JakTrax
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Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:16 pm

Hi all,

Lucky enough to be going for the first time to SXM next week and have three days spare at the end of the holiday. I'd like to use these days to photograph somewhere else but there's a lot of choice and I'm unsure where to go. I looked at St. Barth's but, as nice as it is, it's very much the same traffic as SXM - except of course far less. I'm told that CUR (Curacao) is the Caribbean's busiest airport and I've made contact with a local who says photography is good.

I'm also looking at Venezuela (not Caracas) for the old smokers but am not too sure how much of a mixture of traffic I can expect. Trinidad is another option but again I'd rather get my money's worth and go somewhere worthwhile.

Any suggestions please? Most settled on CUR at the moment but open to advice.

Thanks,

Karl
 
JRadier
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:37 pm

So you'd mainly go for traffic? Then SBH is out, but I'd urge you to reconsider. It's a nice daytrip from SXM and the scenery more than makes up for the lack of traffic!
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
jrowson
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:44 pm

You've discounted SBH? Shame.....it's quite a unique little airport and makes a nice day trip on the ferry over from Philipsburg if you can't stretch to the Winair fares. Lovely little restaurant on the beach (read expensive) to pass the hours when there isn't much traffic. Standing on that hill with twotters and islanders diving by you feet away is quite exhilarating. Some of my favourite photos have come from there.

SXM and SBH are about chilling out and kicking back with the sand in your toes and a drink in your hand, taking in the scenery and environment. It's not all about hardcore plane spotting (you'll be disappointed if you think it is as SXM aint that busy in November!).

[Edited 2011-11-07 11:48:33]
James Rowson
 
eggohoek
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:05 pm

Karl,

The answer is very simply!
2 days SXM, 1 day SBH

SBH is a wonderful airport,it's worth a visit!

I heard infos about Venezuela. The country is very dangerous, planespotting is forbidden, spotting without local spotters is unadvisable. 2 of my friends were in Venezuela few months ago with a local spotter, but there isn't really good spotting positions, and they take lot of photo which suffering by heat haze. That was in Caracas, but looks like the whole country is same.

Enjoy the Paradise!   (SXM & SBH)
 
chris78cpr
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:16 pm

Quoting JRowson (Reply 2):
Lovely little restaurant on the beach (read expensive)

That reminds me of the circa 400 euro lunch we had there back in 05! That was such a nice afternoon.

Quoting JRowson (Reply 2):
SXM and SBH are about chilling out and kicking back with the sand in your toes and a drink in your hand, taking in the scenery and environment.

Here here! I'll drink to that!
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
 
RonS
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:15 pm

Karl, I went to SXM and didn't make it to St. Bart's, I've been regretting it ever since. I'm sure if you go you won't have a duff experience there!

PS, bring a wide angle to SXM, and not a duff copy either. 24-105 is a little too long for my tastes...
All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:22 pm

I would catch a LIAT flight to TIST


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JakTrax
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:55 pm

Royal,

That looks pleasant - and close too! What mm was that 757 shot at?

Regarding SBH (I assume this is St. Barth's?), I think we are going to do it as a day trip. I doubt I'd want a night there as the guy I'm going with isn't that much into planes!

Looks like we are booking Insel Air to Curacao as Fridays host a lot of Venezuelan stuff!

Any more suggestions please put them forward.

Thanks,

Karl
 
Dehowie
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:32 am

We had such an awesome time at St Maarten we didn't go anywhere else.
Sitting at The sunset bar or Boat bar watching the waves and planes it was worth every bit of the 23 hours flying time to get there.
Personally soak up St Maarten..get a car drive to the French side hit the beach side patisserie and enjoy being in one of the worlds most relaxing places.
The island has lots to offer other than aircraft...oh if you hit the camera shops on a day when the liners are NOT in there are excellent prices on offer.
Darren
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RonS
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:37 am

Karl, I didn't even get a chuckle from you  

Seriously, I can't recall what you use for an UWA, but it is worth renting or borrowing a 10-22 for SXM if you don't have one.

When I was too lazy to leave the Sunset Beach Bar I would use the 17-55, but it was not as exciting and the photos weren't as interesting.

I also had the 70-200 with me, where I got a couple of balcony shots from the Sonesta, a departure from Mary's Boon hotel, and and opposite departure runway of JetBlue departing right over Maho. If I could only take two lenses it would be the UWA like the 10-22 and the 70-200 (or 24-105 could do OK) and if I only could take one lens it would be the UWA, no doubt.
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JakTrax
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:29 pm

Cheers Ron. Am borrowing my mate's 18-55 as his copy's pin-sharp!

Will also take the 24-105 and 70-200. Think I'll leave the 100-400 at home though.....

Karl
 
eggohoek
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:42 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 10):

I was using 3 lens in SXM.

24-105 for landing airplanes and line up
70-200 for small landings and line up
10-22 for UWA shots

My 300mm prime was resting in the hotel.

Quoting RonS (Reply 9):
if I only could take one lens it would be the UWA, no doubt.

My vote is 24-105 (or 28-300 L IS)
 
JakTrax
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:07 pm

I actually thought 24-105 would not be wide enough, so it's good to hear that it'll be okay. I won't be doing too many arty-farty shots as I don't like the kind of images UWA lenses produce. Will I need less than 24mm for a 747 over Maho for a decent side-on? I'm looking at getting shots similar to these...


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...rather than these...


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I'll have a go at some sunrise/sunset shots if the sun's in the right place.

Decided on CUR as it seems to have some pretty decent traffic. St. Thomas looks great but it appears that movements are scarce. Same goes for a lot of other places nearby.

Thanks,

Karl
 
jrowson
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:37 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 12):
I actually thought 24-105 would not be wide enough, so it's good to hear that it'll be okay. I won't be doing too many arty-farty shots as I don't like the kind of images UWA lenses produce. Will I need less than 24mm for a 747 over Maho for a decent side-on? I'm looking at getting shots similar to these...

24-105 will be fine if you dont want to venture away from the SSBB and onto the beach for the ultra close ups. It's my most used lens there. Then my 10-22 is the 2nd most used lens. I hardly ever use my 70-200 on the beach, infact it tends to live in my camera bag whilst i'm there, apart from from shots over by the hotel, which at this time of year will be backlit anyway.
James Rowson
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:27 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 7):
That looks pleasant - and close too! What mm was that 757 shot at?

I do not have the exif data handy, but it was shot with a 17-55 f/2.8 on a 1.5 crop body,. if I remember right it was about 30mm.
 
RonS
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RE: Good Airports Within Easy Reach Of St. Maarten?

Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:59 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 12):
I don't like the kind of images UWA lenses produce.

I would suspect that AF by John Farrington was an UWA. I understand that you don't like those images, but I'm not talking fisheye here. 10MM on a 50D is not crazy wide. For me, if I can be closer the aircraft and take a photo versus standing father away, I try to be closer and use less MM.

I don't think this is anything outrageous at 11MM for the first one, and the 11-16 (unsure focal length) for the 2nd one.


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Quoting JRowson (Reply 13):
I hardly ever use my 70-200 on the beach

True, but it's sooo nice to have in your bag next to you when this happens:


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