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An Amazon Prime Air cargo plane comes in for a landing with Mount Rainier as a backdrop at Sea-Tac Airport last weekend. (Ryan Barta Photo)

Ryan Barta loves flying in the Pacific Northwest because of the mountain views and other natural beauty afforded by being up above it all. But he also gets a pretty good view from the ground  — of airplanes and mountains — thanks to his love of photography.

Barta is a program manager with the Amazon Air Network Planning team where he works on long-term strategy and with large sets of data to ensure the company is operating as efficiently as possible.

Ryan Barta
Ryan Barta. (Twitter Photo)

In a tweet on Monday, Barta did a shout out to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Amazon Operations senior vice president Dave Clark to draw their attention to a photo he took, above, of an Amazon Prime Air Boeing 767-300 landing at Sea-Tac Airport.

With Mount Rainier providing a dramatic backdrop, the aircraft is glowing in the late-afternoon sunlight, and the Amazon smile logo adds a it’s-pretty-great-to-live-here stamp to the whole package.

“This was the first nice weekend we’ve had in Seattle this year and I wanted to use my new Nikon 70-300 lens I received at Christmas,” Barta told GeekWire. “I heard of a spot where, if you did it right, you could get photos of airplanes landing at Sea-Tac with Mount Rainier in the background. I also knew one of our Amazon Prime Air cargo planes would land late in the afternoon, so the setting sun would create a great lighting effect.”

Barta grew up with a love of aviation. His dad would take him to the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, when he was younger, and by the time he got to college he decided he didn’t want to fly as a career, but he still wanted to work in the industry.

He moved to Seattle to take a job at Boeing after graduating from Ohio State University with a business degree in Operations, Logistics and Aviation Management. He moved on to Amazon a little over a year ago.

“I decided to join Amazon because of the unique opportunity to be a part of something new and exciting in aviation,” Barta said. “An opportunity like this does not come around many times in a career.”

During his time at Boeing, Barta did complete his private pilot certificate, and at Amazon there are a number of pilots on his team who enjoy flying and meeting up somewhere cool when the weather is nice.

“There is never a shortage of weekend destinations and fantastic photography subjects when you have a pilot certificate,” Barta said.

And he’s reaching the great heights of those mountains he loves outside of the plane as well. Besides aviation and photography, Barta took up alpine mountaineering since moving to Seattle and has summited Mount Rainier twice.

“At a certain point, iPhone cameras don’t do it justice,” he said of the stuff he likes to shoot. “I’m still learning, but it’s pretty easy to get started with an intermediate DSLR and a few different lens.”

For photography buffs, Barta provided further details on his shot specs:

  • Nikon D5300
  • Nikon 70-300 VR ED telephoto lens
  • Shutter speed: 1/600 sec
  • f / 6.0
  • 240mm
  • ISO 400
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