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Are You An Aviation Photographer Or Plane Spotter?  
User currently offlineManzoori From UK - England, joined Sep 2002, 1516 posts, RR: 25
Posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5334 times:

Some might say it's an odd distinction to make, but I'd be interested to hear what you consider yourselves to be?

Personally I see myself as an Aviation Photographer and Enthusiast, but not a spotter. I go to airports occasionally, I go to most of the major airshows, and I work for an Aero Engine Manufacturer which means I get to see cool shots of aircraft and bloody great aero engines (You would not believe how big this Trent 900 is!!!  Wow! ). When I hear Jet noise I look up, and occasionally wish I had my D30 with me... that and a huge and disgustingly expensive Canon 'L' lens!  Wink/being sarcastic

I don't have an airband scanner (though every year at the airshows I start to consider it!), I don't take down aircraft registrations and I don't log aircraft movements.

Don't get me wrong, these are all harmless activites as far as I'm concerned, just not the sort of thing that interests me!


Rez  Big thumbs up

Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5299 times:

I am solely a Photographer.


Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineMirage From Portugal, joined May 1999, 3125 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5291 times:

Good question, I think there is lot of confusion between plane spotting and aviation photography nowdays. Lots of young enthusiasts think that someone taking photos of aircrafts is a plane spotter but not necessarly. I'm not a pure plane spotter, I don't write down registrations and movements but I consider myself a plane spotter with camera, an amateur aviation photographer.


User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11960 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5284 times:

I used to consider myself a spotter, but after I saw a person at MAN photographing, making notes of time, aircraft type, airline, registration, weather conditions, rwy in use, the number of spotters etc, I came to realise that I'm just an aviation photographer.  Smile

I also received my new camera after 1.5 months of waiting recently. Finally I can take some pictures again. Big grin Maybe I'll become a spotter in time....  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
User currently offlineFL350 From Belgium, joined Feb 2003, 517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5266 times:

Same for me, not addicted to write down every reg I see, every aircraft I fly in. I love aviation, I love almost everything that flies, but I don't plan my trip to the airport in advance (exception for some very rare occasions), I like to have nice surprises which give me extra memories of my day out.

So defenitely an aviation photographer and an every day life photographer.



Fabrice Sanchez - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 3092 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5263 times:

I love the smell of Jet A in the morning...... It reminds me of Aviation!!  Big thumbs up

I just love planes and happen to be a photographer. So the two naturally go together. And other than being "forced" to try and note registration numbers so I can upload here, would never bother writing anything down. Now with digital, it's cost effective to just bang off an extra frame showing the reg numbers if possible. If not, oh well, just get a nice photo anyway.

So I'm a photographer, not a spotter.


User currently offlineFireguy274 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 299 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5256 times:

I am a photographer and I find aircraft a very interesting subject to take pictures of. Artie

[Edited 2003-12-11 17:37:09]

User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5253 times:

I love the smell of Jet A in the morning

Funnily enough, one of the reasons I bought the house I'm living in - on the day we viewed, the wind was blowing from the airport, and when I went to check out the garden ....

Definitely a photographer here - and I'm often embarrassed by people emailing me with questions about flight details etc which I can't answer. I do have a scanner (bought at Duxford waiting for the flying to start), but haven't figured out how it works yet  Smile



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineCraigy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5239 times:

Like most other people here, I am just a photographer, although I look at the spotting pages on the net to get an idea what is expected to come in, and plan my airport trips to suit.

The air band scanner which I recently bought is worth its weight in gold. I no longer have to bother about leaving the airport thinking "what's coming in next?".


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

When I go out to the airport I always take notes. If I don't write something then I don't feel right. First I was geting registrations just to have reference when I develop my pictures.
Spotters collect frames (cn/ln) and write them down. I collect pictures of US/DL fleet on the picures.
So I am 50/50  Smile


User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 31
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5224 times:

I just shoot aircraft,

Of course I have an interest in aviation, I like going to the airport, but I wouldn't go without my camera unless there was another purpose. I don't take down registrations and I don't own a scanner or anything.

User currently offlineBromma1968 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5220 times:

I'm just an amateur photographer. I started photographing aircraft at age 14 with my
parents point-and-shot camera. I never really spotted at all. I accept spotters, but
personally want to be able to show a picture as "proof" of what I have seen.


User currently offlineJkw777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5196 times:

I am too an amateur aviation photographer and how I love it  Smile. No need for me to take down notes of registrations when I am at airports as I can catch most of them in my pictures.

People that stand there taking notes and the ones that shoot pictures of planes are two different things I think as in the topic.

Many Thanks,

Justin  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2054 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5195 times:

I take the following to the airport:

camera, scanner, notebook, and a quarter for the phone call from the jail.

II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineExitRow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5180 times:

I don't own a scanner or a ladder.

So I guess that makes me a poor spotter and a very short photographer.

User currently offline2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5151 times:

Bill...you don't need a ladder. You need an F150 pickup with a platform in the bed so you can see over the fence. Throw a lawnchair back there and you have it made. (a cooler is also a handy option.)

I never understood the fun of copying reg #'s, but I guess they look at us with all out camera gear and think we are a bunch of nuts. (and my wife would agree...)

User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 60
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5133 times:
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Primarily a photographer but I think I have some spotter elements as well, I always have a look at the reg of every plane. Mainly the cause of my slideshooting frenzy where you don't want to shoot the same plane over and over again.


Alderman Exit
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5119 times:

I am an aviation photographer.
Back when I was young like in the elementary/junior high days I was a spotter going out to the airport with my mama to watch airplanes land and take off.
Things changed now, also I can't stand to be at the airport without my camera as nearly everytime I am there without my photo gear something interesting is always there and that gets me mad. When I return with my gear it departs off so I miss it.

Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
User currently offlineAndyhunt From Singapore, joined Jan 2001, 1311 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5107 times:

Used to just a spotter, but then one day decided that photography looked like a lot of fun Big grin

Tried then to do both, then ended up trying to organise my pictures like a spotter, and in the end completely gave up and became a 100% photographer early!


Full frame always beats post processing
User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5091 times:

I'm with you Manzoori.

I consider my self an Aviation Photographer and Enthusiast, too. But up at the University of North Dakota we just shorten it down to being an APE.


BTW, there are a couple APEs lurking around campus up here and more to come.

Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
User currently offlinePilothighflyer From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

i would say the best description for myself would be an amateur aviation photographer and an amateur photographer in general
Oh and when i'm flying the airplane i'm the offical inflight photographer Big grin


User currently offlineIgnat From Russia, joined Jan 2002, 54 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

Good question!
I don't know who I am. I collect photos by airplane registrations. But only my photos  Smile

User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 3092 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5066 times:

Which one makes more sense.....

SPOTTER... Investment, 1 Steno Pad, 1 Pencil = $ 2.95

PHOTOGRAPHER...Investment, Many Cameras, Many Lenses = $ 5000.00+

But darn I like photos.


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

I'm a pure planespotter, and only take pictures of what I consider to be rare things. Last time I was in BRU, I took 5 pictures (three from the last RJ flight, and 2 close ups of an MS B743 + MS a/w A321 standing besides eachother).

I plann my trips far in advance, try to see as much different airports as possible, and I'm a pure registration spotter.

In Europe, FRA/LHR/MAN/MUC/FCO/MAD/MS / EHAM), Netherlands">AMS/LGW are the places to be! Big grin


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5050 times:

I consider myself a photographer, and I do not write down regs unless:

1. The angle of my shot doesnt reveal it, this way I can remember
2. I see a plane, don't have my camera, and it piques my curiousity enough to go investigate further...

I had a scanner but its been busted for several years now, and have other things I'd rather spend my money on before I replace it...


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
25 Mia777 : Well I used to be a spotter, I guess. I got frusterated getting pictures rejected and felt like if they couldn't be accepted they must be bad and so I
26 707cmf : I consider myself to be a.... CMF spotter 707
27 F4wso : Definitely a photographer but I appreciate the detail that spotters put into the hobby. The census information that spotters generates is a big help f
28 Cabbott : Hi Guys The word "Planespotter" is a disgusting word to many here who cringe at the thought of being called one. Aviation Enthusiast is a better word
29 Post contains images GKirk : I believe LGW uses a brick when he's at Gatwick...so what that makes him?
30 Maiznblu_757 : I am a bizjet spotter. The write down the numbers. Subscribe to JP Bizjet every year. I am mainly a photographer though.
31 Post contains images A340Spotter : Good discussion as I see a lot of people around here in Houston calling themselves spotters in the local media when all they are are photographers. NO
32 AeroBELG : I have something from both sides... First of all I'm an photographer... and when it turns out (at home) It was the first time I have photographed that
33 MIAMIx707 : when i was a teen I shot a few pics with those grainy 110mm cameras but for some reason I didnt realize things come and go so fast in aviation and I s
34 Post contains images MIAMIx707 : .. also it doesnt interest me to get the whole fleet of an airline.. just having a decent shot of every Airline's aircraft type is what I care for
35 Post contains images Paulc : Both (how sad) - take registrations and also take pictures. Have been 'spotting' since 1980 and taking pics with my own camera since 1984. Both hobbie
36 Daren3006 : A340Spotter...You mention a database that you use to keep track of your spotting. Do you have a specific program that you use as a database? Does anyo
37 Post contains images DavidEHAM : Spotter first of all, it's all about construction numbers! Always write down the flightno. (as heard on the scanner) and time. But I also like to take
38 Ckw : Does anyone in the forum have any specific programs or templates I used to manage my photo collection through an MS Access application, but have since
39 TS : also allows you to add descriptive text as well as offering a very powerful category assignment feature Is this realized through IPTC? Thomas
40 MELflyer : I would call myself a photographer and not a spotter. I do have an interest in aircraft but will not go to the airport if i dont have a camera. Everyo
41 Ckw : Is this realized through IPTC? Hmmm - sort of - Imatch supports IPTC, but isn't dependent on it. Have a look at http://www.photools.com/ Cheers, Colin
42 Post contains images Joge : Both. I try to get as perfect side shots (or a bit from the front) as possible, so the reg would be also visible. Too bad these kind of shots are not
43 Post contains links and images LN-ATC : I log landing and airborne times on aircraft almost every day, I even write down some registrations now and then, and listen to airband! However, I do
44 Unique : I try to get as perfect side shots (or a bit from the front) as possible, so the reg would be also visible. Too bad these kind of shots are not that p
45 Joge : Thanks, Unique. BTW, I may fly over to ZRH in few months or next summer. I'll let you know if so. -Joge
46 Paulc : Daren3006 if you want a programme for spotting and getting regular updates try www.aviationdatabases.co. I use this system as it is very good
47 Post contains images Patroni : Well, I think I definitely am an aviation photographer. I don't care at all about the registrations. When I see them on the photo it is fine, I will t
48 Post contains images Scbriml : I'm really a spotter who also loves to take photos. There's nothing better than spotting at a great airport where it's easy to take photos. Sadly, the
49 PJS800 : I guess I'm both a photographer and an enthusiast, because I enjoy taking pictures of planes and aviation in general. (Even though I don't get to ofte
50 Post contains images Wietse : I agree with the overal sentiment here. We are all great enthousiasts, but not everyone of us is a registration junkie. I started going to the airport
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