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Bruce
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Question On Improving Photography

Fri Apr 26, 2002 2:06 pm

I really want to become a BETTER photographer with regard to shooting aircraft (which of course means I'll become pretty good at anything I'll shoot in the process) but I need some advice.

THe gear that I've invested in last year is not top of the line but should provide decent quality pics. i have a Canon EOS300 with 2 lenses: a 28-90 and a 100-300. I've taken a few aviation pics with it but can't get them uploaded because the most common reason is quality. There's a lot of grain it seems, after I scan them. That's one problem. The only scanner I have at my disposal is a HP Scanjet 5200. I'm currently in the process of re-uploading my older photos with new scans that are quite a bit improved over the originals and I've been successful so far but still not at the quality level that i need a "new" photo to be.

My local airport doesn't offer much chance at all to shoot. There are only 15 flights a day & no viewing area; most are 737 & RJ's plus one 747 that comes direct from LUX or MEX daily...unfortunately it arrives after sundown! So, I will have to travel somewhere that offers a decent airport to shoot at. But before I do, I want to practice. What can you recomment that I shoot? I need to spend some time shooting SOMETHING outdoors in different kinds of light in order to get the practice and improve.

Has anybody done this? THat is, practice your photography NOT on airplanes? I'm used to bringing out the camera for special events but I really need to find a decent photo opportunity with some action if I'm ever going to get the practice.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
PUnmuth@VIE
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Fri Apr 26, 2002 2:19 pm

What about going to a car racing event? Also lots of fast moving objects.
Peter
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jwenting
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Fri Apr 26, 2002 4:04 pm

I take it you have little or no experience at all photographing? Else you wouldn't be asking this  Big thumbs up

Start with things that don't move, get your skills judging light and exposure developed nicely.
Landscapes work well, shoot the same scene in all kinds of light and note down the exposure details. Study the results.
Might sound boring but it works.
Do the same thing with different kinds of film.
Then go to the zoo and shoot the animals. Your first moving targets  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Judge the light and go for it, you might notice that you're getting to the point where you know in advance when a certain shot is not going to work out because of the light.
Racing events are also good, if you can find one and get in a position where you can shoot.
Then go to the airport and use the knowledge you built up over time.

Once you decide on a film, use it religiously. Don't buy another film just because it is cheaper (in fact, when I use a different film it's usually a more expensive one... I'm considering switching to another film that costs twice as much, ordered 5 rolls to try it out, if I like it it will become my standard film). I now use only 2 kinds of film (not counting the very occasional black&white, which I also limit to 1 or 2 kinds), both from the same manufacturer (Fuji, the one is NPH400 (print) and the other Sensia 100 (slide) (which I might replace with Provia 100F soon)).
Start with a film like Sensia or Superia 100. Those are cheap and you want to shoot A LOT of film. burn 100 rolls or so in the first year, learn from your mistakes and successes. Create your own style, don't try to immitate the masters.

Good luck on the wonderfull path of photography. Shooting aircraft is only a part of it, an interesting part but only a part.
I wish I were flying
 
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Bruce
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 2:08 am

Well, not exactly. I have taken some pics before. But I wasn't necessarily concerned about quality or creativeness. So I have used a camera. One of my previous jobs involved using a professional-format video camera shooting, among other things, high school sports.

When I first started shooting planes, I found this site when it was in its infancy, almost 3 years ago, and I began uploading when the database had less than 20,000 photos total. In fact, my most viewed photo is one of those first ones:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bruce Leibowitz


Again, not too concerned about the HIGHEST quality possible - it was just something fun to do. But now, I need to improve my technique in order to keep up with the improved quality levels of this site.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
Craigy
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 3:16 am

Bruce,
When you get the rejections, what film are you using?

J.T.'s comments above are spot on. I used Superia 100 print film and had a fair bit of grain. I switched to Sensia 100 slide film, and the results were superb. Virtually no grain at all when scanned. I have ordered Provia 100, which is Fuji's professional slide film for less than I normally pay for Sensia and it is supposed to be the finest grain for 100 film.

