jlunddk
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Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:14 am

I'm gonna be on the Island from 5/11 - 5/18 for some plane spotting, and we have all seen the great pictures taken at Maho beach (and I will surely be taken a lot of pictures there too), but I was wondering if there are other places that are public available? I have seen pictures taken from the pool area at the Sonesta, but do you have to stay at the Sonesta to have access to the pool/viewing area? How about a place near the tower to get a view of the ramp? What about Airport road, any places you can shoot over the fence without the need for a ladder? I've seen some pictures of takeoffs, taken from (I guess) Mary's Boon or Karakter, but again, do you have to stay at one of them to take pictures there?
I really hope someone can answer some of my questions, cause I would love to come home with some shot that is a little different from the usually shots from Maho.

regards Joern from Denmark
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:43 pm

I stayed at the Sonesta earlier this month, but it seemed you would be able to access the place without being a guest (at least for a while).
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
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yerbol
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:42 pm

Joern,
I am jealous    This is my dream to go there   !!!
Just kidding, enjoy your time down there and bring some interesting photos to us  
Probably you'll be the one who will have an answer to your own question after your visit  
With best regards from Almaty
 
jrowson
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:48 am

Quoting jlunddk (Thread starter):
I really hope someone can answer some of my questions, cause I would love to come home with some shot that is a little different from the usually shots from Maho.

This is probably the same thought of countless photogs that have gone down to SXM. It's unfortunately a little oversubscribed these days  . As magical as the place is the physical scale does limit the type of shots you can get. I think if you really want to find something different then it's going to be up to you to go find that different shot.

Going into May the lighting might be one of the main issues that prevents you getting that new unique shot. It swings over to the sonesta side for most of the day which immeadiately will start limiting shots. You'll be ok taking a walk around the Sonesta without problems and will be able to easily access the wall along the beach. I think the Royal Islander is a different case though and you should really be a guest to access the pool that overlooks the threshold area of runway 10. You ask about the tower. There is a hillside that runs along the access road to the airport which you can go up and find some vacant land that will overlook part of the taxiway. Light should be ok later in the day for it. It doesn't go up that close to the tower though and you wont be able to get a clean overview without the terminal building landside blocking the view. You could always go prove me wrong though. I've not been down to Marys Boon before but I believe the shots taken in that area are from a balcony area at the hotel itself? I could be wrong but I'm guessing you'll have to be a guest. As for the perimeter fence, at Maho beach you don't need a ladder as you can shoot over the top of it but then you'd not get any different shots. Running along the runway I think there are some locations where you can go climb trhough the bushes and shoot through the fence, again you will need to go investigate but the thought of crawling through tropical bushes doesn't appeal to me. As for the airport road, I can't really think of too many places that wont be backlit and the fence is too high, and/or buildings in the way. There is a beach that also runs along the side of the runway but I think it's private land (again I could be wrong). The caravanasseri complex next to the sunset might be a good opportunity for some shots but the big burly looking security guards in the area were stopping us from investigating any further, and I think will be backlit now going into the middle of the year.

Generally, I think it's going to be up to you to go find something new that hasn't been done. I would like to take a boat out into the bay but it's already been done. I'd like to do some helicopter flights for overviews but it's been done. I'd like to go up the huge hill and shoot overviews but it's been done. Pretty much I think it's been largely covered  .
Good luck though and have a great time and go have a few Caribs at the Sunset for me!
James Rowson
 
jlunddk
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:45 am

Thank you guys for the replies. I'm aware that "everything" already has been covered and that it's difficult to find a place, angle or an idea that hasn't already been tried, I would certainly be more than pleased if I could get some shots from Mary's Boon, the tower, the hill at cole bay, the sonesta or royal Islander or from the caravanasseri complex, but I realize it might be difficult if you're not a guest, and that's why I was hoping for someone that might have a solution to how to find the "perfect" spot. But, hey, It's my first visit to the Island so I guess I'll be happy just to get home with any kind of shots.  
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:01 pm

I found that even the beach offers plenty of opportunities for different angles, from side shots to being directly underneath, frontal to rear, with various lenses incl fisheye; and with all kinds of people posing in various ways. Some of the more creative images might not be a.net material, but definitely impressive. I agree though that lighting is becoming more harsh this time of the year.
PS: Where can we see the heli and boat shots?
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
aagold
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:30 pm

Joern,

I've been to SXM several times and have tried to get some unique shots and angles. It's hard because it really has been over-shot by many, but you can still get some nice pics if you venture off the beaten path a bit. Here are some examples of shots taken from other locations ...


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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images


Taken over the fence by Mary's Boon.

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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images


Taken on the hill overlooking the airport.

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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images


Taken at the end of the runway off the side of the road.

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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images


Taken from the Sonesta Hotel.

That gives you a couple of ideas that you can play around with. Truth is they just aren't as impressive as the normal landing shots.

Enjoy your trip.

Art
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:52 am

Quoting aagold (Reply 6):
Truth is they just aren't as impressive as the normal landing shots.

That's why I still would spend 90% of my time at the beach...
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
Dehowie
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:11 am

There are plenty of great places other than the beach

http://www.vortexaviationphotography.com/Civil-Aviation-Photography/St-Maarten-2011/i-DNFPgvv/0/XL/corsairbanker2-XL.jpg

http://www.vortexaviationphotography.com/Civil-Aviation-Photography/St-Maarten-2011/i-XfBwx3m/0/XL/carib737-XL.jpg

http://www.vortexaviationphotography.com/Civil-Aviation-Photography/St-Maarten-2011/i-JQ3NbcF/0/XL/corsairdepartno1-XL.jpg

Or even at the beach plenty of angles to explore that are different..

http://www.vortexaviationphotography.com/Civil-Aviation-Photography/St-Maarten-2011/i-Sfrmjcf/0/XL/klmmahowide-XL.jpg

http://www.vortexaviationphotography.com/Civil-Aviation-Photography/St-Maarten-2011/i-LxXCSzn/0/XL/insellwidemahono1-XL.jpg

Great place to visit and not just for the aircraft..
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
jlunddk
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Wed May 09, 2012 7:43 am

BTW: is it possible to do some ramp spotting from inside the terminal?
 
jrowson
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RE: Alternate Spottingplaces At St.Maarten?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:08 am

Quoting jlunddk (Reply 9):
BTW: is it possible to do some ramp spotting from inside the terminal?

Yep, sure is once you are airside as there are nice big windows that overlook the ramp at the gates. Just watch for reflections of the lights from inside the terminal though.
James Rowson

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