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Pilot Shares His Views from the Cockpit

pilot flying plane

Dubai-based Karim Nafatni is surely to be envied for the way he works and the way he plays. As a passion, he is a photographer that can certainly hold his own, based on the images he has up on his website. His zeal for Cityscapes and Architecture are well represented in his fabulous shots of Dubai, where he has been living since 2007. His rooftop photography is astonishing, and can stand beside some the best examples of loftily shot pictures out there. His cityscape images on the other hand are both elegant and majestic at the same time. He seriously immersed himself in photography 3 years ago, when he purchased his very first DSLR camera.

pilot dials gauges switches

How Nafatni earns a living is through a profession that is every little boys dream at some point. He is a pilot. Nafatni flies large jetliners for a major commercial airline. How’s that for a great credentials combo?

first officer in cockpit

Recently, the pilot/photographer came up with a series marrying his two passions. He started to bring his Nikon D300s to work, particularly onboard his flights. He is frequently one of the pilots of the Airbus A320, the well-liked commercial passenger jet airliner that can seat up to 220 passengers.

photo taken in the cockpit

With his camera onboard, what Nafatni did was set-up his gear in the very rear of the cockpit and aim it forward. He would shoot a number of bracketed exposures, a simple technique to ensure he precisely gets the right exposure in his pictures, especially in the challenging lighting situations of the airplane cockpit. He then combines the photos into striking HDR images.

portrait of first officer

What one sees in the photos is certainly one amazing office to work in.  The pictures include a 1st officer enjoying a view of the sunrise at 37,000 feet while en route to Chittagong Bangladesh, a glimpse of Dubai captured while on a flight to Nairobi Kenya, and finally a self portrait of  Nafatni as he is seated in the so called “hot seat” as newly promoted captain on flight.

pilot self portrait

The cockpit shots are as imagined: gauges, switches, and gizmos galore everywhere, shot in the typical, intricate detail  Nafatni has shown in his cityscape and rooftop photography.

See his cockpit shots here as well as his other portfolios in his website.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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