Shooting Planes

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by ShootHoops, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. ShootHoops

    ShootHoops TPF Noob!

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    There's a "Wings Over Houston" show this weekend...

    I'm telling my mom that taking shots of this event with my Quantaray 28-90mm will be a waste of time.

    True or False?
     
  2. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    False. Your mom would love you going there.
     
  3. ShootHoops

    ShootHoops TPF Noob!

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    You're right.

    But will my pictures be any good without a telephoto lens?
     
  4. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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    Partly depends on your location, but a lot of the smaller planes fly quite low at most airshows. There is also the possibility of getting some very good shots of some of the smoke effects and sky divers.
     
  5. birdstrike

    birdstrike Propera Explora!

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    Two thoughts:

    1) You are unlikely to get closeups, but the smaller aerobatic planes and the Thunderbirds during low flybys should be close enough to capture a decent sized image. Watch for the Thunderbirds solos to "surprise" the crowd from behind when least expected.

    2) Every airshow you shoot will make it easier to capture images the next time.

    3) Well, three thoughts. With a 100mm lens you will almost have to capture establishing imagery along with the planes in flight. My best shots from Fleet Week in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago are here: http://www.batnet.com/bogart/Fleet_Week_Starred/ Only the the one with Fat Albert over the Amphibious Assault Ship "Bonhomme Richard" has any sense of place.

    4) OK, four thoughts. Houston has a -large- ramp display with plenty of wide angle opportunities. I think you will get some great shots!
     
  6. Dylan

    Dylan TPF Noob!

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    You can get still get some good shots with that lens. Birdstrike has a good point about "sense of place" . I shot 7 rolls of film at the Thunderbirds show last week and most are pictures of a small plane in a big sky.


    Birdstrike, man you got some good shots there. I've only been to a few shows and though I'm getting better It's no where near as good as you. Do you have any wisdom you wish to impart on us?
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    False. Taking photos is generally an amazing experience. Slightly different on the commercial end. That is a whole other story.

    Getting creative with what you currently own is a good approach. The airplane doing flips high in the sky may be out, but I am sure there is a lot more to these events then that.
     
  8. birdstrike

    birdstrike Propera Explora!

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    Thank you very much. I am still only an egg. :)

    Wisdom? I don't know. The action is fast and you have to reduce your workload. Hyperfocal distance isn't usually an issue for telephoto shots, but check what it is for the lens and aperture you are using. Most likely you can simply set the focus at infinity and forget it. Autofocus is death for airshow photography - never use it.

    Pick the direction in which you are going to shoot (where is the sun?) and don't worry about missing the other shots - that's when you get to enjoy the action.

    A circular polarizer is useful for good sky color.

    Look for a way to set the aircraft against a background other than sky for a sense of place.

    Keep the nose of the aircraft on one edge of the frame for a sense of motion.

    Pan with the aircraft. IS is a plus if you have it.

    If you are shooting digital, check your sensor for dust beforehand. You might notice that I failed to do so :blushing:

    Edit to add - in general don't use the autowinder. Time the shots manually if you are trying to get several aircraft in the frame at the same time.

    Edit further to add - Set the ISO as high as you feel comfortable with the resulting grain. I was shooting ISO 200 but 400/600 might have been better.

    Don't join TPF a month after the "In Flight" Photo Challenge :D


     
  9. ShootHoops

    ShootHoops TPF Noob!

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    Lots of advice. I've never had a turn-out like this before. Thanks for the input everybody.

    Craig - You're right. Taking photos is an amazing experience.

    You've got some nice shots there, birdstrike. They posted the challenge theme as "In Flight" a few days after I posted the best pictures I had of something while it was in flight. I was n the verge of tears, I'm tellin you!

    Thanks everybody!
     
  10. birdstrike

    birdstrike Propera Explora!

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    How did it go?
     
  11. ShootHoops

    ShootHoops TPF Noob!

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    I ended up not going.
     
  12. Pirate

    Pirate TPF Noob!

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    False... anytime that you have a camera in hand, is time well spent. No matter what the event. And I've been to shows where they allow you to be unbelievably close to the action. Definitly not a waste !
     

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