JakTrax
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Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:16 pm

Seeing as Paul Markman and his forum-bolstering threads seem to have (temporarily?) vanished I thought I'd start something a little entertaining and light-hearted.

Reading through a few threads recently it dawned on me that many photographers refer to themselves as 'spotters'. I frequently see posts asking things like, "Will this camera be good for spotting?" or, "Where are the best places to spot at such-and-such an airport?". I must admit it does sometimes confuse me and I wondered what others' stances were with regard to this - are you a photog or a spotter?

I must be honest and say that I dislike being called a spotter as I consider myself a photographer. As far as I'm concerned spotters are 'number-crunchers' who collect registrations. Photographers tend to pay little attention to registrations and solely pursue images, although I know many who like to include the reg. in their pictures or aim for a photo of every individual frame in the fleet. So basically there are 'hybrids' - people who do a bit of both. Then of course there are those who are casual photographers or 'snappers' - who simply like to keep a pictorial record of what they've seen.

I think perhaps the best general term for what any of us do is 'enthusiast', and I have no objection as it loosely describes anyone whose interest is aviation. But I have often seem tension between spotters and photographers, who apparently at times get under each others' feet (?). It has been said that both parties aren't true enthusiasts - photographers are artists who just happen to choose aircraft as subjects and spotters are just looking for something to collect; whether it be aeroplanes, trains, buses or supermarket trollies!

So, opinions please. What are you exactly?

Karl

[Edited 2010-03-31 07:18:01]
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:00 pm

I am a photographer, but also a spotter. Or I count myself as such at least. But I do not collect regs, so per your definition I am not a spotter.
Thing is, I have always called myself a spotter. And to call myself photographer before spotter would suggest that I consider myself to be a pro and have it as my job and primary source of income. Which it is not. I'd say that spotting led me into photography in the first place, and it's also what has driven me to get better and better gear. If not I would still have had my Canon Snappy...
So, I guess I am an enthusiast, which also reflects in my choice of domain www.aviationenthusia.st (do not click, there's nothing there...yet)  

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hotplane
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:10 pm

Glad you brought this up Karl, as it's a subject that drives me mad!

In the UK, for as long as I can remember, 'spotting' has only ever involved reading off registrations with binoculars or a telescope and writing them down. So, It really annoys me when someone posts a message like 'Where to spot at LHR', when in actual fact they only want to take photos. Please can people start using the corrcect terms. Rant over!

Oh, and I am definately a photographer!

[Edited 2010-03-31 08:14:03]
?
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:25 pm

My friends prefer to call me an aviation geek or nerd. lol I don't follow regs, just rare or special visits. I like to document the scene at the local airport. I like to get the rarer shots and lately I have become picky of the light. I guess over time I have evolved from aviation enthusiast to aviation photographer.

How someone uses the word spotter doesn't bother me. There's a lot of incorrect terminology used by the aviation enthusiasts. Don't get me started on "finals"...
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NicolasRubio
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:25 pm

I consider myself a photographer. I don't care about having pictures of every plane I see, I only want good pictures.

For example, I may get back home from "a day" at the airport with less than 10 pictures in my CF card. I got back from FIDAE with 135 pictures after deleting some. For those reasons, I don't consider myself a spotter, but a photographer.


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conoramoia
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:55 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
It has been said that both parties aren't true enthusiasts - photographers are artists who just happen to choose aircraft

Not exactly, I pretty much developed my photography as a hobby through aviation.I didn't choose photography and then decide to shoot planes.  

Heres how I see it,

Spotter- Someone who goes to the airport to log a reg regardless of wheter it is through binoculars or a camera.

Photographer- Someone who goes to the airport to simply capture moments, I wouldn't call a taxiing plane a ''moment'' but still, it's included.

Quoting hotplane (Reply 2):
So, It really annoys me when someone posts a message like 'Where to spot at LHR', when in actual fact they only want to take photos.

With all due respect maybe thats a bit too much,I mean understand that its annoying but its not something give out about. 


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ThierryD
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:00 pm

2 of my passions, namely aviation and photography, have brought me to photographing airplanes.
Whether people call me photographer or spotter isn't really important to me though I always like to clarify that I'm not a reg collector.

Cheers,

Thierry
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bottie
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:40 pm

Well ... I'm a Spotographer ...
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:44 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
I must be honest and say that I dislike being called a spotter as I consider myself a photographer.

