Airportraits By Mike Kelley

Los Angeles based photographer Mike Kelley visualizes air traffic around the world by putting together his picture series ‘Airportraits’.

During the two-year process of making it, he traveled to large airports in many countries to depict aircraft within a time span of eight hours. After having taken all these shots, he layered the planes on top of a background image that was made during the same time period. Kelley points out that air traffic has an impact not only on globalization. It works on a much smaller dimension too, becoming significant on the local scale. In order to show the volume and diversity of aviation these days, he used a stationary camera to illustrate every aircraft movement in a lapse of time at one place. “In a world where travel and shipping are considered mundane and even a nuisance, Airportraits seeks to visualize a linear and nearly invisible phenomenon that is often taken for granted“, states Kelley. Every single image is meticulously crafted with great attention to detail. In this way the photographer took the surroundings of the airports into account. By choosing a background image that reflects the uniqueness of each location, Kelley captures the specific spirit of every airport he has observed.

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All images © Mike Kelley

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