wilco737
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Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 6:29 am

Hi guys,

I wasn't sure how this thread title should be. But I try to explain.

When I am at the airport I like to take pictures of airplanes as well and sometimes uploading it here.

But what I recently observed is that many people seem to see the aviation world only through their cameras. A lovely Boeing 747 (or any other airplane) is approaching and everybody has their cameras up (including me) and taking pictures. Then when the motive isn't as good anymore, people turn their heads down and check their pictures instead of watching the airplane continue its approach or watch the touchdown. Many just turn around right after they took the picture and turn their back on the airplane.

Is the taking pictures getting more important than enjoying aviation in general? Just looking at the airplane floating in, doing a nice landing?

I personally took the pictures, put the camera down and watch the airplane land or see it disappear slowly after take off.

I hope you guys understand what I mean. It is not mean to offend anybody, but I enjoy aviation that much and I don't want to see it all the time through the camera.

What do you think about it?

wilco737
  
 
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yerbol
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 9:26 am

Hi Phil,
I enjoy both as you do, taking photos and watching the aircraft.
My example. Here in Almaty we still have a chance to see old Antonov and Tupolev planes which can be recognized from a far distance by their smoke and sound. Same with other airplanes. Nice background, crosswind, humidity etc brings additional visual effects so you can't take your eyes from the whole picture.
With best regards from Almaty
 
epten
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 10:17 am

Oh, yes, it's a big dilemma for me too. I often find myself feeling guilty of checking the focus instead of the graceful touchdown. Or feeling guilty of missing that perfect shot while simply watching the beautiful big bird.

Solution? Go to the airport when weather is not perfect for photography and enjoy watching without feeling guilty.  
 
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yerbol
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 12:07 pm

Quoting Epten (Reply 2):
Solution? Go to the airport when weather is not perfect for photography and enjoy watching without feeling guilty.  

Hard to go to the airport without a camera   Surprizes usually happens when you do not expect them  
With best regards from Almaty
 
JakTrax
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 1:02 pm

I get the best of both worlds because there's very little I shoot at my local these days. If I head out it's usually only for a couple of things, so most of the time the camera stays in the bag and I enjoy being solely an observer for a while. Equally important is enjoying the weather (if it's good) and the banter with the lads!

All in all, the whole aviation experience collectively is what I like - particularly the pub at the end of a successful evening!

Karl
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 6:50 pm

Since I work at an airport, I see planes takeoff and land all day every day. It never gets old. In fact whenever I hear a plane take off or land, I will turn and look. Every single time. Same if I'm elsewhere in town under the flight path. I can't help but not look and enjoy the beauty of an airliner in the sky.

When I take photos, it's either of a unique visitor or exceptional conditions. But it's all about the beauty of aviation for me and if I'm focusing on the photography, it's because I'm trying to capture the beauty before my eyes.
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EZEIZA
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 9:53 pm

Interesting dilemma. I think from time to time we all ask ouselves the same question.
Personally, it depends on where I am. I am used to spotting at AEP, and traffic here is limited. Same models, same regs, same angles, etc. So yes, when I go to AEP I take a picture or two and then just watch the planes do their thing. A few times I have gone there without even taking the camera out of the bag.
However, when I have the chance to take pictures at places that are rare for me, it's pictures pictures and pictures. But even then, it will depend on what aircraft I am seeing. I am much more interested in a 747 than a A320.
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727LOVER
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 11:45 pm

OMG.....I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad you did this thread. I totally agree with you. I've known some folks who are only about the livery and not abot the joys of aviation.

Yesterday @ TPA, I frantically got pics of the zero-gravity 727 on taxi and runway entry. But then, it was time to put the camera down and enjoy the sight/sound of that beauty thundering down the runway.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):
It never gets old. In fact whenever I hear a plane take off or land

  
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ThierryD
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon May 27, 2013 11:54 pm

Nice thread!  

I know the feeling and the question very well myself.
Especially at airshows sometimes. I regularly catch myself being so focused on getting the perfect photo that I forget about just enjoying a perfectly nice display.

