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Spotting At IAD  
User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6806 times:

I'm going to Washington Dulles International Airport for the first time during spring brake the this year with my Canon 7d and a 75-300mm lens. I am a 16 year old amateur photographer that needs any tips on camera settings and locations I should visit on my trip. I've had prior experience shooting aviation but it wasn't accepted Airliners.net. If you want to check some of them out visit the attached link. If you happen to do so please ridicule and give me more pointers. Crossing my fingers to get accepted this time! 
Thanks, Mason
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89755914@N03/

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6808 times:

Mason,

Since you'll be at IAD, make sure you visit the Udvar-Hazy center!

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6798 times:

Thanks Tony I will be sure to check it out! I would like to know any tips and pointers about the camera setting i should use on my trip though? Any suggestions?

[Edited 2013-03-20 18:22:56]

User currently offlinemjgbtv From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 722 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6792 times:

Quoting Mason1234 (Thread starter):
please ridicule and give me more pointers

Mason,

Nothing to ridicule here. A couple of these (_2587, _2625) look like they have the potential to be accepted with a bit of work. For those that don't, I would say that distance, overexposure and back-lighting are the biggest issues.

Good luck.

Marty


User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6782 times:

Quoting mjgbtv (Reply 3):
I would say that distance, overexposure and back-lighting are the biggest issues.

Can you give me an example of one of them please?


User currently offlinemjgbtv From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 722 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6773 times:

Here's what I'd say about the others:

2603 - Distance, and not sure if quality would be good enough if cropped tighter
2602 - At first I thought it looked overexposed, but maybe not. A bit soft too. Might have potential; it's a nice shot in any case.
2731 - A lot of sun flare, which can lead to overexposure rejections. Might be workable, though.
2796 - Blurry
2797 - Distance and blurry
1305, 1307 - Backlit
1279 - Soft/blurry and not great light


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6762 times:

First, make sure you visit the Wash-Balt spotters group website, they have excellent spotting guides on there that will be useful to you.

Second, as an amateur, forget about getting photos accepted here. Instead, focus on your settings- stop down your lens a bit, shoot in aperture priority(I think that is Av in Canon-speak), dial in base ISO(100 or 200), and concentrate on getting some nice shots. If you are not comfortable keeping track of the sun and whether it's going in or out of the clouds, use Auto WB. It will make for a much nicer experience than if you were worried about getting shots 'acceptable' for this site. If you want to work on that, settle on your 'home field' where you feel most comfortable, and start uploading.

I don't worry about getting shots accepted on this site- too much of precious life gets wasted that way. I know it seems important now, but you have to decide whether you want to spend your time out there improving your shot discipline, or in front of a computer learning the 'house style'. Your shots look pretty decent to begin with(you seem to be more advanced than a true amateur), 2731 looks workable as mentioned earlier. Seems like you are already shooting that lens stopped down, in that shot I would try to adjust the exposure curves to make sure you're not clipping the highlights. I am a fellow US shooter in PHL so I understand the need to control for that here lol


User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2242 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

As mentioned, the Washington-Baltimore Spotters Group is the place to go for info on IAD spotting. It's been a few years since I shot at IAD, but the group's website was invaluable for getting the right spots:

http://www.washbaltspotters.net/spotting.shtml



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6687 times:

Thanks for all of the responses and there is one issue I live in WV and there isn't any "home" airports with a regular flight going in or out of it besides Canton Akron Airport (CAK) which pictures _1305, _1307,and _1279 were taken which is 2 hours away from my house. Also, someone please explain stopping down a lens please and thanks!

User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6675 times:

Also are any of the parking garage locations illegal and or do I have to contact anyone about going please I need this information urgently. Thanks!

User currently offlinedcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6613 times:

When you are spotting from the parking garages you should call airport operations. Tell them your name, vehicle make and tag, your location and that you are going to take pictures of the airplanes. They will make a note, and when police arrive, the first question they will ask you is if you called airport ops. If you have called then they will say thank you and leave you alone. If you don't call airport ops they might kick you out of the garage.
This above is valid for daily parking garages 1 & 2 and for the long term parking lot. You don't call them from the museum.
Phone number to airport ops is located on their web page (airport page not washbaltspotters)

Have fun at IAD


User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6597 times:

Quoting Mason1234 (Reply 8):
Also, someone please explain stopping down a lens please and thanks!

