Airline pilot snaps amazing aerial photos of Paris from the cockpit while flying plane
By ANDREW TAVANI
Last week, moments after an Airbus 320 lifted off from Charles de Gaulle airport and rose through the atmosphere, the jetliner's captain whipped out a camera and snapped a series of photos of Paris as the early morning sunshine illuminated the low-hanging clouds that dropped a light rain on the metropolis. In two of the photos, the famed Eiffel Tower can be seen protruding through the cloud ceiling, along with the tops of several of the city's tallest buildings -- a fitting and unique perspective of the City of Light from about 15,000 feet up.
And these images are hardly the only in-flight photos shot from the cockpit, or, as pilot Jordi Martin Garcia calls it, his 'office with a view.'
Garcia, 42, flies for Vueling Airlines, a discount airline based in Spain, and his typical routes have him ushering air passengers on trips across Europe and Northern Africa, he told AOL.com in an email response to a barrage of questions aimed at probing what's been going on in his cockpit and his artist's imagination.
Garcia is quick to point out that safety comes first. 'My job is to be A320 Captain from second one to the end of the flight, so I click on the camera [only] when time permits,' he said, adding that a few co-pilots have been taken aback when he's taken out the camera in the cockpit. 'My only occupation is [to] bring the plane from point A to B in the most safe way.'
But between the many A and B points to which Garcia has flown, he's managed to amass a nifty collection of photos he's shot during his hours up in the sky. The aerial photos of Paris, which Garcia posted on Twitter, are the latest additions.
Click through the slideshow above to see the Paris photos and a few of Garcia's other favorite shots he's snagged from the cockpit, which he shared exclusively with AOL.com.
One of the most fascinating images he's captured is that of a dreamy phenomenon that aviators refer to as a 'captain's halo.'
The technical term for the effect is a Brocken spectre, or Brocken bow.
'It is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer or object cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun,' Garcia explained.
The Brocken spectre 'is a bewitching optical phenomenon that occurs when a low-lying sun casts a very long shadow into mist or fog in the distance. The effect creates a supersized shadow figure, which looks three dimensional because of the depth at which the shadow descends into the mist,' Garcia went on to say.
'The Brocken spectre is also frequently accompanied by a difficult-to-explain optical effect known as a glory -- a rainbow halo that appears when light is refracted from uniformly sized airborne water droplets.'
Two of the extraordinary photos shown above depict both of those phenomena.
Garcia has been a pilot since 1991 -- he started out flying cargo planes and aircraft that battle forest fires. He hails from Barcelona, and currently lives just outside the capital city with his wife and two young daughters. In 2005, he began flying passenger jets.
He said he was drawn to aviation because of the unparalleled point of view it provides him of Earth. 'You can introduce a new dimension to your life that leads you in a new perspective of everything.'
And flying allows him to indulge his interest in meteorology. Many of his photos were included in a 2013 book he published titled 'El Tiempo Visto Desde el Cielo.' And he uses his photos to illustrate topics he discusses in speeches he gives at meteorology conferences.
Garcia experiments with different cameras to get his shots, but mainly sticks to a D800 Nikon with a 70-200 lens and a Sony RX100. And he, like others AOL.com has interviewed, views photography as a visceral and powerful art form, an underlying inspiration that drives his passion.
'A single photo can make you smile or cry, can make you feel shame or pride,' Garcia said. 'I'm completely in love with my profession. I just like to transmit my feelings from the most beautiful office in the world.'
Best Office Views
Photos of Paris
Broken Bow Photography
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