Photos of Australia's otherworldly landscape taken from passenger aircraft.

Dividing one's time between New Zealand and Europe means a lot of long-distance flights, either via Asia or via the USA. In practice, that comes down to a choice between one of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Dubai on the eastern route, and Los Angeles on the western. With the three Asian hubs having had a fortune spent on them in recent decades, the competition has usually been won by the eastern route; after the events of 2001, bullying US security means it is no longer even close. Thus I fly over Australia quite a lot, and if the weather and the time of day allow, enjoy views of its at times bizarre and almost Martian landscape.

The best aircraft for photography used to be the 747. The passenger door at the rear had a decently sized window, and more importantly, the door was set in a part of the body which tilted as it neared the tail. You could see almost vertically downwards. You also had an excuse to leave your seat and stretch your legs now and then. Unfortunately none of the newer wide-body jets offer this advantage; worse, the seat windows on the upper floor of the Airbus 380 are tilted the other way, making photography harder.

With care, surprisingly adequate pictures can be achieved. The big airlines keep the outside glass surfaces reasonably clean most of the time nowadays. All that remains to be done is to give the inside surface a vigorous wiping to remove the forehead grease from the last passenger who was looking out.

The advantage of many of the remote areas under the usual flight paths is that they are dry and sunny most of the time, but there is often quite a lot of heat haze. The resulting photos have very little contrast, and need a lot of work with the GIMP to make them interesting. Colours have not so much undergone adjustment as been sentenced to ten years in a reeducation camp. The photos represent the patterns of the landscape accurately, the colours not so much! Start here, or click any thumbnail to enter the chain of images at that point.