Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5545 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/
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.
mjgbtv From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 582 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5512 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
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (8 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5501 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
moose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2136 posts, RR: 11 Reply 7, posted (8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5454 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:
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5426 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!
dcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 186 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (8 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5352 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)
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (8 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5336 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.
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.
NPeterman From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 163 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5124 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
SAS A343 (often the Star Alliance bird for whatever reason)
Turkish A343 (arrives pretty much at/with sunset)
United 772 & 763 (plenty of them too!)
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5108 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
NPeterman From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 163 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5067 times:
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
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
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
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!
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 25, posted (8 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5065 times:
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 them on Flickr or something so anyone can check them out?
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 26, posted (8 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5035 times:
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 kindly tell me how to set the settings. Im not to experienced with the 7D quite yet but im trying my hardest to learn. I just seem to not be able to get the right "custom" settings if you will when I go spotting. Thanks as always Mason
moose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2136 posts, RR: 11 Reply 27, posted (8 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5020 times:
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 100 in Aperture Priority (Av Mode) at f/7.1 which gives me a shutter speed in the 1/400 - 1/500 range. The last time out, I experimented with using Ev + 1/3 based on some comments I've been reading online. One thing I've noticed, and I don't know if it's a camera issue, or a function of the file size, when I look at an image at 100% on a 24" monitor, the darker areas look grainy. Again, I don't know if it's the camera or not, but I have read some reviews that talk about noise from the 7D.
Let me add - if you don't use back-button focus, you should try it.
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 29, posted (8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4977 times:
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 in general. I really would epriciate any help I can get. Thanks, Mason
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 31, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4939 times:
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 with no distractions and read it cover to cover. Then read it again. All the while holding the camera and making all the adjustments. You'll be MUCH better prepared, AND you will ask more informed questions. You want to practice before your trip? Get outside and shoot some birds with that lens first, get an idea of how it handles. You'll learn some basics real quick.
Additionally, it would benefit you to search the forums using keywords relevant to your issues, because most of these things have been discussed many times here and elsewhere. Not trying to scare you off, but you were given some advice to read the IAD spotting guide, and your follow-up question makes it look like you just ignored that advice. I know NPeterman and he is always very generous with his knowledge, not everyone is like that.
Finally, you aren't going to learn everything you think you need to know in the amount of time you seem to have. You might as well slow down, because you aren't going to remember half of what is offered to you anyway. Don't sweat it. Get some stick time under your belt first while enjoying spring break, then review what you took afterwards and ask for help then in the feedback forum instead of here. It will take you years to get into a groove with your equipment and develop a critical eye, and even then you will never be finished developing your skills.
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 32, posted (8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4886 times:
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 make very many mistakes while I'm there I'm OCD about that stuff and I just want to get it right I hope you understand that. Also, I thought that part about shooting birds was ironic because I went to a wildlife place yesterday and shot an assortment of birds! thanks for all the help and I hope I didn't offend anyone either. Mason
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 33, posted (8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4873 times:
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 nice shots given your flickr photos. Print out that IAD guide! It'll come in handy
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 34, posted (8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4775 times:
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 camera settings you use to spot. If you dont that is fine. Like I said I want to make the least amount of mistakes as possible due to my limited time. Thanks, Mason
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 35, posted (8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4770 times:
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 the last week or so and I just want the best experience possible which you guys have givin me! Thanks A TON!!!!!!, Mason
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 37, posted (8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4718 times:
Quoting Mason1234 (Reply 34): 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 camera settings you use to spot
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 which of the two meets your needs depending on the traffic flow while you're there.
Camera: set to Av(aperture priority), lens set to f/8, auto white balance, base ISO(whatever that is for your camera, 100 or 200), continuous autofocus mode, center-weighted metering, jpeg high-quality. Forget about specific WB modes or doing a manual WB, you can get into that stuff later. Let the camera do the work.
That's it. Keep it simple.
And I may be the only person on this site that feels this way, but that 'respect rating' thing has to go. It has zero value for anybody, except to serve as a tool for self-aggrandizement. But I'm sure many will chime in to disagree.
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 38, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4619 times:
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 upload tell me which ones and ill try to edit them. Thanks! (I know I should have posted this on the feedback forum but it would not let me take this down so I apologize for that) http://www.flickr.com/photos/89755914@N03/
megatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0 Reply 39, posted (7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4573 times:
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 go with, although they all look pretty good. That Saab though, she looks a bit soft- a good catch but probably not acceptable for upload here.
You will certainly need to crop and sharpen these as a start. Now you need to read the editing guide they have here. Good luck. Also, going forward, please use the feedback forum as you indicated.
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 41, posted (7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4562 times:
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 my laptop so I will upload some more of them when I get home from school today, they are mostly commuter jets but if you want feel free to check them out! Also, I may be going on a large spotting trip this summer to maybe JFK, IAD (again), CLT, and Charleston SC to the Boeing Plant! ( That is where I was during spring break last week ) lol and they had 4 Air India 787 on the ramp but I could not get a good angle to shoot them. I was really bummed out.
NPeterman From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 163 posts, RR: 0 Reply 43, posted (7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4550 times:
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, it looks like you had a great time at IAD! Like Moose and Megatop (wow this feels like the NYC Aviation site gentlemen, hah!) have said, you have some definite prospects there, especially the Qatar 777 in my opinion after a quick glance. Be sure to upload some more, and we can provide feedback, etc should you like.
Also, feel free to PM or email me should you have any specific questions that you don't want to burden the forum with. And be sure to let us know if you decide to hit IAD or JFK this summer. I would most likely be up for a DC adventure, and it seems that there is always someone at JFK.
Mason1234 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 24 posts, RR: 0 Reply 44, posted (7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4533 times:
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 very much like to email you it would be much easier than putting stuff on forums! Please and Thanks