Monochrome Madness: High Above Boston Harbor

As we were coming in for a landing over Boston Harbor, I glanced out the airplane window at a spectacular early morning sky.   Sunlight streamed through the clouds, illuminating patches of sky and sea.  It was a breathtaking sight.  I grabbed my Samsung Galaxy S7 and captured this shot as we were descending into Logan Airport.  It’s my weekly submission to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.

Coming in For a Landing. Boston Harbor. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S7.

This sonnet by William Wordsworth, ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802,’ could have been written about Boston, sprawled out beneath us.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

The Samsung Galaxy S7 camera is surprisingly powerful.  My son recently showed me how to use the “Pro” settings, which offer advanced features, such as custom settings for the ISO, white balance, shutter speed, and manual focus.

For this shot, I placed the camera close to the window, but not touching it.  I would not recommend placing it directly against the glass because you will pick up the vibrations from the plane engine.  Reflections are also another concern.  I didn’t have my Canon with a lens hood to cut down on glare and shadowing, so I angled the lens a bit to get the sharpest and clearest image.  You can also cup your free hand around the camera.  I set the camera on a high shutter speed and the white balance to daylight.  I also pushed the ISO down fairly low (around 100) since the scene was so bright.

After shooting dozens of mediocre shots out plane windows, I’m finally happy with this image.

As we head into summer, our skies will be blazingly blue, punctuated by fast moving electrical storms.  As a special treat, I’d like to share these amazing time lapse shots of summer thunderstorms from Chad Cowan.

As a final note, I’ll leave you with this wish:  Have an inspiring week, everyone!

Have Save





16 replies »

    • Hi, Carolyn. So glad you enjoyed it too. I wasn’t sure if it was one that everyone had already seen! I’m happy that it was a new experience. Quite spectacular, isn’t it?


    • No one is more surprised than me. You have no idea how many times I’ve tried to get a good shot out of the window!! They must have just washed the windows. 🙂 Thanks so much.


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