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In Air Or On The Ground?  
User currently offlineyerbol From Kazakhstan, joined Feb 2010, 286 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3289 times:

During one of my visits to airliners.net I've noticed that most of the photos taken "In sky" rather than "On groung".
I think if you far from the runway you'll do more "In sky" and obviously opposite with closer access to runway or terminal.
What is your opinion?

With best regards from Almaty
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2962 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3272 times:

It's really a preference of what type of photo you prefer to take and what is possible from the location you are in, and the lighting (weather) you have to work with. In my opinion, aircraft are best captured doing what they are designed to do, flying. While shots on the ground are interesting and to a certain extent, easier to master, the challange of capturing a fast moving aircraft at the point of touchdown or rotation is where my interest lies and give a sense of action and satisfaction when your planning comes together.


Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 5057 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3270 times:

The reasoning for this is that on-ground photos at long ranges more easily suffer heat-haze. While really close up ones don't.

I think that's what you are referring to - rather than the people with expendable income who pay for flights over the airport every weekend, or have the ATC tower on speed-dial.

I prefer on ground photos without any sky in the background, those can be more interesting.

Not only is it more interesting, but dust spots are less of a hassle.

User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 12134 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3245 times:

Without bothering to actually count, I'd wager that about half my shots are airplanes on the ground, and half are airplanes flying.

Even when they're flying, I like capturing takeoffs with an interesting background, for instance, buildings, control tower, other airplanes, what-have-you. An airplane against a plain blue sky doesn't do much for me, but it's great practice.

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):
While shots on the ground are interesting and to a certain extent, easier to master, the challange of capturing a fast moving aircraft at the point of touchdown or rotation is where my interest lies and give a sense of action and satisfaction when your planning comes together.

I agree about the takeoff/landing part - that's what I like as well. However, I find that shots against a blue sky (or any sky) are generally much easier and less time-consuming to edit.

I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 5071 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3188 times:

I like taking shots of planes on the ground if the angle, backdrop or sky is dramatic to some extent. Rotating on takeoff are nice too. I generally prefer locations that allow for nice backdrops that can give a viewer an idea of the location of the photo. I generally find photos of airplanes overhead against am empty sky to be quite boring. Especially if I'm traveling to different airports, I want some sort of visual reference to show where it is. An overhead shot of a Southwest 737 on short final at LAX or SAN or LAS for example look identical when just shown with plain blue sky.

I went to the Navy's Centennial parade of flight in San Diego on Saturday and while I saw and photographed many interesting aircraft, I'm finding my shots to be rather uninteresting because each aircraft is against the same blue sky. Just not my thing...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4938 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3115 times:

I prefer action shots (rotating, touching down with lots of smoke, etc.) but I also like some visuals in the background which root the photo to a particular airport. I agree that - although aesthetically very pleasing with the right colours and contrast - blue sky shots are pretty unimpressive. Still, if I'm in a hot environment where haze is likely to affect ground shots, air shots are fine with me - and the closer the better!

If anyone were to take the time to look at my (mainly boring) selection of side-on images, they will find that there are more deck shots in winter, whereas in summer I tend to nail them in the air. Nothing worse than taking the risk then finding all your shots from a great day have been marred by haze. My primary goal (as with most 'side-on-in-sun' shooters) is to best show the full aircraft and as much of its livery as possible, so although I like action shots with nice backgrounds I'll avoid them if I think something atmospheric or man-made will interfere.

For 'arty-farty' stuff (of which I'm doing much more these days) it's the atmospheric connditions that make it for me, so I'm always less conscious of air quality when going for that type of shot.

To summise then:

In winter I do whatever shot I fancy (although conditions can still give some ill-effects). In summer I tend to play it safe and shoot them in the air, unless I'm 100% sure there are no 'outside influences'.


User currently offlinehotplane From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3106 times:

I always try and avoid air shots of liveries with titles over the wing such as the new Egyptair scheme, Star Alliance, Etihad etc, as not being able to see the full titles ruins the shot.

User currently offlineCargoLex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1289 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3098 times:

what is possible from the location you are in,

Yup. And with the equipment you have.

I shoot regularly at SEA and BFI.

BFI has great opportunities to be right alongside the action, so I have hardly any "plane on blue sky" photos from BFI.

With one exceedingly rare exception, runway views at SEA are virtually impossible to get now without very long lenses or air-side access, so almost all of my photos there, or maybe all of them, are plane-on-sky shots. I just don't get air-side access that often, and the weather in Seattle is very inconsistent.

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