McG1967
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Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:14 pm

The other night I went out trying to emulate Keiichi Egawa's excellent nightshots of aircraft on approach like this shot:



My fastest lenses are all F2.8 and I guessed at camera settings - ISO6400, F2.8, 1/30th on a Canon 5DIV.
This was the best I managed to achieve. Plus points - the camera tracked the aircraft fairly well in the dark, detail is reasonable. Negatives - lens flare. Blurriness at rear of aircraft - this may be caused by the engine exhaust.

Image

Anyone got any tips and hints on how best to achieve these shots from setting the camera up to the post processing.

Mark
 
angad84
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:20 pm

From experience – try to shoot the aircraft as 'head on' as possible, to minimise horizontal panning (and therefore blur at either end of the aircraft). Try in an area with lots of available light – city rooftops are great, suburban areas like those near most European airports, not so much. Time your session to when the sun is below the horizon, but with plenty of twilight available, essentially between sunset and actual nightfall (dusk). If you get a beacon (as in some of Keiichi Egawa's shots) it really helps light up the frame a fair bit.

Most of my night shooting is with slow lenses on a 7D, so never high enough quality to upload here, but these are the techniques that work best for me.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:57 pm

McG1967 wrote:
My fastest lenses are all F2.8 and I guessed at camera settings - ISO6400, F2.8, 1/30th on a Canon 5DIV.
This was the best I managed to achieve. Plus points - the camera tracked the aircraft fairly well in the dark, detail is reasonable. Negatives - lens flare. Blurriness at rear of aircraft - this may be caused by the engine exhaust.


That's motion blur, not engine exhaust. No surprise at 1/30 and at that angle. It's a tough angle at which to track aircraft.

If you'll permit me some self-plugs (since I know my own settings, but not Keiichi's):

Shot at 1/80, F5.6, ISO16000, with my 6D + 100-400L2:


Shot at 1/50, F5.6, ISO6400, same equipment:


Essentially, keep the shutter speed as high as you can. I personally wouldn't go below 1/60 or so at that angle, because the aircraft gets too blurry. For me, this means the ISO gets way the heck up there, because I don't have fast lenses. On your shot, given the exposure, you could have easily shot it at 1/50 with the same aperture and ISO, and still gotten a good result.

As Angad stated, getting a more head-on shot is easier as far as blur is concerned. Also, don't be too critical - if you look at my full-size shots, there is certainly some blur visible (typically toward the nose or tail), but it's not too bad for the conditions and isn't too visible once resized (same as Keiichi's shot - appears to be a bit blurry toward the tail, but no big deal).

Getting these shots A.net-ready also requires a practiced eye for noise reduction in editing (which reminds me....make sure you're shooting RAW). As I've posted before, I have several presets that I use depending on the amount of noise in a photo (see Reply 12 in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=934497). You can also tweak contrast to help reduce noise visibility. Higher contrast (darker shadows and blacks) will help make the noise in these areas less visible. That's one reason I tend to go for a more contrasty look on my night photos (also because I just like the look better).

As for lens flare....I'm not going to comment too much on that, because I'm not sure where A.net stands on removing it. It's going to show up at many angles when you have bright lights pointed at or near you. If you're lucky, it won't cover part of the aircraft.

Hope this helps Mark - I'm happy to answer any other questions regarding my settings or workflow.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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airkas1
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:04 pm

Welcome to the club Mark :biggrin:

I can echo Angad's and Vik's thoughts, although too much head on usually results in landing light flare on my photos. So I always need to find the right spot/angle to shoot at. I also suggest increasing the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 at ISO 6400 (and F2.8). Actually, If I had the 5D4, I would venture to ISO12800 at 1/250 (and F2.8).

As for post processing; for such night photos I use Lightroom for the noise and then open the photo in CS6. then I throw another round of dfine2 on top of it. I also found this Youtube video recently, demonstrating a subtle tweak in the noise-reduction process that I wasn't aware of previously (it's got to do with masking): https://youtu.be/UWJwQ0bnbWI

I've forwarded this thread to Keiichi (he's a screener), so hopefully he can contribute as well.
 
