Kyoto blogging: ask the Seat Guru

I have long been an avid window seat photographer - I've wasted literally hundreds of rolls on shots, since the quality is so hard to control. By far the best success I have had is around sunset or sunrise - this photo for example was taken over the Atlantic at sunset (flying back home, as the cloud shadows indicate). I aven't actually sat in the window seat much since marriage and child, however (car seats need to be in the window). The trip to Japan is going to be a 12-hour flight, which should give me an opportunity to catch up on some good shots.

So, I made a point of requesting window seats for the trip. After my reservation was entered into Continental's system, I found to my horror that (according to the seat map) I was positioned just behind the wing. Any view out the window from that position would be nothing but an excercise in aluminum lighting. I've been stuck in that position before, for relatively short flights, and it's pretty boring even if you're not taking photos.

There were plenty of seats open, farther back. Using Continental's online system, I changed my my seat to row 42 (figuring I couldn't go wrong with an homage to Douglas Adams). Some Googling later, I found Seat Guru's page on the Boeing 777-200ER that I'd be flying, however. It turns out that rows 42-43 on that model aircraft have slightly reduced seat width due to the curve of the fuselage.

Luckily, row 44 was open on my flight. Initially, I had not chosen it because in my experience seats at the extreme rear of the aircraft are often noisy. According to Seat Guru, though, these seats are exceptionally quiet and secluded. Plus, there is one aisle seat missing, which means there is extra room to stretch. Presumably, the missing aisle seat also solves the reduced width problem.

So, I've got myself on seat 44A for both inbound and outbound flights. Thank you Seat Guru! I'll have to make a point of leaving my own seat-feedback on the site after my flights accordingly. From this vantage point, I expect that there will be plenty of scenery visible before the wing, so hopefully I'll have some better quality photos to show for it. And if I can find a Digimax V40 on sale before I leave, I won't have to waste film, either...

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