Monday Mountains

Kilimanjaro | Africa | 2016

I’m not sure if that category ever existed on WordPress, but if not I’ve just created it: Monday Mountains. In front of the magic light of an African sunrise this is the silhouette of the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano and with 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) the highest mountain in Africa. I took this image out of a regional airliner enroute from Kilimanjaro Airport near Arusha in Tanzania to Nairobi International Airport in Kenya on our way back from our Tanzania trip in February 2016. The airplane flew about the same hight as the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The photo was taken with my Olympus E-PL7 with 1/80 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 800 at 42mm focal length. I sacrificed a slightly higher ISO for a higher shutter speed to avoid camera shake due to vibrations in the cabin of the Turboprop aircraft. Focussing was easy as I used the sharp contrast of the mountain slope as target for my single focus field. The relatively large aperture is needed to avoid getting dirt or scratches inevitable for airplane windows in the image. Focusing on infinity and a large aperture (low aperture number) is always a good trick to get clean images when photographing through unclean windows.

With no time for Street Photography I’m scavenging last years archive for some more impressions from Tanzania.

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StoNur on the Road – African Primary School

Street Photography Quick Tip (5)


41 thoughts on “Monday Mountains

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Pity you missed the daylight view…but flying is a bit like Murphy’s Law: you always sit on the wrong side of the plane…or in a middle or aisle seat…..

  1. Great category Monday Mountains! Marcus, this is a brilliant photograph!!! Thank you for great advice. I never tried to take pictures on airplane. I will definitely try.

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 for liking my photo and the tip. The other week I saw a post of a guy who captured Northern Lights on a transatlantic flight. This would be even better than my Kili – image. But it means I can’t sleep anymore as I have to look out the window 😉

  2. Don’t you love it when you’re sitting on the correct side of the airplane!? Thanks for the shooting tips – I need to learn these little tidbits.

    1. Actually….I was not sitting on the right side of the airplane. When we boarded the plane it was still foggy and pitch dark, so I didn’t really care where I sat (bad bad mistake!!). After takeoff and when gaining altitude the clouds layers became less dense and then the first light appeared on the horizon, behind the windows on the OTHER side of the plane. Knowing that the mountain should indeed become visible I scrambled over my poor sleeping wife and found myself an empty window seat on the right side…eh voilà! I was so lucky the plane was half empty 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, there is much luck involved to see a scene like that out of a plane. We left the hotel at 2 am in the morning, so I’m actually lucky I didn’t fall asleep before we passed Mount Kilimanjaro.

  3. Beautiful. Love this Marcus and love Mountain Monday! Every day is a mountain day, but Monday is the best day for it! A cure for the old blues. 😉 Thanks for sharing this.

  4. I love to sit by the window so that I can look out and take an occasional photo. How amazing to get such a good view of Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s stunning! Never been to the African continent but hopefully I’ll get there some day.

    1. I love Africa and it is such a great place to travel. I’ve been to Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Malawi and Zambia are also on my list, but first will come a family trip to Namibia later this year. Can’t wait to get there. Thanks for takin the time to comment! Have a great day! Marcus

    1. Thanks so much! I’m planning already the next Monday Mountains 😉 Window seat sure is great, but you need to sit on the correct side. I (initially) didn’t on this flight. I told the story in another comment 😉 . Have a great day! Marcus

  5. Thanks for the tips. I find plane photography to be a problem. If I have the window seat, I don’t have access to the overhead lockers for my camera, and if I put a bag under the seat in front, I have no room for my feet.

    So I take a camera aboard in a belt pouch. Not even an EPL-7 with a pancake lens can fit into my pocket!

    I have a Canon Eos M3 which is even smaller than the EPL-7. It has a 22mm ƒ2.0 lens which is pretty small, but the kicker is the 55-200mm telephoto is small enough that I can fit it into my ipad/passport/notebook bag.

    So that’s my plane camera, and there are often some amazing shots to be gotten. Good to have an idea how to deal with smudges and scratches on the window. I can wipe the inner surface, but there’s still three other surfaces on the typical window that I can’t reach.

    1. Thanks for sharing your tips here. On business trips (the vast majority of my flights) I often have only the Ricoh GR II in my pocket. It’s got a 28mm fixed focal length. But I tend to do more wide angle pics anyway out of a plane window.

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