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Orlando/Sanford Photography  
User currently offlinenativemartian From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 12 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3813 times:
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I am moving to the Orlando, Florida area in a few weeks and would like to hear from anyone who has done photography at Orlando International or Sanford (or even smaller airports). Who do I need to contact and are there decent spots to shoot from?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2313 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3729 times:

Quoting nativemartian (Thread starter):
and are there decent spots to shoot from?

Orlando-Sanford has a parking garage you could try. I haven't used it in several years, so I don't know if the view remains unobstructed.


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Photo © John Padgett




Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3685 times:

Hello nativemartian,

I just joined this site and want to get into aviation photography (haven't shot anything besides an airshow in 2010). I live very close to OIA and I plan to go spotting in the near future. I read this on their website:

"Where are the best places for aircraft spotting?

On completion of a "Use of Facilities Form", aircraft spotting/photography is permitted on Level 9 of the Terminal Top Parking Garage, which provides a panoramic view of most of the airfield and airside terminal buildings. The form must be completed in person, and accompanied by a valid photo I.D., between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), at the Public Affairs office, located on the 3rd level of the Main Terminal in the Aviation Authority Executive Offices (to the left of the East Security Checkpoint for Gates 60-129). "

It would be awesome to have a plane spotting buddy!



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User currently online727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (9 months 22 hours ago) and read 3609 times:

Go to MCO, turn SW....then drive 70 mikes to TPA. Spotting is a lot easier.

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 2):
"Where are the best places for aircraft spotting?

On completion of a "Use of Facilities Form", aircraft spotting/photography is permitted on Level 9 of the Terminal Top Parking Garage, which provides a panoramic view of most of the airfield and airside terminal buildings. The form must be completed in person, and accompanied by a valid photo I.D., between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), at the Public Affairs office, located on the 3rd level of the Main Terminal in the Aviation Authority Executive Offices (to the left of the East Security Checkpoint for Gates 60-129). "

UGH...this is IMHO...a waste of time. The views are rather distant


The south parking lot/Red Lot

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Photo © Ozell Stephens Jr
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Photo © Tong Xian


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Photo © Ozell Stephens Jr
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Photo © Emanuele De Lorenzi



The overpasses:

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Photo © Ozell Stephens Jr
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Photo © William Horsefield



Along the approaches:

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Photo © Hector A Rivera-SJU Aviation Photography
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Photo © Yan David

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 2):
It would be awesome to have a plane spotting buddy!

Well I know a few guys....they might show up here. And I pop up over there once in a while



To the north of MCO, there is an area my friends refer to as the homo dock.....because they sometimes get hit on    I think this good for morning 18L arrivals, 18R with a long lens.

Airtran hangar for afternoon 36L 36R w/ long lens.


As far as SFB.....I have been told that Larry Dale, the chief there.....does not like photographers on property. So this place is among the unfriendliest in the country.



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 months ago) and read 3571 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 3):
To the north of MCO, there is an area my friends refer to as the homo dock.....because they sometimes get hit on    I think this good for morning 18L arrivals, 18R with a long lens.

Would this happen to be Airport Lakes Park? It's right in line with 18L and to the north. I see a dock that goes into Lake Warren. I've never been out there, but I'm trying to keep it as free/low cost as possible. I wouldn't have to pay for parking at the park.

Also, how long do you normally spend in the red lot/overpasses/Jetblue hangar before you need to leave? I'm a newcomer to this so I really appreciate your help!



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User currently online727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (9 months ago) and read 3567 times:

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 4):
Would this happen to be Airport Lakes Park?

I believe so, but one of the Orlando guys would have better knowledge. I've never been there.

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 4):
Also, how long do you normally spend in the red lot/overpasses/Jetblue hangar before you need to leave?

Red lot, & Airtran hangar, you can last a while.....anywhere else, you need to be Speedy Gonzales!

Oh, I forgot Flight Safety Intl.....another Road Runner spot


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Photo © Tong Xian
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Photo © Tong Xian




Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3560 times:

Don't really want to screw around with security....I think I may stick to the park for now. I see OIA cops patrolling way too often.


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User currently offlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 412 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 3):
As far as SFB.....I have been told that Larry Dale, the chief there.....does not like photographers on property. So this place is among the unfriendliest in the country.

