Classic707 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 548 posts, RR: 14 Posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1071 times:
I will be taking a spotting trup this summer. I have narrowed the choices donw to LAX and JFK. I have heard about JFK's cops. Do they still bother you if you are shooting from inside the terminal? What about the cops at LAX? What I guess I am asking is which one would you choose and why? Thanks!
Dsmav8r From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 579 posts, RR: 7 Reply 4, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 903 times:
LAX all the way... Great photo locations, huge variety, airport police who wave instead of threaten, and better weather.
After having so many troubles with airport police at JFK, I will probably never go back. The rudeness and arrogance is disgusting. Which is a shame, because JFK offers such a wonderful variety of airlines and aircraft.
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
Mikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 55 Reply 6, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 893 times:
Considering you'll be going this summer, I would rule out LAX due to sun angles. However, if you only shoot for yourself and don't really care about sun angles, I suggest LAX over JFK. Sun conditions at JFK would be better in the summer and if you have a car it's possible to get nice shots. Yes, the security/cops are tough to deal with but it's not horrible if you find the right spots. We NewYorkers aren't that bad, are we?
Dsmav8r From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 579 posts, RR: 7 Reply 8, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 899 times:
No, most of you New Yorker's aren't bad. NYC has it's share of jerks just like any other city in the U.S. Obviously a city of 20,000,000 people is going to have more jerks than a city like Omaha with 1,000,000. But there definetely is a difference in the attitudes of airport police. JFK, LGA, and EWR are the only airports I have had serious airport police problems at... (You could probably throw ORD in that group as well). Maybe attitudes changed after the TWA 800 incident, because before that time, I really didn't have too many problems at JFK.
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
Thomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3779 posts, RR: 24 Reply 9, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 886 times:
I like NY'ers (and I am from Texas), most are not the stereotypes one sees from the media. The secret is you have to meet them on their own terms, once you get past that gruff exterior (nothing that a few beers won't take care of) its all downhill.
FastGlass From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 0 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 879 times:
I would be a Cali-type myself (as long as you aren't referring to Cali, Colombia). My favorite aviation gig in Texass is watching the ladies strolling through the DFW terminal in the Summertime between connections. That passes better time than trying to do any terminal shooting, which is nearly impossible at DFW.
Last time I was in IAH I remember seeing flying cockroaches, and I haven't returned since...
Thomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3779 posts, RR: 24 Reply 13, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 883 times:
I've seen a few of those cockroaches at LGA,BKK and a few other airports, but never at my beloved IAH.
Houston is not that bad as long as you stay away from May-mid Sept, I know that you West Coasters have a problem with humidity and heat. Shooting is not that bad from the terminals at IAH, unlike DFW. So, c'mon back!
Round_Engine From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 64 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (12 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 837 times:
Sounds like things have really gone down the tubes at JFK. I did lots of photography at JFK (and LGA) in the early 1970's and never had a problem. My favorite spot was the ramp coming off the bridge going over 150th Street adjacent to runway 13L. Another great spot was off of Rockaway Blvd at the end of runway 22L. I haven't been to the airport for years and hear that things have really changed.
C-GRYK From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 751 posts, RR: 39 Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 852 times:
OK, I was @ JFK the first weekend of February, and I must say, it exceeded my excepectations by 400%. I did not deal with a SINGLE cop, I was shooting early in the morning from the customs building lot which is pretty good for 31R although the weather was garbage, and the Customs police (not the Port Authority police however) didn't tell me to go away or anything. The whole weekend saw the 31 runways in use, not the 22's/4's or 13's so I guess I was lucky. After spending an hour at the customs building and shooting a South African 737-800 on delvy, I went down Rockaway, passed the 22 spots which are totally legal to shoot from, so to my knowledge PANYNJ police ain't going to bother you there, although the NYPD might, and went to a Costco store parking lot, which was horrible, the aircraft come in too high for me to call them good shots, although for a 747 it's a neat angle. After this I decided to check out the BA terminal, I was sceptical if they were going to let us airside but they did, and we spent the rest of the day and the whole final day there, and it was GREAT, no one bothering you, some pax asking why you take photos/etc, a good food court with a NICE deli place with good corned beef sandwiches and yes, a McDonalds. The seats in the lounge were comfortable, and although some of the BA workers who looked to me like new arrivals who didn't go to far into the city to get a job, they stuck to JFK were giving me some bad looks, i just smiled at them and kept shooting. Sometimes, PANYNJ policemen walked through the terminal but didn't say anything, I think it's possibly a total misconception that cops at JFK hate spotters, maybe if you go on top of the parking garage where you can **possibly** shoot a missile or something at an aircraft, or when you park your car ON the 13L bridge, then they don't like it, but if you are obeying all of the rules and not disrupting ANYTHING, in fact giving money to the food court, then they will be accepting. The 2nd day however, a buddy of mine did me a HUGE favour, flew all the way from Tampa and took me to a great spotting location, but it's not open to the public. I also spent a little bit of time at the Delta T3 looking over 31R, which is fine in the VERY VERY early morning if there is shining sun. Overall a very very good weekend in New York, EWR was decent I shot a few good shots there, but JFK was paramount, not as busy as I expected (even less busy than YYZ my home airport) but definetely had a great variety of Int'l aircraft and the BA terminal was great for the whole day as it's south of 31R. I am definetely returning to JFK again, hopefully soon as I'm now a really big fan on the place. BTW, if you do get told to move on, I've heard money helps!
