Vasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3819 times:
Not sure how much help this is...
But if you want an easy-to-reach place where you can see (usually) runway arrivals (but sometimes departures, depending on runway in use) with food and wifi, try the McDonalds car park near the South Terminal... I usually stop by while I'm navigating the M23
(Warning - 75min max stay, or a hefty fine!)
I also used to walk to one of the ring roads, right at the end of one of the runways... can't remember for the life of me how to get there though! - ???
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7478 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3800 times:
When the wind is from the east the far (west) end of the runway is ideal. There is an emergency gate midway between th (northern) runway that is used as a taxiiway and the main (southerly) runway. While security will not move you on there is nowhere at trhe west end of the runway to park a car. So you need to park on the north verge of the perimeter road on the south side of the airport near to a pub - sorry, I forget its name - and walk between a quarter and half mile. Then you can get good ground to ground photos of departing aircraft as they turn from the taxiway to the runway by poking your lens through quite wide gaps either side of the gate or through the hole for the gate lock.. Alternatively standing on the edge of the field on the other side of the road and a hundred yards to the south you can get good shots of arriving aircraft on finals with the light behind you.
When the wind is in the west the best position ffor photography on a dull day is of aircraft on final approach from an upper floor the southernmost short term car park. However security will move you on from there if they see you. From there you are photographing from the north into the light. So on a sunny day you need to enter the South Terminal, walk across the terminal to its south west corner and go down the stairs to the perimeter road (just where it goes under the terminal). At the bottom of the stairs head straight on in a southerly direction away from the tunnel and then under the final approach path. How far you need to walk depends on the focal length of your lens and sort of shot you want. But there should be no hassle taking photos from the pavement or adjacent grass verge.