I plan to do a photography expedition to BFI on Monday afternoon, my first serious foray into that airport. I've read the various spotters guides available, including the "dos and don'ts guide" - all very informative and I appreciate the effort that went into them. A few questions remain, though:
- A common thread in the spotter's locations seems to be that ladders are a requirement, either that or poking your lens through the fence. I get hassled a lot at airports just for being there with a camera, much less putting up a ladder near a fence. Is it really OK to put up a ladder if I stick to the areas listed in the spotter's guides? The midfield parking lot near the tower is the area that sounds most interesting to me.
- I've shot through fences before, but I don't like to and only do it as a last resort. A ladder sounds better but is problematic, as I'll be flying in and will have a rental car. I thought about buying a cheap ladder at Home Depot or Lowes, but with the tiny cars Hertz has been giving me lately I doubt it would fit in the car. How tall does a ladder have to be to be of use?
- Are there any other BFI spots that don't require a ladder? The observation tower at the museum was one area listed; this would require shooting through window glass to my understanding. Can I expect decent results there? Better, are there any outside spots that don't require a ladder? While a nice smoky touchdown shot of a 748 would be great, I'm not opposed to an overhead shot if that's the best I can do. I just want to get my first shots of a 788 and 748.
- The weather at this point calls for light and variable winds on Monday. In such conditions, does the airport tend to favor one runway directions vs. the other (i.e., the 13s vs. the 31s)? I guess I'll find out when I get there but it would help to have an idea of what to expect.
- Will my 100-400 lens be overkill for BFI? Most reports seem to indicate 70-200mm lenses are best, but the 100-400 is my only L glass and I'd like to use it if possible.
Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.