I can verify this. A group of my friends went down to Sanford for an afternoon of spotting. They were around for about 20 minutes before being accosted by the police. They were forced to delete their photos (I know, that's not legal for the police to ask, but they were almost all foreigners and were being threatened with being detained). The officers involved were very hostile and accused them of being "homegrown terrorists".


As for MCO spotting, I also agree that the terminal-top garage is almost useless for photography. If you're planning on collecting tail numbers with binoculars, yes, it's a great spot. It's just way too far away for photography. Feel free to try stopping along the fence for photography, but MCO cops aren't very friendly either. Your best bet is probably the red discount parking lot.

...or, just hop in the car and head elsewhere. Tampa isn't bad, but MIA/FLL/OPF/PBI are excellent. If you don't mind driving a few hours, a Miami weekend trip is a spotting Mecca.



I reject your reality and substitute my own...
User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3525 times:

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 7):
...or, just hop in the car and head elsewhere. Tampa isn't bad, but MIA/FLL/OPF/PBI are excellent. If you don't mind driving a few hours, a Miami weekend trip is a spotting Mecca.

Used to live in Tampa when for a few years, I'll definitely check it out. What spots do you like there?

Miami Trip doesn't sound bad either. Thanks for your input.



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User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1288 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (8 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 7):
I can verify this. A group of my friends went down to Sanford for an afternoon of spotting. They were around for about 20 minutes before being accosted by the police. They were forced to delete their photos (I know, that's not legal for the police to ask, but they were almost all foreigners and were being threatened with being detained). The officers involved were very hostile and accused them of being "homegrown terrorists".

Welcome to the land of the not so free. I would have called their bluff.


User currently online727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (8 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3503 times:

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

1. SHORT TERM PARKING GARAGE-Excellent view of the entire field.

2. LONG TERM PARKING GARAGE-Excellent view of the entie field.

3. ECONOMY PARKING LOT-Closeup taxi and departures on 1R

4. NORTHWEST COMMERCE PARK-Arrivals on 19R facing east. Cops have come by, never been asked to leave in 15 years


5. BOWLING ALLEY-morning arrivals on 18R

6. RAYTHEON AREA-Southeast corner of field.

7. DELTA HANGAR AREA/Westshore Blvd- morning airborne shots departing on 1R and approachest o 19L


8. CYPRESS POINT PARK and BEACH Afternoon arrivals on 1L

9. south PEMCO (old US Airways) hangar-south side

spots 1,2,3,6,7,9....you will need permission....and you can get it by calling 870-8700....for the woman's name, you'll have to email/PM me....I don't want to put her name on a public forum like I did with Larry Dale.....HA!  
Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 7):
but MIA/FLL/OPF/PBI are excellent. If you don't mind driving a few hours, a Miami weekend trip is a spotting Mecca.

I would strongly recommend waiting until midOctober

[Edited 2013-07-29 17:46:10]

[Edited 2013-07-29 17:49:11]


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3493 times:

Thank you so much! I will PM you.


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User currently offlinePlainplane From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 832 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3395 times:

SFB is my hometown airport so I go there quite frequently and have been doing so for years. However today was the first time I was ever escorted off of an airport by police for shooting photos of aircraft.

User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 12):
SFB is my hometown airport so I go there quite frequently and have been doing so for years. However today was the first time I was ever escorted off of an airport by police for shooting photos of aircraft.


That sucks. I guess you could come and try out OIA then. Where else do you frequent?



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User currently online727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3362 times:

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 12):

SFB is my hometown airport so I go there quite frequently and have been doing so for years. However today was the first time I was ever escorted off of an airport by police for shooting photos of aircraft.

I'm curious....where were you?



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlinePlainplane From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 832 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

By the end of 9L next to where CFAM was.

User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2313 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3316 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 14):
I'm curious....where were you?

If you don't want to shoot on airport property, I would suggest moving off property to the approach areas. This shot was taken around 17/92 (French Ave.) and west 27th street. (I think) It's been several years.


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I would highly suggest a scanner so you can anticipate the approach because you won't get too long of a look at them.

I would also suggest, and have done so on and off SFB airport property, staying in your car until it's time to shoot. Then, take a quick burst of shots and get back in the car. The same can be said with photography at MCO. The idea is not to draw any sort of attention to yourself, but if you are questioned, cooperate.

The best thing about SFB is the rarity of the aircraft. Several airlines you just won't see on a regular basis at any other U.S. airport. I'd love to get back down there.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2313 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 12):
SFB is my hometown airport so I go there quite frequently and have been doing so for years.

