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b764
Topic Author
Posts: 740
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2001 10:49 am

Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:29 am

Even though every airport is different from day to day, as far as hasseling spotters/photographers. I was wondering if we could come up with a concensus on the airports that don't seem to mind that were there and the others who've stated that its "against the law" to photograph airplanes and to take a hike! The first one is CLT. A no go for spotters for now. However, I'm working on that.
 
CcrlR
Posts: 2195
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:42 am

Midway still is but some workers are optimistic about people there taking photos. Someone said IAH and I don't know about and I don't know about anymore other airports. Mabye LAS is good to us.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
joe pries
Posts: 1922
Joined: Sat May 13, 2000 1:04 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:53 am

I was at FLL last week- as long as youre away from the fence, they are very very friendly. ill have lots of slides to show from there as soon as they get uploaded

Joe
 
5280AGL
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 6:50 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:53 am

I have been to a ton of airports since 9/11 (the beauty of being a pilot), from my experiences, here are my observations:

The good:

LAX
SJC
PHX
LAS
MKE
MSP
CMH
FLL
DFW

The bad:

STL
OMA
SLC
CLE
ATL

The UGLY:

JFK
DEN
MIA
DTW
ORD
BOS

 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3891
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:54 am

Contrary to what a few 'rent-a-cop' or an overzeaslous rookie cop may say, it is not against the law (federal anyways) to photograph at any US commercial airport, unless there is a local city ordinance prohibiting it and that is highly unlikely. But I digress, some airports are tuning to 'airbases' when it comes to security, ATL, CLT (as you just mentioned) ORD, MIA, ect.....

Do not dispare however there are still a few shining examples where these problems have yet to arise. My beloved IAH is one such airport, we have one official spotting area set up and maintained by the city as well as another semi-official area also maintained by the city, not to mentioned the rooftop parking areas of C and A/B garages. Though it has been sometime since I have visited or even flown from HOU, there is no reason to believe that this is not as spotter friendly as IAH. DFW from reports that I have been reading lately is another airport that welcomes the spotter (Founders plaza is open from what I understand) as well as most Texas commercial airports, AUS, SAT, ELP, HAR, ect..although with the smaller commercial airports you may be greeted by police or security as they are probably not use to spotters/photographers, especially those like MFE or BRO which are close to the Mexican border.

I hear that LAX is back in operations as far as spotting and photography are concerned. So there are still a few airports that welcome (albeit limited in some cases) the spotter/photographer.

So far all of Texas's major airports are open for spotting and photography from what I have read. So c'mon down.....but leave the step ladder at home!

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
serge
Posts: 1903
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 2:01 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 12:09 pm

5280AGL: Do you fly the DEN to BIL or BIL to DEN route? I was just on a AWAC BAe 146-100 from BIL to DEN on November 27th..... you never know  Big grin

...Serge  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
5280AGL
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 6:50 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 12:26 pm

Serge -

I haven't flown the Billings route for a couple of months. Recently, I have been flying into Cedar Rapids, Sioux Falls and that extremely long haul into C Springs. =)
 
b764
Topic Author
Posts: 740
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2001 10:49 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 12:47 pm

Any suggestions on how to get an "official" viewing area in motion at CLT. They have plenty of space. Sounds like IAH has a good spot.
 
Jer32382
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:35 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 12:57 pm

5280, do you fly into CMH regularly? If you do, me and a few buddies would love to sit down and have lunch. I am on my way to becoming a pilot and would love to talk to you.
 
MDL_777
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:58 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 1:02 pm

B764:

CTL did have an official viewing area before 9/11 - it was the aircraft overlook located off Old Dowd Road. It overlooked Runway 18R, and you had a great vantage point of the terminal. I used to like going there to watch US Air's A330 come in from Europe. Like I said, they closed it down after 9/11. I E-mailed the airport, and they responded that it was "closed until further notice." They had guards out front in September and October, and one of them told me that it was closed as per the FAA. She of course could not give me any timetable as to when (if ever) it would be reopened. So, my suggestion would be to try to petition Charlotte to reopen the overlook. I don't know if there are enough enthusiats/spotters to make that effective, though.
 
MDL_777
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:58 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 1:04 pm

Oops, I meant to say that I wasn't sure that there were enough enthusiasts/spotters in the Charlotte area to make that effective.
 
jderden777
Posts: 1677
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 9:56 am

B764

Mon Jan 28, 2002 1:04 pm

i'm not sure if we could get something set up at CLT..i live only a few hours away and would love to see the observation area open again...you can get some great shots from there...too bad it's been closed off..i would say if you could ever get someone like airport ops or someone to escort you, you might be able to swing it....but i'm afraid that if CLT is still planning on building that new runway (i dunno if they still are after 9/11) then this spot will get 'dozed probably...but maybe we can get something together....keep in touch and let me know if you think of anything...i'd be willing to help out

jonathan d. (TRI)


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jonathan Derden



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jonathan Derden



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jonathan Derden



"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
rindt
Posts: 876
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 3:08 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 1:51 pm

Sorry Thomas,

but I REFUSE to shoot through a fence... that's bull-sh*t to me. I'm just very lucky here at YVR where this isn't a problem, and things are well in the works for us 'regular' photogs, hopefully everything in that regard will be in operation by the summer  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

-Rob

What other people think of you is none of your business!
 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3891
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:02 pm

Not a prob Rob  Smile,

Its just a matter of opinion. I personally do not like them in this situation (I have used them in other situations however). I feel that excellent quality pics can be shot through a fence as many of my photos prove. Plus, I almost always use a tripod and using a tripod in concert with a step ladder over a 10ft fence, well.......

