Being able to roam around airport terminals freely and without a boarding pass is great. I am able to get up close pictures of aircraft that I normally wouldn’t be able to photograph outside (because of my camera’s limited zoom), and I can walk from terminal to terminal just shooting whatever I want. This is one thing I really like about shooting in the US vs. Europe and Asia.
It was another beautiful winter morning here in southern California, so that meant that I was up early for the two hour drive north to LAX. Some people might cringe at the thought of such a drive, but it actually isn’t that bad on early weekend mornings. For as many times as I’ve drove up to LAX for these photo sessions, I never once recall getting stuck in traffic on the way there. Getting stuck in traffic on the return trip to San Diego, however…
Upon arrival at LAX, I immediately headed for my favorite spot: the dining area for the food court in the upstairs section of the Tom Bradley International terminal. As always, I was offered an endless presentation of beautiful aircraft rolling past the big windows: Qantas 747-400’s, Aero California DC-9’s, and a wide variety of domestic stuff. Since this spot is only good in the mornings (because of the sun angle), I walked over to the large windows in the main departure hall at about 11am to see what else I could get pictures of. Turns out there was a Japan Airlines MD-11 approaching just as I walked up. Score!
After that, I walked over to the TWA terminal to get some pictures of aircraft taxiing to and from runway 24R and L. I mentioned in a prior post that LAX has (had?) some of the dirtiest terminal windows I have ever seen at an airport, and it was also the case on this day – I can’t believe that I managed to get halfway decent pics with all the grunge and slime smeared across those windows.
I left LAX by mid-day – I don’t have any pictures from the afternoon. Why didn’t I stay longer?? Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and slap myself silly for such lameness.