“Over The Pole”

copyright 2001, Grabo'

I took this somewhere East of Greenland over the North Atlantic. Some people read while flying, some sleep. I can’t sleep on a plane, and this is probably as close as I’ll ever get to space travel. Views from the sky fascinate me: I’ve even seen a lunar eclipse from a transatlantic flight.

On this occasion, we were so far north and so high in the sky that the sun never completely set that night — only half-way, as you see in this photograph. I took a whole series as the sun descended down to where you see it here, and then rose again. What you see here is the sun over the Eastern Hemisphere, as seen from the Western Hemisphere.

I was just a young college student in 1973, and I couldn’t afford a decent camera that year on my way to London to begin a summer in Germany. This is probably the only photograph I’ll ever publish which I took with a cheap Kodak Instamatic camera, and what's more, it was out of one of those terrible airliner windows. All in all, I thought it was perfect despite having no exposure control or special lenses and using such tiny film.

North Atlantic, Summer, 1973

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