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Topic: Shooting In, Around Terminals
Username: DCA-ROCguy
Posted 2000-09-18 22:23:20 and read 2180 times.

Dear Gang,

One of my main aviation photo interests is taking shots of aircraft around terminals. The idea is that not only do I get the plane, but I get it at this particular airport. Primarily I do this at my hometown of Rochester, NY which I am trying to get more represented at the site. I also shoot panorama shots of airport terminals from ground and air.

How do y'all get around the various frustrations of terminal shots? Last week I did two shooting sessions while home visiting. I have a Pentax autofocus 105mm zoom, 35mm film camera. I use Kodak 400MAX or 100 film, depending upon likely conditions.

The times of day when ROC has lots of planes are times of harsh light when sunny--morning and evening rush. The terminal windows are dirtier than my car is after salt splashes on it after a snowstorm. But surprisingly that hasn't been a big problem.

Unfortunately the airport layout, and the 105mm limit of my camera's zoom capabilities, require that I get inside the terminal for many of the best shots. I'd try to get ramp access. But the second floor gives much better composition and angles out the window.

Some of the pictures were very grainy in bright light, which created harsh shadows. I'd have washed-out lettering on the JetBlue fuselage and then the engine would be inked out in shadow. The camera is autofocus. Is there any way around this problem?

I've tried shooting in cloudy weather. The high high kind of overcast cover slathers the world gray and washes out color; one pic has been rejected a couple times despite PhotoShop tinkering. One can't compensate, I've found, for color that isn't there to begin with (unless it's a small patch).

And most infuriating of all, the terminal's beautiful, wall-to-wall windows creates a lot of reflection problems, which limits my shooting spots.

Anyway, any guidance y'all can offer would be much appreciated. I enjoy your work very much and am pleased to partake in airliners.net.

Jim K.
Washington, DC

Topic: RE: Shooting In, Around Terminals
Username: Scooter
Posted 2000-09-18 23:35:16 and read 2041 times.

You wrote:

"Some of the pictures were very grainy in bright light, which created harsh shadows. I'd have washed-out lettering on the JetBlue fuselage and then the engine would be inked out in shadow. The camera is autofocus. Is there any way around this problem?"

Yep...a polarizer filter will help to even things out a bit. I bought one about three months ago and am VERY happy with what it's done to my pics.

You wrote:

"And most infuriating of all, the terminal's beautiful, wall-to-wall windows creates a lot of reflection problems, which limits my shooting spots."

With a little practice, you can get around this. Get yourself a lens hood for your camera, and press it right up to the glass when you shoot. Or, just use your hand to shade the lens. Like I said...it takes practice. Also, it helps to wear dark clothing so it won't reflect into the glass.

Good luck!

Topic: RE: Shooting In, Around Terminals
Username: FastGlass
Posted 2000-09-19 07:26:42 and read 2024 times.

Your'e big restriction is the limit of a 105mm zoom. That won't cut it in this biz...

Topic: RE: FastGlass
Username: Scooter
Posted 2000-09-19 17:14:30 and read 2018 times.

I disagree with that 10000% (in a friendly way, of course!   )

Hey...take away all your long lenses for a few weeks, and force yourself to dig around for good photo locations. I guarantee you'll come up with some very dramatic and intimate shots! I realize that to it's very hard to get close to the action at many airports...but come on. With a little time and creativity, ANYONE can find good close-up spots (indoors or out) that can offer the photographer great shots. A good photographer with an 85mm lens could SMOKE a mediocre photographer with a 300mm lens. As we've discussed so many times here before, it's NOT the equipment that matters...it's the person using it.

-Scott
San Diego, CA

Topic: RE: FastGlass
Username: Thomasphoto60
Posted 2000-09-19 18:26:19 and read 2014 times.

I agree with Scooter 100%

Thomas

Topic: RE: Shooting In, Around Terminals
Username: Nicolaki
Posted 2000-09-19 20:15:04 and read 2008 times.

I too 100% agree with scooter.
Of course It'll be hard to shoot planes from a distance with a 105mm. But if you go around terminals. If you live near a small airport, you have more chances to be succeful there, sometimes boarding gates are even outside on the tarmac, so it would make some great photos with a 105mm.
I used to have a 115mm only to shoot my photos before, and beleive me I got some great photos out of it.
All you need is creativity, the equiment comes after

Good luck!

Nicolas Bourbillon
Montreal, Canada

Topic: RE: Shooting In, Around Terminals
Username: Mirage
Posted 2000-09-19 22:09:03 and read 2016 times.

I agree with FastGlass and with Scooter, both kind of lens can produce great results. I bought a 2x teleconversor just a few days ago and I'm discovering new things that can be done with a 600mm lens, it's incredible the flexibility to shot from different angles that before were just impossible to use.
these were with the 600mm

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Luis Rosa



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Luis Rosa


Luis, Faro, Portugal


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