Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and white…airport au natural

Posted: February 16, 2015 in Phoneography Challenge, Quotes, Travel Theme
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I hope you didn’t expect from my title to see a shot of a nudist airport. 🙂  The “au natural” refers to an unedited (except for copyright) photo shot at the Phoenix airport while waiting for our Southwest flight back to the land of winter.  Even while tired and still sick, I was captivated by the shapes, shadows, and reflections in a black and white segment of a world that normally appears in color and had to grab the shot while I could.

“I suppose there has been nothing like the airports since the age of the stage-stops – nothing quite as lonely, as sombre-silent. The red-brick depots were built right into the towns they marked – people didn’t get off at those isolated stations unless they lived there. But airports lead you way back in history like oases, like the stops on the great trade routes. The sight of air travellers strolling in ones and twos into midnight airports will draw a small crowd any night up or two. The young people look at the planes, the older ones look at the passengers with a watchful incredulity.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald


“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression “as pretty as an airport”. Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (…) and the architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.
They have sought to highlight the tiredness and crossness motif with brutal shapes and nerve jangling colours, to make effortless the business of separating the traveller from his or her luggage or loved ones, to confuse the traveller with arrows that appear to point at the windows, distant tie racks, or the current position of the Ursa Minor in the night sky, and wherever possible to expose the plumbing on the grounds that it is functional, and conceal the location of the departure gates, presumably on the grounds that they are not”.”
~Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

And your feelings about airports and flying?

  1. I remember as a child the excitement of going out to the airport and see the planes coming in. That is missing today as flying is more commonplace.

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    A v. striking photo, Janet.

  3. mira65 says:

    lovely Janet…

  4. Very beautifully composed B&W photo with a high contrast and refections. Really like it.
    I have many photos shot at airports. My current job has brought me to fly intercontinental a few times per month or across Europe.
    I think that the airport experience of a very distant past seems to have been more exciting and glamorous, than our current one at huge and crowded airports, offering us excruciating checking points, delays, and packed lounges. How to beat that? Clicking away in a new genre: “airport photography”

  5. Your composition evokes that feeling of anticipation and even wonder. Airports are filled with so many narratives that I find them seductive. To watch a passenger is to prompt one’s imagination. Your image speaks to that with its moodiness created by reflections, shadows and tones. Hope that you are feeling better. Happy Photo Challenge.

    • I am feeling better, Sally, and thanks for asking. I’m starting the third week of my new job and enjoying it, so that’s great, too. Now if the temperatures would warm up just a bit… 🙂


  6. “As pretty as an airport” made me laugh this morning, Janet. :). Love your photo composition.

  7. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I love the silhouettes, and the quotes are right on target.

    • Thanks so much, Allan. Thinking of you this morning, as our older daughter just moved to Pasadena for work. 😉 I know it’s half of a long state away, but it reminded me of the people I know who live in CA.


  8. Gorgeous shot- The use of black and white suits it beautifully, emphasizing the contrast between the strong lines in the background and more organic shapes of the people in the foreground. The reflections make it that much more compelling, too. I can’t stop looking at it.

    • Happy Monday, Hannah. Good to see this morning, but I hope you’re not freezing in an enormous snowdrift at home but are, instead, in some wonderfully warm place. Glad you like the photo. I always love finding naturally B&W photos and this one really caught my eye. I took a number of shots and really like how they came out.


  9. Like this a lot. The wing like tip a the top and scollops at the bottom yum.
    I have reconnected with long lost loves at airports so when I don’t have wait forever there is a sweetness to these concrete and glass palaces.
    Happy Monday

    • I know there are things now that are less than enjoyable, but I still enjoy watching people and the sense of adventure and travel. I’m so pleased you liked it, Carol, and enjoy your day. Just got home, so I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done with the challenge.


  10. Angeline M says:

    Fantastic photo, Janet. This scene just lends itself to black and white. And I love the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote. I really don’t mind the airport scene. I know what I’m facing and go prepared. I’ve also found that so many airports now have art that is put up on long hallways that I always look for. And then there’s people watching. A photographer’s heaven, really.

    • There ARE lots of cool a/o beautiful things in many airports these days and sitting with a cup of tea and people-watching alternating with reading is hard to beat. For some reason, I’ve been TSA pre-approved most of the last times I’ve flown, making that bit of the trip much more pleasant. However, I hear they’re going to do away with that except for those who pay the $85 or so. In the meantime, I’ve just loved not having to take off my shoes or take anything out of my bags. If I traveled a lot, I’d pay the extra money just for the convenience. BTW, glad you liked the photo and quotes so much. Thanks.


  11. Great capture of “symmetry”, too! It is interesting how the reflection of the crisp window frames becomes a wavy, dreamy vision on the floor.

  12. Sam Rappaz says:

    I really like the photograph, almost lends some mystery to the airport. A sense that I would not normally associate with the place 🙂 The quotes are so fun!
    Personally, don’t mind airports just hate going through security. I always feel guilty and oppressed. :-/

    • Sam, on our last trip, my second personal item, a roomy bag, was flagged and pulled aside. I had no idea what the woman could be looking for. She said, “Don’t touch anything until I’m done”, then looked grim as she pulled things out, pushed and probed. I gave some suggestions, then she said there was a knife inside somewhere. I had no idea what knife would be in there, but sure enough, there was a small pocketknife my husband had give me. I’d last used the bag for a car trip and hadn’t gone through it, had forgotten all about it. Talk about feeling guilty! It got tossed. Sigh.


  13. There are wonderful shape to observe and you captured them well along with the mystery of thoughts from passengers waiting to board. 😊

  14. munchkinontheroad says:

    Love the “feel” of this B&W photo!

    • Thanks! I really liked the possibilities the moment I saw it and was so glad I had my phone (and that there weren’t any problems taking photos in airports then.)