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Taking Pictures In Cockpits....  
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5266 times:

Hi all,
now, this one is a special questions for all the pilots and frequent jump seat users:

I´d like to hear your comments on two kinds of shots:

First, what are your preferences for nightime, inflight Cockpit shots?
Like: shutter speed, ISO, do you use a tripod, flash....

Second: How do you shoot through the cockpit glass?
How do you get rid of reflections,white balance, use of filters, etc...

Have you noticed any difference in glass quality on different aircraft types...?

My little CRJswindows actually suck and i´m having quite a hard time to get
good quality for any shot above 70mm... banghead 

Please share your Thoughts,

TIA

Denis


That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAnder From Spain, joined Jan 2005, 367 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5240 times:

Hi Denis,
I've tried both on night shots, high ISO and flash.
I believe the flash with a steady hand gives a better result.
I have a have a 580ex speedlite which I can point backwards and get the panels lit up by the bouncing light (direct flash is too strong). I wish I could take my tripod, but for now it is too heavy and bulky so I use the head rest on my seat or try to work out something else. I've heard Manfrotto have a "magic arm" which can be folded and think that should be a good idea.
Shooting at high ISO gives a more realistic view, but the shot always appears a bit grainy.
As for the cockpit windows..... WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!!. Shooting good quality at 400mm is virtually impossible. You always need to reduce the focal length.
I wonder how Bailey does it....?:-l

Ander



Born to tri.
User currently offlineIL76 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2004, 2239 posts, RR: 48
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5236 times:

I had a jumpseat ride recently, my first one with a camera. Unfortunately I didn't have any practice time as you don't get to do this very often (or ever). The pilots kindly asked me not to use flash, so that ruled out any fill-flash.   So most my pictures were taken with 1/20s at ISO200 or 400 and you can imagine most coming out blurry/grainy. Pictures during taxi, takoff roll or turbulence were out of the question. And outside was almost always overexposed (obviously).

Screwing on the 100-400mm and shooting "Bailey/Tripiet"-like shots is bloody difficult. Not only do you have to be lucky to see any traffic at all, they also go very fast and if you're not in the captain's or FO's seat (=close to the window) the glass will prevent you to take any sharp shots. Autofocus is also not working properly... It's get confused all the time. So manual focus and very close to the window if you can.

Good luck.
Cheers,
Eduard

Edit: Denis, I only just realise you are a pilot... That should take away some of the barriers I described above. You can flash as much as you want! (unless you have an annoyed colleague)  Smile

[Edited 2005-08-24 14:18:30]

User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5228 times:

Ander,

interesting to hear that the A340s windows are bad as well...
You´re flying 340, right?
I just bought a Manfrotto 190PROB with Joystick Head and i´m pretty happy about it, but in a CRJ cockpit everything is bulky...

I´m wondering about Baileys (and other Photogs) shot, too,

I mean, i was absolutely shocked by this one from Ismael Jorda:


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Photo © Ismael Jorda



That quality is absolutly amazing and impossible to reach for me.
Unless i am doing something wrong...

PS:
Do you have your settings for this one present?


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ander Aguirre



best regards, Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineMario340 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5197 times:

Hi Denis,

we all ("pilots and frequent jump seat users"  Smile) know that it is very difficult to take pictures inside the cockpit. Indeed, it's kind of tricky. If you don't have too much luggage with you take a tripod or at least a monopod with you.
For these shots I was using a monopod:

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Photo © Mario Aurich
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Photo © Mario Aurich


It can help you a lot and it's not as heavy as a tripod.

shutter speed: just try it. Sometimes it comes out well with 1/2, sometimes with 3 seconds during the night. For shots during the day it's not difficult. It really depends on the light conditions, the ISO and even on the color of the interior.
ISO: not more then 400.
flash: I never use a flash for cockpit shots.

For shots through the window there's just one thing you can do: take a lot of pictures and hope that one is good enough.  Wink
It is possible to get good results. This one I took with my 100-400.

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Photo © Mario Aurich



Denis, I hope I will meet you in the next future finally. I'm the guy with the heavy camera bag and the tri-/monopod.  Wink See you at our FOC,
Mario



Lufthansa, there's no better way to fly.
User currently offlineAnder From Spain, joined Jan 2005, 367 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5187 times:

Nice picture of BIO (my hometown) by Ismael.
Denis, the settings for that pic are:

ISO 400
F 4.0
1/4 sec exp.
exp comp -1/3
580ex flash (I can't find the settings for the flash
but I recall I set it to minimum output)
Handheld
Canon 17-85 lens
IS ON


Good luck.
Ander



Born to tri.
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

Quoting Mario340 (Reply 4):

Denis, I hope I will meet you in the next future finally. I'm the guy with the heavy camera bag and the tri-/monopod. Wink See you at our FOC,

Well, Mario, so am i....

Yeah, hope to meet you sometime... We should work something out.

BTW: Do you carry your Tri/Monopod in your handluggage?
I used to carry a small one with me, until i had some very annoying situations at the security check in STR...An on duty First Officer apparently can´t be trusted....