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yerbol
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:23 pm

Nice topic!
I have to try to go out and try some night shots.
With best regards from Almaty
 
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HarryLi
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:03 am

I think i fell in love with those kinds of Night Shots now and i am going to try some later haha .
I am a Guangzhou Spotter. My photos are here : http://www.airliners.net/search?user=20 ... =viewCount :D
 
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river38
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:42 am

Hi Mark.
Thank you for referring to the photos.

Please forgive me in advance as I am not good at English.

The tail blur is a problem of angular velocity,there is no choice but to speed up the shutter speed.
As the camera is rotating and the plane is straight, somewhere will be blurry.

Something easy to blur.
1.shutter speed is slow.
2. Wide angle lens.
3. Shoot from nearby.
4. Shoot from the oblique side of the aircraft

To avoid blurring, it is the opposite of the above.
However, in order to raise the shutter speed with night photography, you have to increase the iso sensitivity, so it will be fighting with noise.

If you can not use a faster lens as a way to increase the shutter speed without increasing the sensitivity, please use the airplane light.
In other words, change the metering method to center emphasis or spot, aim the light near the center of the frame so that the exposure does not rise more than necessary.

Also, at night shooting, it would be better to remove the filter to reduce the effect of flare.

All of my night shots are handled in the lightroom.
 
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Kaphias
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:29 am

Is wide angle more challenging with these types of shots? The only fast lens I have is a 12mm f/2 (18mm full frame)... I can fill the frame with that lens but I think the blurring might be worse with wide angle lenses. Is that a correct assumption?
Matthew
 
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HarryLi
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:57 am

Thank you so much Keiichi !
I hadn't noticed that the metering method will affect it. In addition, i got another problem of it which is that what kind of Focusing do you use when you take this kind of night shot ? I mean, using single center point or something else ? Because i usually use Single Center Point to take those regular photos of airplane as it can provide faster speed i think. But i wonder what about at night ?
Thanks !!

Cheers,
Harry
I am a Guangzhou Spotter. My photos are here : http://www.airliners.net/search?user=20 ... =viewCount :D
 
McG1967
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:22 am

Keiichi, your English is far better than my Japanese.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions, particularly about changing the metering mode to spot metering.

I suppose the best thing is to get out and practice.

Mark
 
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airkas1
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:31 am

Kaphias wrote:
Is wide angle more challenging with these types of shots? The only fast lens I have is a 12mm f/2 (18mm full frame)... I can fill the frame with that lens but I think the blurring might be worse with wide angle lenses. Is that a correct assumption?

I'd say yes.
 
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river38
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:28 pm

McG1967 wrote:
Thanks for the comments and suggestions, particularly about changing the metering mode to spot metering.


The purpose of changing the metering mode is to prevent the sensitivity from increasing too much automatically. Therefore, please set various sensitivities and try.
There are things you can take with lower sensitivity than you think, you can speed up the shutter speed.

my camera is Nikon, I often use center-weighted metering.
For Canon, it is partial metering.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:39 pm

Kaphias wrote:
Is wide angle more challenging with these types of shots?


Absolutely. You'll most definitely get blur, because you have a huge FOV, and because the airplane is moving so fast relative to you by the time it fills the frame.

HarryLi wrote:
In addition, i got another problem of it which is that what kind of Focusing do you use when you take this kind of night shot ? I mean, using single center point or something else ? Because i usually use Single Center Point to take those regular photos of airplane as it can provide faster speed i think. But i wonder what about at night ?


I use centerpoint only focusing for pretty much all my shooting, including nights. I do usually use AI Servo at night, though, whereas I'll usually use One-Shot during the day. Keeping the center point on the landing lights is the key thing. And it's not too big a deal, because as it gets darker, the landing lights are about all you can see of the airplane anyway through the lens.

McG1967 wrote:
I suppose the best thing is to get out and practice.


Yep. And while what Keiichi says about metering is quite likely accurate, I don't even look at my light meter for these kinds of shots. I shoot full manual, and once I get into the exposure range I'm looking for, I just adjust from there as needed. I've never found metering to be useful at night, but that's just my personal experience.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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cpd
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:44 pm

river38 wrote:
Hi Mark.
Thank you for referring to the photos.

Please forgive me in advance as I am not good at English.

The tail blur is a problem of angular velocity,there is no choice but to speed up the shutter speed.
As the camera is rotating and the plane is straight, somewhere will be blurry.

