Photographer captures every departure and arrival at Lax over 8 hours

An incredible image created by Mike Kelley, an L.A.-based architectural photographer, got people talking on Reddit earlier this week. Kelley captured almost every departure and arrival at LAX South Complex, over an eight-hour period last weekend.


Kelley shared the process on Reddit:

I spent almost the whole day there and another eight or so hours in Photoshop putting this all together. I took some artistic liberty with the angles of attack to make a more interesting photograph, but for the most part this is all very similar to how it would appear if you were to go and watch yourself. There are two runways and both were being used for takeoffs, so that explains the size differences and depth differences between the planes.

If you look to the right of the tower, I also tried to get some of the heavies arriving. Singapore, Air France, Malaysia, Air New Zealand and Emirates A380s and 772s.
Kelley said he was inspired by the following photoshopped image of planes taking off and landing at Hannover Airport. However, the artist wanted to be more realistic with his work.


Fellow “aviation nerds” also commented enthusiastically on the Reddit thread about the airplanes that Kelley photographed over the course of a day. Some calling 757s “notoriously slow climbers for the first five miles or so,” while other saying, “the 757 aircraft is basically the hot rod of the airliners.”

On digitally enhancing the final image, Kelley said, “I think it’s more appealing to the aviation crowd to leave it as it is, but more appealing to the general public to take some artistic liberty. If only the general public liked this as much as we did, then it would be the best of both worlds!”

Kelley is an architectural and interiors photographer, with a background in digital art and sculpture. Kelley says he combines his mixed backgrounds and love to design and surrealism to create imagery that is both lifelike and otherworldly.

The photo, as well as Kelley’s other aviation images, are available for purchase here.