So as I’m sure you’re aware by now, December 31st (which is the current date for many of us still) is the last day of 2019. This not only completes another year, but the first decade that I have been spotting. I started in 2016, and have continued until now.
Naturally, a lot of my best shots have been from this year, but there are a few from before. Here are 10 of highlights from the decade Hope you all enjoy!
I have to start with my favorite shot to this day, taken in August 2017. Easily the luckiest I’ve ever been - made a 5am wakeup call 110% worth it. Both the shot and edit are from 2017.
Now we move to December 2017, a day in which I essentially wasted an entire day at a backlit spot on a hazy day. I did end up with one shot I was quite proud of, and this is still one of my desktop backgrounds. Photo is from 2017, edit from 2018.
Jumping into 2018 with this shot from February of that year. It was my favorite shot I got of WOW Air (although there weren’t a whole lot to choose from), and only occurred because my mom was a dear and let me spot from a hotel parking lot until dark prior to checking in. I unfortunately can’t cover all the airlines that left our skies, or even all the ones I got shots of, due to my laziness and the topic photo limit. So I’ll represent them all with this one. Photo from 2018, edit from 2019.
Moving on into May 2018, I saw my first 737 MAX in good photographic conditions. The sun happened to pop out for this one arrival, and I couldn’t have been happier. Going against the grain, the 737 MAX series has been and remains my second favorite series of aircraft (behind only the 787, of course). Both the shot and edit are from 2018.
June 2018 was my best spotting month. I visited Houston for the sole purpose of spotting with a bunch of fellow spotters. I also took a helicopter above LAX to photograph, although I’ve already made a topic about that. If you want to see examples from that trip, click here. While this was solely a personal edit that I’ve never uploaded anywhere, I still like it as something different. Photo is from 2018, edit is from 2019.
Skipping ahead to January 2019, I saw my last 737 MAXs. Here is the shot I uploaded to Instagram as my tribute to ET302, not knowing how big of a story it would become. The MAX 9 is my favorite variant, and I was planning on flying on Alaska’s inaugural in June, which obviously didn’t happen. As a Boeing fanboy even after seeing their flaws, it hits hard seeing the company fall so far and so fast. Photo and edit from 2019.
June 2019 saw me take a spotting trip to London Heathrow for the first time (two, actually). Although I was unfortunately busy during Infinite Flight’s planned meetup, I still met some people there and was able to come out with some extremely satisfactory results that are in my list of favorites. If you want to view the topic I made from those two trips, click here. Photo and edit from 2019.
Skipping over some summer spotting, October 2019 gave me the incredible opportunity to go airside by Qantas’ hangar to witness the retirement of VH-OJU, the last Rolls-Royce powered 747 in the Qantas fleet. Full-body shots/edits exist but were not quite to my liking, and I much preferred the aesthetic and thought behind the tail shot. We were also allowed inside the aircraft, although my lazy self has not touched any of those shots yet. I am extremely grateful to have been given that opportunity and have the chance to do it again (although, long story short: due to someone else’s actions, Qantas is not allowed to take us for the time being). Shot and edit from 2019.
October also saw me take a trip out to SBA to do something I’d struggled with - take long exposures. I got one of my favorite results to date, braving the cold (for me, at least) evening to get this Frontier A320neo. Shot and edit from 2019
To finish this off, November saw me head to SFO. There are many different shots I loved and I struggled to pick one, having seen special liveries, taken long exposures, departure shots, and arrival shots, but I decided to go with this one. The second day there gave some moments of great contrast, and what better to show that off with than with a few SFO classics - the United 777-300ER, the safety training 767, and the SFO tanks. Shot and edit from 2019.
While there are quite a few more photos I would have loved to share, those ones have taken me to the allowable limit. For those of you that want to see more, I may utilize some of my free time to make dedicated topics/addition topics to the ones I already made) to share them. This decade was one of fun, meeting friends, and learning, and I can’t wait to do even more of that in the 2020s as I start to travel more and deal with life on my own. May 2020 and the ensuing decade bring you happiness, safety, health, success, and lots of planes (virtual or real)!