I got more relaxed over the years though. I've photographed all kinds of aircraft at most different locations so I don't get upset anymore if I miss an opportunity of taking a good shot and instead just relax and enjoy the "show".  

However I stopped going to an airport without my camera long ago cause I've missed too many nice opportunities just because I thought "Oh well, there's not gonna be anything interesting today anyway" and left my camera at home. I now always take it with me but don't shoot everything that passes by.

Thierry
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vikkyvik
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue May 28, 2013 5:14 am

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 7):
I've known some folks who are only about the livery and not abot the joys of aviation.

Hey, if catching the livery gives them joy, who am I to say otherwise?

Basically, that sums up my thoughts - people may have different reasons for going down to the airport/airshow/wherever, and I have absolutely no problem with that.

Personally, sometimes I don't watch the aircraft all the way through landing. Sometimes I am looking to see if I got a good shot. Other times, I force myself to watch it land. At airshows, I make sure I'm enjoying the show beyond taking photos.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
ckw
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue May 28, 2013 8:23 am

Well there's all kinds of reasons people take photos - I'm sure its a psychological can of worms if you want to go down that road. For me photography is a disease - I am an addict pure and simple. Be it aviation or anything else, if I can't take photos I go into withdrawal. Its not pretty.

But I'm not hurting anyone - and so far have not resorted to crime to support my habit  

Maybe we need a photographers anonymous. "Its been 7 days since I took a picture ..."

Cheers,

Colin
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JakTrax
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue May 28, 2013 2:40 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 10):
"Its been 7 days since I took a picture ..."

With English summers as they are you can go months!

Karl
 
747438
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue May 28, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 11):
Quoting ckw (Reply 10):
"Its been 7 days since I took a picture ..."

With English summers as they are you can go months!

Karl

Only if you're a fair weather photographer, Karl.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue May 28, 2013 9:11 pm

Quoting 747438 (Reply 12):
Only if you're a fair weather photographer, Karl

Or if you happen to live anywhere near Manchester.......
 
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817Dreamliiner
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 7:50 am

I have noticed this, and ill admit that im sometimes guilty of it, especially during my first few spotting trips to MAN. It sometimes is so bad that im pretty much only seeing the aircraft movements on my camera LCD screen and not with my own eyes... But for my last few spotting trips to MAN and LHR, ive learned to put my camera down and enjoy the sights and sounds of aviation.
Please let me know... If you know this is the end of the world, Let me know... If you know the truth...
 
ckw
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 8:08 am

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 14):
ill admit that im sometimes guilty of it,

I don't understand the 'guilt' element some seem to be expressing. If you're a photographer, that's what you do. I only feel guilty when I put down the camera. On a good day, you get into the zone ... everything comes together, you're into a rythym and you just know you're getting the shots you want .... why break the spell?

Cheers,

Colin
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817Dreamliiner
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 8:56 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 15):
If you're a photographer, that's what you do.

Yea well, when I first moved here to MAN, my real intention was to only watch planes not really photograph them. But when I bought a camera late last year, I went a bit photo crazy at the Airport, practically taking a picture of every plane that past the park, eventually running out of battery and missing the A380 take off... MAN gets alot of similar traffic (meaning A320s and 737 series) so lately ive backed off taking photos of those types and focusing more on the larger types  
Please let me know... If you know this is the end of the world, Let me know... If you know the truth...
 
viv
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 9:13 am

Last year, I went to a major airshow without a camera.

What's wrong with me?
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Stealthz
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 10:10 am

Quoting viv (Reply 17):

Nothing at all, a lot to be said for seeing rather than "keeping"

This applies to other fields not just aviation, I go to car races with a friend, I will take photos, he watches the races.
After 30 + years of this we have a regular pattern, I shoot, he explains what happened afterwards.

On another forum a member asked about storage options because he was going to Europe with his wife and had planned to take 5-600 photos a day to remember their special holiday.
Myself and several others tried in vain to convince him if he was taking 5-600 pics a day he was not going to have a "special holiday" to remember.

