contrail25
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:39 pm

In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:29 am

I took my camera along on one of our flights the other day and quickly found myself frustrated trying to get a good shot of the cockpit. For one, it's a Lear 35 so the cockpit is tiny, but more so I was having an extremely hard time working with the exposure. The sun angle was constantly changing and thus so were the shadows. If I had the panel nicely lit up, the outside view was overexposed to an extreme. One would think we were in a whiteout. Any shots that allowed me to see the outside view, the inside was completely underexposed with no discernible detail. I even tried using the flash, but to no avail.

Looking through the database here I found some shots that showed the cockpit nicely, but the outside view was just whiteout from over exposure. I'm guessing that's allowable?

Am I just shooting in impossible conditions or does anyone have some good techniques for shooting cockpit shots in flight?
 
jetmatt777
Crew
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

RE: In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:12 am

I'd say early morning, late evening or night is best. The light inside the cockpit is not contrasting as much to the light outside as it does in the daytime, thus making exposure easier.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
contrail25
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:39 pm

RE: In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:38 am

That'd make sense, we were flying around mid-morning on a beautiful sunny day. Thanks, I'll make sure to bring the camera along on future night flights.
 
JRadier
Posts: 3944
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:36 pm

RE: In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:52 am



Quoting Contrail25 (Thread starter):

Am I just shooting in impossible conditions or does anyone have some good techniques for shooting cockpit shots in flight?

1 word: flash!
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
Pascalstil
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:18 pm

RE: In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:04 am

A small aperture should prevent the view outside from being washed out (try f/32 or in bright sunlight even smaller). Then add the flash to get enough light inside and try to use a bit longer shutter speed. Then it should be possible to get both right.
 
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cpd
Posts: 4639
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

RE: In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:33 am

Quoting JRadier (Reply 3):
try f/32 or in bright sunlight even smaller

Watch out for softness caused by apertures like that, and also, those apertures will show up every single dust spot and blemish on the sensor of the camera.

And whatever you do, don't be silly like I was the first time (a long time ago) and rush with a F/2.8 aperture (it was dark).. Exposure and light perfect, depth of field not so great.... 

I'll put it blame QF and their very liberal servings of certain beverage types in flight...  

[Edited 2009-10-04 03:35:12]

[Edited 2009-10-04 03:46:35]
 
spencer
Posts: 1518
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm

RE: In-Flight Cockpit Shooting: Techniques

Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:51 pm

As mentioned above, the time of day is almost critical, but not necessarily crucial. I always take a reading outside the window first, with the aperature I intend to use inside. I'll then dial that in using an all manual mode. Flash is important here at this stage and I'll angle it backwards or use the omni-bounce to soften it a little, and fire! If things are running smoothly and I've got it, I'll set the tripod up and not use a flash. Also, shoot in RAW and take a lot of frames. Ah, and get the crew to light the dials and screens up if possible!!
Spence.
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