mike kelley’s airportraits document the intricate movement of air traffic over a day

mike kelley’s airportraits document the intricate movement of air traffic over a day

airportraits is a photo series by mike kelley, made up of a collection of photographs that each document the movement of air traffic in and out of some of the world’s biggest airports over a single day. kelley creates his iconic works by taking bursts of photographs of every airplane as they took off or landing throughout the day, then photoshopping them together into one image to illustrate the beauty within the continuous movement of air traffic as seem from a new perspective. 



by selecting from each burst of images, kelley has been able to fit the planes together without altering the images, making his representations an accurate display of the route of each plane. the only exception, the artist notes, is with the photographs documenting the landing of the planes, which have been slightly spread out for interest and to avoid overlap. kelley’s work reiterates the precise calculations and balance needed to facilitate air travel, restoring the unbelievable in a physical phenomenon that has already become mundane. 

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