Los Angeles International Airport: "From Daylight Into Darkness"

LAX "From Daylight Into Darkness" (detail) | Photo courtesy of Michael Kelley Photography, Facebook
enlarge photo [+]

Michael Kelley is a Los Angeles based photographer specializing in photography for architects and the architectural products industry, interior design, commercial spaces and the hospitality industry. Kelley also takes aerial and aviation photographs. In January 2015 Kelley released a remarkable composite image of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Michael Kelley takes photographs at LAX
Michael Kelley at LAX | Photo courtesy of @mpkelleydotcom, Instagram

On his official Facebook page, Kelley said, “I love airports, and recently got to spend the entire day in the old control tower at LAX, where I photographed every aircraft movement from daylight into darkness. I then composited it all together into one image, showing the amazing display of colors and motion that make LAX one of the busiest airports in the world.” In his comments, Kelley answered a few questions about his photography techniques and noted that the elements of the composite were shot entirely manually, one frame at a time.

"Wake Turbulence"

"Wake Turbulence" by Michael Kelley
"Wake Turbulence" | Photo courtesy of Michael Kelley Photography, Facebook

In April 2014, Kelley released “Wake Turbulence,” a stunning composite of every departure from LAX’s South Complex and a few arrivals at the North Complex over an eight-hour period. “Wake Turbulence” went viral and received coverage in local, national and international media. In his description of the image on Michael Kelley Photography, Kelley wrote, “I wanted to create a photo that showed not only that aviation and flight are beautiful things, but also showed the international flavor and culture that define Los Angeles.” 

He continued, “My intent was to capture only planes that flew out of LAX - highlighting and emphasizing what an incredible airport that this city has. It's really fascinating to look at all the planes heading in different directions, ferrying people all over the world, all originating from Los Angeles. In this shot alone, there are planes heading to destinations on six continents - either direct or via multi-stop routes on the same flight number. Guangzhou, Auckland, Frankfurt.”

Photographing Los Angeles from Above

Hollywood Sign aerial photo from above Los Feliz
Hollywood Sign from above Los Feliz | Photo courtesy of Michael Kelley Photography, Facebook

"Los Angeles from above almost becomes some sort of fantasy novel, with all its quirky elements combining to form something incredible. I wish that more of the city’s residents were afforded these views on a regular basis, as I know that being able to experience this city from above has led me to fall in love with and appreciate it that much more.” ~ Photographing Los Angeles from Above, Michael Kelley