Topic Author
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:58 am

Advice On Tail Closeups

Wed Dec 12, 2001 12:19 pm

Recently, I've had some tail closeups rejected. Here are three of the photos:

They were rejected for the "low aesthetics" reason, which can include bad angle, etc. This one's still sitting in the queue:

and this one I haven't submitted:

I'd like some feedback on these, but also I would like to know what are some good guidelines for getting a good tail closeup. I'd lke to get some ideas that I can keep in mind the next time I go shooting, so I can get a good tail closeup that won't get rejected for low aesthetics. Thanks.
da Fwog
Posts: 845
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 1999 5:25 am

RE: Advice On Tail Closeups

Wed Dec 12, 2001 8:35 pm

Well, the question that occurs to me while looking at these pics is: what is the point of the photo? Tail shots are notoriously difficult to get added to the database - in order to succeed you need to consider your subject very carefully. There are two real reasons to take a closeup of a tail. The first is that it's a particularly unusual, interesting or colourful tail, or has some fine detail that would not be apparent if you stepped back to show the whole aircraft. The second is that you have a nice composition, possibly with several different tails, or your tail plus an interesting background detail.

Now, your photos are fine from a technical quality point of view, but aesthetically they are quite poor. I can't see the reason in any of the shots WHY you decided to photograph the tail specifically rather than the whole of the aircraft. In each case, there are extraneous objects in the background that distract from the tail, without adding any value to the pic, and all the tails are that dull military grey, which doesn't make them interesting to look at.

It looks to me as if you had plenty of freedom to walk around these jets and take pics from wherever you liked, so you are in a good position to get the most from your subjects (although the close proximity of them could well make good composition difficult). In which case, I would go back and have another go. But carefully consider with each pic what you want to get in the frame. You can't always exclude background details, but sometimes moving the camera a little one way or the other can push them out of frame or else conceal them behind your subject. If you must photograph tails, then look for interesting details and/or interesting composition before taking your shots. Unfortunately most military tails are not going to be instantly attention-grabbing shots - I'd really suggest that unless you can find a particularly interesting composition for these tails that you go straight to the other end of the airplanes and shoot noses!

To sum up: you are photographing static aircraft, where you have the opportunity to take your time and consider exactly the angles you are going to shoot from - so do just that: wander around the aircraft, look through your camera from all sorts of different angles, pay attention to what creeps into the background of your shots, and then take the shots that you think "work".

Hope this is of some help to you.

Topic Author
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:58 am

RE: Advice On Tail Closeups

Wed Dec 12, 2001 9:11 pm

Thanks, Chris. I'm still pretty new at this hobby, so any advice you have is helpful. Thanks again.

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