Something easy to blur.
1.shutter speed is slow.
2. Wide angle lens.
3. Shoot from nearby.
4. Shoot from the oblique side of the aircraft

To avoid blurring, it is the opposite of the above.
However, in order to raise the shutter speed with night photography, you have to increase the iso sensitivity, so it will be fighting with noise.

If you can not use a faster lens as a way to increase the shutter speed without increasing the sensitivity, please use the airplane light.
In other words, change the metering method to center emphasis or spot, aim the light near the center of the frame so that the exposure does not rise more than necessary.

Also, at night shooting, it would be better to remove the filter to reduce the effect of flare.

All of my night shots are handled in the lightroom.


Keiichi - thanks for the reply and well done on your photos - they are superb. :)

I would also add to the other comments that it is helpful to use manual shutter speeds and apertures. The reason being is that in my experience even with pretty high end cameras the metering can be confused and you'll end up with a photo over exposed or under exposed.

Any of these close up wide angle shots are very tricky at night and the easy idea of F/2.8 doesn't work because the edges of the subject will be ouf of focus as the others have said.

Side on night shots are easier since you can reduce the shutter speed and use F/5.6, but those aren't as pleasing to look at.
 
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cpd
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:22 pm

McG1967 wrote:
Negatives - lens flare. Blurriness at rear of aircraft - this may be caused by the engine exhaust.

Image

Anyone got any tips and hints on how best to achieve these shots from setting the camera up to the post processing.

Mark


Your blur is to do with F/2.8 and the low shutter speed.

In Nikon world, we have lenses with what they call "Nano Crystal Coat" - this is a coating used in Nikon's integrated circuit machinery applied on the substrate that does a number of things to minimise this ghost/flare or at least to change the colour of it to one that is less obvious. Aside from that, I also recommend to keep usng the lens hood if you aren't.

You've also got to ace the exposure right out of the camera. You don't get much ability to do post processing adjustments without making the image look awful. You have to use a high ISO as much as possible and use a smaller aperture (F5.6 or even F/7.1), the idea being to keep the corners of the aircraft sharp. To do this, you've got to have a modern camera sadly. Even on my D3S and D800E it is tricky. The D3S is fast enough, but it doesn't have the same low-noise performance at the latest cameras. And the D800e produces lovely high resolution images, but it is slower in terms of FPS.

This is a shot I did 6 years ago - the first shot of Wunala Dreaming returning back to Sydney after the repaint:
Image

ISO20000, F/2.8 and 1/30sec using a Nikon D3S and 24-70 F/2.8 Zoom Nikkor at 60mm (no VR on this lens). Not easy. And F/2.8 caused the winglets to be blurry.
 
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HarryLi
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:49 am

I am going to have a try with the Canon 85mm f/1.2l II this week. I amwodering that if i take those photos with different composition i mean not the normal angles with maybe f/1.8 - f/2.8. Will it make the object/airplane becomes blurry as serious as normal composition ?
I mean this kind of angle :
I am a Guangzhou Spotter. My photos are here : http://www.airliners.net/search?user=20 ... =viewCount :D
 
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river38
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:21 pm

Image

Nikon D5 / Nikon 105mm/f1.4
1/250s f1.4 ISO 16000

Image

Nikon D5 / Nikon 105mm/f1.4
1/125s f1.4 ISO 12800

Image?
How do you do it?
 
sovietjet
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:37 pm

Keiichi, you use the Nikon 105mm f1.4 for your photos? Are you always shooting wide open at f1.4?
 
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cpd
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:18 pm

HarryLi wrote:
I am going to have a try with the Canon 85mm f/1.2l II this week. I amwodering that if i take those photos with different composition i mean not the normal angles with maybe f/1.8 - f/2.8. Will it make the object/airplane becomes blurry as serious as normal composition ?
I mean this kind of angle :


I think you'll be fine with that kind of angle and F/2.8. If you get a number of smaller planes flying in on the same night then just try between F/1.4 and F/2.8 for all of them and see which one works better. You'll get some throwaway shots but surely some of them will come good.