Regards,
Craig.
 
jderden777
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 4:49 am

i think you'll be pretty impressed with provia 100....it is a great film (i've used it for about 90% of my slide stuff) and i love it...the finest grain i've ever seen (and i've tried quite a few slide films)...i'm still partial to my provia, but i am experimenting with different films such as k64...i think i'm going to give velvia & sensia a go this spring/summer and see how i like it...

i'd like to become a better photographer too...i thought that i was ok before but now it's a real challenge to get stuff accepted and i'm always looking for something new that will get me closer to airplanes and in the best conditions...to put it bluntly, i was once good enough, but now i'm not...so i have to keep at it...a lot of us are in the same boat...however, good luck Bruce, and give provia100 a go and see how you like it

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
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Bruce
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 2:27 pm

Well I have to admit that i have used cheap film in the past, but I did buy a roll of Fuji Reala 100 (i think that's what it was called)...and managed to shoot some in the weeks following 9/11 but I couldn't stay down at BHM because there were National Guard troops everywhere. Here's one shot that came out "decent" but I don't think good enough to upload: (follow the link because I don't know how to post the pic here)

http://www.bruceleibowitz.net/N8875Z.jpg

I still need more work....


bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
serge
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 2:48 pm

"There are only 15 flights a day & no viewing area; most are 737 & RJ's plus one 747 that comes direct from LUX or MEX daily...unfortunately it arrives after sundown!"

 Wow! Deeeeeeeyam! I make do with 2 Big Sky Metros, 3 Great Lakes B1900Ds, Fedex 208 Caravans, lots of cargo Metros, and GA aircraft such as biz jets and trainers.

You are spoiled over there  Big grin

KISN is my home airport by the way....

....Serge
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 5:47 pm

Kodachrome 64 is the way to go Bruce, that also the film you want to use if you want to do any trading/selling, nobody want Fuji.

Guess I have to be happy with ANC, I thought ANC's traffic is slow once in a while, guess its better than 15 flights a day. If its busy we get about 20/30 flights an hour.

-Dmitry
 
jderden777
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sat Apr 27, 2002 11:43 pm

Dmitry said:
"nobody wants Fuji."

however, i do indeed beg to differ  Smile/happy/getting dizzy while most people want K64, there are some people who do take green...it's not nearly as popular as yellow though....and i'm not going to start a green vs. yellow debate...that is endless and really pointless...each film has pros and cons but in the end it is up to the photographer to decide what film to use - and they can shoot whatever they want...i was getting into using K64 for some trading purposes as well...

also, i would think that BHM would have more than 15 flights a day...i mean, you've got Southwest and Delta flying in there...i thought that southwest was kinda big at BHM...plus you also have the ANG stuff (tankers, etc.)...and with all the regionals there are maybe more than 15...up here at TRI we get about 60+ flights a day...

i dunno what to tell ya Bruce, just keep at it!

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
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Bruce
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sun Apr 28, 2002 2:16 am

No, BHM most likely has much more than 15 flights a day. I don't live in BHM though. I live in Huntsville - when I went to shoot I drove down there. It's about 80 miles away.

I wonder if I should try a roll of slide film and compare the result. When you have it developed, can they give you a photo CD of the slides? I don't have a slide scanner available. How good is the quality if the photo developing place gives you a CD?


bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
2912n
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sun Apr 28, 2002 2:32 am

Stay away from the photo CD stuff. They won't or can't do it off of slife film and the quality they give from prints sucks. You can got to a pro shop and have slides scanned, but after just a few it would cost as much as buying a quality slide scanner. (I split between digital and slides. Have good luck getting accepted here with the digital. Still strugling to make good scans...)

For developing technique I would hit small regional airports where you can get close to the action and experiment that way. (I hooked up with the controllers at my local GA place and when it is not busy they allow me to get down on the approach end fairly close. SInce they get a good mix of GA, business jets and military I can play around and see what I like.)
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sun Apr 28, 2002 5:03 pm

Your right Jonathan, there are collectors/traders who will buy green, but I personally won't buy it. I have shot only K64 since I started, I haven't had a roll of any other lind of film through my F5 yet.

-Dmitry
 
Staffan
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sun Apr 28, 2002 8:59 pm

If you haven't used anything else, how do you know it's not good?

Staffan
 
timdegroot
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RE: Question On Improving Photography

Sun Apr 28, 2002 9:30 pm

I have actually just started collecting slides after years of makinf color prints, and I still have to decide what film to use. Everybody says K64, including my dad who has a collection of 35000. But then I hear people saying Fuji Provia or Sensia is good too. Anayway haven't made up my mind on what to use. K64 seems obvious for trading/selling purposes, but is the quality really better then Fuji material?
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