I am all for taking photos and do take many .. but I am a big fan of "the experience" as well
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
megatop412
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 1:48 pm

I spent enough time 'watching' as a kid without a camera.

I 'watched' 747SP's, L-1011's, IL-62's, 707's, DC-9's, DC-8's, Shorts 360's, 727's, A300's, Concorde, Pan Am, Northwest Orient, Varig, Swissair, Lan Chile, LTU, Olympic, BWIA, Alia, Eastern, American Trans Air, Flying Tigers, Malev, Republic, Sabena, TWA, Avianca, Aer Afrique, etc. all fly by me to land at JFK as I played during school recess or in my backyard. Now all I have left are hazy memories and other people's pictures. The hell with that, going forward.

A big part of my motivation as a photographer is that it allows me to steal back a moment in time that otherwise would be lost forever. What I saw through my eyes, not someone else's. When Airliners had its annual show at EWR a few years ago I picked up the 'JFK Classic' DVD. It was riveting seeing many of the same aircraft again, but my own shots tie me to that moment personally.

Plus, as someone else mentioned, the day you leave the camera at home is the day something nice flies by you.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 2:45 pm

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 16):
practically taking a picture of every plane that past the park

I still do that. It's a rare airplane that flies by without at least one photo being taken. Even if it's just another WN 737.

Quoting viv (Reply 17):
Last year, I went to a major airshow without a camera.

What's wrong with me?

Sometimes I wish I could still do that. But it's just too much fun to me to take photos. Plus it really helps kill time between demos.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 18):
Myself and several others tried in vain to convince him if he was taking 5-600 pics a day he was not going to have a "special holiday" to remember.

That's up to him (or his wife   ). Whenever my girlfriend and I go somewhere, I inevitably end up taking loads of photos. She knows that, and is quite supportive.

I've also met a married couple or two who both basically had their cameras glued to their hands.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 19):
I spent enough time 'watching' as a kid without a camera.

I 'watched' 747SP's, L-1011's, IL-62's, 707's, DC-9's, DC-8's, Shorts 360's, 727's, A300's, Concorde, Pan Am, Northwest Orient, Varig, Swissair, Lan Chile, LTU, Olympic, BWIA, Alia, Eastern, American Trans Air, Flying Tigers, Malev, Republic, Sabena, TWA, Avianca, Aer Afrique, etc. all fly by me to land at JFK as I played during school recess or in my backyard. Now all I have left are hazy memories and other people's pictures. The hell with that, going forward.

That is a very good point. I have a terrible memory, and photos are an important way for me to not lose experiences into the black hole that apparently resides somewhere in my brain.

For me, it's really an all-or-nothing question. I'm not good at just taking a few photos. It's either zero, or at least several hundred, hard drive space be damned.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
ckw
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 2:53 pm

Quoting viv (Reply 17):

Last year, I went to a major airshow without a camera.

I really do not think I could do that ... and remain sane. Last year I trashed both my cameras toward the start of a day long boat shoot - no option to go back. I was naturally upset - not for the loss of the cameras, insurance would cover that - but the prospect of watching potential great shots sail pass me all day long. Fortunately a fellow photographer took pity on me and let me use his camera as he was feeling a bit sea sick.

At least that's what he said. Perhaps he'd noticed a slightly deranged look in my eye and decided to be generous before I threw him overboard.

Anyway, I think I've discovered what's wrong with me
http://danielstainer.wordpress.com/2...pulsive-photography-disorder-ocpd/

Cheers,

Colin
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JakTrax
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Wed May 29, 2013 3:12 pm

Not taking photos is fine; as in taking hundreds. Looking back I am glad I photographed 727s, 732s, DC9s, etc. in numbers, as they're just not around any more. I do, however, wish I'd photographed many more, instead of being more of an observer at the time. Not taking photos can come back and bite you on the arse. I love looking through the database at images from UK airports in the 1980s/1990s, and if people hadn't been so trigger happy (don't forget it was nowhere near as easy reeling off hundreds of photos a day back then) I couldn't enjoy the privilage. In the old days it was always nice when someonme turned up with a photo album - either an old one or one from a recent trip abroad - that you could all sit and look at when the action got slow.

