jspitfire
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:50 pm

Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:28 am

I recently took a flight in the jumpseat on a Dash-7 and tried a bunch of pictures of the cockpit at night. This was probably the best one I got.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3084/3106862872_b5481b5daa_o.jpg

I would like to know from those that have these types of pictures in the database, how you take these shots. I was using at Canon Rebel XTi with a 10-20mm lens, ISO 1600, f/4, and anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds. (this one was 2.5 sec.) I had the camera resting in my lap for this one, but others I tried bracing it against the wall or my chest, and those still came out slightly blurry.

So, how do other people stabilize the camera? Is a tripod used? How else can you do it, as the Dash-7 cockpit is rather cramped for a tripod? Would a dull flash or turning up the cockpit lights help but still preserve the glow of the instruments? Or is it simply a matter of taking tons of pictures and hoping one of them turns out?

Any other advice people have would be great, and hopefully I can try out a bunch more shots on another trip sometime soon.

Thanks

Jason
 
Lexy
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RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:40 am

Tripods are the best course of action in this case. I have shot these type of shots in simulators while they are flying around and tripods are a must for the shots. Taking tons of shots is okay, one will surely come out in focus atleast eh?! Seriously though, get a tripod and try it that way. Nice shot though!!!
Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
 
AdamWright
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:58 pm

RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:41 am

Manfrotto makes the Magic Arm.. Do a search on the forum and you'll find threads related to it.

This was shot with a 20D latched onto a manfrotto magic arm:


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Photo © Adam Wright



Hope this helps..

-Adam
 
wilco737
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RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:56 am



Quoting Jspitfire (Thread starter):

I use one of these gorilla (or what their name was) tripos which you can fold around seats, armrests or so but even then it shouldn't be too bumpy  Wink


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WILCO737 (MD11F)
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vishaljo
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RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:07 am



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 3):
I use one of these gorilla (or what their name was)

JOBY Gorillapod
 
wilco737
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:09 am



Quoting Vishaljo (Reply 4):
Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 3):
I use one of these gorilla (or what their name was)

JOBY Gorillapod

Yes, that's the one. Works pretty good if it is not too bumpy, otherwise it is still shaking a bit. But amazing on what places you can attach that in the cockpit (preferable on the gear or flap lever Big grin )

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vishaljo
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RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:30 am

Just 10inches tall yea ?
Is it usable for general photography or only for special purposes ?
 
wilco737
Posts: 7279
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:50 am



Quoting Vishaljo (Reply 6):
Is it usable for general photography or only for special purposes ?

It's basically a normal tripod but you have the chanve to put is on weird places as well to get long exposure shots in places where you cannot put a normal tripod.
It is light and you can easily put it into you bag.

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andrewuber
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RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:44 am

I have the Canon 20D, and I find it too grainy at very high ISO, so I elect to go with longer exposures. For this type of shot, I would just push the camera up against the cockpit door (balanced on the viewbox), lean over and just bear down as hard as I can while the shutter is open. Turn in-camera sharpening and noise reduction OFF so you can fire repeatedly, and just click-click-click. Out of the dozens of shots you'll have several good ones.

This is an example of this technique. Shot with the Canon Digital Rebel, this is 5 seconds at ISO 200. The light trails indicate the beginning of our flare. Kindof a cool effect IMHO.


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Photo © Freight-Dawg - Airside Photography



In the digital world, you can't make many mistakes. You're not wasting film, so just get as many exposures as you can. Try different things and see what works best for you (and for the type you're flying).

Good luck!

Drew
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
Dehowie
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RE: Cockpit Photography, In Flight, At Night

Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:27 pm

Magic arm is the best way to go. There is no space on a flightdeck for a tripod and nothing will hold it steady in turbulence.
Numerous mounting methods enable the magic arm to be the number one choice.

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Dazz
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