Dusk or dawn? So he went about climbing to the top of buildings and skyscrapers to picture cities from above
Menacing: Karim paints a picture of a world without limits
Tallest in the world: Dubai has a skyline that is not only one of the world’s most iconic but also the tallest
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