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Topic: Tips For SXM Spotting Trip
Username: bonusonus
Posted 2010-08-23 07:15:04 and read 4353 times.

Hi Everyone, I'm planning a trip to Saint Maarten in December and one of the main reasons I want to go is obviously spotting. I was just wondering if people who've been there could share some tips on getting the most of a visit to the island. I know there are a few other posts about this but they are pretty dated and I know there is more information out there

Some questions:

Do I need a wide-angle lens for beach shots? I currently have an 18-55mm as well as a 70-300mm.

What other spots are good besides the beach?

Any advice on good places to stay on the island and other tips for a spotter on a relatively tight budget?

Topic: RE: Tips For SXM Spotting Trip
Username: aagold
Posted 2010-08-26 11:13:58 and read 4209 times.

Surprised no one has responded to this request after three days. SXM, as you know, is an aviation photographer's paradise. Without question one of the best places to photograph airliners in a beautiful setting. The lenses you have are sufficient. I use a 12-24mm wide angle to get some of the shots on the beach like this one ...


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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images



That was taken at 12mm. Of course you can get other shots from the beach area that don't require that much wide angle. You can also move around the airport and get other angles, for example ...


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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images



You can also find some examples showing locations on my website ...

http://photovation.net/Spotting/SXMFSet.htm

You shouldn't have any problems shooting with the lenses you mentioned. I suspect you won't be using the 300mm much.

Enjoy. It's a fun place to visit.

Art

Topic: RE: Tips For SXM Spotting Trip
Username: thetford569
Posted 2010-08-26 11:20:30 and read 4206 times.

Hey,

I went to SXM last summer and had a blast. You will do fine with the lenses you listed...those were the same that I had last year. The above poster is correct, you won't use the 70-300 much on the beach especially. One thing I found was that you have to be very quick because the aircraft are so close and moving faster than you're used to. You'll also find that you will need to get back farther for the bigger aircraft to get them all in the frame even at 18mm. Since I went in the Summer the lighting wasn't the best however it was good enough...I have heard that winter time is best so you should be getting some good sunlight. The beach of course is the best and most popular place to shoot from and you have 2 bars on either side of the beach to choose from. Parking was a challenge so get there early if you're planning on parking close. I walked inside one of the adjacent hotels and was able to make my way up to an elevated swimming pool area that overlooked the taxiway/runway and I was able to shoot from there. There's also Mary's Boon that is on the other side of the runway that I've heard is a good spot for departures. One of my favorites was shooting right along the fence facing the taxiway with the aircraft coming straight towards you. Overall it was a great experience and you'll have a great time just at Maho beach even if you don't go anywhere else...just slow down and enjoy!

Brandon


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