Topic Author
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2001 7:40 am

Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 10:27 am


I was wondering if anyone could help?

Im looking for someone to tell me the basics of airplane photography and spotting, just to help me get started. Of course I know i need a camera, but if anyone could give some tips or hints, and a list of the basic things that i would need. It's just to get me started. I'v always wanted to get involved in this hobby, but I just realy never knew how.

Also, sorry if my grammer isnt perfect, im a pilot not an english major.

Thank you for any help

Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 10:48 am

ok, first you need a camera, although i see that you've identified that already. I'll bet if you don't want to start off serious and spend alot of money you can use a compact camera with a zoom lens and take some pictures panning with the aircraft.

Then you can move on and buy a Second hand SLR and a lens (preferrebly one with 200mm+ focal length) and maybe a film/slide scanner..

Then you need to learn the basics, always have the sun behind your back for best results, try and avoid taking photographs on cloudy days, pan with the aircraft (follow it with the viewfinder), try and get it to fill most of the frame.

Then read the manual to learn about aperture, light metering and shutter speed. This knowledge will help you alot.


Posts: 2031
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 2:33 pm

RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 11:22 am

If you're going for the photo aspect of this hobby, basically everything that Dan said. But binoculars, a pen, pad of paper, and some freetime, is also great.
Mark McWhirter...Contrails Photography
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RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 4:10 pm

Try this article. It'll give you the basics.

The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
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Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 2:56 pm

RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 5:28 pm

To be a spotter, I guess you'll have to refer to airline fleet lists to know which planes you've seen, and which ones you haven't. Go to the civil discussion forum, and do a search for airline fleet lists. Youl will find a no. of links to some useful sites.
See my homepage for a comprehensive guide to spotting and photography at HKG
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 6:16 pm

A really ahndy book is Jane's Airdcraft Recognition guide. It runs about $20.00/15 pounds/$33.00 Canadian...Well worth it. Covers just about any airplane you will see out there. Also take a look at some of the magazines out there suck as Airliner World, Airways, etc...Nice to have an idea of what planes you are looking at. (Then you can be an EXPERT here  Smile )
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RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 6:19 pm

And after a while, you might want an airband scanner too, IF they are legal where you are.
If they are not legal, you can get into serious trouble carrying one.

And please, always respect the law. Don't go into areas where it's not allowed. Don't climb or damage fences...
Don't litter. Spotting areas have been closed because spotters dumped drinks cans and Mc Donnalds burgerboxes.
If there is no trashcan, take your trash with you.
Respect lawenforcement officials and airport staff. If they tell you to leave, don't argue but do so. If you think they are wrong, tell them so while packing up so they see you do intend to comply...
I wish I were flying
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RE: Spotting For Begginers

Sun Jan 06, 2002 10:02 pm

Just some pointers as to why spots have been closed simply for littering...

An Empty Burger box for example, could easily attracts birds, flocks of them, a packet of chips, same problem, and you have the added risk that these objects could cause FOD to the aircraft if it is taken onto the runway by the wind.


Aer Lingus
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Joined: Sun May 14, 2000 4:06 am

RE: Spotting For Begginers

Mon Jan 07, 2002 1:34 am

Do everything Dan (EGGD) said but in reverse order !

Dan you look at the manual to learn about aperture before you take your first pictures. God man stop getting things arsed ways Big grin Big grin Big grin Big grin Big grin Big grin  Big thumbs up

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RE: Spotting For Begginers

Mon Jan 07, 2002 3:23 am

Not much info at the moment but keep an eye on this.


Add to it if you can, this will help others.
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RE: Spotting For Begginers

Mon Jan 07, 2002 5:20 am

JP's Fleet guide book.
I think that is what its called? Better check my magazine and find that picture of the book.
Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.

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