Airline7322
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:42 am

Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 12:40 am

I've been to DCA once (at Gravelly Point) to take pictures of incoming traffic, however I was curious what is the best time to spot at the airport? I'm particularly interested on optimum times on the weekend, as I'm currently a student. On a slightly unrelated note, I would like some feedback on a couple of photos (recently rejected, as expected since I'm a novice) I uploaded to the airliners.net que.
Thanks,
Airline7322

http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/rejections/big/NorthwestUS.jpg
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/rejections/big/DSC0162Delta.jpg

(Equipment: Nikon D70 18-70 stock lens)

PS: I couldn't get the photoid trick to work with rejected photos
"Good ideas must be driven into practice with courageous patience."
 
philhyde
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:16 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 12:48 am

The Delta photo seems to be of low quality (i.e. high jpg compression).

The NWA is not centered in the photograph. The quality on that one looks useable.

In general, both photos need to have the a/c centered and cropped as close as possible.

Good luck!
Phil
Canon junkie - Aviation Nut
 
Airline7322
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:42 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 2:11 am

I appreciate your comments, Phil. What program would you recommend I use to crop and resize, that would not result in such high jpeg compression. I'm currently using Irfanview, which obviously is not doing the job. Would you recommend I shoot in RAW?
Thanks,
Airline7322
"Good ideas must be driven into practice with courageous patience."
 
Fly747
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:03 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 2:46 am

Your best bet for processing photos is Photoshop CS.

Ivan
 
Airline7322
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:42 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 10:55 pm

What should I do to improve the one salvageable picture (the Northwest one)?
"Good ideas must be driven into practice with courageous patience."
 
Gary2880
Posts: 1856
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:52 pm

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 11:07 pm

Just you know, if you dont see photos of that distance in the database at the moment why upload them.

But anyway the NWA one if that's how it came out the camera you might be able to crop it enough on the original not familiar with nikons

try crop it down to about this size if it`ll take it

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Gary2880/nwa.jpg

regards

Gary
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
Smalbany
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:29 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Sun May 29, 2005 11:41 pm

To answer your original question, the best time to take photos from gravelly point should be in the late afternoon/ early evening. At that time, for approaches to runway 19 or departures from 1, the sun will be at your back.
 
Airline7322
Topic Author
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:42 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Mon May 30, 2005 3:57 am

SMAlbany, I appreciate your response. Is there a way I can find out what direction traffic is taking off before I leave to go to the airport. Specifically, is there a way to find this information out on the internet, or do I need to purchase a scanner?
"Good ideas must be driven into practice with courageous patience."
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Mon May 30, 2005 11:21 am

Airline7322,

If the winds are from the South/SW/SE they will use runway 19 for landing and departures.
If the winds are from the North/NE/NW they will use runway 1 for departures and landings.
Before going to the airport check weather.com for current wind conditions.
You can also check DCA ATIS for runways.

Best time for pictures at Gravelly Point is from 1pm until early evening.

Quoting SmAlbany (Reply 6):
he best time to take photos from gravelly point should be in the late afternoon/ early evening.

I don't know why SmAlbany said late afternoon/early evening. Sun will be behind your back at noon, but still high. I can tell you that 12:30pm you should be fine.

Take care,
Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
User avatar
Bruce
Posts: 4935
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Mon May 30, 2005 1:17 pm

Quoting Lindy (Reply 8):
Best time for pictures at Gravelly Point is from 1pm until early evening.

This is true if you are shooting from the west side of the centerline (looking east). But as you know you can walk along the jogging path under the centerline to the other side and look to the west - so wouldn't that be good in the morning?

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Mon May 30, 2005 10:27 pm

You are right Bruce, but morning photography at DCA is not popular  Smile

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
skyliner
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 4:07 am

RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:01 am

In addition to the afternoon being preferred to shoot from Gravelly Point, Saturday is something of an "off" day, since a number of flights, including some of the DL/US Shuttle activity, don't run on Saturday afternoon/evenings. This applies less to the long-haul (e.g. Frontier) and more to short/medium-haul flights. There is still decent volume Saturday P.M., but weekdays/Sundays are better.
George
 
Skymonster
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RE: Best Time To Photograph At DCA

Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:07 am

IMHO, afternoons when they are using 1 are by far the best...

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Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages
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BUT, Gravelly Point is too "underneath" the climb out.

Andy
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