The Austere Beauty of Airports

rainy
Luggage trolleys get wet at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. August 2014

I travel a lot in my job.  The destinations may sound exotic for the non-traveller (Manila, Seoul, Brussels, Bangkok, Delhi) but I encounter very little glamour on my trips.  My travel plans mean I fly the lowest cost carrier, have long hours between flights in airports and rarely see more than the hotel (also on the cheap side of the ledger) and a brightly lit meeting room where lunches are chicken wraps and over/under ripe slices of pineapple and watermelon.

As a photographer I have been conscious that there is a story to tell in all this travel but i’ve struggled to make the images work. Other travellers, my initial subject matter, were impossible : everyone’s head is face down staring into their devices, or they are fast asleep.  I tried taking pictures of the strange LED lit cabins on long haul flights but mainly succeeded in capturing lots of dark space.

Over the past few months, thankfully, something seems to have clicked.  Airports, all so ‘the same’ in their ugly industrialness do have beauty to reveal.  Here are a few images that I am planning to put together in a book one day, as a testament to my endless weeks spent travelling.

Waiting for takeoff. Tacloban. Philippines
Waiting for takeoff. Tacloban. Philippines

Tacloban airport was severely damaged in the Super Typhoon in November 2013.  In September this year the only planes allowed to use it were prop jobs like these.

nadi
Dawn’s early light breaks onto the small plane that brought me from Suva to Nadi in Fiji. July 2014
The bulbous front end of the modern jetliner. Boarding a flight home from Manila. September 2014
The bulbous front end of the modern jetliner. Boarding a flight home from Manila. September 2014
Like cattle in a stockyard passengers sit patiently waiting for the boarding annoucements. Benino Aquino International Airport. Manila. September 2014
Like cattle in a stockyard passengers sit patiently waiting for the boarding annoucements. Benino Aquino International Airport. Manila. September 2014
ho chi mind
Like mechanical dinosaurs a pair of mobile staircases wait for the plane to come to full stop. Nha Trang International Airport. Vietnam. July 2013
Kuala Lumpur International Airport. July 2014
Kuala Lumpur International Airport. July 2014
A solitary passenger waits for her baggage. Kuala Lumpur International Airport. September 2014
A solitary passenger waits for her baggage. Kuala Lumpur International Airport. September 2014
Advertisements

One thought on “The Austere Beauty of Airports

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s