mirage
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Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:11 am

I need some help about cockpit photos. I want to have a perfectly exposed outside and at the same time a perfectly exposed cockpit panel. When I have acess to cockpits I don't have time to make several experiences, it's always a rush time up there. So I would like some conceipts about the fill flash technique, how aperture and shutter speed should be combined with the camera built in flash. When on the cockpit should I make a reading on the outside and then pass to manual mode, keep that reading and use the flash?


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apuneger
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:16 am

I only have taken a couple of cockpit shots myself (with a non-digital point-and-shoot camera, so no much of techniques over here), but I think the best way would be the camera to expose for the outside light, but still use a flash. That way you'll have both the cockpit panels and a nice not overexposed outside scenery view.

Ivan
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PPGMD
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:48 am

Well I have one. I metered off the outside and used flash to properly expose the cockpit.


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mirage
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:53 am

Thanks both for your answers. Shawn, what camera have you used on that photo? nice one. So you metered off the outside and kept manually the settings while using the flash?

Luis
 
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:59 am

I was using the Coolpix 995. With a wide angle on it, metered off the edge of the cockpit window (so it would Auto focus on that spot too), then shot, real easy like. Now I was using a external flash.
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mirage
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:08 am

ok, I realize I was not giving the proper attention to this kind of photos.

Luis
 
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 1:23 pm

Mirage, whats your gear, I might be able to give you better advice if I knew what you are working with.

For the CP 995, I focus with the spot metering, on something like the compas. That gives me a good focus on the panel, and meters off outside light.. I then set the flash mode for lightning bolt (fill flash for fast shutter speeds). I shoot the flash should go off and balance the light. If the flash doesn't go off, you will get a perfectly exposed outside with a black frame (the frame before the one pictured above).

With the D100 or the D30, I focus on the panel first using the back mounted AF button (star on the D30), then I would use a half press to meter off the outside again, compose. With the flash set to fill take the picture.

On the N90s, I would do similar. Set the focus mode to continous. Meter off the window, and find where I want to focus. Use the AF lock button. Frame, and have the falsh set to fill. Shoot

Now if push comes to shove, and your camera doesn't support anything like that I guess you could meter the window, and set it to manual mode. That way when you half press the shutter it won't change your exposure, but it will AF. Just make sure that you flash is set to fill flash.

I hope this helps a bit, I'm good at taking pictures, explaining them is another thing.
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Thom@s
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:38 pm

Well, i sorta managed a pic like you describe Luis, but tecnhically the outside of the aircraft is still indoors. Hmmm, that didn't sound right.  Smile


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apuneger
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:48 pm

I still haven't done this with my D60, but I sure would like to know how to do it, before my trip to LHR next week-end.

Would it be OK to meter the outside, use exposure lock (x button, you know), compose the frame with the panels and stuff on it, focus, and then shoot with flash?

Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:17 pm

Ahhhhh you kids and your fancy, wiz bang gizmo flashes Wink/being sarcastic. I remember the good ol' days of using an all manual Vivtar 285 HV held off to the side and mentally calculating the proper fill balance  Confused. I suppose there is something good to be said for hi-tech after all Big thumbs up.

Thomas
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:25 pm

Apuneger, yeah that works, it's the same thing, your just focusing in a diffrent time thats all.
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Thom@s
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:31 pm

Thomas...

A crappy camera with a flash partly functionable will provide a picture such as...


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...a standard camera on a tripod with several minutes exposure will provide a picture such as...


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...and a hi-tech digital gizmo with one of them flashy things will provide an image such as...


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Pick! Big grin  Big grin

Thom@s (Oh the plugs)
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thomasphoto60
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:04 pm

Thom@s,

I prefer #2  Big thumbs up  Big thumbs up followed by #1:D Keep a pluggin......you deserve it!

Indeed, I have been using flash for over 20 years and while I have always had a love/hate affair with flash photography today's small strobe advances have certainly taken the mental gymnastics (and some of the fun) out of exposure calculation, hell I still find myself trying to second guess the flash caluclations on my 'camputer/flash' combos.

Thomas
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PPGMD
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:05 pm

Thomas the third one, the outside is way over exposed, my editor would chase me around the office hitting me over the head with a cardboard tube if I returned that... oh wait he does it anyways.
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Thom@s
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:41 pm

Thank you Thomas, I will.  Laugh out loud

Thom@s
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mirage
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Tue Oct 15, 2002 3:43 am

PPGMD, I use a Canon EOS 30 and on this camera I don't know how to set the flash to fill mode neither I see a buton to lock the exposure.

Next time I have an opportunity to visit a cokpit I'll try the "metter outside, pass to manual, keep the outside reading and use the flash" technique  Smile

thanks all for your feedback
Luis
 
BA777
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Tue Oct 15, 2002 5:01 am

So for us film users, should we set the F stop right open and let the shutter do what it wants?

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toady
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:54 am

Gentlemen, I know next to nothing about photography (but I'm learning all the time!!) so I hope you'll excuse me if my following suggestion is crap  Smile

I guess that getting access to cockpits for this type of shot is not always easy and, therefore, the photographer has little opportunity to practice for it. Would it help to take practice shots of your car's dashboard? I'm thinking along the lines of sitting in the back seat (unless it's a 2-seater!!), reclining the front seats and photographing the steering wheel, radio, dials etc while trying to properly expose the view through the windscreen/side door windows.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Wed Oct 16, 2002 4:32 am

Actually Toady, that is a very good suggestion. A cockpit is not all that diffrent from a car's dash in this regard.

While I have personally never had access to a flight deck as a photographer, one can apply the same technique as described above.

Indeed I too would assume that one's time in the cockpit in order to photograph the flight deck is probably very limited, unless of course you are fortunate to have made arrangements with airline/owner for a longer period of time, namely for a commercial shoot.

Thomas
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Jan Mogren
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Wed Oct 16, 2002 4:41 am

And if for a commercial shoot, it's hardly the time to start training  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Toady has a good point there.

Also, when taking the light readings from the outside and setting up for a manual shot, don't forget not to go above the max flash sync speed.
That is, if you get 1/500 @ f8 make sure to choose something like 1/125 @ f16 instead or you'll be sorry..
/JM
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PPGMD
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RE: Help For Cockpit Photos

Wed Oct 16, 2002 5:42 am

BA777, you need to set both, if you let the shutter do what it wants then it will adjust for where ever you last metered.
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