<p>These unmanipulated images from Kost’s window seat help change perspectives and encourage travelers to leave the shades open. In this photo, microorganisms brighten up the <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destination/san-francisco" target="_blank">San Francisco</a> Bay salt ponds with vibrant colors.</p>

San Francisco Bay, California

These unmanipulated images from Kost’s window seat help change perspectives and encourage travelers to leave the shades open. In this photo, microorganisms brighten up the San Francisco Bay salt ponds with vibrant colors.

Photograph by Julieanne Kost

See surprisingly stunning views from an airplane window seat

A photographer offers tips for getting gorgeous photos at cruising altitude.

Twinkling skylines, endless deserts, vast oceans: The coveted window seat sometimes provides mesmerizing in-flight entertainment.

Photographer Julieanne Kost discovered this when she challenged herself to overcome her fear of flying via window-seat photography. Instead of looking out at 30,000 feet of empty air, she focused on the immense scrolling landscape below her.

“As long as I could see the world as an image through an eyepiece rather than as a harsh, physical reality, the threat was less real,” says Kost. “I became a spectator—an observer of the scene, rather than part of it.”

Kost travels more than 200 days of the year for her work as an Adobe Systems digital imaging evangelist—a person who teaches best practices on Adobe products. Her photos take viewers around the world, from the crimson formations of Nevada’s Valley of Fire to Iceland’s multi-colored mountains.

“These self-assignments fuel my creativity,” says Kost. “They allow me to explore new subjects, gain personal insights, and fall in love with photography over and over again.”

Starlight Williams is an editorial researcher and writer at National Geographic. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Julieanne Kost is the Digital Imaging Evangelist Director at Adobe Systems, where she fosters relationships with customers through meaningful and inspirational Photoshop and Lightroom instruction. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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