When I'm doing what I enjoy most, the most accurate term would be 'airplane hunter'. In my opinion, there's nothing better than roaming around a sleepy, out of the way airport, finding a rare or unusual specimen hiding in a forgotten corner, capturing it in a photo, and documenting it for researchers around the world.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:46 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
I must be honest and say that I dislike being called a spotter as I consider myself a photographer. As far as I'm concerned spotters are 'number-crunchers' who collect registrations. Photographers tend to pay little attention to registrations and solely pursue images, although I know many who like to include the reg. in their pictures or aim for a photo of every individual frame in the fleet. So basically there are 'hybrids' - people who do a bit of both. Then of course there are those who are casual photographers or 'snappers' - who simply like to keep a pictorial record of what they've seen.

So I am a Toyota Prius!   
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757MDE
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:02 pm

Based on JakTrax's definitions I'd call myself a "hybrid"
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:05 pm

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 6):
2 of my passions, namely aviation and photography, have brought me to photographing airplanes.

couldn't have said it better myself.

although at times I do find it interesting to use the stats here on a.net to see how many times I have captured the same reg.
Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:27 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 9):

That depends...do you accelerate uncontrollably...then brake only for airports?...

  

Been chasing planes with a camera since I was 14...forty years later it is a full time job. While on days off I still sit around the local fields with my cameras, however the term "spotting" is not part of my vocabulary. I'm to understand that spotters exist that don't even photo document the aircraft, they just record the movements of them with a monoscope, scanners and all kinds of stuff. To each his own but that I just don't get that...Photospotters I guess are basically just collectors of images that like to swap images, some fun with the camera etc and the comraderie,...wouldn't discredit them as photographers or not. I see A/net as a spotters site more than a photographers site but by a slim margin as the creative aspect in image acceptance has improved. Either way...spotters or not...their are some incredible images on Anet and very talented..."whatever" you call yourselves...g
 
JakTrax
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:03 pm

So it appears we have sub-categories under both 'spotter' and 'photographer'. And we also have a mixture of both. This is gonna get confusing!

At my local I must admit some of the 'spotters' are very strange indeed. I'm not applying this to all spotters but I get the feeling that a good portion simply 'collect' things and aircraft at some stage simply took their fancy. It could just as easily have been speed-boats, buses, stamps or whatever else. What I mean is that I've met many for whom the whole aviation experience seems uninteresting. A example - I once was chatting to an English fella on the old deck at ZRH when an almighty racket started. It just kept going on and on and on and I suspected some sort of old Soviet jet. The thing screamed the place down for what seemed an eternity until it finally poked its nose out from behind pier A. Instantly realising that he didn't need it as a 'frame' (it was an Il-76), the guy packed up promptly and left, saying it wasn't of interest to him. Uh? It was obviously going to pass right by us on its way to cargo and we were talking an Il-76 here - how can any 'enthusiast' fail to find this beast crawling past at close quarters amazing?

For some there's a passion but for others it's just something to tick off or underline in the book; if you see where I'm coming from. Not knocking anyone's methods and indeed each to their own but I think there are varying levels of enthusiasm and various aspects of the hobby which capture people's imaginations.

Going back to those at my local, some of the 'spotting' fraternity seem to have a positive dislike for photographers (they seem to have their own little photographer-free haunts and hiss like snakes if invaded!) and don't consider such people as true enthusiasts. On the flip side some might say exactly the same about them. I always remember a guy at SZG telling me about his dislike for photographers - especially those from MAN. Probably not the best thing to say around three big MAN guys with cameras but we didn't say.....

Karl
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:55 pm

I have been fascinated with commercial aviation since childhood and would have loved to get my ATPL after leaving school.

Alas, that never happened and, at the age of 42 have only recently taken up photographing aircraft, my job involves design & technology and I'd like to think that I can (eventually) bring an imaginative & creative element into my photos.