Several of the people I regularly go to LHR with will come back with 500-600 images from the day, whereas I'll be lucky if I come back with 50. I don't take photos of just anything - the light has to be just right and if it isn't it might as well be the rarest thing on the planet for all I care because I won't press the shutter. Sometimes it's just nicer to sit back, relax, have a beer and chew the fat with the guys.

Karl
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Thu May 30, 2013 3:33 am

I am often one who complains about the modern digital airline photographers having no soul and more interested in becoming a photographer "celebrity" than caring about aviation itself...

then I find myself doing the same thing. I get a picture of that plane I want to get, then the next thing I do I check to make sure I got it and it looks good. That is the problem with the digital camera age - I have been shooting digital since 2005, prior to that I shot film. I found that I saw more planes at airports and airshows back in the days I shot film. You shot one picture of the plane - made sure it was good and then watched it the rest of the way. I didn't shoot 20 shots as it went by because film wasn't cheap. I probably haven't seen or been able to enjoy a Thunderbirds or Blue Angels performance since before 2005 because my head is always behind a camera... but then I did a lot of videotaping at airshows too from 1998-2005, so that is just as bad.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Thu May 30, 2013 7:33 am

Having your head behind a camera isn't always a bad thing. Part of aviation photography is to enjoy it years down the line, when you can sit and count the ones that just ain't around any more. You could look at it like this: spend the time checking that photo over and over again instead of watching the plane go through its full motions, but enjoy that image in years to come when the damn thing is baked bean cans! Having a pictorial memory for me is more important than simply having that memory in my head.

Like I said, it's great when someone pulls out an album of old prints during the slow hours at the local. Or at the pub at the end of the day.....

Karl
 
linco22
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Fri May 31, 2013 1:33 pm

Personally, I couldn't bring myself to go to the aiport/airshow without my camera. Just in case I miss something, a surprise visitor for example. Generally I take the shots I want, then watch, or keep the camera on it until it pretty much comes to a stop and/or out of sight.

Colin
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Fri May 31, 2013 2:47 pm

Quoting linco22 (Reply 25):
Personally, I couldn't bring myself to go to the aiport/airshow without my camera. Just in case I miss something, a surprise visitor for example. Generally I take the shots I want, then watch, or keep the camera on it until it pretty much comes to a stop and/or out of sight.

The way Airshows are headed in the US, it isn't going to be as hard to leave the camera at home. With no military flying in airshows probably until we get a new president, and I have my doubts after that. If there is a lack of Warbird turnout at the airshow, then I will probably leave the camera home... but then I will probably just stay home too. I just have to say that I was very disappointed in a major Florida week long Airshow a couple months back. I know it wasn't their fault that the Thunderbirds couldn't be there as well as other military performers/statics, but they have done little to bring back the Warbird community that used to be big there ten years back - every year its the same planes that I shot 100 times. I could have left my camera home for most of the week - I probably only got a few dozen pictures of planes that were worth it there this year.

In my honest opinion also, airports are getting more boring in the US. There are less and less cool airplanes coming to 90% of American airports - its all twin engine aircraft. Gone are the good days of the 727s, DC-8s, L1011s, DC-10s etc. 747s are getting more rare - now it is just 737s, CRJs and A320s. There are less and less airlines for where we have over 100 US airlines in the 1980s to about maybe 8 left and shrinking. To top it off most of the liveries today suck. I miss the cheatline. Frontier is about the only airline I like shooting anymore in the US because of its variety of tails.

I wish I had a digital back in the 80s where I could take unlimited shots of aircraft both at airshows (I miss the F-4, A-7s, F-106s) as well as unlimited shots at the airport without worrying about cost of or running out of film. I thought Republic DC-9s, Delta 727s were common and boring in the 80s... man I miss them now. I wish I could have been in Miami in the late 80s with all the South American airlines and the propliners, 707s, DC-8s everywhere.

