CougarAviator
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Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Mon Jul 19, 2004 12:33 am

I have a question for you seasoned veterans.

First let me tell you what I have. I have a Canon Elan 7e camera, with a 25-90mm lens and a 70-300 lens.

Are those lenses good enough to get some great photos of aircraft?

I was at the Lee Road photo park at IAH and I was using my 70-300mm Lens. I felt like I was robbed by the lens as it was passing directly in front of me.

Should I get another lens just for aircraft photography?

Also, are there any other non-official spotting places around IAH to get some great shots? I used to park on the top level of the the terminal B parking garage, and sit there all day, snapping away.

Thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated!!

Chris
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Bruce
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:30 am

I have shot there at Lee Rd. and most of my photos were in the 80-110mm zoom range so your 70-300 should be fine.

They still allow people to go up on the garage there. In fact that is endorsed by the Houston Airport Authority as a "spotting place". There are a couple other un-official places around the new runway but i have not been there...

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:02 am

Chris,

First off, the lenses are fine for almost anywhere at IAH.

As Bruce said, the parking garages at Terminal B are endorsed by the H.A.S. as a place to go and enjoy the sights. Same goes with the Terminal C and D garages as well. The better time of year to use these places is in the spring, fall and wintertime when the sun is behind you. There is a new parking garage that is nearing completion for Terminal E that has yet to be checked out by us locals so when that happens, we may have some more news to report. The thought is that during this time of year, the afternoon could work with a good telephoto lens (100-400 or 75-300mm type) as planes taxi in on the north east bridge between rwy 27 and the International Terminal. Stay tuned for that.
Another place which doesn't get too much notice is the Marriott Airport parking garage. Though it's pricey (5.00/hr), in the summertime evenings, you can get nice taxi shots of RJs and 737s, etc. at pretty close range, sun mainly on the nose but slightly in your favor. No ladder needed.
As for the outside places, with the new runway 8L/26R in use, there are still new places to be explored. The H.A.S. has begun a program involving mounted rangers on horses patrolling the peremiter fences so there could still be some resistance to new places being found. By the way, has anyone here in Houston seen anyone actually using the horse trails?!
The Lee Rd. parking area is a favorite for nose on arriving planes this time of year, and during the wintertime, good to park and walk a bit down the road to shoot with the sun behind you. There is a great spot at the end of Rankin Rd. on the west side that is kind of open if you park your car and walk. There you can get nice afternoon takeoff shots, but officially, it's not exactly open. We here in Houston have been talking on and off again with the H.A.S. about reopening that parking spot, but nothing yet has come about.
Anyway, there are still a few places to shoot from at IAH and with the new carriers we've picked up this year (PIA 777, SVA 742F, CAA A340 and MidLantic E170s to name a few), it's not that bad of a place...Friday, the first COA 738 with winglets will arrive as well!

Cheers and maybe we'll meet out there some day
Jeffrey
"Irregardless, it's a Cat III airplane, we don't need an alternate!"
 
CougarAviator
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:22 am

Bruce and Jeff, you guys made my day!!! I can't wait to get out there and make a day of photographing!!!!

And I appreciate the info about the lenses.......

Maybe some day I will see you guys out there!

Have a great day, guys!!

Thanks again!

Chris
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:06 am

Chris,

No problem, glad to help...keep in mind that shooting out at IAH gets better as the fall comes...sunwise, anglewise, etc.
Oh, for the morning, near the FedEx ramp, they park visitors or mx planes at a place that you can shoot through the gap in the fence with the smaller lens, depending on the size of the plane. A United Arab Emirates BBJ was there on Friday and would have been a nice morning shot.
By the way, are you shooting digital, slides or prints?

Jeffrey
Slides...
"Irregardless, it's a Cat III airplane, we don't need an alternate!"
 
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:09 am

Jeffrey, thanks for the heads up. Right now, I'm just shooting prints.

I'm also thinking about getting a new lens; it's a sigma 100-500mm telephoto.

[Edited 2004-07-19 00:31:27]
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Speedbird2025
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:08 am

Chris.. Perhaps We Can Meet Up At Lee Soon. I will probably be by there mid week sometime. And Jeffrey gave some great tips as well a few posts up.

--Nathan
 
CougarAviator
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:53 am

Nathan, I can't make it out there this week (baby sitting issues). But when I'm able, I'd definately like to hook up with you.

It's good to know that a fellow Cougar is into Aviation as well (Class of 1996)!!!
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Speedbird2025
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:29 am

Cool.. Let me know when you usually go out there.

--Nate
 
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:54 am

Chris,

Prints are fine, let me know if you want to cross into the slide side of things  Smile

I see you are down in Sugar Land, do you go out there to photograph any of the bizjets/props much? They're a little more fussy around there, but with little to no fences, hard to complain!

Also, are you on the IAH spotters yahoo site yet? Will send you details if you want to join as it's very helpful and active with info going on out there.

Cheers
Jeffrey
"Irregardless, it's a Cat III airplane, we don't need an alternate!"
 
CougarAviator
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RE: Photography 101 & Spotting At IAH

Wed Jul 21, 2004 8:07 am

Jeff, I'm going to start taking some shots at SGR. I know some of the ladies that work in the terminal, so maybe they will cut me some slack. I fly out of there, so maybe during a pre-flight, I can snag some photos.

I'm definately trying to take my photography abilities up to the next level.

Regarding slides, yes, that is something I'd like to get into, Jeff. I cannot lie, I really don't know what slides are...I'm mainly familar with prints.

Please send details on the IAH spotters site...

I appreciate the info!!!!! Thanks guys!!!

BTW, I'm contemplating buying a 50-500mm Sigma Lens for my Canon SLR.
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