A few airshow/photo questions...

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by BikerBabe, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Yes, got one.
    Location:
    Denmark.
    Home Page:
    #1 BikerBabe, Jul 23, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
    Hi guys 'n girls.

    I've recently gotten myself a brand new DLSR, which I am very happy about.
    My hard disk drive isn't, though - I'm running out of space fast. :lol:
    But that's not important right now, other things are. ;)

    I'd like to ask you guys a few questions about photography and air shows, as there's an upcoming airshow in Roskilde near Copenhagen in august, and of course I'd like to get as many decent pics at that occassion as time, camera, battery, camera card, legs and arms will allow. ;)

    My camera's an Olympus E-420, and there's two lenses in the kit: A 14-42 mm and a light zoom lens, 40-150 mm.
    I'm currently getting to know the camera, as I know that it will take some practice to capture a low flying passing aircraft at speed, so I'm working on that part.

    Apart from that, I've also got a Konica Minolta Dimage Z6, which has got a better zoom lens than the Olympus one - with 12 x optical zoom, it zooms a bit better than the new one, but the camera's "only" a 6 mpix model, where the DLSR is a 10 mpix one - the Olympus makes a better image quality, compared with the "old" camera.

    I can probably borrow a Nikon D-something or other with a panzerfaust of a zoom lens for the occasion, but I'm not sure what kind of lens the proud BMW-riding camera-lender has, so that's as yet uncertain, but I know that he'll let me borrow his old camera - we have talked about that. I'll get back to that particular lens later on, when I've talked with the man in question.

    Now:
    Depending on weather, what would you guys recommend me to practise at with the cameras, and how do I get the best pictures with the given materials?
    I've got a good sturdy tripod, and - if necessary - a small umbrella. :lol:

    Apart from that, I've got an idea about writing to the airfield guys to hear if I may come down a few days before, to photograph eventual arrivals of the participants in the air show - that would be cool, as there won't be that many people around me = hopefully no crowds, and I can get to see how things are located at the airfield.
    That way I'll (hopefully) get a quick overview and an idea of where I can position myself best.

    Has any of you guys had any luck in asking for/requesting a special photography permission, so that you can avoid crowds?
    The reason why I ask, is because - being a woman - I'm not that tall, so any advantage in getting the photos I want is a major plus for me, crowdwise. ;)
    There's not much point in dragging all of the gear with me down there, if I get to stand behind some hulk of a 2-metre tall carpenter guy, or something like that, y'know. :lol:

    So:
    What would you recommend, and what have you guys been succesful with, when it comes to photography and air shows?

    In advance thanks a lot, any help will be severely appreciated. *curtsies* :)

    EDIT:
    Btw, the following has been comfirmed as participating in the air show so far:

    Royal Danish Air Force: Helicopter EH-101.

    Dutch Air Force F-16's

    Swedish Airforce Historic Flight - Hawker Hunter

    L29 Delfin

    Giles 202 aerobatics

    P51 Mustang from Sweden

    Supermarine Spitfire from Sweden

    Vampire from Sweden

    4 Chipmunk aerobatics display - "Chip Chaps"

    F-16's from the Royal Danish Air Force

    RAF Red Arrows

    2 Douglas DC-3's from Denmark and Sweden

    Fouga Magister

    Royal Swedish Air Force: JAS 39 Gripen

    L-4A Grasshopper

    5 Microlight aerobatics team

    The Danish Flight Museum shows up, bringing with them several veteran planes - among them an old ambulance plane.

    T-17 "Baby Blue" aerobatics display team

    DAT (Danish Air Transport) MD87

    And the static displays:

    Fokker 50

    Piper Cup (spelling?)

    A replica of danish aviation pioneer Ellehammer's plane.

    SAS CRJ-900

    And a few other, non-plane-things.
     
