Photographing Airshows

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by camera shy, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. camera shy

    camera shy TPF Noob!

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    Hi again.

    I'm off to the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in a couple of weeks and was seeking both some tips about equipment and also some guidance about how to take the photos and the settings I would need to use to get the best from what I have.

    I have seen a few websites which offer some good tips but there is no substitute for experience and I feel sure some airshow enthusiasts on here have their own ideas about what gets them the best results.

    As I have mentioned before I am only looking to spend £200-£300 and whilst I appreciate I won't be getting the fantastic shots I have seen in some of the photo galleries without the expensive top of the range lenses, I would still welcome any assistance.

    Taking my budget into account I have been researching the following cameras, Panasonic FZ28/38, Fujifilm Finepix S8100fd, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H10, DSC-H20, DSC-H50 and am leaning towards one of the Panasonic models. There are indeed some excellent Canons on the market but they are very expensive and could turn out to be a waste of money if I decide photography isn't for me after all. Essentially I am looking for a versatile camera that will give me good image quality and is value for money.

    One of the concerns I have been having is not being able to see the LCD display in bright sunlight and also what are the advantages/disadvantages of not having a twist LCD display? Of the cameras mentioned above which are more likely to make things as easy as possible for me?

    Thanks.

    Craig.

    ps is anybody else here going to the Air Tattoo?
     
  2. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    After many attempts at photographing air shows with not-very-capable-cameras, I will tell you that unless you have a telephoto lens, you won't get good pictures. The ONLY decent (decent, not good) I've gotten are ones where the aircraft do low, slow passes above the crowd specifically for photos. If you expect to take pics of aircraft doing their maneuvers and tricks, you won't get anything without a telephoto.

    Here is the only "decent" pic I got when I was still using a Canon Powershot:

    [​IMG]

    Just realized I should probably clone that flare next to the formation.
     
  3. Juice

    Juice TPF Noob!

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    I have almost that exact same shot! Except the planes are flying towards the sun in mine.
     
  4. camera shy

    camera shy TPF Noob!

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    Well I have bought the FZ38. Got a week to try and learn what it can do!

    I expect a bit of head scratching so any advice would be appreciated......
     
  5. wesd

    wesd TPF Noob!

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    Iv wanted to shoot some photos of air shows for a years not, but I never materialized it because I knew no matter how I got the exposure I would not be happy. Either the sky would be two blown out or I would be no detail of the places. I have thought of shooting at a couple of aviation museums though.
    Wes
     
  6. camera shy

    camera shy TPF Noob!

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    Okay so I photographed my first airshow yesterday at Fairford. Weather was cloudy for the first half of the flying display but I got a little burned during the second half. Cracking day though, loved it!

    Just skimming through the photos today and overall I feel quite pleased. I was preparing myself for disappointment and true enough it was difficult to keep up with those super jets - the Raptor is amazing by the way - with plenty of empty sky or just the tail etc but there are few nice ones out of the 1,100 I shot!! Really could have done with more zoom (x18 on the Panasonic) for some of the shots but was reluctant to use my extra zoom (up to x35 at 3mp) so carried on with x18 at 12mp.

    I didn't shoot in Raw/JPeg mode because I noticed my camera was preventing me using the burst shooting mode which I thought would help an inxperienced snapper like me. Unfortunately I can't really say I experimented too much with the camera settings either and I was mainly using shutter priority for most of my shots. Although I did try to reduce the shutter speed down for helos and props my images were generally quite bluured.

    I just need some help now with the processing. Trying to put a few of the ones I like on to my PC but I have no clue how to go about what to do or indeed what software to use. Panasonic kindly provided me with a software disc but I expect these are some of the more basic tools, am I right? What is the best software programme to use and is it nice and easy to understand? Also before I use such tools pre editing is there anything I need to do to protect the original or does the programme cover this?

    With limited experience in this field what do I do once I have put them on my PC and edited them? Do I just delete them off my memory card or should I put the protect option on those I really want to keep and just delete out the genuine trash?

    I would really appreciate any help.

    Craig.

    ps I've got the taste now. I was thinking of going to the Leuchars show later in the year.
     

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