If you're into photography, then it's obvious you're intrigued by things that are visually interesting. In that case we suggest asking for a window seat when you fly. The view can be spectacular, and with a little planning you can make some nice photos.
There are some challenges when shooting pictures from a plane. First off, you need a relatively clean/clear window. I say relatively because odds are that every window will have some amount of dirt and scratches. Then there's the issue of reflection. If the sun's shining through the window onto you, odds are you'll see your reflection. Getting the lens as close to the window as possible can eliminate, or at least reduce, reflections.
There are a couple of things to be aware of when you start shooting pictures. For one, if you're not close to the window, the flash may fire lighting up the entire frame—probably not the effect you were looking for. On most cameras it's easy to turn off the flash. Look for the button with a small lightning-bolt symbol and then cycle through the options until you see one with a line through that bolt.
It's also possible that the camera will try to focus on the window pane rather than the view in the distance. If that happens you can do a couple of things. Most compact cameras will let you set the focus to infinity (often indicated by a mountain icon). Or, if the lens has an A/M switch, try changing it to M for Manual, instead of Autofocus, and use the lens ring to focus.
Once you've dealt with those issues, you can start having fun shooting photos. Look for lines and patterns in the landscape below. If crossing the mountains, look for patches of snow. Use your zoom lens to frame the scene the way you want it. Sometimes you may want to shoot wide, including the sky as well as perhaps even the wing and engine (depending on your seat).
It's common to lose some contrast when flying at high altitudes, but you can adjust this later with your editing software. Every computer program that lets you edit photos has a Brightness and Contrast control. You'll be amazed at what a difference some small adjustments can make in the end-result image.
Many Nikon cameras have a Retouch menu that will let you start making changes to a copy of your photo before you even get to the computer. You can boost the color, change the image to black and white or sepia, bring out shadow detail with D-Lighting, as well as other editing options. If you've shot NEF (RAW) format (or NRW with some Nikon compact cameras), you can even change things like white balance and exposure and save out a copy as a JPEG on the same card—all within the camera.
The window seat can be a great way to fly, especially if you like to take pictures. Plus, you'll never get hit by the drink cart!
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