dazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2739 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6345 times:
Personally, I think approach and landing shots are easier as the flight path is predictable. For take-off shots, the point of rotation differs so it depends on what you're trying to achieve really. Both have their own challenges which makes photography more than just pointing and shooting.
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
Final approach speeds are definitely lower than high-power T/O speeds, although it can vary. MD-11s are going quite fast even when they touch down, while A320s seem to be going quite slowly by comparison (the MD-11 has a very high approach speed in real life, so this isn't just perception).
It also depends on where you are shooting.
At Seatac, you can't really get a rotation shot from anywhere except in the terminal (or possibly air-to-ground), so if you are photographing takeoffs there, the planes will be stowing the gear (or about to be) by the time you see them come into view (the entire airport is on a plateau about 15 meters above all the surrounding roads). That's a bigger challenge than watching them slowly close in on your position at a slower rate of speed.