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Recognizing Heat Haze Before You Shoot...  
User currently offlineAirplanenut From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 654 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3597 times:

I spent a lot of time at LAX yesterday, many of them at the Flight Learning Center on Imperial Highway--they just added more hours, and there's a fantastic spot to watch planes outside on the 25s. I could live there.

Anyway, the day was warm (low 80s I'd say [~27C]) and it was noticeably smoggy with partly cloudy skies (it got cloudier later in the afternoon). I could see some heat haze through my lens when shooting across the runways at the planes parked, so I resigned myself to the fact that those shots might not come out. However, when I looked at the shots, I found that nearly all of them were ruined by heat haze--some look almost like oil paintings it was so bad. These included takeoffs, landings, and taxis. This was quite disheartening as I got a lot of shots I'd been waiting a long time for--flexed wing 747's rotating with the tower in the background, Air Pacific and Air Tahiti Nui landing and departing, etc. So in the end, there are a few salvageable shots, but it was pretty disappointing to see the day's pictures.

So in the future, is there a way to tell how close you have to be before the heat haze kicks in? As I mentioned, I could see it myself on the further shots, but not the closer ones. I'd like to go back and recreate the day before I leave (I've got about 2 more weeks in LA) but I'd like to make it a day where the photos come out. Do I need to wait for a clearer day? A cooler day?

Thanks,

Jeremy


Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11268 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3576 times:

Quoting Airplanenut (Thread starter):
So in the future, is there a way to tell how close you have to be before the heat haze kicks in?

I usually look for small lights at the distance to which I will be shooting. Small lights are usually landing lights or sometimes runway lights, etc. If from where I am standing, the lights seem to twinkle like stars, you'll have heat haze. Simple as that.



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User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 64
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3561 times:
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Jeremy

If using a DSLR this is easy to check.

Zoom on in the image and heat blur will be easy to see. I spent Saturday morning at my local last week and being this far north, 75+ degree heat in the morning caused a lot of my images to be blurred. Only off the runway stuff was OK.

Regards

Gary


User currently offlineAirplanenut From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

Gary,

I did see it really clearly on the further stuff, but not on the shots of planes on the runway (or on the even nearer taxiway). Some of the airborne shots were hazed, too, but at least a few of those should be rescuable. Looks like I need to come back in the winter!

Jeremy



Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3533 times:
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Jeremy

I haven't photographed a lot this Summer. I prefer Winter.

Roll on early mornings in December!

Regards

Gary


User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11268 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3530 times:

Quoting Airplanenut (Reply 3):
Looks like I need to come back in the winter!

Don't wait until winter. You can have the same problem in winter as you can in summer. Example: this was shot on a 0*Fahrenheit day in Detroit.

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[Edited 2006-07-21 21:24:27]


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User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

Having been to that spot I know exactly what you are talking about. The shooting in winter is much better, especially in the morning and evening. If you have a digital camera zoom in as much as possible and look at cheat lines. If they look like waves you have problems!  Wink One thing I have noticed at that spot is wind from the ocean helps. If there is a 15kt breeze the heat haze is pretty much gone.
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Photo © Matthew Wallman


-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlineGust From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 148 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

Hi,

Some heat haze looks funny


grt,


User currently onlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3488 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 5):
Don't wait until winter. You can have the same problem in winter as you can in summer

 checkmark 

I was shooting at IGM one day it was 40 Degrees F and I had to wear a wool hat cause of the wind and there was still heat haze up the wazoo.


User currently offlineAirplanenut From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3471 times:

Matt,

I had a shot of the Air Pacific just like yours... except the flaps were full blown down... just barely missing the ground. And there's a tropical scene painted on the side of the plane. I *might* be able to salvage one shot if I make it small enough... I hope  Sad

Oh well... I'll look at the weather and try to spend another day or two there. Heck, I only took 1030 shots, and some of them, at least, came out  Smile



Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3415 times:

Quoting Airplanenut (Thread starter):
is there a way to tell how close you have to be before the heat haze kicks in?

Heat haze kicks in when a hot body  Wink is radiating heat to the surroundings; main factor for it to appear is a big temperature gradient or difference. As others said it can appear during cold days (if the temperature difference between runway and surrounding air is big enough). I guess your best bet is to go shooting early morning before the runway/ramp gets heated by the sun.

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 64
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3398 times:
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Hi all

Quoting D L X (Reply 5):
Don't wait until winter. You can have the same problem in winter as you can in summer

I don't have that problem in Winter at all. Very cold frosty mornings are best.

Regards

Gary


User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3392 times:

Quoting Granite (Reply 11):
I don't have that problem in Winter at all

Not many sunny days during winter up there, right?  Wink

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3388 times:
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J

Quoting Javibi (Reply 12):
Not many sunny days during winter up there, right?

Wrong, we do get lot's of sunny Winter mornings. November and December is best.

Regards

Gary


User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3353 times:

Quoting Granite (Reply 13):
we do get lot's of sunny Winter mornings

Environmentalists must be right then, climate is not what it used to be...

@Jeremy: you might as well move to sunny Scotland during Winter  Wink

Cheers

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently onlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3331 times:

Quoting Granite (Reply 11):
I don't have that problem in Winter at all. Very cold frosty mornings are best

Isn't that the truth! Florian Look at the detail on the white fuselage! Cold crisp weather!


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User currently offlineTonyosborne From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 62 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Heat Haze is worst when you get an area of concrete between you and your subject, if there is a taxyway or even a runway in front of you then the subject is behind that, kiss goodbye to your pictures...


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 64
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3291 times:
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Hi all

Photographed at 400mm:

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Photo © Gary Watt - AirTeamImages


No chance of an image like that in Summer from the same spot.

Regards

Gary


User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3254 times:

Maybe a dumb question: Does wind have any influence on heat haze?


II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineWakeTurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3242 times:

Yes it does Sleekjet. The more surface wind the better, on a day with heat haze.
-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently offlineAirplanenut From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3241 times:

What about humidity? Can that affect heat haze at all?


Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
User currently offlineCO777 From South Africa, joined Apr 2000, 261 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3237 times:
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Hi everyone,what can cause heat haze in the wintertime even when it is below 32.I had that happened to me one winter day in Reno last year.It was 20 degrees.
Jason Whitebird


User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 42
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 23 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

Quoting CO777 (Reply 21):
what can cause heat haze in the wintertime even when it is below 32

Answer:

Quoting Javibi (Reply 10):
main factor for it to appear is a big temperature gradient or difference. As others said it can appear during cold days (if the temperature difference between runway and surrounding air is big enough).

...though Gary would probably disagree...

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 64
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 23 hours ago) and read 3214 times:
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Jav

Quoting Javibi (Reply 22):
...though Gary would probably disagree...

Nope, don't disagree at all.

Regards

Gary


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