My wife and I visit Southern California a few times a year to spend time with her family. On most of these trips I would just pack my “Point-And-Shoot” camera so I would have something to take a picture with should the occassion arise.

On this trip, I decided to pack my DSLR and 150-500mm lens and made plans to spend at least several hours at LAX observing it’s air traffic. For those of you not familiar with LAX, there are 2 outstanding places that you can go to and watch airlines arrive and depart LAX.

One popular spot is near the “In-N-Out” Burger restaurant located near the Northeast corner of the airport property that affords great views of arriving aircraft since they literally fly overhead and are only a few hundred yards away from the the runway. The other popular spot is the observation area located on Imperial Hill that gives a fantastic view of the south side of the airport and is great spot for watching departures.

For this visit, I chose the Imperial Hill area since I was going to be there in the afternoon and early evening and that would give me a good opportunity to see flights leaving LAX.

After spending nearly four hours at the observation area and in between conversations with other Plane Spotting enthusiasts, I managed to snap off 700 pictures. I’ve starting sorting through them and have pulled out some of my favorites so far and have included them here. I head back home on tuesday and I’m thinking I’ll go to the In-N-Out and take a few hundred more photos!

Photos from the Imperial Hill Observation area (Click on the image for full view):