Airshow Photography Questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by YellowBay, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. YellowBay

    YellowBay TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everyone,
    I'm going to the Legends Airshow at RAF Duxford in July. Most, if not all of the aircraft flying will be propeller driven WW2 aircraft.
    This will be the first time that I've really used the camera and lens in anything but Automatic or Preset modes (Portrait, Landscape etc) and I have a couple of questions.

    For the flight shot's I'll have my D400 and Sigma 70-300 lens.

    I've heard that I should use shutter priority and try to show some blur in the propellers. I'll be shooting in RAW.

    Any advice from anyone who has done this sort of thing before would be greatly received.
    Look forward to your input...

    Dave
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    It's down to how comfortable you are with either Av or Tv mode.
    You could just as easily use shutter priority. You then control how much "motion blur" you want by controlling the shutter speed directly and the camera will control the aperture. Just be careful the shutter speed can be attained Be careful shooting against a bright sky as the meter may under expose the aircraft. The meter will try to make the scene 18% grey and to do this with a bright sky it will darken the scene and therefore darken your subject so you may need to dial in 1 or 2 stops of +ive Exposure Compensation. Also keep your eye on the histogram.

    I'm sure I have more tips but can't think right now (in work)!

    Here's a couple of mine from RAF Leuchars last year. Taken with 300 f4L IS and the 70-200 f2.8L IS and a 1.4x converter.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. reshp1

    reshp1 TPF Noob!

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    Play around with the metering options in you camera, you might find spot metering works better for things that are against a bright sky. Or you can set a positive exposure compensation properly expose the planes, otherwise you'll end up with little more than a silhouette.
     
  4. NEPats37

    NEPats37 TPF Noob!

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    when you go up +1 on the exposure compensation do you have to notify the photo lab to develop it defferently(film camera ). ill be going to an airshow my self and was wondering.
    would it just be a safer bet to open the aperture 1 stop wider then the meter says to assure the subject is well exposed?
     
  5. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    Per Tv/Av...

    For prop driven aircraft you will probably WANT it on Tv... you will want to use no faster then approx 1/250" for fixed wing aircraft (planes) and 1/125" for rotary wing aircraft (helos)

    For jets you can run basically whichever you would like... but let the camera max out as much as possible... meaning allow it to run shutters significantly faster if need be...

    I personally shoot in M whenever possible and take an ambient light reading if the cloud cover is constant otherwise I would shoot in Tv at -2/3EC...
     
  6. YellowBay

    YellowBay TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, great advice. I've got some time before July so I'll try some practice shots before I go.

    EOS_JD - Fantastic shots of the F16. I was at the show as well, pity it's not on this year.
     
  7. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well if your going to legends your probably see me there, for prop planes I use between 1/250th and 1/60 depending on the plane. Having been to loads of shows I started to take note of which shutter speed works best for what plane, but for a first timer I'd go alone Orgnoi1 and say 1/125th.

    One thing with Duxford is the light can be a bit of a sod, I normally over exposure by about 1 stop and use RAW and have the metering on partial or spot.

    a few from last years legends

    P51
    [​IMG]

    Douglas Skyraider
    [​IMG]

    Douglas C-53
    [​IMG]

    Messerschmitt Bf108
    [​IMG]

    Seafire
    [​IMG]
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Not sure about film. But why would you need to tell them? i'd say no. If they amend in some way, you might find your subject darker.
     
  9. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Dave
    One thing I forgot to mention is shutter speed.

    If you are shooting at 300mm and want to blur the propellor and you need to go below 1/300th sec, you might find you get a lot of blurry images due to camera sharke.

    Using image stabalisation really helps with the shots. IS keeps the subject sharp and the slower shutter speed blurs the propellor.

    The sigma you have does not have this so you'll need to be very careful with shutter speed selection and focal length.
     
  10. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    shooting film you may have to overexpose by 2 stops at least for shots against the sky, take a reading from the grass and set this exposure in manual mode, if the light changes you'll have to alter exposure accordingly. H
     
  11. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    good advice Harry. With digital - keep your eye on the histogram.
     
  12. NEPats37

    NEPats37 TPF Noob!

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    thanks ive never heard of doing this before. so just take a meter reading of the ground (no grass where ill be) and use that exposure?
    let me know
    thank you
     

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