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Photography Question 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
 

Shots of Flying Aircraft


I'm going to be doing some shots of aircraft flying and landing at a local airport. Should be a sunny day but I have no experience with this type of shot at all. Anyone out there with some tips?


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10/6/2006 7:14:39 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
Contact Bob
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bobslens.com
 
 
  Air Show
Air Show
© Bob Cournoyer
bobslens.com
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
 
Burst mode, center weighted focus, lots of memory and pan. The pan is to bonk yourself on the noggin when you find that 5 out of 100 shots are keepers. :-)

Bob


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10/6/2006 8:26:42 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thanks - I think! LOL. Luckily this is a much slower flying plane but I know you are right about how many will be keepers. Great shot by the way Bob!


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10/6/2006 9:26:01 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey tamera,
keep the sun behind you if possible.
i've been shooting for the local r/c aircraft club for the past few years.
I set my camera to sports mode,since it has what's called omni directional predictive focusing.even at 300mm,400 speed film,i'll get shutter speeds of 1/1000 to 1/1250th.
when I pan I square myself to where I think i'll take the shot and then twist to the plane,without moving the feet,and begin tracking.when it gets where I want it,click.maybe another click.i don't use burst or continuous since i'm shooting film and ain't gettin paid.
there's a member here who has a lot of good aircraft shots,like bobs,and i'll try to get his name to you when I find it.
good luck,sam


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10/7/2006 11:53:53 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Not to put down Bob's image, but that is the kind of shot you want to avoid - specifically, the propeller - it appears not to be turning. This is very unnatural. It is caused by using a shutter speed fast enough to stop action. You DON"T want to do this, assuming you want airplanes that look as if they're flying, with propellers that are working.
If you are shooting any propeller powered airplanes, you need some blur in the propeller, to imply that it is turning, not frozen! Use a shutter speed of 1/60 to 1/250 second, along with the appropriate aperture. These shutter speeds should provide you with some propeller blur, making it look more natural.
Michael H. Cothran


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10/7/2006 4:24:42 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Thanks, Michael,...I'll remember that.... :-)

Bob


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10/7/2006 8:05:40 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thank you Michael and Sam. I appreciate the helpful tips!


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10/7/2006 8:40:25 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  took me a while.jason fortenbacher has a gallery full of aircraft photos.might give you some ideas.
sam


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10/8/2006 11:08:04 AM

 
Gerald Kurata   My 2 cents.

Get as close as you can and if possible, chat with the pilot(s) before hand. I am a pilot and when we have done planned shots they always come out much better. We can plan where to break (turns), around what we will turn, altitudes and speeds.

Have fun,

Jerry


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10/9/2006 2:40:49 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thanks Jerry - I appreciate the input. And thank you Sam for the gallery name. I will check out Jason's work.


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10/9/2006 3:13:59 PM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Tamera, First of all, you have a great gallery--lots of very good images.

Now, for another view of this subject: Be sure you have permission from the airport security before you start shooting. Folks get real nervous these days when they see a photographer where there is a potential security issue.
John


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10/9/2006 3:31:11 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Thanks John. I've got that covered. I work for an new airlines that hopes to start flying early next year. This shoot was of our first plane flying in. I missed it in air but hope to catch the next one coming in.


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10/9/2006 3:33:18 PM

 
W.    If you want to use a not too high shutter speed (because you want to see a propellor blurred from movement), you may have trouble getting the rest of the plane in focus. Because the whole plane is also moving, obviously. You can minimize that movement blur if you take the photo as much head-on as possible. I.o.w. as the plane comes towards you.
If you expose with the plane going from left to right (or vice versa) through your image you'll have a very hard time avoiding movement blur.
Of course you can expose while panning. With shutter speeds under 1/100th to blur the background. But your panning movement will have to track the plane's movement very smoothly and accurately. So that is really a hit or miss situation where a loooot can go wrong. And does. Prepare for 1% keepers, max.!


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10/16/2006 7:11:03 AM

 
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