  2. Junkers88A1

    Junkers88A1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Norway
    Home Page:
    try taken pictures of birds flying by :) and also try to get the light on the aircraft itself and not the sky in the background..or else the plane will be black against the sky..also use fast shutterspeed ! this is easily done by measuring the light on the ground and use that setting.. but try with some seaguls flying by or something like that
    tripod is ok but not that good if you want to capture the flyby`s as they go quick !!

    special photopermisson is not that easy unless you have a presscard or happens to be one of the staff so you can be on the "right" side of the fence.. but it should be able to take some arrivals shotts ( but usually they arrive the night before or during the same morning as the airshow.. depends on where they are comming from and what the mission is for the sirshow..some arrive as you say days before to pratice !

    the olympus E-420 should take good pictures. are you planning to take manuel pics or automatic ?


    happy to help with anything you wonder about :)

    wish you all the best luck and get there as early as possible..get a good position close to the taxiway out from the display area ( static area ) where they taxi out to the runway and the earlier you get there the bestter the place..so you can be up front of the tall guy :)

    and a women ? and interested in aircrafts..thats rare :)
     

    Attached Files:

    • DC-3.jpg
      DC-3.jpg
      File size:
      109.7 KB
      Views:
      499
  3. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Yes, got one.
    Location:
    Denmark.
    Home Page:
    #3 BikerBabe, Jul 23, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
    Hi again Junkers, and thanks for the reply. Nice pic there. :)

    I plan to go auto on the pics, but I can test the mechanics better when I get out there.
    I plan to be there both days, so I oughta be able to practice a bit before the "important" flight displays, i.e. Spitfire/Mustang/Red Arrows and all, providing that the weather is with all of us that weekend. ;)

    Okay, here's what I usually do when I use Auto settings while shooting motorcycle pics, when the rider is driving towards me and I'm standig in the side of the road, ready to shoot:

    [​IMG]

    My very first attempt at photographing my best buddy and his bike on the road.


    [​IMG]

    Motorcycle officer during anti-terror drill, Copenhagen, march 2007.


    [​IMG]

    Motorcycle officer caught between flashing lights on bike at full speed.
    Anti-terror drill, Copenhagen, march 2007.



    First, focus and set light on something that's approximately the same distance away - and lighted in approx. the same way - as the motorcycle will be where I want the pic to be shot at.
    Press release button halfway down, so that the camera gets the settings right.
    Wait while holding the button halfway down, so that the camera keeps the settings, until rider plus bike is at the proper position.
    Then: Shoot.
    Is that basically what you mean by what you wrote up there? *points at quoted text*

    Okay:
    Get out there early, practice with the camera, maybe get some shots a day or so before the show. Use fast shutter speed...*scribbles notes*

    Got no press card, and I've got no such connections, so that's out of the question.
    Same goes with staff. Oh well. :)

    Thanks for the good wishes, I bet all luck will be needed, but I hope I get some decent shots - I'll remember to share with you guys. ;)

    And being a woman and being interested in planes?
    It's got an engine, it makes noises, it moves! :lol:
    I'm also interested in motorcycles, history, fishing and photography - not very feminine interests, maybe - but they're a lot more fun to me than babies, home making, cooking, cleaning and sewing...*yawn*...or so I think. :p :lol:

    Anyway, I've gotten to know and talk with a lot of nice people like you guys - I'm not so sure I would have experienced that if I had stayed put in the house, being a home maker instead of being incredibly curious. ;)
     
  4. Junkers88A1

    Junkers88A1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Norway
    Home Page:
    hehe

    thats my girl :) keep up the good work :) and one thing..you could contact the airport or the guys running the show and ask if they need voleenters ( they usually do ) but that means you are allowed on the right side of the fence..BUT will be busy doing all other things than be able to take photos.. hehe

    looking forward to see your pictures :) if i had time i would get down there to the airshow myself..but work calls :(
    not that far from oslo you know..only 45minutes :) ( with airliners )

    and beeing curious is what makes life worth living :)

    if you plan to go auto on the camera set it on sports.. :) that camera should have that setting :)

    hugs from Norway
     
  5. Junkers88A1

    Junkers88A1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Norway
    Home Page:
    and that was some very nice shoots of the police motorcycle so you are right on target and should do well on the airshow :)
    you also capured the movment very well. looking forward to see your pictures from the airshow. :)
     
  6. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Yes, got one.
    Location:
    Denmark.
    Home Page:
    Okay, thanks for the ideas. ;)
    The idea about volunteering - well, I'll either spend a lot of time doing volunteer work, or a lot of time with my fellow motorcycle mad friends, photographing. I'll go for no. 2. ;)

