Riley From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 173 posts, RR: 48 Posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 5000 times:
One year has passed and I've done my hours here at DFW, traveled a bit to ATL, LAX, and MIA, and plan to do more of that. But what's next? I've totally overshot DFW. Every aircraft, every airline, and some surprises mixed in. Sure I can make my weekly (sometimes daily) visits out to 6 or 7 tried and true spots, but there's nothing left to do. I would need spectacular things to occur before my eyes to get something different. The odds of that are slim.
I was talking to a fellow photographer at DFW Monday night about being bored out of my mind with the usual DFW stuff. There are days when I rarely even get out of the truck. I have these images in my mind of what I want to accomplish, but it aint gonna happen at DFW. I need something different to keep me driven. Sam said it best in the caption of this image:
Indeed. "Closer to the Real Aviation Photography I am Looking for..."
My reason for this post is to find out from everyone what they do when they find themselves searching for that ever elusive killer image. I'm not talking about cockpits shots, cabin views, airport overviews, and the like. I'm talking about pure, one of a kind captures that cannot be duplicated. Sitting by the fence at DFW is not the answer.
I'm looking for input from all you veterans about where on this planet I need to be and at what times of the year. I realize luck will play its part. I have three weeks vacation this year and want to use it wisely. To increase my odds of getting better images into my camera I need to be at the right places at the right times. My worst fear is to travel halfway around the world for a point-and-shoot session.
You guys tell me about your dream shots and where and when they would happen. I'm anxious to get started making plans for a few trips.
Please e-mail me through messaging if you have more in-depth specifics.
Futterman From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1301 posts, RR: 41
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4957 times:
Ryan, however monotonous and boring you think your shots may be, I beg to differ. But, I can sympathize with you in regards to the fact that it can get obscenely tedious and boring.
It happens everywhere; when I picked up my C740 last August, I went out to LGA and shot everything in sight. Common mistake, and all too soon I became frustrated with the lack of diverse traffic and opportunities. Even from just a spotting point of view, things became very slow.
Now, I'm anything but the veteran you may be seeking input from, but it's all the same. I've hardly (actually, never) traveled soley to spot--still hanging on a DSLR. But, just one day, I'm walking through LGA's Central Terminal Building...and BAM! Got this:
Now, I love this shot. I think it was perfect timing, and one of a kind. Personal favorite. May not be anything special, but after I got this, I thought to myself, "Hey, this 'aint so bad."
You can travel to great places like LAX and MIA, or even AMS and SYD, and come away with fantastic results that are nothing new to this site. Or, you can put a little (more) elbow grease into it and get out at the crack of dawn--as those recent AMS shots have proven. Sunsets and condensation seem to be not only popular, but the epitome of what spotting is as referenced by you and in Sam's shot. That's the element of luck. Frame the shot in your mind, though, and run around like a madman until you get it. Regardless of how long it takes, just seeking for that ultimate photo will probably slap some more stamina on 'ya. I know I have a whole set of shots I want to get already set up in my mind, and I can't wait to nail them with some new equipment. Not going to say what they are...don't know who may be reading this!
Bring a buddy, too. It could get awfully lonely. And, try to build up your contacts and connections. Once ANYbody gets ramp access, I'm sure the 10D's 9 shot buffer would be...well, inadequate.
G'luck. Keep us posted.
PS: You said it yourself in your signature. "Insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting a different result."
N317AS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4936 times:
Try going to airshows. I know I get bored at SEA with WN and AS and NW every hour. So I either go to Moses Lake and watch C-17s shoot T&Gs or wait for the nearest airshow to come up. The Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and Snowbirds never fail to get things revved up.
Other than that, try DFW in a rain storm. Water on runways can do awesome stuff for photos.
Bigphilnyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4077 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4890 times:
I remember about a year ago, I was standing at a bus stop on my way home in the evening after school, right under the Rwy 31 approach at LGA> Planes were landing on Localizer 31, making them come straight in form miles back.
It was Mid-June, and the sun was setting as far north as possible, with Rwy 31 traffic almsot landing right into it.
I remember hearing a plane coming, and as it appeared over a building right above me, I saw a beautiful show of glare fromt he lowered flaps and a glow that I've yet to see on Anet.
I plan on recreating this this month.
The sun is what our pictures are about. Whether its a sunset or jsut good lighting, or even condensation, it's the sun that creates effects that we love. There are a million thigns to do with the sun alone to make a neverending flow of possible shots.
It's all about the sun. And I understand there is plenty of it in Texas.
Good luck Ryan. If there is anyone one here that can invent new motivs, it's you.
Bruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5068 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4855 times:
Another idea is to go outside of the Dallas metro and explore around some of the GA airports, the little tiny ones. Always lots of variety in single engine props and other stuff. and there are dozens of little airstrips in those little towns.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
Rotate From Switzerland, joined Feb 2003, 1491 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 4813 times:
jep, Peter , u r right .... , I also love those kind of shots ..... , what I ve experienced lately, that I have fallen in love with action close ups eg cockpit closeups, where u can see the crew, doing their job on approach ....
Joge From Finland, joined Feb 2000, 1444 posts, RR: 38
Reply 13, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4755 times:
If you want something different, I would suggest forgetting about LHR and AMS and other airports like that. Go to the smaller airports (or even airfields?) and try something totally new. Maybe something like DAL (I suppose you have been there, though)?
Have you taken a look on other airport at Dallas area? As we were doing last year some touch-and-go's, I saw FedEx planes on more than only one of those airports. All the other traffic was mainly GA (like Bruce said already).
On minor airports, you won't have a problem with point n' shoot. Waiting for a plane for a half an hour or even an hour... Requires you to have along at least one friend to chat with, though, unless if you really think you can't get that bored.
Like Will mentioned, DUB can be worth of a spotting trip. I was there two weeks ago and got something never even heard about before!
Try to take a look on some random pictures here at A.net and I'm quite sure you'll get some kind of an idea where to go to. Now you have to ask yourself what else you want, just that nice angle for the pictures, lots of planes or just some really exotic birds.
Thomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4099 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 4712 times:
I realize what I am about to say may be considered heresy on this forum, however have you thought about taking a hiatus from aviation shooting for say a few months? Like DFW, IAH can become tedious and monotous at times and I find that taking a break from aviation photography seems to help and often I come back with a renewed vigor and new photo possibilities dancing in my little cranium. You are suffering from what all creative individuals go through from time to time and that is the classic 'creative block'. If your interest in photography extends beyond aviation then go out and hone you photographic technique on a different subject matter, whatever gets your juices flowing. Just take a breather from DFW (or any major airport for that matter) put your creative energies elsewhere for a while. You might be pleasently surprised how your aviation photography just may change as a result.
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (10 years 11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4574 times:
I agree, to some extent, with Thomas. Look for other things to shoot. I have pretty much burned myself out of shooting at SAN. (Same old Southwest/AA/Delta/Southwest/Southwest/Southwest....lack of interesting places to view from...) I shoot lots at local GA airports which demands lots of patience, but can be very rewarding. I have also begun to look seriously at some nature stuff...(Think the Blue Angels are tough, try a hummingbird! Damn they are fast!)
Sometimes I think we get tied into the "Anet" mold, and shoot just what will meet the needs of this website, thereby forgetting our other abilities. (After watching a guy charge high school students a ton of money for team photos at one of my kid's competions where he litterally stood the team up against a blank wall in direct sun...I figured I could do better and have had a blast taking sports action photos...now it is portraits.) The point being that there are many things to challange yourself with out there, and by learning some of the flash techniques and low light stuff in a gym, I am a better aviation photographer.
Riley From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 173 posts, RR: 48
Reply 17, posted (10 years 11 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4453 times:
Futt, Bill, Bruce, Bronko, Phil, Eric, Peter, Robin, Will, Joge, Thomas, and Tony... Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it.
I've given this a lot more thought since my original post and have come up with a few ideas. I'm just kind of in a rut right now with the "creative block" thing. It's definitely not the photography element that I'm having a problem with. I just seem unmotivated at the moment with the same old images.
I have many opportunities for weather related images including rain shots like this recent reject: http://airliners.net/procphotos/rejphoto.main?filename=aa757012404b.jpg
I've submitted quite a few similar images but they all get kicked backed as badsoft. The rain makes it difficult to nail a pin sharp image, but I'll keep trying. I feel like there's great potential with these types of shots, but I've gotta polish my technique. I'll make that a priority.
My only air show so far was the local one in Fort Worth last fall, but I was dark-sided the whole afternoon with no chance for success. This year I'll scout out some spots before I attend.
Night shots are also on my list. I've already got some ideas. Need to get out and experiment. I like the main gear shots as well and have already done a few with mixed results. Motion blur - been there done it.
You will probably see fewer images from me over the next several months as I sort out what I want to accomplish and make travel plans with my 3 weeks, which will probably not be until fall. I'll still hang at DFW, but patience is already required for attendance there anyway. I'll just be more picky with my shots and watch for more meaningful opportunities. I'll also continue to pursue the AA T7 fleet, I've got 6 left.
Tomorrow is a new day and I'll be dreaming up new shots as usual...