raedervision
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:24 am

Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:18 am

Having not been here very long I'm curious about this question. Is airliners.net an aviation documentation site, an aviation photography site or both? The two can be very different and was interested to know how people feel about it and what they think it is or should be. Jim
 
dlowwa
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:17 pm

RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:33 am

Having only been here for just over four years, I can't speak to the very beginning, but my impression is that it began as the former and has morphed into the latter. The strongest argument for the latter would be the strict screening policies which probably wouldn't be so stringent were this simply a site to document registrations/movements.
 
Lexy
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:22 am

It's a little of both. It started out as a photography site and in order to simplify, organize, and all that jazz aircraft registrations, etc. needed to be included. So, it's a little of both. It works well if you need a quick research of a specific airframe!
Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
 
locsta
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:46 am

It is apparently a site to find out what the seat you will be traveling in looks like  Big grin
Seriously though, I use it for the database, but browse for great pics.
BTW, you got some awesome shots on here which are both artistic, but also uncommon frames so I guess it's both.

Cheers,

Kevin
Missed 4 chasing 1
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:39 am

Jim
I think both. It certainly started as the former but both genre now sit side-by-side, for the most part happily.
I started as an aircraft spotter, a number recorder in the mid 1960s but soon started to photograph them in preference to simply recording the numbers and still kept logs until the early 1980s. I sometimes wish I had kept doing so as they have been a great help too me with sorting out slides and negatives and the logs are actually now fascinating to show what I had failed to record, but that was also very time consuming.
The recording nature of my photographs shows in them, I like to record aircraft with the occasional good photograph when others (like you) do the exact opposite. I guess my philosophy is still that of a spotter but now with a camera. What amazes me is how few people do actually record the mundane, a mistake that will be regretted in the future. I make a lot of contacts over the mundane that I recorded almost forty years ago simply because no-one else did. I took them then for me and the sharing now is a mere bonus. It is a fine balance between the two types but, in my view, one that works well here.
I too like your photos, even though I have rejected one or two (as you know from our discussions) and was pleased to find one of my own in your own aviation as art folder !
Mick Bajcar
 
JakTrax
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:37 am

I agree, it's both - but whether you'd call what's on offer here true 'photography' is subjective! I also agree that it's certainly changed a lot since the beginning when Johan has the main man. Instead of being simply a site where enthusiasts can go and look at their favourite aircraft/colours it's now a place where anyone interested in aviation for whatever reason (on a personal, industry or business level) can browse and find what they're looking for. There's been moaning about the umpteen cabin shots we've seen on the front page recently but it is testimony to the fact that A.net caters for the largest variety of viewers from all walks of aviation life.

Following the recent debates regarding creatives and side-on profiles, I think it's safe to say that the former represent 'photography' here and the latter represent 'documentation'. Creatives will never really be newsworthy and certainly rarely give the viewer any real indication of the aircraft colour schemes or the goings-on at a particular airport. In fact true 'documentation' (or commentary I call it) is represented here by those who card-dump (stick everything they saw that day on here, from the same angle no matter how pedestrian it is). It's something I don't do but I can't knock it as it's just another way for A.net to cater for a wider viewing audience. If I wanted to look at the regular traffic somewhere during an average day card-dumpers provide a good insight.
 
viv
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:53 pm

The site is a hybrid of both - and none the worse for that!
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
raedervision
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:09 am