It just means you're not using the maximum aperture(smallest f#) of the lens- most lenses are sharpest at f/8. I curse out loud whenever I look at my old film shots, because they could have been much improved had I not shot 'wide open'. Some folks will write paragraphs to explain the whole thing, but that's all it means. You should make some coffee, search the term 'exposure triangle', and read up on it- it will help with all kinds of photography.

There are many smaller airports in WV that you could practice at. I know that commercial jets get most of the attention, but corporate and GA are great places to start.


User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6561 times:

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Phone number to airport ops is located on their web page

Where is the number or what is it. Its only giving me a link to send them an email. Also, I just purchased a 100-400mm L lens from Canon im pumped!:D

[Edited 2013-03-23 12:59:50]

User currently offlinejpmagero From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6521 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Mason1234 (Reply 12):
Where is the number or what is it.

Based on your first post, if the lens you have is the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 (mk I, II or III?), the max aperture is variable depending on the zoom, but assuming you'll shoot mostly at the longer end, figure f/5.6 and it probably shows on the lens as something like "Canon Zoom Lens 75-300mm 1:4-5.6". The next f-stop is f/8.0 which would be sharper than shooting at 5.6.



John M - Aussie expat in the US
User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6476 times:

Im not going to use that lens though. I am still wondering where I am going to find the actual number to Airport Ops. I keep getting a link to their e-mail.

User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6469 times:

Quoting Mason1234 (Reply 14):
I am still wondering where I am going to find the actual number to Airport Ops.

Try a search engine, or call the airport info line and ask


User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6435 times:

Okay thanks everyone for your help! One last thing what time of the day should I go to get a lot of the international heavies?

User currently offlinedcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6430 times:

Ethiopian, Emirates, ANA, Korean 8:30am to 10:30am
Entire Europe 1pm to 6pm


User currently offlineNPeterman From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6385 times:

I have spent far more time at IAD than I should have, and can share some info from my experiences there. As DC Aviation said, you have 4 international heavies in the AM. The times on SAA and ET can vary wildly, but are usually on the early side.

South African A340-300 (Occasional -600, I have seen them land on 1R most frequently, 1C once)
Ethiopian 767-300ER (usually lands 1C, have seen them take 1R on one occasion)
Korean/ANA/Emirates 777-300ERs (I have seen them go both 1R and 1C with equal regularity-no experience with the Emirates flight)

Things then quiet down a lot until the afternoon rush of heavies, which usually will all land on 1R or 19L (excepting British and Virgin on occasion, which I have seen take 19C if they are in south flow) Between 1PM and sunset is the primary bank of International heavies (without flightaware in front of me, this is without any specific order)

Air France 77W/A388 ( depends on the day)
British Airways 772
Virgin Atlantic A333
KLM A332/A333
Qatar 77W
SAS A343 (often the Star Alliance bird for whatever reason)
Austrian 767-300ER
Lufthansa 747-400
Turkish A343 (arrives pretty much at/with sunset)
United 772 & 763 (plenty of them too!)



Nick


User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6369 times:

Thanks for all of the responses everyone! Haha about that "one last thing" remark scratch that! I would also like to know where I should go through out the day in your personal opinion? Schedule wise such as 8:00-10:00 etc.... I just want to get the best opportunities to get the best possible shots throughout the day! Thanks as always 

User currently offlinedcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6360 times:

You should go to washbaltspotters page and read spotting guide.

User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6332 times:

NPeterman in your opinion where is the best place to go since you have obviously have been there a few times.

User currently offlineNPeterman From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6328 times:

Mason,

That question can be somewhat complicated to answer, but I will do my best to do so, and to be brief while doing so.
IAD changes quite frequently between using the 19s and the 1s for runways as winds in Northern Virginia are not always predictable.

So, should they be landing on the 1s

From Sunrise to Midday: The Roof of the Daily 2 Parking garage-You should get most of the international heavies, perhaps a United heavy or 2, some domestic action, and many biz jet movements (note you pay by time spent in the garage here)

Photos will look something like this viewpoint-wise


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Peterman



From Noon til 4-4:30 PM: The parking lot of the Smithsonian Udvar Hazy center-You should get almost all international arrivals, plus some domestic airlines, and some biz jets (note that you pay to get into the lot, but the museum is free) Somewhere during that window, be sure to check out the museum for a second, even if only to look at the Space Shuttle and Concorde.

