JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1620 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4788 times:
Time of day is the key - ~90 minutes or so before sunrise or sunset is your best bet in a location with bright sun exposure. A badly heat-hazed shot can' t be salvaged by Photoshop, unfortunately. They're not as interesting as ground shots, but overhead shots are normally not as affected by heat haze as ground shots and can help to fill up your time while you're waiting for the sweet light period. Just make sure you're not standing on an asphalt parking lot or other material that could be generating heat haze itself. About the only other thing I can recommend is to get close to your subject - a shot at 28mm is far less likely to be heat-hazed than one at 250mm.
There are other factors, too - make sure you're not shooting through the exhaust of waiting aircraft, or through APU exhaust, as that will give you some unexpected heat haze.
It's a bad problem, and I've often wondered how people with 400mm+ lenses avoid atmospheric blemishes as the problem only gets worse the tighter your zoom.
Moose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2009 posts, RR: 12 Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4774 times:
Let me add to the good points JohnJ makes. Some will tell you (jokingly) "Don't shoot in hot weather", but that's not always the case. It's not the temperature that causes heat haze, but rather the temperature difference between the air and the surface. A couple of weeks ago, when I was shooting the US A320 in the Hudson River, I ended up with significant heat haze when shooting across the river from Jersey City. It was 15F air temperature, but the water was around 35F, and with that difference, there was heat haze coming off the river.
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1620 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4724 times:
Absolutely what Moose135 says - I took a winter trek up to Providence in my early days of aviation photography and froze my butt off. I was amazed and confused when I got home and found very little usable from what I'd shot, account the heat haze. Bright, shimmering sun is bad news no matter what time of year as there will almost always be the temperature differential Moose talks about. Interestingly, I don't know if it's just my imagination but it seems that wind to some degree seems to abate the heat haze effect. I've even gotten heat haze while shooting over water in Boston in late spring.
Fly747 From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1497 posts, RR: 10 Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4706 times:
Quoting JohnJ (Reply 3): I don't know if it's just my imagination but it seems that wind to some degree seems to abate the heat haze effect.
Wind does seem to help. Here in YEG we have to fight the heat haze all year round - summertime when it's +30°C (86°F) or winter when it's -30°C (-22°F).
It gets annoying but when it's really bad I just don't shoot any ground shot.
Sovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2339 posts, RR: 14 Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4688 times:
I once tried shooting from inside my car because it was extremely cold. After taking some photos and reviewing them, I saw they were very badly distorted. Apparently sitting in your warm car and shooting through an open window is a bad idea because the hot air from inside creates a lot of heat haze . On the other hand it can probably work in the summer, though I haven't tried it.
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1620 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4672 times:
Also on the car note, when I do the old "dash and grab" technique where I jump out of the car quickly and grab a shot, if I'm going to be in front of the car I'll shut off the engine, as that generates a fair amount of heat and can cause problems if you're shooting over the hood.
F4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 13 Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4655 times:
Amen to what is said above. When photographing from the parking garage, I have to be wary of heat off of the terminal roofs, especially near vents. I was photographing out the open car window the other day. Shutting off the engine and heater kept the heated air from billowing out window around the camera lens and kept the camera/lens at a fairly constant temperature.
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
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Bistro1200 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 337 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4652 times:
Remember you are shooting *through* heat haze, so light from the aircraft has to travel through that soup until it gets to your camera. Closer and higher angle is better in that case, since heat haze is caused by the differential temperatures close to the ground.
Measure to the millimeter, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.