Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Things to do on a plane


Down the aisle
Northwest Airlines 757-200, Boston to Detroit, January 2007

When I fly, I'd much rather sit by the window. It allows me to see where we're going, to entertain myself, to avoid being rooked into a two-hour conversation with a photo-wallet-toting grandma. Make no mistake, I think photo-wallet-toting grandmas are sweet. But I don't want them bending my ear for hours on end when all I really want to do is get home.

Yeah, I'm ornery that way. I expect a nasty letter in my mailbox before long. But I digress.

So there I was in the plane on the way home from Boston. I had been mistakenly assigned an aisle seat and was something less than thrilled with Northwest's policy of charging passengers a $15 fee for the privilege of reassigning their own seeats. On principle, I silently told them they could keep their $15 and boarded the plane.

As I sat enjoying the non-existent in-flight entertainment and the occasional bursts of noise from the hyperactive group of 10-year-old boys a few rows up, I eyed my camera bag under the seat and considered my options.

The image above is the result. I got it into my head that long exposures on a plane might be fun to try. You don't want to know how hard it is to pull off a 25-second exposure in the middle of a single-aisle aircraft. In a post-9/11 world, I am now left wondering whether the airline has now flagged my name for future reference. Likely.

Your turn: Obviously, no snakes on a plane this time out. Still, I'd be interested to know what you see in this image. And when I say "see", I mean really see. Look hard and use your imagination.

18 comments:

Heidi said...

I see the shoulder of a man. He's tired and just wants off the plane.

I see the elbow of a woman. She has had a great trip, but, after everything, she admits there is no place like home.

The man and the woman bump into each other down the aisle when they exit and exchange a pleasant, "Excuse me."

Then later, oddly enough, they share small talk at the luggage carousel. "Where you in Florida long?" "Long enough to enjoy the warm temperatures." And then they chuckle.

He heads off to pick up his dog at the kennel. She goes home to first sort through her mail. Regular stuff...

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Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. Enjoy your day!

Linda said...

There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Follow the light, and you find your way home.

Anna said...

Hey Carmi,

I really like the light there at the end of the picture. I am not used to seeing cockpit doors open anymore. And check the guy out on the right with his seatbelt off (shame on him) ...and of course I am always looking for my exits!

My husband and I were surprised that you were able to even take your camera out and take this. When I was a Heathrow Airport here in London I couldn't even take a picture pointing near security even though it was 40 yards a way.

Anyhow, I really like the shot you managed to get.

Awareness said...

hi there.

very interesting shot......I was completely captured by the cultish look to it......so orderly and white shirtish.......suits and buffed shoes......all waiting.....for what? Life to begin?

Then.......the door open at the front of the plane......bringing light into the aisle.......a little bit of "the unknown" perhaps? Maybe it represents the future....

Won't most of those "suits" be in for a surprise when their future throws them a curve ball. :)

srp said...

What interests the most is what I don't see.... The light at the end with the cockpit door suggests you might still be on the ground, but there are no passengers getting settled, no fooling around in the overhead bins, and more than that... no stewardesses (stewards) walking up and down the aisle looking at seatbelts, checking stowaway status or taking drinks to the first class passengers. Are you sure you weren't on a "ghost" plane?

sage said...

All I can say is that I hope there were no women in dresses in the seats around you--or you could have been in real trouble trying to take a picture from the floor. But it would have given you a wonderful story to tell to your grandkids. interesting picture, btw!.

Zipper said...

I see lots of smelly hooman feet to sniff! Woof!

rosemary said...

I can see that you were not in first class...and you were traveling towards the light...baggage stowed under the seats correctly and the plane looks very clean...unusual.

AverageMom said...

I see a new rule for airlines. "No cameras on board". Didn't anyone look at you oddly when you did this?!

Stacy said...

I see sights that are too familiar! It brings up the smells and sounds of life on a flight...not a comforting thought.

On topic of changing your seat, I flew once with my four kids...bought tickets well in advance, and they booked our seats apart. AND, no one would give up their seat to let us sit together. My 7 and 11 year old had to sit with complete strangers.

I'm not fond of airlines.

rashbre said...

I see that calm part of a flight where everyone finally settles.

When I travel with colleagues we sometimes refer to the smaller co-travellers as 'Space Cadets'. A few months ago I became part of a game of "pocket Cluedo" (Miss Scarlet in the Library with the Revolver etc) when I was sitting next to one. Actually it was good fun.

Mr. Althouse said...

I hate flying. I'm not scared of it or anything like that, it's just not my idea of a good time. The novelty wore off a long time ago. Having said that, the only pictures I've ever taken in an airplane have been the obligatory shots out the window. This post has given me a new outlook for the next time I fly.

Mike


Oh, yes. Michele sent me over... First Class!

utenzi said...

It reminds me of some macabre meat locker where you have a long corridor with arms and shoulders hanging on both sides. Scary stuff!

Michele sent me over to see you Carmi. 3 of us posted at the same time!

Sarch said...

I can't get past the mental picture of you going about the business of getting this shot. You crack me up Carmi!

Not only are you a talented photographer, your blogs are incredibly entertaining to read.

I'm glad you're out here!

Snaggle Tooth said...

You're in the tail-section, very close to the exits, in case of an emergency. A shiny black loafer, many propped elbows in sleeves, an open door by the forward stewardess bay- may be the cockpit door. Which seat holds the Air-Marshall?

I see Beantown hasn't banned carry-on cams due to fear they may be used as weapons.... After 911, you take life in your hands trying to be a sneaky clicker during a flight from there... us natives are pretty sensitive to monkey business these days...

I must have window-seats also...

David said...

*gasp* the man in front of you only has one arm and one leg!

Chad Oneil said...

Very cool image.

cw2smom said...

Great photo with an awesome perspective! I think I will play along this week as I have a few vacation shots to pick from! Blessings to you and yours Carmi! Lisa