Airportraits: Photographer documents the flight paths of the world's busiest airports

When we think of aeroplanes, flying overhead, we probably don't even consider how many have followed the same route that day, or how many hundreds of thousands of passengers have soared above us – embarking on a journey to another land.

For Los Angeles-based photographer Mike Kelley, he loves to give us a glimpse of what we're missing by documenting the flight paths of some of the world's busiest airports. Shooting literally thousands of planes both landing and taking off, he then combines his images into composite portraits – giving a fascinating, but shocking insight into how busy our skies have become.

As we await the announcement next week on whether the UK government would prefer to expand Heathrow or Gatwick airport, this incredible 'Airportraits' series shows how much smaller the world has become as more and more of us take to the skies to venture further afield.

A native of Ipswich Massachusetts, Mike studied Studio Art and Environmental Science at the University of Vermont before venturing out to Lake Tahoe, California in hopes of becoming a professional snowboarder. A couple of years and countless injuries later, Mike found himself taking up an offer to photograph a few homes for a developer friend he met while recuperating. What started out by chance transformed into a career in photography. Today he shoots architecture and interiors for clients across the world, as well as enjoying a few personal projects. Discover more of Mike's work at

Via direct submission | All images courtesy of Mike Kelley


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