The Airlift Tanker Association conference is headed to Orlando on October 31st. Hope you're ready!



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlinePlainplane From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 832 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 17):
The Airlift Tanker Association conference is headed to Orlando on October 31st. Hope you're ready!

Oh yes.  


User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3304 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
The same can be said with photography at MCO. The idea is not to draw any sort of attention to yourself, but if you are questioned, cooperate.

I'll keep this in mind, though I figured that's how it was. I'm also gonna scope out some approach points to photograph around MCO. They come in quite low over a few accessible areas.

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 17):
The Airlift Tanker Association conference is headed to Orlando on October 31st. Hope you're ready!

I've never heard of this, do they fly anything in?



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User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2313 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3303 times:

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 19):
I've never heard of this, do they fly anything in?

Sure do. Just do a quick search of "Nashville" & "tanker". It switches between Nashville and Orlando every other year and every 4 years or so, they go out to Anaheim. Between 30-45 military arrivals and departures each day. Everything from T-1A's to KC-10's and sometimes a C-5.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlinetkd4ever From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3301 times:

Cool. Found this on their site though:

"This year, Air Mobility Command has cancelled all official participation.
The Defense Department and HQ Air Force have directed that all official travel to conferences be cancelled.
As a result, AMC curtailed all government personnel travel, transportation and facilities use associated with our annual convention and symposium."

Does this mean that they may not bring anything in this year?



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User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2313 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 21):
Does this mean that they may not bring anything in this year?

I don't know. Apparently, the convention is still on but I don't know how that effects the military traffic to/from the airport on those days.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3150 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 17):
The Airlift Tanker Association conference is headed to Orlando on October 31st. Hope you're ready!

You can pretty much forget that with the Sequester this year.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3150 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Quoting nativemartian (Thread starter):
I am moving to the Orlando, Florida area in a few weeks and would like to hear from anyone who has done photography at Orlando International or Sanford (or even smaller airports). Who do I need to contact and are there decent spots to shoot from?

Orlando Executive Airport (if you are into general aviation and biz jets) has an actual spotters park called Kittinger Park on the corner of Highway 408 (East West Expressway) and Crystal Lake next to the approach end of Runway 7. It is really popular when Orlando Executive hosts the NBAA (Biz Jet conference) that is about every other year there - next one in 2014.

Quoting nativemartian (Thread starter):
Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 4):
Would this happen to be Airport Lakes Park? It's right in line with 18L and to the north. I see a dock that goes into Lake Warren. I've never been out there, but I'm trying to keep it as free/low cost as possible. I wouldn't have to pay for parking at the park.

Really only useful for 18L arrivals unless you have a 400mm or bigger to get 18R. I am often at Airport Lakes Park when 18R is closed for construction, which it has been over the past couple of years as they are working on some new high speed turnoffs. 18L arrivals give you close shots. You can get a decent shot of planes 757 or larger on 18R from the end of the dock that overlooks Lake Warren. If you are into bird (the feathered kind) activity, this is also a great location as all kinds of Egrets, Herons, ducks, woodstorks etc can be seen there too.

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 6):
Don't really want to screw around with security....I think I may stick to the park for now. I see OIA cops patrolling way too often.

You might see OPD at the park also but that is going after the gay activity that happens in the woods there. It is no joke about that being called the homo dock because if you google Airport Lakes Park, one of the first sites you get is a gay cruising website about it. More than once I have been hit on there. I have learned to bring headphones and listen to music and sit in a chair and I am left alone. Cops have made a few busts there recently though for lewd activity happening in the woods and the bathrooms there.

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 7):
I can verify this. A group of my friends went down to Sanford for an afternoon of spotting. They were around for about 20 minutes before being accosted by the police. They were forced to delete their photos (I know, that's not legal for the police to ask, but they were almost all foreigners and were being threatened with being detained). The officers involved were very hostile and accused them of being "homegrown terrorists".

I haven't really had a desire to go to SFB, but that sounds like Redneck Larry Dale and his Redneck Gestapo cops

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 7):
As for MCO spotting, I also agree that the terminal-top garage is almost useless for photography. If you're planning on collecting tail numbers with binoculars, yes, it's a great spot. It's just way too far away for photography. Feel free to try stopping along the fence for photography, but MCO cops aren't very friendly either. Your best bet is probably the red discount parking lot.