In case anyone is still wondering I am clearly on the photographic side of this topic. I am however very respectful of the people who document and preserve history. I have seen my small corner of aviation get distorted a lot and it bothers me. If this site is truely both I still see room for improvement. Documentation and photographic philosophies can be & often are one & the same. The documentation side is relatively self-explanatory but the photographic side can be very subjective. Many of the screening rules came from the document side & are also used on the photographic side. In my view the photographic side should be screened more by photographic rules {composition,rule of thirds etc}. Some of my shots have been rightfully rejected for level, double, centering {this one drives me crazy} etc. but I think these rules are being applied to heavily & in some cases on both sides. If an aircraft is well documented who cares if it is centered. Let some interesting background enhance & make the photograph more interesting to look at. A few have said where aliners has been & where it is but where is it going? Does it need to go anywhere? My aviation photography doesn't have any philosophical boundries. It may not be practical or possible but I'd like to see this site go everywhere. That's why I'm on the inside of the box pushing out and I'm sure it will push back some of the time but make no mistake, I can push a long time before I get tired. lol. If the box ever does get a little bigger you will surely see more interesting photographs. Jim
 
JakTrax
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:33 pm

'Documentation' can take on a wide variety of meaning when applied to A.net.

For instance, at every airport we have the reggie-chasers and the photog's. The two rarely meet as the places to keep an eye on all movements are seldom of any use for photography. Both parties document aviation but in a different way. Two different types of enthusiast.

Which is better?

Personally I document with photography but others prefer to use pen and paper.

If I logged SAS DC-9 OY-KIA in 1969 it would look the same on paper as it did just before its exit from service in the early 2000s. If however I'd photographed it on both occasions it would look completely different!

Both reggie-chaser and photog are documenting - but what exactly? Me the 'plane, him the airport in general?

Who knows.....

Karl
 
RonS
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:20 pm



Quoting Dendrobatid (Reply 4):
I started as an aircraft spotter, a number recorder in the mid 1960s but soon started to photograph them in preference to simply recording the numbers and still kept logs until the early 1980s.

That's amazing. I give you (and people that do this hobby) a ton of credit for doing things like that. I would be interested in seeing a page out of your book, if you don't mind posting a photo of one please. Thanks!

Not sure there is any debate, at least not in my head.There is a ton of room in aviation for any type of hobby, or specialization. Just take for example, I think it was two - three days ago in the WSJ, the United Exec out in CA, in his condo he has a whole PanAm first class cabin mock up! I would like to see that photo make it on the here. My point being, anet is what you make it, and to each his/her own.

For me, it's a hybrid of the two referenced above by Jim. I strive to capture beautiful scenes in aviation and work at and learn photography. While attempting this, I do try to document special events. For example, one day I'll try just to get a sunset shot, and hope and aircraft gets in the photo. A day like yesterday though, I was simply on a mission to photograph for documentation, the NE Patriots arriving home from London on the Virgin Atlantic charter, just as a record. I bounce around from documentation, to what I attempt to make of photography on a daily basis  Smile Oh and screeners willing the Pat's charter will be in the DB soon.  Wink
R
All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
 
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dlednicer
Crew
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:15 pm

My take is that the Internet is about the dissemination of information and airliners.net plays a important role in the aviation niche. Instead of posting every picture anyone takes, quality standards are enforced at airliners.net, which is where the photography angle comes in. Some of the information disseminated is of the spotter variety, but I view my work as more educational. There are a lot of aircraft that are totally unrepresented on the Internet and by seeking them out, photographing them and posting the pictures and identifying information to airliners.net, I hope to educate people on the lesser known aspects of aviation. If I can take beautiful pictures at the same time, all the better, but sometimes I'm stuck with awful lighting conditions, cramped settings, etc.
 
javibi
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RE: Aliners, Documentation Or Photography?

Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:48 pm



Quoting Raedervision (Reply 7):
That's why I'm on the inside of the box pushing out and I'm sure it will push back some of the time but make no mistake, I can push a long time before I get tired. lol. If the box ever does get a little bigger you will surely see more interesting photographs. Jim

Good luck, Jim. I, like many others, got tired of pushing long ago. Nevertheless I have to admit that A.net has leaned an inch or so to the photography side as opposed to the spotting/documentary one during the last months, so I hope your efforts bear fruit, because it would make this site a more enjoyable one than it is now.

Regards,

j

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