The thing is, and I don't wish to offend anyone, but I cringe at the thought of being called a "spotter". I find myself keeping quite about what I do and even try to keep a low profile around the airports. Don't get me wrong, I haven't got a major complex about it but as far as I'm concerned I am most definitely a "Photographer"
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:09 pm

Doesn't matter if you collect regs, photograph or shoot vids, we are considered to be nuts anyway by the general public anyway. So why frown upon peoples activities in the aviation enthusiast group? Some people just don't like freighters, some don't like military birds and some think commercial aircraft are flying coaches, but we are all fascinated by aviation!
So call yourself whatever you want, and don't get upset when someone calls you a spotter when you are out on a photo shoot. Your llife is good if that's your worst problem!
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:18 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
Reading through a few threads recently it dawned on me that many photographers refer to themselves as 'spotters'. I frequently see posts asking things like, "Will this camera be good for spotting?" or,

I consider that ignorance. There is a difference between a "spotter" and a "photographer". If someone introduced themselves to me as an aircraft spotter, I wouldn't think of them carrying around a $3,000 camera and enough glass to see the space shuttle. I would expect to see a notebook and a pencil.

It's odd that the ones that get perturbed about this are the photographers. When someone says, "which camera is best for spotting?", it isn't the spotters that jump to the front of the line to correct, it's the photographers that quickly let him know that he is using the wrong terminology. why? So far, not one response has been from a true spotter. Are there any around here that frequent the "photography forum"? Maybe a new "spotters forum" is needed. Is there interest?

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
Don't get me started on "finals"...

grrrr!! Tell me about it!

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 13):
the guy packed up promptly and left, saying it wasn't of interest to him. Uh? It was obviously going to pass right by us on its way to cargo and we were talking an Il-76 here - how can any 'enthusiast' fail to find this beast crawling past at close quarters amazing?

The same way we in the States can turn our head to a Delta MD-88 or a Southwest 737. Or you could walk away from a Ryan 737 (?). It isn't about the rarity of the aircraft for them, it's whether or not they have seen that particular aircraft or not.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:00 pm

Whether you're a photographer or a number cruncher, the hobby has always been called spotting! Thanks to sites like this we've all decided we're photographers and ditched the whole spotting moniker. A bit like a high jumper saying they're a high jumper, and not an athlete. Just accept photography is part of spotting. Personally I photograph, film and collect anything to do with aviation, including registrations. It's a logging system that I can look back on and it helps with my photography filing. I'm a spotter that loves photography.
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JakTrax
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:13 pm

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 16):
The same way we in the States can turn our head to a Delta MD-88 or a Southwest 737. Or you could walk away from a Ryan 737 (?). It isn't about the rarity of the aircraft for them, it's whether or not they have seen that particular aircraft or not.

Yes, but the guy was English - and I guarantee you we don't see too many Il-76s here! Even in Russia they've been rare for a number of years now at commercial airports.

I don't get offended by being called a spotter but underneath I know that's not what I am. As for keeping it under wraps, I can't see why anyone would do that. All my life my friends, acquaintances and people I've met have known about my aviation activities because I've been quite proud to tell them. Some people joke about it being a bit weird but most actually find it fascinating and several people have accompanied me on visits to the airport, often enjoying the afternoon out. It's a pretty broad hobby these days and the numbers doing it are increasing daily. I think attitudes towards it have changed (many people comment on how great the travelling aspect must be) but I also think the photographers want to distance themselves from the 'spotting' side of it as they see this as the original nerdy bit. I must admit, I have come across quite a few 'special' spotters in my time; many of whom I wouldn't like to be seen up town with on a night out!

I think maybe the hobby of 'number-crunching' does attract a few who give others a bad name. We've all met 'em I dare say - 'Mr. 1970s' with his old duffel coat, He-Man lunchbox, ancient scope and about as much conversational skill as a goldfish.....

Then again, I'd be interested to know what 'Mr. 1970s' has to say about photographers.....

Does our hobby still have the ultra-nerdy reputation it used to? I personally don't think so. I think most people secretly are fascinated by flight.

Karl
 
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jid
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:15 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 13):
So it appears we have sub-categories under both 'spotter' and 'photographer'.

You have your terminology wrong Karl  

Photographer = Photog
Spotter = Binker

So I would class myself as a photog and someone like Mr Marshall would be know as a Binker who takes the odd photo!!!!
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legoguy
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:10 am

It depends who I'm talking to. With with family or other aviation enthusiast's, I'd consider myself as a spotter who goes plane spotting.