Denis

[Edited 2005-08-24 15:47:58]


That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineASalo From Finland, joined Aug 2004, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5112 times:

I'm really not a big fan of using flash when it comes to cockpit photos. Why?

- When shooting in-flight, it can disturb the pilots.
- Unless you bounce it off the ceiling (which isn't possible if you don't have an external flash), it can cause those annoying reflections off panels/screens.
- In a glass cockpit, unless you use a slow shutter speed, the screens will end up dark or totally black. To me, a cockpit photo with blackened screens is kind of like a sideshot with the plane's nose cut off.
- Even if reflections and black screens are avoided, flash can sometimes spoil the whole feeling of a cockpit photo. Mainly when shooting at dark. An airliner cockpit at dark is simply one of the most beautiful environments I know of, and in my opinion it just needs to be shot in ambient light.

So I'm not really scared of lifting the ISO number if needed. If possible, a monopod or tripod is really helpful. Sometimes you'll just have trouble with getting one of those past security.

And I'm not totally against using flash. In some cases, for example if you want to get something relevant outside the aircraft exposed, flash can work just fine. For example:


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Photo © Serge Bailleul - AirTeamImages



Antti

P.S.
Mario, that N.Y. Apporach shot of yours is just fabulous. One of my favourite cockpit photos on this site!


User currently offlineGmidy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5050 times:

Could someone tell me how-to get a jumpseat ride then i'll tell you how to do it. :p


Lawrence
User currently offlineMario340 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5023 times:

@ Denis

Quoting Beechcraft (Reply 6):
Do you carry your Tri/Monopod in your handluggage?

I have a special tripod bag. No problems with it abroad. Just one day I had to go through passenger security check in MUC. I was wearing my uniform. The Lady there told me that the tripod is not allowed as hand luggage. I have to check it in. I said it doesn't make any sense because I wanna use it during the flight. I told her that there are a lot of things in an aircraft which looks more dangerous then my tripod. And I know where they are located.  Wink
Well, I had my tripod with me during this flight.  Smile

@ Antti
Thank you very much for the kind words.  Smile



Lufthansa, there's no better way to fly.
User currently onlineN178UA From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1713 posts, RR: 65
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4967 times:
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Hi Denis

Get a SB800 (i think thats the model of the latest fill flash from nikon, the most powerful one too!). It is auto and very easy to use. I never read the menus. You get perfectly exposed inside and outside pic.

I didn't have a fill flash on a recent trip onboard a L1011 jumpseat, try to meter the "semi" area, near the window between light and dark, you may get a good reading can compensate both of the light outside and dark inside area...I've learned this from Peter Fagerstorm FAP. You may want to email him as he is an expert. (he use fill flash). Also not to forget using the highlight/shadow tool in CS when editing. It will bring a lot of details back!

Sam


User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4931 times:

Mario,
I was checked at the Crew Security "Container" in STR (maybe you know it).
I had a 45 min discussion with the guys there resulting in nothing but BS...

Anyway, you can read about it here:
http://www.airliners.net/discussions...ation_photography/read.main/160411

Back to Topic:

Thanks for the input so far:
Sam, i have the SB 600 from Nikon, it´s not quite as powerful, but i should work for the cockpit.
Also i´m able to control it wireless, which is a pretty nice feature and i will try it out one my next night flights.
I´ll tell the Cpt. to wear his sunglasses.... Smile
I´m pretty sure, however, that i won´t be able to get a sharp picture at 1/4s handheld without a tripod or IS/VR, so i guess i will try to set up my tripod in our small cockpit...
let´s see how that works.

On the shooting through cockpit windows issue, do you think a polarized filter would help to get better results?
I´m thinking that a lot of the distortion i get, comes from the multiple layer window glass itself. On some aircraft you can see the Approach lighting system almost twice! I gues i´ll just take that filter from a friend and play around with it as well, next time...

BTW, this the reflection, i´m talking about:
http://www.leveloff.de/franight.JPG

i think there is some "normal" lens reflection in it as well, but the double Runway light e.g. can be seen without a camera...

regards,

Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineDcrusafon From Spain, joined Apr 2004, 333 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4865 times:

Hello Denis,

I sometimes have some jumpseat ride and I really love the night shots...I use to use a Manfrotto Magic Arm from another a.net member  Wink and the results are really good!


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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters



In these shot, I use to use a higher ISO (around 1250) and try to have the aperture around F8 so you don't get the overhead panel blurry.

From the cockpit glass, I have no idea...I remember last december I got a christmas gift  Wink A Disney Air Europa plane....I think I shot him 50 times...and the "trick" was to have the lense perpendicular to the cockpit glass.


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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters



For day shots, I have no idea as I still don't understand how to use the flash Big grin


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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters



ABout the tripood in STR, I also had the same problem with the security: I had to check it!!!! I remember I told you that a few monthes ago (DEC04)

Good luck  Smile

DARIO


User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4853 times:

Dario,


Quoting Dcrusafon (Reply 12):
..I use to use a Manfrotto Magic Arm from another a.net member Wink and the results are really good!

