|Quoting Woodentom (Thread starter):|
i am thinking of going to the RAF museum at Cosford this weekend and am wondering if it is worth taking the camera?
Yes, do, is the short answer. But photography is not so easy.
They did not seem to mind the use of tripods last time I went as long as they are sensibly used, but I tend to go when it is very quiet - not during school holidays when lots of people are there. A handy technique for tripods in museums involves not having the legs splayed out where people could trip - people are usually looking at exhibits and may not notice the extent of the tripods legs. It is possible to keep the legs quite vertical and still have enough stability for a shot as you won't be using big heavy lenses, just be careful and sensible. Stand right behind the tripod and people will automatically give you and the kit some 'personal space' - you'll be ready in case the tripod topples too. Use the timer to allow the camera to settle after pressing the shutter button. I find setting an appropriate aperture (higher f number for better depth of field) and letting the camera choose the shutter speed (often a second or more at ISO 100, which I prefer to use despite the longer exposure time) is quite satisfactory and relatively hassle free. I don't use flash in museums like this - you get some awkward reflections off the airframes and uneven lighting - there are ways to use flash for better results and effects, but I've not tried anything in this regard yet.
Same principles will apply if using an SLR or a point and shoot.
The biggest problem was people walking in front of the camera just as the shot was taken. I don't have a problem when this happens - it's digital - it can be deleted and retaken. Often people notice just as the shutter goes off and are very apologetic - I always chuckle, smile and say 'Don't worry, it's digital" and everyone gets along fine. Everyone else has just as much right to be there as I did - it's good to see people taking an interest in the museum. I always let the 'normal' visitors have 'right of way', wait for them to move on and spend the intervening time looking round for the next idea for a shot.
It's a very tricky place for composition - you won't have many options and most have already been covered by photographers here - go have a look in the database, it's generally very samey. You'll get an idea of where others have succeeded and there are some nice angles, but do look out for a possible new approach that everyone else has missed. The Cold War building is superb, but tricky for photography.
It's a good place for a day out - if you have not been before or for a long time - you'll enjoy it! Free entry and parking too.