Go to the A Garage top level if you need to get something backing out of the 20s gates - that is where a lot of charters and some of the Internationals go like TAM, Canadian airlines, Copa, Aeromexico, Taca and Avianca. You can get great shots there taxiing with a 200-300mm.

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 7):
...or, just hop in the car and head elsewhere. Tampa isn't bad, but MIA/FLL/OPF/PBI are excellent. If you don't mind driving a few hours, a Miami weekend trip is a spotting Mecca.

TPA is great for pictures. My favorite location is Cypress Point Park where you can relax on the beach (overlooks the bay) and planes come in over the beach (a little higher than SXM). Pretty much 95% of the traffic lands on 1L - all commercial and most bizjet and occassional military activity land on 1L, while 1R is pretty much just light prop traffic. Unless your goal is to collect a lot of common domestic activity there, you might get bored with TPA traffic after a couple hours as it is 70% Southwest.

MIA is your best location for spotting in Florida- only a 3-4 hour drive from Orlando, I could list you some motels/hotels there that are good. There are 2 spotting areas (semi official) El Dorado and the photo holes (airport actually cut holes in their fences for the purpose of photography along Runway 12). El Dorado is a furniture warehouse at the approach end of Runway 9. MIA is not as cool to spot at as it was even 5-6 years ago, but the heyday was in the 80s-90s when the airport was getting a ton of DC-8, 707, 727, L1011 traffic and even a bunch of DC-3, DC-6 etc traffic. Today its 80% American Airlines traffic with the only maybe 6-7 South American airlines left and a handful of European carriers and a couple Asian cargo carriers.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 9):
Welcome to the land of the not so free. I would have called their bluff.

They really can't do shit. I can understand the tourists feelings. I know if I was in a strange country and some Gestapo cops told me to delete all my pictures I probably would also since I don't know all the laws of the land and how much the police can abuse people. As a US Citizen I would tell the Sanford cop to just stick a donut up his ass and take care of real crime - which is what I will say the next time OPD tries to bother me for shooting around MCO that Orlando's crime seems to rival Detroit now, they should worry about keeping the thugs off the street rather than photographers.

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
If you don't want to shoot on airport property, I would suggest moving off property to the approach areas. This shot was taken around 17/92 (French Ave.) and west 27th street. (I think) It's been several years.

That would be being that the airline in the picture is Travel City Direct, which I think went belly up in 2008. I shot from the same location from a parking lot on 17.92. I just don't want to deal with Redneck Larry Dale Gestapo cops

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
I would highly suggest a scanner so you can anticipate the approach because you won't get too long of a look at them.

Or use a smart phone and check Flightradar24 or Flightaware.

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
The best thing about SFB is the rarity of the aircraft. Several airlines you just won't see on a regular basis at any other U.S. airport. I'd love to get back down there.

Several? Not anymore. Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomsonfly are about all that is left at SFB anymore international wise with I think Arkefly one day a week and Icelandair (which I think comes in during the dark).

Quoting tkd4ever (Reply 19):
I've never heard of this, do they fly anything in?

Last had it at MCO in 2010. It is very cool. Every 20 min or so some sort of military transport would come in - mainly C-130, C-17, KC-10 and KC-135. No C-5 in 2010, but there were a couple in 2006. We had a couple C-40s (737-700s painted like Air Force One), a C-9 (DC-9-30) painted like Air Force One, a couple C-20s (Gulfstream IIIs), T-1 Jayhawks (Beechjet 400), C-21 (Lear 35s)

Sadly it won't happen because of Sequestration this year, so it will probably be another 4 years before we see it again under a new administration.


25 unattendedbag : If I'm not mistaken, EZjet also flies into SFB. 4 makes several.
26 Post contains links Dazed767 : http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/...eral-suspects-indecent-cond/nYMPy/ ^ Regarding to the dock of happiness.
27 NASCARAirforce : Not according to SFB website for EZJet.
28 tkd4ever : I recently got Flightaware, Flightradar 24 Pro, and LiveATC. I geek out everytime I drive near MCO now, haha. I remember around November last year I s
29 NASCARAirforce : Probably in for one of Obama's million campaign stops in Orlando, like when he tried to shut NBAA down by coming in during their peak arrival day. Ta
30 Post contains links and images 727LOVER : I forgot to mention Cypress Point Park, mainly because I'm rarely out there. It's too wing high for my taste, but to each his own. Chicken! G-VIIR &a
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