    About work: The only problem about work is that it takes up so much of your spare time! ;)

    I've been to Oslo once, a long time ago - we were a bunch of sports school kids ("idrætshøjskole") which travelled through Oslo when all of us went on skiing holiday in Beitostølen. It's quite a beautiful country you live in. :)
    Plus I've heard about a fellow countryman of yours, who lives in Oslo and works in Copenhagen - he travels on his motorcycle, every time he has to go back and forth between the two countries. ;)
    The only motorcycle riders in Denmark who rides more than he does, is the police. :lol:

    And yes, my camera has got the sports setting, plus I also plan on using the...what is it called in english...*thinks*...y'know, where you shoot a lot of pics in succession very rapidly...hm, that particular phrase is gone right now, but I bet you know what I mean. ;)

    Anyway, thank you very much for the input, I've got some more practicing and getting-to-know-my-camera to do, before I head off for the air show. ;)
     
  7. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    #7 gumbyk, Jul 23, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
    Bikerbabe,
    Check all your equipment, including memory cards. I lost a whole days photos not long ago after I purchased a brand new card. Turns out it wasn't retaining the data after the power was switched off.
    So, load it up with data, unplug it, plug it back in, and then check everything thats on it.

    But from your photos of the motorcycle, it looks like you're on the right track. The second one has a bit more of a feeling of movement in it, with the blurred wheels and background. That is what you want in a fly-past photo. I don't think the sports setting will really give you that, as it uses the fastest possible shutter speed, which will freeze everything.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    For prop aircraft, the general rule of thumb is 1/<focal length>. So, for example, if you are shooting with a 300mm lens, you don't want to go below 1/300 shutter speed. But since you are getting the hang of it, go with 1/500, which will give you some prop blur on flying aircraft while maintaining focus on the aircraft. For jets, go fast, like 1/1000. All of these kind of depend on light conditions at the show.

    I usually shoot on shutter priority and set the speed I want for each shot, or sequence. Obviously, shooting flying airplanes will be quicker than those taxiing, or on static display.

    Here is one at 500mm, 1/500 shutter speed. You get some prop blur while maintaining focus on the main subject.
    [​IMG]

    Don't be afraid to experiment. I took this one at 300mm, but at 1/50, which is breaking the rule of thumb, but it worked.
    [​IMG]

    Remember to follow through on the shot. When the shutter closes, and then re-opens, the center point of the focus should be in the same spot. If you don't, you are liable to cut off the nose or the tail. It's a pan shot, and really help crisp up the shots. Pick a stance that is comfortable and stable.

    You can try with the tripod, but you will likely find that it will limit your movement, especially when the airplanes start to fly. They may come at you from an unanticipated angle, and that could be captured if you can move fast enough.

    Be aware of anything that could be in the shot. Once you have picked a spot on the crowd line, make a mental note of where obstacles are. They can really mess your shot up. This includes parked airplanes.
    [​IMG]

    Other than that, relax and enjoy! Airshows are a fun thing to photograph, and the atmosphere is always enjoyable.
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    I have one suggestion try and arrive at the airshow early to lay claim to your spot so you can obtain a spot without the aforementioned obstructions , , . . I'm not really familiar with how shows in Europe operate and whether you are allowed a lawn chair but I mark my spot with a lawn chair and then tour the flightline returning to the chair for the display.
    and find out the where the flight line is The flight line is the path the aircraft will fly for there flypasts or displays
     
  10. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    Yep. Get there early! Nothing like getting a once-in-a-lifetime shot....with some guy's head in the foreground. Photoshop only goes so far...

    With a DSLR, I like to set mine to the Sports setting and just blast away. Get a good sized card that can hold alot of pics (I came out of the Alliance Airshow last year with 700+ pics on my card....100 or so of which I actually kept). Panning is essential with high-speed photography, or any movement, period....center your subject, and move the camera to keep it in the center, and continue moving even after pressing the button. I also try to include at least one stationary object in the shot, just to give some sort of depth/scale to the pic, unless you're going for a tight crop like in Evan's pic above. A few puffy clouds really help put the planes in their element!