However when talking to someone not into aviation, I'll refer to myself as a photographer who goes on photography trips around Europe. To someone not interested in aviation, a spotter, or going aircraft spotting, sounds quite geeky where as a photographer on a aircraft photographing trip doesn't sound bad at all. Despite this, all my friends and work colleagues refer to me as a spotter.

On trips, I do like to take a photo of every aircraft I see, and I would recognise aircraft with interesting registrations, so I guess I could be consider a 'Hybrid' or and spotting photographer.

Either way I'm not fussed what I'm called, as long as people realise I don't sit around at airports with a small log book and binoculars.

Dave
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raedervision
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:25 am

My definition of spotting are those who document aircraft. When it applies to photography it is only the photograph of the aircraft that is important. Little if any weight is given to foregrounds, backgrounds or other elements in the picture. Aviation photography is about the aircraft and the environment it is in which includes foregrounds, backgrounds, composition and many times telling a story with the aircraft. In the forum not long ago I asked if Anet was a spotting site, a photography site or both. Many including some screeners said it was both but it is not. Anet is a spotting site were some photographs fit inside or are let in the spotting rules. If it were a photography site screeners would use photography rules not spotting rules to screen with. Some spotting rules like centering are very destructive to the art of photography. A lot of people come to Anet for a lot of different reasons but in my opinion they only get part of what they came for. I'd like to see Anet truly become both a spotting and photography site but the only way it could happen is if the screeners use a yard stick instead of a micrometer when it comes to the spotting rules. I think documentation could actually be improved with relaxed spotting rules. Personally I would have just one rule, make sure it's a bloody good photograph. Please don't anyone get me wrong. I think spotting is a good and very positive thing. 50 or 100 years from now these photos will be worth a lot but as most probably already now I'm a photographer or try to be. This is just one guys opinion so no one needs to get all worked up about it. Whatever it is you like to do, keep doing it. Jim
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:54 am

Quoting raedervision (Reply 21):

You hit it on the head pretty much but I do believe the site with its improved acceptablility of "creative" imaging has accepted the "artform" we as aviation photographers see. Personally I like to capture the Architecture of the airframe under unusual lighting...purely an artistic perspective. This concept violates all spotting parameters as I understand them. I once showed some close up photo studies of airliner features to an owner of a hobby store as he told me he too collected airliner photos. When he saw my work, he poopood it an discarded it as rubbish. When I saw his work all I saw was mid day full fuselage booring profiles, one after the next, after the next and again. No care given to the environment, the ugly ramp, etc. It was as that point I learned the difference between the mechanical image of a spotter and the creative image of an aviation photographer...A difference clearly exists...   
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:59 am

Cheers.
For me things are quite simple.
I'm a spotter who likes to take photos. I'm happy when they are "clean", but sometimes that isn't possible.
It wouldn't make sense to say I'm a photographer because:
First: I don't make money with my photos, contrary to a real photographer that makes money and lives on that.
Second: I don't have ramp access therefore I can't choose the angle that I would like to have, contrary to real photographers who have assigned jobs and can choose the best angles and arrange some nice chicks to pose with the aircraft.
Third: this is hobbie, though it might sound strange to someone where is the fun in collecting airplanes, one can always say the same about someone that collects stamps or empty beer cans.

Take care  
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ptrjong
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:47 am

Writing down regs of aircraft you've seen has always struck me as a strange activity. Although this is rather subjective, photographing them seems slightly saner to me, and is certainly easier to explain. So like Karl, I don't like to be called a spotter and prefer to be called a photographer (photo hobbyist that is, no suggestion of professionalism).

Karl, I hope you had a good time spotting, er, photographing, in AMS  

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hotplane
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:09 pm

This thread seems to have veered of the main issue - the fact that some photographers annoyingly call themselves spotters when they don't even read off registrations. Why the hell are we now going on about 'artistic perspectives' and 'clean ramp shots'?
?
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:50 pm

Quoting hotplane (Reply 25):
the fact that some photographers annoyingly call themselves spotters when they don't even read off registrations.

Well, the flipside of that argument is the thinking that some spotters annoyingly call themselves photographers when they only ever shoot side-ons of A320s on approach surrounded by empty sky.  
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ptrjong
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:14 pm

I remember photographing/hanging around at Utrecht - Soesterberg (UTC / EHSB) (closed), then used by the USAF, one afternoon a long time ago. Bored, I remarked to the local spotters how cool it would be if the stealth bomber landed (it wasn't even known how it looked like at the time). One of them said he didn't care: 'You won't be able to read off the serial, anyway.'  Wow!

