Advice please? pictures of air show.


TPF Noob!
May 30, 2003
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In a couple weeks I am going to a local airshow featuring the Blue Angels. :D

Advice please on what to do to take the best ground to air shots. I don't know if my Olympus C-700 is up to the job, but I do have a 3x pentax film camera (standard 35mm with only few options). I will be taking both with me. I believe we will have VIP tickets to also get upclose to some of the planes.

anyone have any tips?

Hasn't "Real TV" taught us to never go to air shows? :? You'd probably be better off with a camcorder.
metroshane said:
Hasn't "Real TV" taught us to never go to air shows? :? You'd probably be better off with a camcorder.


Oh, you guys are a lot of help. /sarcasm :lol:

I did pick up a Sony Digital Hi8 Cam yesterday. But as you know, they do not produce the best stills. Now I am completely broke until next month. *sigh* bought to many toys this month.

Still, I would like to know things like which ISO & settings are best when taking high speed, bright daylight pictures. I really need to step beyond "point & click" and hope they turn out (which most of the time they do not).

**complete newbie to real photography**

You'll want a slower speed film, 100 or 200. And you'll also want to use a really high shutter speed (over 1/60th).

What's really fun with moving objects, that takes a little practice, is to use a slow shutter speed. Here's the trick. Move the camera along with the moving object as close as you can. If you do it right, the object will stay in focus and will leave a motion trail.
haha did that once (accidentally, I'm sure). It was a motorcross event a couple years back, when of the riders went off a jump. Best picture out of the whole batch. I took it with my old Pentax 3x zoom, but some of the pictures are really, really tiny. :wink:

I'll have to check to see what shutter speed I can set for my camera. I've seen it at 1/1000 and 1/8, not sure of the full range. It does have a program mode where I can set specific settings. Then it has a varience mode for manually changing things on the fly. Not sure what all the "things" do, but having lots of fun trying them out.


Being in the Air Force (Australia), i have had a fair bit of exposure to this kind of photography.

Firstly, forget slower shutter speeds (especially with the C-700) as you want clarity.

Question what zoom do you have, and does this camera have an EVF (electronic view finder)? My Olympus has an EVF and because of the "jerkiness" of the view in it it can be hard to rack fast moving aircraft (use the review screen if you can)

I have the C-730 and even with the 10 x optical zoom i find it lacking for aircraft over about 250 ft. Don't let me put you off though because you may be close enough to the runway to get the shots. If your taking both cameras definitely give the C-700 a go!

Use either landscape (gives you infinity DOF) or sports mode, maybe even professional mode (not auto though) but i would use the ISO 100 setting as the more zoom you use the more "noise" or graininess you will see in the image. Go for fast (ish) shutter speeds and track the aircraft with the shutter half depressed for focus to lessen the chance of only finding half a plane or an out of focus one in the shot.

You will also get good (and probably better) pictures of the aircraft just as they rotate (take off) as they will be closer but still airborne.

Most important have fun and take plenty of pictures. Look forward to seeing the results (if you haven't already been to the airshow).

Some of my aircraft shots with the Olympus C-730
I actually didn't go. :( My lawnmower went kaput and I had to use the money for a new one. There will be other shows & other opportunities for pictures.


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