About LAX, never been there but I do plan to go, originally this March break but I think I want to take advantage of some KILLER Virgin Atlantic fares from JFK and spend 5 days in London, 2 in New York. I will DEFINETELY go to LAX though as I've heard it's a great airport. IAD is also on my list of airports to visit, but after that, I'm scratching my head for good US airports (did MCO/MIA in the winter, and ORD in the fall, DFW is coming up this fall, and I did MSP a couple years ago with some of those shots on airliners.net) possibly PHX or LAS or SEA or BOS.
But, for the question of the summer trip, I'd choose JFK!
Tpk From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 188 posts, RR: 13 Reply 16, posted (12 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 828 times:
I agree with the consensus that JFK is probably not the choice. I grew up in Connecticut and can remember taking trips to JFK and having no problem with any cops when photographing planes there. Things are definitely not the same now. I made a trip there last summer and had cops bother me several times at the parking garage as well as inside the TWA terminal (outside security where there was pretty much no way I could be doing anything that would harm the aircraft).
I returned to JFK later in the summer for a flight to London and I had a very different experience from C-GRYK. Not only did I have to show my boading pass before I went through security, I was rudely made to take my hands out of my pockets as I walked through the metal detector. While I understand the importance of security, there is no reason that they have to treat people so rudely. At Heathrow, on the otherhand, I get the sense that the security there is equally if not more strict, but I have never felt rudely treated there.
Once past the security at the British Airways terminal, I didn't have any luck taking pictures with the combination of the slanted windows and the distance from where passengers are allowed to go and the actual window (in certain spots).
Bottom line - don't waste your time at JFK unless you know someone who can help you get around the "security". I have never had any problems at LAX.
Flygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (12 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 824 times:
I would definitely choose LAX over JFK. LAX is a very spotter freindly airport and has lots of great places to sit and take photos with out being hassled or having to worry about your personal safety. As for the high sun angles in the summer, what I do is take a nice long lunch break in the middle of the day. If I go in the summer I will normally start out early, shortly after sunrise and shoot until about 11am. Then I take a break until about 2 or 3pm and then shoot until sunset.
Delta717 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 455 posts, RR: 1 Reply 18, posted (12 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 821 times:
I totally agree with C-GRYK. JFK should be your choice. If you go inside the terminals, PANYNJ may give you a hassle. However, this summer I was in Terminal 3 (Delta) and I had no problem at all. The TWA terminal has been a bad place ever since flight 800. However, the Customs building lot is one of the best vantage spots for spotting/photography in the country. In fact, I was just there today. PANYNJ didn't give me any hassle at all. New Yorkers aren't that bad. I'm one of them. Choose JFK.
C-GRYK From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 751 posts, RR: 39 Reply 19, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 798 times:
The problem with the Customs building is that it's on the north side of 31R meaning photography in sunny weather is pretty much not happening, but it is a very good location with a GREAT view of the north central ramp and runway 31R, if it's a cloudy day, then I recommend going there even if you aren't go to shoot much, you might get lucky like me and shoot a South African 737-800 on delvy or something interesting as 31R is a landing only (except for props, and I DID see a DHL DC-8F use it for T/O and he thanked the tower graciously) runway so you should get all arriving traffic in the morning and most arrivals in the afternoon, some using 31L. I have booked my Virgin seats to London for the break and have 2 days in NYC, which means 1 at JFK and 1 afternoon at LGA which I didn't shoot at in February (I did have a few hours in the US terminal in the summer of 2000 and got some good Delta/US Shuttle 727's which are now gone). The Delta T3 is also on the north side of the action so it's also limited, but I did manage to shoot an Air Jamaica A310 with the Jamaican flag on the nacelles (That was the only shot my buddy Brian took that day since the weather was not sunny). Overall the airport really exceeded expectations, I expected myself to be moved along quite a bit that weekend but as I said, not once did I get bothered. I must thank Joe Pries and Matthew Lee for giving me some good JFK locations, thanks guys, it really helped and I'm really grateful. LAX is definetely from what I've seen a cool airport, I would love to get my lens on the Air Tahiti Nui A340 and some of the big Asians that we don't see on the Eastern half of the continent.