Peter 
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hotplane
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:37 pm

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 26):
Well, the flipside of that argument is the thinking that some spotters annoyingly call themselves photographers when they only ever shoot side-ons of A320s on approach surrounded by empty sky.

At least it's taking a photo of something. You can't call that spotting, that's what I'm getting at.
?
 
a330fanatic
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:54 pm

Hi there,

I've started photography in 1987 and it's been very recently that I began taking pictures of airplanes in 2007.
Anyway, the term of "spotters" is widely and commonly used in France. People down here don't really care about the right term though... I guess, we're all photographers, amateurs or pros that happen to love aviation. And photographying airplanes is the best way to express our passion.

Last year, I was on the Sky Observation Deck at HKG taking pictures of aircrafts. There was a whole bunch of guys who were writing down the regs with their binoculars. Are those guys the authentic spotters? If so, should I call myself an aviation photographer then? Instead of a plane-spotter? I'm a bit confused over the right term to use.
Anyway, I went to see the guys and started to talk to them. And sometimes they couldn't see the reg of a particular plane because that day was really hot and hazy... I just gave them the reg from the pics I'd taken. They were grateful and we spent a nice moment together. Unlike the ones you'd met Karl, they were not grouchy and very friendly  

Last month, I was at CDG and saw an old guy sitting on a box with his huge binoculars and note book. He was taking regs from the planes taxiing by while I was shooting them with my camera. He was very lonely and I decided to go to talk to him. I just like talking to foreign guys who hang around airports. He was from the UK. I said hello and asked where he came from. We didn't talk much because I felt that I was somehow disturbing him... Maybe he just wanted to be left alone. So I just wished him a good time spotting around and walked away.

Whatever people do, as long as they find pleasure in doing it. Let them be! We're all nuts when it comes to passion  

Cheers

Paul
 
dacman
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:06 pm

I shoot and spot, always have.

Cheers
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JakTrax
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:15 pm

Paul,

You probably met one of the 'funny' MAN reggie-chasers, who do have a reputation of being a bit strange!

I've often seen (British) guys abroad at foreign airports and I must say I can't see the point in going all the way to wherever they go just to sit in a hotel room day after day reading off registrations from two miles away. Again, each to their own but is this really 'experiencing' aviation? Is it a genuine interest or an obsession to collect things? Another thing I have seen is 'duos' - whereby one reads off the registration at fast pace while the other writes it down in a similar race against time. Is this not just some form of generic practice akin to putting as many balls in a basket as you can in a a given time? It seems madness that they never once stop and glance up to admire the proceedings. Of course when they get home they spend the next five days (presumably) underlining or ticking off in books.

I once experienced an English guy shrieking and jumping around on the terrace at DUS - turns out he'd just 'made' his last Air Berlin 738! What I can never understand is the only evidence of this 'achievement' is a load of numbers/letters written in a book. I'd personally rather be showing the picture off. My achievement is getting home, putting my images on the big screen and seeing how well (or bad?) I've done. Usually I'm pleased with the results.

But again, whatever makes one happy.....

Karl
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:30 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 31):
What I can never understand is the only evidence of this 'achievement' is a load of numbers/letters written in a book.

Exactly. Even when you see a plane landing from two miles away, you ask a fellow spotter which one it was and there you go... another one can be ticked in the reggie book. Perfectly fine with me, but it must be all too easy to fool yourself into having seen something.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
JakTrax
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:00 pm

I've seen it go mad with the advent of ACARS, SBS, etc. When can one underline it in a book? At what point does the 'sighting' become inlvalid? I know of folk who sit in their back gardens and log the 'over-the-top' aircraft. Cheating? Surely you have to physically see the reg. before you can guarantee it's that particular craft?

It's getting silly now and in my opinion just encourages more 'collectors' - those who don't really give a stuff about aircraft but have done (i.e. ';collected') just about everything else.

Karl
 
KPDX
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:44 pm

I pretty much disagree with everything said. I don't think a spotter has to write down registrations, etc. They can also spot airplanes in and around the airport. Thats my take anyways.  