    The idea of a lawn-chair is handy, it helps mark your territory (the airshows around here allow them, I believe, ask when you call about goin early). Maybe a small folding two-step ladder, as well, can help get you up and over those annoying fences. I usually try to get right up next to the fence, if its not a 10-foot chain-link variety. If its a huge fence, I try to get back a bit, and find some piece of higher ground I can stand on (grassy nolls work well for snip...er....photography) to get me up and over.

    Have fun, take LOTS of pics. Remember, with digital, they're pretty much freebies now anyway. You dont' have to worry about paying for bad shots like you did with 35mm. So blast away! You'll be surprised how many good shots you'll get in with the bad ones.
     
  11. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Yes, got one.
    Location:
    Denmark.
    Home Page:
    #11 BikerBabe, Jul 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
    Hi Gumbyk, and thanks for the input. ;)

    The check-up of equipment is a standard routine for me, but even then there's no guarantees that everything will bother to work properly, once I'm at the air show. ;)
    I remember an air show my then-boyfriend and I went to see at Flyvestation Værløse near Copenhagen some years ago.
    I had brought two camera cards, and according to my pre-show tests, they were both working just fine before we left.
    The camera was a Ricoh RDC-7, which - back then - was well tested by both boyfriend Timo and me at family get-togethers and holidays. No problems there.

    When we got back home from the air show, only one of the cards had any pictures on it, the other one was busted.
    At the time, we didn't know that you could dl a file recovery program on the web, so we just deleted the card and reformatted it - and I was pretty bummed out by it, as I had gotten some nice pics of - among others - the Red Arrows' great performance on just that card. Bummer!
    But it was a fun air show and some very nice performances of the participants, even though I only brought half the pictures home of what I'd shot that day.

    Regarding the blurring of the background - I've discovered that the Portrait setting on my new camera is great for just that effect, so that's something I'd like to try and work more on. ;)
    Thanks again - if you come to think of something that might be useable for me to know, I'm definitely open and grateful for any photo input you might come up with. :)

    *********************

    Hmmmmm...*thinks*...concerning the shutter speed, there's something I'm worrying about a bit here.
    I've put a UV-filter on both lenses to protect the front glass of the lenses, but isn't there something about such a filter steeling a little of the light?
    And how does that affect the calculation of shutter speed? Is it something which I should take into account when photographing such fast-moving objects as planes flying by, or it it just go ahead - and then fix it in Photoshop later on?

    I love your pic example number two; it looks really great. :)
    The only thing that bothers me a little bit is the background, but then again that's something which you can't do much about when photographing a parked plane, that's pretty obvious. ;)
    One thing is to ask a motorcycle owner if he/she'll move the bike so that I can get a good shot of his/her bike, but an entire plane? :lol: That might be asking a bit much.

    And about being aware of things in the fore- or background when shooting flying planes: Thanks for the reminder, I'll remeber that. *thumbs up*
    I must be a danish national champion by now, when it comes to shooting the landscape from the back seat of my buddy's motorcycle - and getting a lamp post/sign/huge tree/bypassing or parked car or bus/people/bushes instead. :lol:
    I've deleted countless such pictures, being thankful for the fact that digital photography is almost free, once you own the camera and equipment. ;)

    Thank you very much for the input - more things to work on, that's for sure.
    I'll admit that I'm pretty ambitious when it comes to my photography, so I'm definitely looking forward to this air show, and I'm very grateful for any input/tricks/experiences from all of you guys who has been photographing air shows before. ;)

    ***************************

    Hi RA and thanks for the input. ;)

    Unfortunately, a lawn chair is not an option, as we're a bunch of friends going to the air show - on motorcycles.
    And yes, you can transport a lot of things on the beemer, but - a chair, even a small one? I think not. :lol:
    It would be something very different if I had the use of a car, then it wouldn't be much of a problem.
    I guess I'll just have to see what I can do to get a decent view/shot at the planes that day. ;)

    About the card and the amount of pictures...I've got a 4 gb card for my camera.
    With the image quality set to "Medium", "Super Fine" and an image size of 1600 by 1200, there should be room on the card for 1672 pictures.
    And since I've got no plans for making wall-to-floor-posters, that ought to be just fine. ;)
    I think the battery'll run low before the card does. :lol:

    Seriously, I'm incredibly grateful for the invention of digital photography, since my record of film rolls that I delivered to the photo shop once for developing, was 29 rolls at one time...that was expensive, but the pics were good. :lol:
    It's a really good thing that you can just delete the bad shots in the camera with the digital camera system. Practical thing. Very practical. :D
     
  12. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    :occasion5: I have a 2G card and two 1G cards I hoof around with me. My camera tells me I can get about 520 shots on the 2G at 8megapixels, but I downloaded 700 odd pics. How's that for math? :LOL:

    The chairs I'm referring to fold up and store in a small bag, they look like tripods when they're in their cases. I actually got yelled at at a baseball game because the guy at the gate thought I was trying to bring a camp chair in. I had to pull the tripod out and show him!

    Another tip...I ALWAYS charge my battery the night before, and any spares as well. Getting caught with a flat battery just plain sucks.
     
  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    If you are shooting in shutter priority, you set the shutter speed where you would like it and the camera figures out which f-stop to use. If using a filter, the camera should calculate correctly based on the light coming in whether you use a filter or not. It won't effect shutter speed unless you are using aperture priority.
     
  14. DBII

    DBII Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    unemployed again, health insurance
    Location:
    The Woodlands, Texas
    I have an old cannon and still shot film. The best thing to do is to just go out and start shoting, have fun. I like going to the airfield the day before and catching the practice runs, no crowds. You can also catch the static display planes flying. I would love to have a "panzerfaust of a zoom lens" My 300 mm works ok most of the time. Some times I will pull out the
    600mm monster but it is hard to shoot w/o auto focus. I am looking forward to seeing your photos.

    DBII
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    I've got a Canon Rebel XT, and usually use a Quantaray 70-300mm zoom. The lense is about 15 years old now, I've had it since I first started with a regular 35mm Rebel S. It is getting tired. I've been glancing in the general direction of a Sigma 50-500mm zoom, but that lense is a beast, and weighs about as much as my camera bag and all the other lenses/bodies I've got. But oooooh, the range and the clarity of the images from the few test shots I've gotten on it in the store!!! I'd love to hoof that puppy out to an airshow sometime! I just dread the backache the next day...
     
  16. DBII

    DBII Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    unemployed again, health insurance
    Location:
    The Woodlands, Texas
    I would live with the pain if I could get shots as clear as Evan's. Now where is that winning lotto ticket?

    DBII
     
  17. trackend

    trackend Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    4,039
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Retired tech support railway engineer
    Location:
    Ipswich, Suffolk
    #17 trackend, Jul 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
    I am still learning after 40 years its almost been like starting again swapping over to digital, fortunately we have Eric on the site to give us guidence. When it comes to aviation shooting he takes some beating. He's helped me alot in my pictures, mine are still crap but at least I now know why they are crap.:lol:
     
  18. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Yes, got one.
    Location:
    Denmark.
    Home Page:
    #18 BikerBabe, Jul 27, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
    Hi again all, and thanks for your input, guidance and good advices - I appreciate it, and I'm saving this thread as a PDF-file, if it's okay with you guys. That way I can print it out, read it and make notes and work things over. ;)

    I talked with my biker buddy Poul about the air show and the cameras, and he's going to come along. Yay! :D
    He'll bring his cameras and lenses, and we'll take turns doing some shooting, plus we also talked about going to the airfield some days before to practise and see what the photo conditions are like out there, if it's okay with the airport people.

    I practised a little, photographing motorcycles at speed tonight at Langelinie in Copenhagen, and this one's my best shot for the time being.
    It was getting dark, so the camera wanted to switch the flash on constantly, but I discovered how to turn that function off - good thing. :lol:
    I like the effect of movement, that's what I'll be going after in my air show photography, as you guys advised me to. ;)
     

    Attached Files:

    • 401.jpg
      401.jpg
      File size:
      222.5 KB
      Views:
      143
  19. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    EXCELLENT panning shot! I like it! :occasion5: If you know in advance that your subject is going to be level the whole time you're panning with him/her/it (such as a motorcycle on a flat stretch of road, or someone jogging around a track), a tripod will help a great deal to make your subject even that much sharper.
     
  20. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,072
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    That's really is nice BB, it almost looks like an ad.
     
Loading...

Share This Page