This might be a stupid question, but how exactly do you use the magic arm, what is it´s advantage? Isn´t it just a differnet kind of tripod head?
Is it better for stabilizing?

Thanks for clarification,

Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4848 times:

Denis,

the reflection you are talking about it is more than normal. Colin K. Work had a very good and detailed explanation for it. Maybe you'll find it somewhere. It should be under archieved threads.

I am no expert in jump seat or night shots, but I do have a very steady hand......
Back in the old days, I was able to get shots like these even without a digital camera shot at ISO 100. It sure is not the same quality as a Canon at ISO 1600 but for the time it was good enough for me. Handheld with a 17-35mm lens and Nikon F100.

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Photo © Vasco Garcia



Mario, those flight deck shots of yours are getting better and better. Seems that your are getting the hang of it. The other shots displayed are very nice as well.

I normally shot A prio and sometimes even full manual to play around with the exposure.

Denis you have to look at it like this:
By the time you have turned 40 you probably have mastered shooting inside the cockpit and thru the windows. Trial and error.............................

Vasco G.


User currently offlineDcrusafon From Spain, joined Apr 2004, 333 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4834 times:

Denis,

You can hold the camera in any place in the cockpit...In the back of your seat, next to the jumpseat...

Here is a link to one page with a pic from the magic arm http://www.foto-mueller.at/shop/pd1523335406.html?categoryId=88

Send me an email using the interface and I will so you a pic with the magic arm installed  Wink

Bgrds,

DARIO


User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

Thank you guys for all the comments,
i´ll keep them in mind and will try get some good shots.

Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 14):
Denis you have to look at it like this:
By the time you have turned 40 you probably have mastered shooting inside the cockpit and thru the windows. Trial and error.............................

...great Vasco, only 14 more years to go... Smile
...and with with my current rejection rate i´m beginning to think that the trial and error method was especially invented for me! Nevertheless, i´ll stick to it.

Oh, by the way, i´m thinking about buying that 12-24mm Nikkor lens, any thoughts on that?

best regards,

Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4723 times:

Quoting Beechcraft (Reply 16):
Oh, by the way, i´m thinking about buying that 12-24mm Nikkor lens, any thoughts on that?

Go for it! Lovely lens.



what seems to be the officer, problem?
User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 41
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4654 times:

Quoting Beechcraft (Reply 11):
I�m pretty sure, however, that i won�t be able to get a sharp picture at 1/4s handheld without a tripod or IS/VR

I do have a steady hand but I also shoot a burst of frames to give myself more chances, I am surprised nobody mentioned this "trick"...

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4601 times:

Javier,
that is the trick, i am using as well, most of the time. however the best results i came up with (shooting approaches at night) are these two:

i know they are far away from being perfect, anyway: what do you think?


i took this one during an overhead crossing of FRA, moving to the left, which didn´t make things easier...
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/franight1denis.jpg


This is an approach into AMS RWY 06 at night
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/ams06denis2.jpg



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

I'm loving that AMS approach shot!


what seems to be the officer, problem?
User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 41
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4594 times:

Quoting Beechcraft (Reply 19):
what do you think?

You are trying to accomplish the (almost) impossible!!  Smile

FRA looks too dark and too blurry, sorry! AMS on the other hand is pretty sharp, I like the composition, I think it stands a good chance (but do not forget I am no screener), it looks awesome IMHO!!

And BTW, when I mentioned a burst of frames I was referring to inside cockpit shots  Wink

Cheers

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4588 times:

Hm, yes you´re right about the FRA photo, but i just couldn´t resist...
I think you´re probably right to call it almost impossible, as we were moving 90* away from the airport, at something around 250 knots GS, it was a amazing view,though and i just tried it)
It´s waiting to be screened by Johan or the Head Screeners right now, let´s see how that turns out..(although i already can guess...)  brokenheart 
However i´ll keep on trying these kind of shots during the wintertime.

Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineBeechcraft From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 828 posts, RR: 41
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4479 times:

Wohoo!
The AMS photo made it! Thanks to the screeners!!

Self plug, watch out:


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Photo © Denis Roschlau



Denis



That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
User currently offlineIL76 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2004, 2239 posts, RR: 48
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4474 times:

Denis...
That will be top of the day. Mark my words.  Smile
Cheers,
Eduard


25 Post contains images FL350 : Congrats Denis superb shot By the way can you share the info on the AMS shot (Iso, f/, 1/..., focal length) and did you use tripod or Magic arm? Thanx
26 Beechcraft : Thank you Eduard and Fabrice, I´m not at home right now, Fabrice, but the shot was taken with my 70-200mm lens with f2.8 and a 1/15s, if i remember c
27 ChrisH : Screeners did the right thing! Did you shoot from the jumpseat? Or were you at the controls and shooting at the same time? =)
28 INNflight : Excellent photo Denis! Very sharp, congratulations! Please keep these kind of shots coming! Just superb.
29 Beechcraft : Chris, This picture was taken from CM2 seat. I put a comment below the picture, that explains how... regards, Denis
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