But by your terms I guess I only film things.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:59 pm

I am a photographer/ spotter every chance i get to spot i bring a camera      
i just got my own "website" so here it is http://www.flickr.com/photos/boeingjets/
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:18 am

Quoting hotplane (Reply 25):
This thread seems to have veered of the main issue - the fact that some photographers annoyingly call themselves spotters when they don't even read off registrations. Why the hell are we now going on about 'artistic perspectives' and 'clean ramp shots'?

No, that is your agenda. Karl asked for opinions from everyone. This thread is about what people view themselves as...spotters, photographers, enthusiasts, etc. So far I think the thread has remained on topic.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:55 am

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 22):
Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 22):
the site with its improved acceptablility of "

Spotting photography, artistic aviation photography and creative photography are all very different kinds of photography. There are many very good examples of artistic aviation photography on Anet but Anet has only scratched the surface when it comes to creative images. 99% of that iceberg is still under water and from a screeners point of view I can understand why. It would be refreshing to see the good ones though. Jim
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:13 am

Karl, you don't necessarily need to read the reg off to make it. Back in the day, before the advent of SBS, you could tie up any sightings the following month by a number of publications. High in the Sky was one of them, out of MAN I believe? The OTT spotting you refer to is commonly known as dot-spotting. It has it's draw backs, sure, but now with an SBS (the charts can now be slung   ) everything becomes twice as easy. But publications do still come in handy, as do the various web group sites. You can get the heads up or confirmation that so and so landed at X airport, which is good as many ac won't id on the SBS. So there's still some tying up to be done anyway. BTW most spotters won't collect the reg itself, they chase a frame, ie. the cn.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:51 am

To Spot: verb, If you spot something or someone, you notice them.

Does it matter if it's through binoculars or camera or even with your bare eyes? I'm gonna cintinue to call myself a spotter as I have always done.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:41 am

Pre DSLR (when no one thought as themselves as "pros"..;-P ), I don't think I ever heard anyone bring this debate up! I can understand times change and with websites like this the images are getting better and better, thus a more photographic approach is being taken.
On the other hand there's people, such as Jim Raeder in this this thread, that are just that; a photographer. I wouldn't think of the kind of work he does as spotting.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:26 am

Karl,

Yes I forgot to mention that the guy was from MAN. BTW, I like the term of "reggie-chasers"  

I totally agree with what you said Karl. The real satisfaction is the moment you view your pics on the screen. It's the only visual proof that you actually have of the plane in real life. I just don't see the point of having the reg-number of planes. Then what? All they care about is the reg-number not the beauty of the plane itself? It's kinda strange to me...

Another anecdote. It was in 2008, I was at YYZ Pearson for pictures and I met that nice guy. He was listening to his radio and wrote down things on a note pad. I walked towards him for a chat. I asked him what he was doing. Told me that he writes down the reg numbers, flight numbers and the time the A/C comes in. I just scratched my head and asked him what for? He simply kept tracks of the stuff collected that day...and the days before. I didn't want to insist and ask more about this strange activity. I just couldn't understand the purpose of all that... We spent the whole day together, him taking notes and me taking pictures. Once, I said to him "why don't you get a camera and take pics of the planes too?" It won't stop you from having the other infos you need. At the end of the day, he kindly gave me a ride back to downtown.
We've been in touch eversince I went back to Paris. As promised, I've sent him my pics taken in his company that day. He completely "fell in love" with the pictures  

Believe it or not, I've finally convinced him to buy a DSLR and he's become a reggie-chaser AND a photographer  

Mission accomplished in a funny way! Don't you think?

Cheers

Paul
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:01 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 31):
I've often seen (British) guys abroad at foreign airports and I must say I can't see the point in going all the way to wherever they go just to sit in a hotel room day after day reading off registrations from two miles away. Again, each to their own but is this really 'experiencing' aviation? Is it a genuine interest or an obsession to collect things? Another thing I have seen is 'duos' - whereby one reads off the registration at fast pace while the other writes it down in a similar race against time. Is this not just some form of generic practice akin to putting as many balls in a basket as you can in a a given time? It seems madness that they never once stop and glance up to admire the proceedings. Of course when they get home they spend the next five days (presumably) underlining or ticking off in books.

I once experienced an English guy shrieking and jumping around on the terrace at DUS - turns out he'd just 'made' his last Air Berlin 738! What I can never understand is the only evidence of this 'achievement' is a load of numbers/letters written in a book. I'd personally rather be showing the picture off. My achievement is getting home, putting my images on the big screen and seeing how well (or bad?) I've done. Usually I'm pleased with the results.

