Experimenting – Actually, Mostly Playing – from an Airplane Window, Part I, At the Airport

Flying from Madison to NYC

Loading Luggage and Misc © 2014 Bo Mackison

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
~ Terry Pratchett from A Hat Full of Sky

Typically, I am a slow photographer.

I sit and absorb the feel of a place. I connect with the space. I may wait for a certain cloud formation to float into a certain location, or a shadow to darken a rock. I take in the feel of the space, the mood of the landscape, the energy of the street scene.

Sometimes, I am a photographer who wants to play and just see what happens.

I grab my iPhone, shake the camera,  start shooting.

My favorite techniques for giving myself full permission to enjoy the process  – PLAY – I refer to as my “shake and take” technique.

I open the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone and take a photo.

Then I shake the phone. The app randomly changes lenses and film. During my recent flight from Madison Wisconsin to New York City, I took a photo, shook, took the next photo. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Sometimes I simply must put serious aside and just play. On this flight, that is exactly what I did, and I loved the crazy, sometimes totally great, sometimes totally crazy results.

Sharing. Because sharing is part of the fun and play!

Flying from Madison to NYC

Safety Check for Take Off © 2014 Bo Mackison

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson from Emerson’s Essays

Flying from Madison to NYC

We Depend on Wisconsin Aviation © 2014 Bo Mackison

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.”
~ Douglas Adams from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Flying from Madison to NYC

Winging Away from Madison © 2014 Bo Mackison

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
~ Anaïs Nin

I did something similar earlier this year, documented in the post A Series of Photographs – Exploring the Creative Process.

In that series I shot only one subject from the same perspective – a palo verde tree – using the “shake and take” method.

In this flight series, I explore a cross-country flight and then exploring bits of NYC using the same method.

Part one begins at the Madison airport, Part Two and Three are sky and (crazy) clouds and tiny landscapes, Part Four is rather amazing views of New York City on a clear day while descending into La Guardia. Parts Five, Six, and Seven include Long Island vineyards and wineries, the town of Greenport, and a funky restaurant in NYC. And then beyond…the return.

Enjoy. Then go play!

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. How fun, Bo! I’ve been playing, too, using my little everything-proof camera just for the pure fun of it. 🙂

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