Professional Pilot Shoots Unbelievable Photos of Skies and Storms

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Have you ever travelled by plane and wondered what the view from the cockpit is like? Now you have the chance! These astonishing photographs, captured by Christiaan van Heijst, a professional pilot, were taken from an airplane cockpit, and reveal what airmen see from above. From northern lights stretching across the starry night sky to mighty thunderstorms swelling in the atmosphere, be prepared to see incredible pictures of truly heavenly weather.

More of the author's works can be perused at his website and on his Instagram page.

© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"Photography is a hobby of mine that I enjoy doing while I fly around the world as a pilot," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Alaska from above.
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"Photography is a hobby of mine that I enjoy doing while I fly around the world as a pilot," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Alaska from above.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"My number one priority is always to fly the airplane so I only take pictures when there is time for it," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Thunderstorms seen from the flight deck while flying over the city of Toronto.
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"My number one priority is always to fly the airplane so I only take pictures when there is time for it," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Thunderstorms seen from the flight deck while flying over the city of Toronto.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"Since I fly long-range we often have 3 or even 4 pilots on board, so we can rest in between. Instead of reading a book, I sometimes just take pictures from the windows while the other pilots are flying," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Night flight over northern Russia, with Northern Lights and the Milky way visible from afar.
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"Since I fly long-range we often have 3 or even 4 pilots on board, so we can rest in between. Instead of reading a book, I sometimes just take pictures from the windows while the other pilots are flying," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Night flight over northern Russia, with Northern Lights and the Milky way visible from afar.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"I absolutely love flying the Boeing 747. The true Queen of the Skies and another childhood dream that became reality," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
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"I absolutely love flying the Boeing 747. The true Queen of the Skies and another childhood dream that became reality," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"[T]he Fokker 50 Turboprop … is [o]ne of the nicest airplanes ever, but also one that I lived the most fantastic adventures with. It feels like a first love that never loses its magic, one that comes with the most special memories," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Moonlight over the clouds.
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"[T]he Fokker 50 Turboprop … is [o]ne of the nicest airplanes ever, but also one that I lived the most fantastic adventures with. It feels like a first love that never loses its magic, one that comes with the most special memories," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Moonlight over the clouds.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"I love to capture everything that is weather related, or aviation related… But the real trick is to capture the complete atmosphere and mood that come with that total scene," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Clouds over the Sahara.
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"I love to capture everything that is weather related, or aviation related… But the real trick is to capture the complete atmosphere and mood that come with that total scene," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Clouds over the Sahara.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"I love to take pictures of the Northern Lights, since it was a childhood dream to see them myself one day. And also because it is so extremely impressive. The size, the flow and the brightness are sometimes just overwhelmingly beautiful, especially if they are reflected in the clouds or ice below," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Northern lights with a large front of thunderstorms underneath.
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"I love to take pictures of the Northern Lights, since it was a childhood dream to see them myself one day. And also because it is so extremely impressive. The size, the flow and the brightness are sometimes just overwhelmingly beautiful, especially if they are reflected in the clouds or ice below," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Northern lights with a large front of thunderstorms underneath.
© Photo : Christiaan van HeijstChristiaan van Heijst elaborated why he likes taking photographs of the northern lights: "I do not see them often and it’s difficult to capture it from a moving airplane."

Above: Northern lights between Ireland and Canada crossed by a shooting star.
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Christiaan van Heijst elaborated why he likes taking photographs of the northern lights: "I do not see them often and it’s difficult to capture it from a moving airplane."

Above: Northern lights between Ireland and Canada crossed by a shooting star.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"Photography is costing me a lot of money, much more than it sometimes generates, so it is definitely not a job for me so far," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Sunlight piercing through the clouds in Latacunga, Ecuador.
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"Photography is costing me a lot of money, much more than it sometimes generates, so it is definitely not a job for me so far," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Sunlight piercing through the clouds in Latacunga, Ecuador.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"But it’s ok, I enjoy doing it and I appreciate the pleasannt reactions I get from people that love to see the beauty of mother nature from above," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: The Milky Way over Calcutta.
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"But it’s ok, I enjoy doing it and I appreciate the pleasannt reactions I get from people that love to see the beauty of mother nature from above," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: The Milky Way over Calcutta.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"I do hope that one day in the future, I could maybe do this as a second profession with a database of high-quality photos that is interesting for sales," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Earth shadow, which appears when the Sun is setting and the
Earth casts its own shadow on the atmosphere.
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"I do hope that one day in the future, I could maybe do this as a second profession with a database of high-quality photos that is interesting for sales," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: Earth shadow, which appears when the Sun is setting and the
Earth casts its own shadow on the atmosphere.
© Photo : Christiaan van Heijst"For now, I just concentrate on flying and capturing the beauty of the world around me to the best of my abilities," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: A thunderstorm rapidly growing somewhere between Beijing and Shanghai.
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"For now, I just concentrate on flying and capturing the beauty of the world around me to the best of my abilities," Christiaan van Heijst told Sputnik.

Above: A thunderstorm rapidly growing somewhere between Beijing and Shanghai.
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