John Schabel

John Schabel's celebrated "Passenger" series of photographs from the mid-90s were shot from the end of an airport runway with an incredible camera lens that gave him 1000mm zoom. The photos capture that time in every trip when people have been seated but the plane has not yet taken off. In the muted, slightly grainy, black and white images people are completely wrapped up in their own thoughts or simply staring into space, totally unaware that they were being photographed. Obviously Schabel did not get permission to take these photos, and they surely would not be possible today with all of the paranoia surrounding airports and cameras. This series was inspired by the artist's own fascination with air travel and the whole amalgam of experiences that can take place within a flight.