With this I'm thinking of going out and getting a big aperture lens... Keiichi might just succeed in encouraging me back into this. :)

Edit: Nikon 105mm F1.4 is expensive! :eek:
 
sovietjet
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:34 pm

cpd wrote:

With this I'm thinking of going out and getting a big aperture lens... Keiichi might just succeed in encouraging me back into this. :)


Maybe making a comeback?! :-) I miss seeing your shots
 
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cpd
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:01 am

sovietjet wrote:
cpd wrote:

With this I'm thinking of going out and getting a big aperture lens... Keiichi might just succeed in encouraging me back into this. :)


Maybe making a comeback?! :-) I miss seeing your shots


Well, don't count on it. It's tempting, but there are other things I equally enjoy doing.
 
KingOrGod
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:32 am

HarryLi wrote:
I am going to have a try with the Canon 85mm f/1.2l II this week.


How did that turn out? I use this lense in the studio, but haven't had the urge to go shooting night shots at FRA with it...

I find my copy of the 1.2L II has some IQ issues esp. (but not limited to) chromatic abberation, not sure if that will be an issue with high contrast shots at night...
 
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HarryLi
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:47 am

KingOrGod wrote:
HarryLi wrote:
I am going to have a try with the Canon 85mm f/1.2l II this week.


How did that turn out? I use this lense in the studio, but haven't had the urge to go shooting night shots at FRA with it...

I find my copy of the 1.2L II has some IQ issues esp. (but not limited to) chromatic abberation, not sure if that will be an issue with high contrast shots at night...

These two are my results of that night :
http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... 6055562c66
http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... a05938563d

With F/1.8. F/1.2 is not suitable i think it causes some parts become blurry. 1.4 looks not bad but 1.8 looks better i think.
It could be a reference for you i think. ;)
I am a Guangzhou Spotter. My photos are here : http://www.airliners.net/search?user=20 ... =viewCount :D
 
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cpd
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:23 pm

HarryLi wrote:
KingOrGod wrote:
HarryLi wrote:
I am going to have a try with the Canon 85mm f/1.2l II this week.


How did that turn out? I use this lense in the studio, but haven't had the urge to go shooting night shots at FRA with it...

I find my copy of the 1.2L II has some IQ issues esp. (but not limited to) chromatic abberation, not sure if that will be an issue with high contrast shots at night...

These two are my results of that night :
http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... 6055562c66
http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... a05938563d

With F/1.8. F/1.2 is not suitable i think it causes some parts become blurry. 1.4 looks not bad but 1.8 looks better i think.
It could be a reference for you i think. ;)


I think you need more ambient light to make it work. The shots are sharp but too dark. You need some form of light from buildings, stadium lights, etc.

I think you achieved the maximum in the situation you had there - nice effort.
 
vikkyvik
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:49 pm

cpd wrote:
I think you need more ambient light to make it work. The shots are sharp but too dark.


Could just be too much contrast added in post as well. Based on how much black there is, I'd be surprised if the shots turned out exactly like that.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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cpd
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:20 am

vikkyvik wrote:
cpd wrote:
I think you need more ambient light to make it work. The shots are sharp but too dark.


Could just be too much contrast added in post as well. Based on how much black there is, I'd be surprised if the shots turned out exactly like that.


Hmm, yeah, that could be as well.
 
KingOrGod
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Re: Trying to Emulate Keiichi Egawa - Advice Needed

Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:48 pm

HarryLi wrote:
KingOrGod wrote:
HarryLi wrote:
I am going to have a try with the Canon 85mm f/1.2l II this week.


How did that turn out? I use this lense in the studio, but haven't had the urge to go shooting night shots at FRA with it...

I find my copy of the 1.2L II has some IQ issues esp. (but not limited to) chromatic aberration, not sure if that will be an issue with high contrast shots at night...

These two are my results of that night :
http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... 6055562c66
http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/air ... a05938563d

With F/1.8. F/1.2 is not suitable i think it causes some parts become blurry. 1.4 looks not bad but 1.8 looks better i think.
It could be a reference for you i think. ;)



Many thanks for taking the effort to answer my questions. #thumbsup

I have a really strong love/hate relationship with my 1.2L II on the IQ front. I am not sure but I have very hit and miss experiences with it wide open at 1.2 or 1.4. I realise it takes skill to use that sort of aperture but I personally find the Otus 1.4 delivering better results constantly. If only I could afford a switch, but business doesn't justify such an outlay...

I will see and maybe head out to FRA when the sun starts setting later in the evening and it's not so cold anymore...

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