I too hope that things return to normal soon....

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
rindt
Posts: 876
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 3:08 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:50 pm

Please explain how I can shoot through a fence (45-50mm~ size) with my 80-200mm F2.8 (a 77mm filter size), and NOT get any fence "vignetting" in the shot? Do you open the aperture to F2.8/4, or do you close it down to F11/16?

-Rob

What other people think of you is none of your business!
 
User avatar
Scooter
Posts: 878
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 1999 12:18 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:27 pm

Somebody mentioned ORD as "bad" place right now - I dissagree. The trick is to stay off the perimeter fence...I have been shooting a ton at ORD since September, and I have yet to be told to leave.

The 22R dirt lot is a toss-up. It all depends on the cops who are working that day. I've sat in that lot for several hours at a time recently, while I've heard about others who have been kicked out immediately. All you can do is try...

-Scott
My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing obnoxiously-detailed trip reports.
 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3891
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:30 am

Hi Rob,

My technique is to place the lens flat up on the fence itself and while I normally do not shoot @ f2.8, I do stop down to f4 and f5.6. However I never go beyond f5.6, not even by half a stop! There is where you will have the dreaded vignetting, there one or two of my shots here that suffer slightly from this as I did experiment with f6.4 and f8. The really challanging shots are the ones where the lens is pointed at an angle in relation to the fence, say 45 or 60 degrees.

For me this allows for some really low angle action shots. But I digress, it is not for everyone as it dose take some time to master and does not allow for smaller f stops. Still, I prefer it to a step ladder

Though I don't like posting my pics on this forum, I feel these illustrate what I am talking about.

Lens flat on the fence:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard



Lens at angle to the fence

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard



The lens is a Canon 400mm 2.8EF.

Thomas

"Show me the Braniffs"
 
kaitakfan
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 1999 1:04 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:39 am

I was photograph at LHR this weekend... no problem what so ever. that should be obvious by the amount of photos being uploaded to this website from Heathrow... I just wish I had more time to enjoy photographing at heathrow with no worries of being asked to leave!
 
AviationIvi
Posts: 760
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2001 2:49 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Tue Jan 29, 2002 3:50 pm

no problems here (FRA)

Regards,
Ivica
 
fuairliner
Posts: 530
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 7:23 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Tue Jan 29, 2002 6:40 pm

Hi everybody,

also no problems at Hamburg (HAM and XFW) caused by security or police, but the weather is bad and traffic is very slow  Sad.
Hope the situation improves soon!


Kind regards,

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy FUAirliner
(Frank Unterspann)
Frank Unterspann - Hamburg, Germany
 
jderden777
Posts: 1677
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 9:56 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Tue Jan 29, 2002 8:38 pm

no problems here at TRI...they'll run you off for being in the employee parking lot after you already get permission from security, but they'll let you walk out to the edge of the GA ramp...there's something very wrong with this picture...seems like all they're concerned with is what goes on around the terminal...but if someone is really determined to hijack a plane and do some damage...it's not that hard....no i am not saying that i'm going to do that...i'm just saying that we are still very lacking in adequate security for airports...

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
wietse
Posts: 3630
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 12:49 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:52 pm

no probs here (Amsterdam Schiphol)

Wietse/AMS
Wietse de Graaf
 
tpk
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 4:48 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Wed Jan 30, 2002 11:08 pm

I haven't had any problems at the three airports I've been to recently - PHX, SAN, and ATL. Here's the rundown of my experiences:

PHX - In my opinion one of the best airports for unobstructed outdoor aircraft views. I spent several hours there on 4 separate days in late December and early January and was only approached by one cop who said he understood what I was doing and was only responding to a call from a passenger who had spotted me in the garage.

SAN - I haven't tried the garage, but 3 hours at the intersection of Laurel and Harbor didn't seem to attract too much attention.

ATL - Just took a trip down there this past weekend and my experience couldn't have been better. I arrived at 10:30 am on Saturday and shot photos from the terminals all day. I wasn't bothered by anyone and a Delta employee even helped me when I asked when a plane that I wanted to shoot was leaving. On Sunday, I spent the whole day on the rooftop of the North Terminal garage. I wasn't bothered by anyone here and spoke to two separate security guards while I was up there. One explained to me that he sees people photographing from there all the time and that there isn't a problem with it. On Monday, I was back at the garage and was approached by a different guard who told me that she didn't have a problem with me taking photos but that her "manager" was coming up and he has told her that it is illegal. I stated that I wasn't breaking any laws and that she was welcome to search my bag if she wanted to. Then I said that I would speak to the manager when he came up. Well, the manager never materialized and I stayed out there another couple of hours and wasn't harassed again.

What this Atlanta experience has confirmed for me is that in most cases at most airports there isn't an official policy that tells guards how to "handle" photographers, and most are acting on their own impressions of what constitutes a suspicious activity. I think they just throw in the "illegal" part to give weight to their decision to try to remove the photographer. It seems like the best way to approach these situations is to explain that you are not doing anything illegal while not saying anything that would make them feel that their authority is being threatened or questioned by you. It is a delicate balance and an art that I'm sure I will have to practice more in the future.
 
ly772
Posts: 1269
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 9:33 pm

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Thu Jan 31, 2002 12:26 am

TLV could be a small problem...
 
727LOVER
Posts: 8624
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: Airports You Can & Can't Spot At

Thu Jan 31, 2002 5:47 am

TPA seems okay
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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