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Heat Haze Avoidance  
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1690 posts, RR: 2
Posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2415 times:

This is my first year that I've been avidly shooting airliner pix (I got my Digital Rebel in December) and I'm having a real bear of a time with heat haze. Now, I know the conventional answer to avoiding this condition is to avoid shooting when it's hot. Photography on sunny, hot days between around 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. has obviously caused me a good bit of grief, but this is to be expected. However, a whole batch of shots I took recently at Bradley Airport in Connecticut came out horribly from heat haze - and these were taken at around 10 a.m. on a day that wasn't really all that hot, around 65 degrees F or so with some clouds. I've had heat haze ruin pictures when it was 20 degrees F outside. I have a Canon 75-300mm IS zoom, and the magnification really seems to intensify the heat haze effect. I've even had aerial shots destroyed by the effect - I stood in a parking lot near JFK to shoot Runway 13L arrivals a few weeks ago, and the heat haze was ridiculous. Other than to restrict my photography to very early morning or very late afternoon hours, are there any tips to avoiding this condition?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 769 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2390 times:

As has been pointed out before, its not the air temperature that's critical, its the difference between the ground and the air - eg. tarmac, absorbing the suns energy will heat up rapidly generating heat distortion in the surrounding air.

Yes, telephoto lens will intensify the effect - no way around it.

Avoidance - condition is worse on still days - a stiff breeze helps disipate the effect.

Try and minimise the amount of tarmac between you and your subject ... the middle of a parking lot sounds like the worst possible location  Smile

If you can find a grassy field and not have to shoot across any taxi ways I think you'll have a lot more success.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineIL76 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2004, 2239 posts, RR: 48
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2389 times:

Well... I always go home when I encounter heat-haze, but I live very near the airport.  Smile The best way to get rid of it is by using as little zoom as possible. It's not as apparant then. And perhaps you can shoot planes on approach so you won't get the heat from the tarmac. (although heathaze will still be there, but less strong)
Eduard


User currently offlineTS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2369 times:

John, you have my sympathies ... plenty of heat haze here as well. As Colin said, the more wind the less likely is heat haze. I also like to shoot in the very early morning when the sunrays aren't too bright yet & in the last hour before sunset (& of course afterwards). Of course you'll need much higher ISO speeds &/or an IS.

Thomas


User currently offlineBronko From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 810 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2354 times:

If the aircraft is moving, why not practice your slow shutter speed motion blur shots? Since the subject is moving, the heat haze should be blurred like the rest of the background and foreground.

Anyone else tried this to combat heat haze?



Jet City Aviation Photography
User currently offlineTS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2349 times:

If the aircraft is moving, why not practice your slow shutter speed motion blur shots? Since the subject is moving, the heat haze should be blurred like the rest of the background and foreground.
Interesting suggestion ... I have to try that out next time.


User currently offlineQantas077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5869 posts, RR: 39
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2311 times:

recently had Glenn Stewart over and took him out on a rather warm 42C day, he fully learnt the meaning of heat haze when he came to Perth, seriously here in Perth you can't even get final approach shots due to the intense heat haze! it starts at about 7am here in summer and usually sticks around the whole day!  Sad

in cooler months here it's just as bad, 16C day with sun will still produce enough heat haze to ruin your photos, i just try to avoid it all together by staying home or go and shoot between 5:30-8:00 am.



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlineGlennstewart From Australia, joined Jun 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2290 times:

Thanks Monty.... Yes, Perth has my emphathy for terrible heat haze.

With regards to heat haze, the suggestions above are fantastic. I have little more to add.
I often resort to shooting aircraft already departing. The further they are from the tarmac, the better.

I'm thankful it's close to winter here in Sydney at moment.

Regards,

Glenn



Respected users.... If my replies are useful, then by all means...
User currently offlineRiley From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 173 posts, RR: 49
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2291 times:

I have noticed here at DFW that the temperature inversion (heat haze) is also much worse when the humidity is high or the ground around the runways is wet or saturated. I see this effect all the time, even on cloudy days. In fact, most days here are useless as far as runway arrival and departure images. As a general rule, the inversion will stabilize late in the day after the ground and air temps have equalized, however, with high humidity the problem will sometimes persist until sunset.

Good luck figuring out how to deal with it...

RyanU



User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1690 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2238 times:

As always, thanks. Looks like I need low humidity and some wind for my problems.

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