Mediterranean Sea, 2010 by Jakob Wagner
Mediterranean Sea, 2010 by Jakob Wagner

See Jakob Wagner's plane window weather shots

German photographer loves to shoot the clouds from the window of a passenger plane

Many of us put the time we spend on airliners with varying degrees of usefulness, catching up on the book pile perhaps or getting in some much needed sleep; few could say we've ever produced an entire photography project from our passenger seat. Jackob Wagner is rare in this respect, as he shoots all kinds of weather - very often through the window of a passenger plane.

 

Gobi Desert, 2013 by Jakob Wagner
Gobi Desert, 2013 by Jakob Wagner

Jakob Wagner likes the weather; in particular, he's keen on clouds, thunder and lightning, and he's spent the time when he's not been working as a jobbing photographer, image editor and photo assistant taking photographs of it. Based out of Düsseldorf, Wagner has travelled across the world, but it's not always his destination he wants to photograph - it's the journey.

 

Gobi Desert, 2013 by Jakob Wagner
Gobi Desert, 2013 by Jakob Wagner

Careful to always bag a window seat on plane journeys, Wagner shoots wide-angle aerial photographs the view below. On a journey from Cape Town to Düsseldorf in 2010 Wagner photographed his series Sea of Clouds over the Mediterranean Sea - a vast expanse of powdery masses above a flat sea off which the sunshine glows. Later in 2012 he passed over the Caribbean Sea, which produced an even more golden sheen.

 

Gulf of Mexico, 2012 by Jakob Wagner
Gulf of Mexico, 2012 by Jakob Wagner

This year he travelled to Mongolia to capture the arid and sun-bleached Gobi desert. Unlike the soft nature of his cloud photographs the Gobi seems to crack and break into pieces due to its peaks and rocky ridges and it's even difficult to tell if we're looking at snow or sand.

 

Düsseldorf, 2011 by Jakob Wagner
Düsseldorf, 2011 by Jakob Wagner

He tells The Weather Channel that shooting through plane glass is far from ideal, yet he can correct certain visual flaws afterwards, using digital post-production techniques. For a fuller selection see Wagner's site. And for an aerial photographer with a bit more of a plane-charter budget, please consider our great Bernhard Edmaier books, including the stunning new Earth Art title.