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RAF Museum At Cosford - Any Good For Photography  
User currently offlineWoodentom From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 97 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5298 times:

i am thinking of going to the RAF museum at Cosford this weekend and am wondering if it is worth taking the camera? i assume the answer will be yes and if anyone has been then any advice /ideas would be appreciated


5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJez From UK - England, joined Feb 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5282 times:

I went there last month. I found it dark, however, I was not using a tripod and only had the pop-up flash. Quite a few exhibits are in difficult positions and I found myself struggling with an 18mm lens on an APS-C sized sensor. Still worth taking a camera though.

User currently offlineDerekF From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5272 times:

The older halls are OK - highish ISO, tripod or a decent flash and you'll be fine. The Cold War museum is not as good. As a museum it is excellent but as a photography venue it is not so good. The exhibits are a bit crammed and unusually placed.

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Photo © Derek Ferguson

Enjoy your visit. It is a great museum with many rare and unique aircraft. There is nowhere else to see a Victor, Valiant and Vulcan in one place!

User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 840 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5255 times:

Quoting Woodentom (Thread starter):
i am thinking of going to the RAF museum at Cosford this weekend and am wondering if it is worth taking the camera?

Yes, do, is the short answer. But photography is not so easy.

They did not seem to mind the use of tripods last time I went as long as they are sensibly used, but I tend to go when it is very quiet - not during school holidays when lots of people are there. A handy technique for tripods in museums involves not having the legs splayed out where people could trip - people are usually looking at exhibits and may not notice the extent of the tripods legs. It is possible to keep the legs quite vertical and still have enough stability for a shot as you won't be using big heavy lenses, just be careful and sensible. Stand right behind the tripod and people will automatically give you and the kit some 'personal space' - you'll be ready in case the tripod topples too. Use the timer to allow the camera to settle after pressing the shutter button. I find setting an appropriate aperture (higher f number for better depth of field) and letting the camera choose the shutter speed (often a second or more at ISO 100, which I prefer to use despite the longer exposure time) is quite satisfactory and relatively hassle free. I don't use flash in museums like this - you get some awkward reflections off the airframes and uneven lighting - there are ways to use flash for better results and effects, but I've not tried anything in this regard yet.

Same principles will apply if using an SLR or a point and shoot.

The biggest problem was people walking in front of the camera just as the shot was taken. I don't have a problem when this happens - it's digital - it can be deleted and retaken. Often people notice just as the shutter goes off and are very apologetic - I always chuckle, smile and say 'Don't worry, it's digital" and everyone gets along fine. Everyone else has just as much right to be there as I did - it's good to see people taking an interest in the museum. I always let the 'normal' visitors have 'right of way', wait for them to move on and spend the intervening time looking round for the next idea for a shot.

It's a very tricky place for composition - you won't have many options and most have already been covered by photographers here - go have a look in the database, it's generally very samey. You'll get an idea of where others have succeeded and there are some nice angles, but do look out for a possible new approach that everyone else has missed. The Cold War building is superb, but tricky for photography.

It's a good place for a day out - if you have not been before or for a long time - you'll enjoy it! Free entry and parking too.

Best regards,


Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineDendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1732 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5238 times:
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The museum is terrific and free.
Photography is not at all easy but can be managed though a tripod and wide lens is needed for the majority of shots. The compositional angles are very limited as the aircraft are very tightly packed.
A good day out is guaranteed but you will have to work hard for decent photographs of the many magnificent aircraft.
Have fun
Mick Bajcar

User currently offlineWoodentom From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

i went to the museum yesterday and wow, so many aircraft in such a small place!!

there was no chance of picturing any aircraft in solitary and as for the vulcan, valiant and victor, well they are all slotted together like a jigsaw with a canberra hanging above them all.

now for the editing

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