This is the epitome of (the madness of) spotting. I was once in the company of a group of spotters at an airport where a number of vintage aircraft were about to start up and take off. These people refused to wait 15 minutes to see these aircraft in flight, because they had obtained the registrations and wanted to move on. In my view, they were "collectors" with no real interest in aviation.

Personally, it makes me grind my teeth when people confuse spotting with photography. I started out as a spotter, but grew out of it at age 15 or so.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:32 pm

@Paul. The tying up of callsign, reg, type and time isn't actually strange at all within the spotting world. In fact go to LHR on any given day and, between the abuse   you'll see many spotters doing just that. Note books at the ready, a copy of JP Fleets and a scanner, happy days!  
I think the hobby really broke into two different hobbies with the advent of the DSLR. More and more traditional spotters relied more on the camera display (chimping if you like), to gain the reg. I know many that have given up completely doing just that. There's many however that will say they don't collect reggies but will note their flight reggies, ie. the ac they fly on. IMO spotting can be broken down into many different aspects and each to his own. Everyone seems to enjoy planes at the end of the day.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:33 pm

Quoting Viv (Reply 42):
I started out as a spotter, but grew out of it at age 15 or so

I must admit I did the same and stopped at a very similar age (16). I think one is easily influenced at that age.

Spence, I understand what you're saying about SBS, ACARS, etc. but can one really be 'spotting' from one's back yard on a nice, sunny day? Shouldn't true spotting be confined to airport perimeters? By this reckoning surely I can watch a Just Planes video and underline everything on the screen as I'm seeing exactly what was going on on that day? There is such a thing as taking things too far.

Karl
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:44 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 44):
By this reckoning surely I can watch a Just Planes video and underline everything on the screen as I'm seeing exactly what was going on on that day

Ha Ha. Nice one Karl.

Message to short blah blah....
?
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:45 pm

No Karl you can't as you have to physically see the ac. Whether there's others that would log from a video seems also strange to me. For me it was always physically seeing it though. But I've ALWAYS been a photographer before anything, but I realise that photography is part and parcel of the hobby called spotting. That's my catch on it anyway.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:33 pm

Spence, surely you have to see the registration to put it in a book or whatever? ACARS, etc. I believe can be wrong and there's nothing to say that what you've seen is what's showing on your screen. Where's the real evidence that what went overhead IS 9V-SKA? Now if you had the photo.....  

I just fail to see how you can conduct a hobby - and conduct it with any passion - by never visiting an airport. That's what makes me say some people are just part-timers - no real interest and just something to do from the comfort of their sunbed in the back garden on a pleasant summer day. I'm sure some people just wake up one morning, think, "What can I collect today to relieve the boredom?" and start looking at aeroplanes. The week after, when they've had enough, it'll be collecting car number plates.....

Karl
 
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:28 pm

Karl, I personally have never had any problems with the SBS or ACARS. As to never visiting an airport, I'd agree with you on that. But I don't know anyone that never has, that can call themselves a spotter. If I was in my garden having a BBQ or whatever, I'm not going to "turn off" just because I'm doing something normal besides spotting. Of course I'm going to look up and try and tie it up at a later date, should it be interesting. Since ACARS/SBS came about, what's needed these days has shrunk, thankfully. Fleets seem easier to complete because you can search for, or single out if you like, the stuff you're after. It really has made a big difference. Then, something that it really helps with, is that I can set the radius up to coincide with how long it would take me to reach the airport, should I see anything special en route. The SBS is a photographer's dream! I have it on my iPhone too, so even when I'm at the airport I can see what's coming.
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RE: Photographers Or Spotters?

Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:40 pm

I can only wonder about some guys' ignorance. Why don't some individuals just enjoy taking pictures instead of wondering about those who write down registrations only?

I have been a registration spotter for many years and I have always enjoyed it. There are numerous reasons why I collect plane registrations and not car plates or whatever. It's fine if people don't understand my hobby, but it's disgusting when they don't understand it AND ridicule it. Just because I don't take pictures like photo spotters it doesn't mean that I am not a "real enthusiast".  


PH

[Edited 2010-04-02 09:20:57]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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