Photos will look something like this viewpoint-wise

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Peterman



At this point, you have a choice. You can stay at Udvar Hazy and keep shooting arrivals, or you can head for the daily 1 parking garage's roof to shoot international departures until sunset. Once again you pay to spend time there.

Photos will look something like this viewpoint-wise

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Peterman





If they are using the 19s, Daily 2 is still the place to be, they will simply be going the other way. The afternoon is trickier. After noon you can move over to Daily 1 to shoot landing on 19L( http://www.flickr.com/photos/5326322...1923846/in/set-72157627786331101), but there can be a heat haze problem at this time of year. As I usually did not make the trip up if I knew they were going to be on the 19s, I can only speak to my one experience there, which was in August, so a rather hot month. If you are going soon-ish, it may not be as huge of a problem. Later on in the afternoon, you can also go to the Udvar Hazy parking lot for 19L departures...however it can be a bit of a toss-up. Many jets will turn inside of you giving you somewhat backlit belly shots-but some do extend out enough to be shootable (http://www.flickr.com/photos/53263228@N04/6151375245/in/set-72157627786331101)


Anyhow, I hope this is of help to you. I also forgot to mention in my last post that Etihad is supposed to be launching service to Dulles this Sunday with an A340-500 I believe, so keep your eyes peeled!

Cheers!

NPeterman


User currently offlineMason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6324 times:

Thanks alot what kind of camera and lens are you using for those shots?

User currently offlineNPeterman From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6321 times:

Top 2 were with a Canon 50D and 100-400mm. The Lufthansa 747-8i (3rd photo) was taken with a Canon 7D and the same 100-400mm. The last 2 photos were taken with the 50D and a Canon 400mm F5.6 Prime.

25 Mason1234 : Im going to be using a 7D with a brand new 100-400mm lens. Is there any particular camera settings I should use and also after my trip should I post t
26 Mason1234 : Also,(Man, im full of questions!) I would like a canon (or any camera) user to give me the settings they use when they are spotting and if they would
27 moose135 : Mason, I just recently upgraded to the 7D from a 40D, and have shot with the 100-400L for about 7 years. Typically, in good light, I'll shoot at ISO 1
28 Mason1234 : How do you set the back-button focus and how did the setting you recently tried work?
29 Mason1234 : Can someone tell me how to set the back button focus on the Canon 7D? Also I would also get any other opinions on setting or any tips about spotting i
30 Mason1234 : What shooting mode should I use One Shot, etc... and what focus should I use as well AI Servo? I really need this information soon! Thanks!
31 megatop412 : Mason, please do not take this as being rude, but there is a saying often seen on the internet: RTFM. What I would do is take the time to sit down wit
32 Mason1234 : I understand completely where you are coming from I know I m rushing and all but I only have one shot at this particular airport and I do NOT want to
33 megatop412 : No offense taken, I felt the same way when I went to Europe 2 years ago, knowing I wouldn't be back(at least for a long while). You should get some ni
34 Mason1234 : NPeterman if they were to be landing on the 19s where would the best place to go in the bulk of the afternoon. Also, if you could please tell me the c
35 Mason1234 : Also, I would thank everyone else for the help you gave me and if I did offend anyone by asking anything I apologize. It has been stresssing me out th
36 Post contains images Mason1234 : This is just so I can put people on my respected list.
37 megatop412 : Not to answer for NPeterman, but parking garage 1 or 2, listed on the spotting guide, is your best bet for the 19's. Again, read the guide to see whi
38 Post contains links Mason1234 : I had a great time at IAD! Thanks to everyone who helped me get the shots I did. A few are posted in the link below. If you think I should attempt to
39 megatop412 : Great job! The ones that stand out to me as having the greatest potential(once you edit them) are 2349, 2339, 2336, and 2262. Those are the ones I'd g
40 moose135 : You have some good stuff there, Mason. As William said, with a little editing, yo should be able to upload some of them here. BTW, I see you have phot
41 Mason1234 : I was just visiting CLT I last year and I had alot of fun there also. Thanks for the responses guys I have alot more shots but I ran out of battery on
42 moose135 : If you go to JFK, absolutely check out NYCAviation.com That's your one stop shopping for all things when it comes to spotting in the NYC area. And if
43 NPeterman : Mason, I apologize for the lateness of my response. Suffice it to say that things have gotten crazy here in Texas the past few weeks. That being said,
44 Mason1234 : Thanks everyone as always and I hope to get my first uploads on A.net! Also, NPeterman I cannot e-mail you because your e-mail isnt posted and I would
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