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Author Topic: Going to my first air show - need advice  (Read 2866 times)

jebrady03

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Going to my first air show - need advice
« on: March 22, 2012, 11:37:28 PM »
I'll be going to an air show this weekend, my first, and I am seeking advice on camera settings, techniques, etc.

I'm using a 60D and a lowly 55-250 (unless someone wants to donate a 70-300L to me ;) haha) for the in-flight pictures and more than likely my 15-85 for ground pictures.  So, I'm not expecting any award winning results (especially with the 55-250) and I'm really just doing this (the photography portion) for the experience.

I'm guessing that for in-flight pictures, high speed continuous shooting and Al Servo are pretty much standard for such an event, right?  What about metering?  Would spot be best?  Will I need exposure compensation?

What about pictures of the planes on the ground?  Any composition tips?  Is it taboo to cut off the tips of the wings or the nose of the plane in a picture?

Also, any pictures you've taken along with the details of the picture would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks for any advice, tips, etc., that you're willing to offer!
jb

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Going to my first air show - need advice
« on: March 22, 2012, 11:37:28 PM »

Stephen Melvin

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 12:39:27 AM »
For in-flight pictures, you don't want really high shutter speeds. Frozen propellers make the planes look like models.

You can see some examples here:
http://galleries.stevemelvin.com/air_show/slides/IMG_7703.html

Shot with a 7D, 70-200 and 1.4x TC.

jebrady03

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 08:58:22 AM »
VERY good to know!  Thanks for the tip :)

Actionpix

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 03:50:26 AM »
I would never clip a nose. Look at an aircraft as being a person. You might clip a leg or arm but never clip a nose. (Unless you make a close up of an eye or something.) Shutter speeds depend, in my pictures, only on movement I want to be seen. Meaning I make one shot that will be close to what my experience tells and than eventually make a correction to that. You do not want motion frozen, (I do not want that), but you can not have it be blurred away too. Frozen propellers are no good but completely amputated propellers are no good also. Especially when you also get the ground to see with a flying aircraft you might choose a longer exposure time. (Aperture has almost no influence.) Most important, I guess, is to keep on tracking before and after you get your picture. And always stay on guard.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 04:21:01 AM by Actionpix »

Spooky

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 04:18:25 AM »
I usually dial in +1 to +2 stops overexposure for in flight shots if the sky is cloudy (white / grey) to avoid silhouettes, review the shot to check after taking.
A lot of my favourites are the small details when walking round the aircraft, jet exhausts, nose art, etc and don't forget that candids of people are easy in the crowds.
Get a good position where the aircraft are just about to touch down or take off along the runway as this creates interest with the ground detail and some panning blur.
Best tip though is to shoot plenty and take spare cards with you, good flight shots take practice.
Enjoy the day out :)

PS- allow some 'room' in front of flying aircraft so that the plane is flying into the frame, it looks better.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 04:39:32 AM by Spooky »

jebrady03

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 09:58:53 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  I wish I had an opportunity to read it prior to going today as I'm sure it would have helped.

My learning curve was STEEP today.  REALLY STEEP!  I only started getting halfway decent shots towards the end of the show.  And by halfway decent I mean "no where CLOSE to what anyone else on this forum would produce but better than a camera phone".  HAHA!

I had a GREAT time today and in the end, that's what matters the most.

Here are a few in-flight shots that again, turned out decent (considering I was using the 55-250)...

I'm least impressed with this one.  Seems like I missed the proper focus on it.


For this picture, I was tracking the jet on the right and knew the one on the left was coming in so I just pressed the shutter and "sprayed and prayed".






And a few shots of planes in the staging area.  I wasn't really sure how to compose the pictures.  Most of the compositions I wanted were littered with people.  If I had to guess, I'd say there were easily 15,000 people there - probably substantially more.  So, I resorted to close up shots with my 15-85 and I believe I shot at 15 for every one of them.











I know these shots are absolutely NOT up to par with what's seen on this site.  There are some AMAZING photographers here who produce such amazing images that I literally can't imagine how they got them.  But, I thought I'd share them anyway and request any feedback y'all are willing to give that might help me to improve the next time I get such a great opportunity.

Thanks so much!
jb

Stephen Melvin

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 10:20:36 PM »
Nicely done! I really like the MiG shot a lot. I've seen "Spooky" at several different shows. It's all over the place!

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 10:20:36 PM »

CanineCandidsByL

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 11:13:00 PM »
You got some great shots there. Did you get any props or helios in flight?

Spooky

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 04:15:41 AM »
I've seen "Spooky" at several different shows. It's all over the place!
I'm not all over the place (unless I've had too much beer)! :o

Great shots though, well done.

CanineCandidsByL

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 09:52:52 AM »
I've seen "Spooky" at several different shows. It's all over the place!
I'm not all over the place (unless I've had too much beer)! :o

Great shots though, well done.

Whoa!  Now that's Spooky!

jebrady03

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 10:55:06 AM »
Thanks for the kind words!

You got some great shots there. Did you get any props or helios in flight?


Did I get some of those shots?  Yes.  Are they any good?  Ehhh... No!  haha  I had a real hard time trying to figure out the balance for shutter speed to "stop motion" but at the same time, not stop the propellers.  Didn't help that I was panning at the same time which is new for me.

Here are a few more shots in case anyone has any feedback that I can use for next time.


Out of curiosity, which of these (composition wise) seems to be the better of the two.  This one?


Or this one?
























Front...


...to back!


Thanks again for any feedback!
jb

CanineCandidsByL

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 08:15:06 PM »
Of the two you showed, my wife and I liked the bottom one (vertical).

The horizontal one was a little dark for the subjects, but has some additional interesting possibilities if you rotate and/or crop the left side. Unfortunately, one plane was putting out smoke so it ruined some of the symmetry....dang them!


Stephen Melvin

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 10:03:24 PM »
Pretty good stuff! I like the Lockheed Electra (twin engine plane with the red paint) and the Bearcat in Blue Angels colors. I wish we had such a variety of planes at our shows.

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 10:03:24 PM »

TexPhoto

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2012, 10:50:56 PM »
Obviously for moving planes, AF servo mode, and a fast shutter speed.  Bump your IO up as needed to get to a shutter speed that is getting you sharp photos.


IMG_0090 by TexPhoto, on Flickr

But don't miss the people.


IMG_1660 by TexPhoto, on Flickr

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Re: Going to my first air show - need advice
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2012, 10:50:56 PM »