Front & Back

Boeing 737-7H4 (N795SW, c/n 30606), Southwest Airlines; KMHT, 2018-04-04

Lately, I have taken more pictures from what could be considered unusual angles. Since my general interest has been aviation history (the preservation thereof) and scale models, I mostly take pictures of aircraft from very “traditional” angles. In this blog post I will discuss and show some images that could be labeled as “front and back”.


Front views of aircraft offer some dramatic visuals, but can also be helpful for scale modelers as they can reveal details that are otherwise hard to get right (dihedral angle, positioning of the landing gear, etc.). Here are some recent pictures (except for one, all pictures in this post were taken this year).

Bombardier CRJ900 (N181PQ, c/n 15181), Delta/ExpressJet; KMHT, 2018-05-03

Boeing 737-8JP (EI-FHT, c/n 40867, “Amalie Skram”), Norwegian Air International; EFHK, 2018-04-29
Beechcraft 400A Beechjet (N491TM, c/n RK-564); KMHT, 2018-05-01

Sometimes you may want to take the picture not quite straight ahead but to reveal just a little bit of the fuselage. I find it useful to take many pictures and decide later which angle is the best.

Boeing 737-7H4 (N450WN, c/n 32470), Southwest Airlines; KMHT, 2018-04-10

Embraer EMB-145LR (N636AE, c/n 145160), American Airlines/Piedmont Airlines; KMHT, 2018-04-10

In the following picture of the FedEx 767 I decided that an oblique angle with the light of the rising sun provided an interesting and dramatic effect.

Boeing 767-300F (N138FE, c/n 42723), FedEx; KMHT, 2018-01-09


One of the things to take into account when photographing aircraft from the back is that the warm air from jet exhausts easily “blurs” parts of the image. The following two images present views very common at airports, but I don’t see them in photographs that often. Also note the “off-center” composition to make the images a bit more interesting, visually.

Boeing 737-800 (N8561Z, c/n 63585), Southwest Airlines; KMHT, 2018-03-26
Bombardier CRJ700 (N516AE, c/n 10123), American Airlines/PSA Airlines; KMHT, 2018-04-17

The following image reveals a wealth of information for both the scale modeler (details of underwing tanks and weapons, etc.) as well as the aviation historian (Italian Air Force visit to Pease ANGB):

Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon (MM722?, “4-46”), 9º Gruppo (?), 4º Stormo, Aeronautica Militare; KPSM, 2018-02-14

In Flight

A lens with a long focal length affords you front and back views even when the subject is in flight. Here are some examples; somehow I find it easier to take in-flight pictures from behind, perhaps because aircraft often bank after take off, aligning themselves nicely for the shot.

Boeing 737-7H4 (N793SA, c/n 27888), Southwest Airlines; KMHT, 2018-03-19
“Air Force One”, Boeing VC-25A (92-9000, c/n 23825); KMHT, 2018-03-19
Boeing 737-7H4 (N450WN, c/n 32470), Southwest Airlines; KMHT, 2018-03-31
Boeing 737-7H4 (N727SW, c/n 27859, “Nevada One”), Southwest Airlines; KMHT, 2018-05-04
Airbus A350-941 (OH-LWC, c/n 20), Finnair; EFHK, 2018-04-27
North American B-25J-25-NC Mitchell (N9456Z, c/n 108-33214, 44-29939, painted as 43-27638, “Briefing Time”); KRDG, 2017-06-02


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