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Wingtip Wonders 2021 Winners And Finalists

Enjoy this slideshow featuring the winning and other top images from Plane & Pilot's Wingtip Wonders 2021 photo contest.

Pilots have always been able to take photographs as they were flying, but it wasn’t easy, and it was, at times, questionably smart. But the advent of the camera phone (along with the meteoric rise in its ability to capture not good but great photographs) has allowed pilots to snap away. The results are wonderful, as you will see—a window into the flights that our friends make, a glimpse of the beauty that formerly we could only describe, which was always a poor substitute. So, to all who entered our Wingtip Wonders photo contest, thank you! And to our finalists and winners, thanks, and congratulations! 

FIRST PLACE: Sunset Tranquility by Mark Paulda

FIRST PLACE: Sunset Tranquility by Mark Paulda

The judges for our Wingtip Wonders photo contest were unanimous in selecting Mark Paulda’s brilliant skyscape that we are calling “Sunset Connection.” In it, we see a sky that expresses itself almost abstractly, with a range of colors and degree of subtlety that lays to rest the notion that the sky is blue. About his shot, Paulda wrote, “The sunset is even more gorgeous to watch when you’re high above land in an airplane flying away from the sunset’s place on Earth. The view is stunning, and as daylight turns into night, you see parts of the sunset persist below you with an ethereal feel as one part of the world falls into darkness while another emerges in light. It can be seen as a symbol for how we are all connected by being on this planet together at this moment in history—something big will happen tomorrow, something small will happen today; nothing lasts forever and everything changes.” In the meantime, we shall, as our winning photographer clearly did, revel in its great beauty. Camera: Canon 5D Mark IV; Zeiss Lens 18mm (manual); Aperture : f22; Exposure : 1/100.

Do you love taking photographs of airplanes or while flying? Enter your best photos in our Your Flying World contest today!


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