TechRep From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2050 times:
I have been in the airline business for almost 17 years now and have never understood plane spotting. Maybe I don't have the love for airplanes, that some of you have but I just don't get it. Without labeling me a heretic and giving me the third degree, how can you sit at an airport and take pictures of the same plane types over and over? I guess it's like bird watching, I don't get that either.
Joe pries From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1957 posts, RR: 54 Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1867 times:
how does my father golf- to me its boring as heck. how do people go to the beach and just sit there all day- boring.
We enjoy something that is different and fun to us. and to some of us it is a second job- there is a demand for airplane pictures and there are alot of people who are willing to pay alot of $$ for pictures for their collections. email me and ill forward you to a site where slides are auctioned off- when you see some of the prices people pay you'll break into a sweat.
TechRep From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1845 times:
Getting tail numbers on film is kinda odd don't ya think? Honestly, I think down deep, your looking to capture possible air crashes on film. I maybe wrong here but this must play into sitting in a car for hours watching planes fly over. I mean you would probably get better pictures of the young couples making out in the nearby car. All in fun people just curious.
DSMav8r From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 579 posts, RR: 7 Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1845 times:
I think a lot of it is just a pure love of aviation... I have to admit, I always thought the true spotters with their notebooks and binoculars were a little strange as well. Yet, here I was doing the exact same thing, except I was using a camera! The spotting aspect still doesn't interest me much, I just do what I do because I love photography in general, plus aviation is my lifelong passion. Aviation nut + photography nut = aviation photographer.
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
Joe pries From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1957 posts, RR: 54 Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1838 times:
keep in mind alot of us are regular guys- i have a wife and kid and a dayjob as do many of ther others, though there are alot of single guys in their high teens and 20's here. but we're not some dopey nerds.
Dazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5472 posts, RR: 52 Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1817 times:
We are all mentally disturbed individuals...jk. I think, for me anyways, it started with my father doing air frieght and he would take me on the ramp and I'd sit there and watch the planes (I must have been 4 years old), my aunt and uncle working for CO, my grandparents working for TWA in STL, and me living 3 miles from MCO under the approach for the 18 runways. With all those factors thrown at me, airplanes/spotting kinda grew on me.
(Was the only 2nd grader that knew the difference between a DC-10/L1011, and knew that the fuel went in the wings and not engines! )
Milldoh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1810 times:
I don't understand the reg # thing either. I mean going to airports all over the world with a notebook and writing down reg #'s. I'm really not concerned about the reg #'s. But who am I to criticize, I take pictures of the damn things.
I guess it's just a combination of a love of photography and a love of aviation. Plus it's better than sitting in front of a tv all day!
If I saw people making out in a nearby car, I would be sure to get that as well.
TechRep From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 1797 times:
I am a Technical Representative for Fairchild/Dornier and provide technical assistance to airlines. I usualy come into the game when they can't fix a problem or work with engineers to come up with a long term fix. I was a mechanic for 16 years and would drive to work and "spotters" at LAX when I worked there. When I was waiting for a plane to arrive and I was close to the gate, the same guys would always ask, "what reg is coming in". I had no idea what the hell they were talking about. Then it dawned on me, once I decrypted the lingo, they wanted to know what tail number it was.
I just thought it was a little odd and they would always get harrased. We had one guy come to ABX for almost 2 years, finally we adopted the guy and would let him sit in the maintenance truck with us. He would take pictures like crazy, snap snap at everything. He showed up like clockwork till one day he never showed up again without notice. We were all very worried but we never bothered to get his personal info. Hell I don't even remember his name now, but he drove a motorcycle and was about 50 years old.
Yorkie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2001, 125 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1754 times:
The important thing to me is that you have a healthy interest in life which you can take off with and relax as you see fit. Some people spend hours trying to catch fish. Some collect postage stamps. In England some people knock my hobby and poke fun. It often turns out that they have shallow lives which are centred on getting drunk or fighting or sometimes both. Each to his own.
I personally don't treat it as a competition to beat the other guys. I prefer to be more laid back and the fascination for me is visiting airports without knowing what planes are going to show up. You can get 'dead' days or a stack of rare visitors if you are lucky. In any case you get fresh air, also travel, meet people and discuss the aviation 'scene'. It also takes quite a while to get into it, learn the type recognitions, improve your photo skills - without the 'knowledge' it may appear meaningless to the outsider.
It's like women, you can have a great time with both but aircraft don't let you down so often!!!
Ckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 660 posts, RR: 17 Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1728 times:
Well, I'm not sure I understand pure spotting - I can never figure standing under the flight path without a camera
But when it comes to photography ... well I guess for me aircraft are the perfect example of form following function - these things are, in my opinion, the epitome of design. Couple that with their natural environment - I mean the sky and clouds can be just beautiful, but most people just give it a passing glance - add a flash of sun off polished metal, some wild colour schemes - photo heaven! Plus there's the thrill of the chase - both in capturing that rare bird, but also looking for a way to portray a 737 in a new way.
For me the "spotting" is an incidental - I don't collect regs, but like any specialised photography, the more you know and understand your subject, the better able you'll be to get the right results.
I think anyone who has seen people hanging around the airport taking pics and decided to have a go themselves has discovered there's a bit more to the hobby than would appear at first glance - esp. when they try to upload to A.net!