Paul Dunn's 2010 blogGAR Entries

DEC 16 2010

Despite being a regular visitor to LA and SoCal, I’ve never really done much shooting at LAX. Apart from an hour shooting sunsets a few years ago, whenever I’ve visited the airport something seems to prevent me from having a satisfying time, be it the weather or simply poor timing.

With unseasonably warm December weather bringing clear skies and superb visibility to the area, this time however I was a little bit luckier and spent a very enjoyable and rather satisfying hour and a half on Imperial Hill in El Segundo.

Imperial Hill is a small area of high ground to the south of the “Southerly Complex” at LAX, offering good views over runways 25L/R. LAX has four parallel runways, with 24L/R being located to the north of the terminal buildings. This layout can lead to frustration as the aircraft tend to be allocated an arrival/departure runway according to their parking stand meaning it is difficult to predict which aircraft will land on which runway.

For aircraft using the southerly runways, 25L tends to be used for arrivals and 25R for departures. The views of 25R departures are especially good from Imperial and I was lucky enough to shoot several heavy jets getting airborne during the time I was there.

Following its merger with Northwest Airlines, Delta Airlines has been left operating a fairly diverse fleet, including A330s and 747-400s which it inherited from the other carrier. The NWA identity has now completely disappeared with all aircraft being repainted in Delta colours, although there are some aircraft still carry the older Delta scheme.

One of the more unusual aircraft seen was a “wingletted” 767-300F from Mexican cargo airline MAS Air.

Probably the highlight of the day was seeing a very smart LAN Chile 767 carrying oneworld branding, the first time I had seen such branding on one of their aircraft.

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2010-12-17 - Paul Dunn
Hi Louis,

Thanks for the feedback. From Imperial Hill you need a 70-200mm for the heavies and either a 300mm or ideally a 400mm for some of the smaller aircraft.


2010-12-17 - Louis
Great set of photos. I am an aviation photographer in the Denver area with Paul Filmer and was wondering what size lens is adequate for shooting at LAX?

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