I have gotten to the point where since I can't shoot military at airshows anymore, commercial airlines getting boring and government making it more difficult for warbird owners each year so less will be flying that I may give up aviation photography in the next 5 years just because aviation is getting less interesting than when I was a kid growing up in the 80s. I still take pictures of women and wildlife so I doubt my cameras are up for sale as of yet.
 
angad84
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:26 pm

Some days, particularly during times when the light is poor, I just switch off and enjoy the view.

Last year, I was able to spend a few days shooting Mirage 2000s, including a chance to shoot at night. I tried to get a handful of shots with the bright white of the afterburner, but once I realized I could do no better than the handful I'd got, I switched the camera off, tuned in to ATC and just let myself go deaf every time a bird launched or did a go-around. It was one of the best nights of my life. The thermos of hot tea certainly helped!

But there is also something to be said for coming away from a trip with a fat load of photographs that you can look back time and again and remember things by.

So I guess I fall in the "bit of both" camp.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:05 pm

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 26):
The way Airshows are headed in the US, it isn't going to be as hard to leave the camera at home.

The way airshows are headed in the US, I'll just pop over to LAX for an afternoon instead.

I generally go to airshows for the military demos (C-17, F-22, F-18, F-15, T-birds or Blues, etc.), and I haven't even looked at an airshow schedule as of yet this year.

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 26):
In my honest opinion also, airports are getting more boring in the US. There are less and less cool airplanes coming to 90% of American airports - its all twin engine aircraft. Gone are the good days of the 727s, DC-8s, L1011s, DC-10s etc. 747s are getting more rare - now it is just 737s, CRJs and A320s.

For those of us who are young enough that we didn't shoot those older aircraft, I'd have to disagree. Of course, it depends on the airport, but I quite enjoy shooting widebody aircraft at LAX, whether they are twin, tri, or quads. And of course, we get plenty of international traffic. And there are always new, cool airplanes arriving, like the 380 or 787.

I'm sure people were saying the same thing when jet traffic started replacing props.

Quoting angad84 (Reply 27):
Some days, particularly during times when the light is poor, I just switch off and enjoy the view.

I do the opposite - when it's humid, foggy, or rainy, I'm out there with my camera! Those are the interesting (and challenging) days for me.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
megatop412
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:22 am

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 26):
I have gotten to the point where since I can't shoot military at airshows anymore, commercial airlines getting boring and government making it more difficult for warbird owners each year so less will be flying that I may give up aviation photography in the next 5 years just because aviation is getting less interesting than when I was a kid growing up in the 80s. I still take pictures of women and wildlife so I doubt my cameras are up for sale as of yet.

I am with you brother, I totally am, especially with remembering what the 80's were like(see my reply #19). On top of all that you list, for folks like myself that have no access priveleges or 'contacts' that can get us onto the field for some shooting, we are pretty much relegated to observing things from a great distance until the authorities decide they don't want us to hang around any more, even from that great distance.

Thing is, I've come to the conclusion that this situation compels us to get more creative with our shots. Going out in less than ideal weather, trying to introduce new elements into the scene, different angles and processing effects, are all there for the exploration. I've also decided that, given that no one is paying me to do this and no one ever will, my new priority is to shoot as many airports and meet as many spotters as I can while I'm alive. Gives me something to look forward to. Plus there's always a new special paint or rare visitor to chase after, in between the women  
 
angad84
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RE: Enjoy Aviation Vs. Taking Pictures

Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:52 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 28):
I do the opposite - when it's humid, foggy, or rainy, I'm out there with my camera! Those are the interesting (and challenging) days for me.

Oh, I love that too. I meant if I'm out in the morning on a clear (ie: straightforward good shooting weather) day and by noon the sun's done its job and there are no more shots to be had from where I'm situated, I won't pack up and leave, I'll sit back, maybe log interesting traffic and just enjoy the sound and the view.

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