Regina Konstantinova — A thunderstorm is one of the most spectacular (and terrifying) of Mother Nature's performances. Santiago Borja, a pilot and a photographer based in Quito, Ecuador, is lucky to have a front-seat view from the cockpit to enjoy the show.
"I've been into aerial storm photography for the past four years, taking advantage of the long haul routes I fly from America to Europe," Borja told Sputnik.pilot-photographer, who had been flying a Boeing 767 for over six years, doesn't try to do two things at a time. He is a conscious pilot who doesn't snap images while operating the plane during the storm. All his photos have been taken while off-duty.
"I only take these photos while off-duty during long-haul flights. This means that in flights longer than 10 hours we take turns at the controls, so when other pilots are flying, I sit in the observer's seat and do my photography without any trouble or distractions," he explained.
In Borja's electrifying shots, the darkness and the light create a powerful union. In 2016, one of his works featured in National Geographic's Nature Photographer of the Year contest, where he won third place in the "Landscape" category.
A pilot with an eye for dramatic storm images, Santiago Borja doesn't always succeed in taking perfect images.