Jetstar pilot Tony Macdonald’s top six insider tricks and tips for capturing the perfect in-air window shot.


If you can’t be in the cockpit, book yourself a window seat in the middle of the plane just behind the wing. True aviation enthusiasts will know, framing up the wing is just as important as capturing New Zealand’s beautiful scenery.

Flying over the Tasman Sea. Photo / @thankyourstars
Flying over the Tasman Sea. Photo / @thankyourstars


Returning from across the Ditch? If you’re flying into Auckland from Australia, make sure you nab a seat on the left-hand side of the plane. By night, you’ll see the cityscape lit up, and by day you can point out its landmarks.

3. When you’re landing in Wellington on the southerly facing runway, you want to be on the right-hand side. Have your camera at the ready as you coast down past the CBD, The Beehive and Te Papa.

4. The snow-capped Southern Alps make a remarkable snap … but only from the right angle. If you’re travelling from Auckland heading south, for the picture-perfect view you want to be on the left-hand side, but on the opposite side if you’re travelling north up the country.

Flying into Queenstown. Photo / @kiwichick77
Flying into Queenstown. Photo / @kiwichick77


If you’re taking pictures on a smart phone, turn your flash off and make sure the device is in a portrait [vertical] position. That way your window shots can be easily uploaded to Instagram, no re-sizing needed, which is crucial … so I’m told.

6. Lastly, once you’ve got a few goodies, put your phone away. Photos are great, but nothing beats living in the moment. Sit back and enjoy the view!

To celebrate World Camera Day this Friday, Jetstar launched its Window Shot Campaign, a social media competition asking people to share their best in-air window shots and their tip for capturing the perfect pic. The winner is announced this week, with a compilation of all the best pics to be shared on Facebook and Instagram on Friday.

We want to see your in-flight window pics! Email us at and we’ll share a selection in the Travel magazine, with a spot prize for the best photo.


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