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misterdsdan
Topic Author
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Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:25 am

Spotting At BHX

Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:27 pm

Hi all,

I've recently got into aviation photography and to get me on my way I purchased a Canon S5 IS on the advice of some of you here (thankyou all, I'm very pleased with it!).

However, the only oppurtunities I get to actually get aircraft pictures are at airshows. I live only a few miles from Birmingham Int'l airport, however, and was wondering if any of you here regularly 'spot' there? Or even if anybody knows any good locations?

Thanks,

Dan

p.s I saw there was a topic similar to this but it was last used in 2003, I was hoping for some more up-to-date info
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5267
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:23 pm

I'm a MAN regular but living in Stoke (under an hour's drive to MAN, BHX and EMA) I regularly visit BHX.

Photography is actually very good, with several good locations around the perimeter. Forget the observation deck, which for most of the day is useless (always remember the best images are taken with the sun behind you). There is also a small charge for non-passengers, so the terrace is doubly-useless!

Between sunrise and about 13:30 try the bottom of long stay car park 1. From here, anything about to line up on runway 33 taxies past you, at very close quarters and often very slowly. Aircraft usually stop and pose for a photo! Be aware though, you'll need something small to stand on to avoid the fence.

For the afternoon (13:00 - sunset) the field at the back of the TriStar Hotel is good, although again you'll need ladders. Alternatively a field just off the A45 (just beyond the approach lights on the left-hand side of the carriageway) is great for arrival shots.

If the wind favours the use of runway 15, make your way to Marston Green railway station, where a bridge provides good opportunities in the mornings. For the afternoons, head from the station down into Sheldon Country Park, where both sides of the approach are easily accesible.

Hope this helps.

Karl

[Edited 2008-07-21 07:24:37]
 
GPHOTO
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:44 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:14 am

As Karl says, the western edge of the Long Stay car park is the place to go in the morning. Right next to the holding point for runway 33 (small steps or box needed to see) and approach and departure aircraft are very close.

Some people disapprove of posting your own images as examples, so I'll post someone elses from this spot:


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Photo © Karl Nixon
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Photo © Mick Bajcar




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Photo © Martin Aves
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Photo © Jukka Hemila



I have not tried the other areas. The official viewing terrace is little good for photos due to position with regards to sun and presence of tinted glass, but it did have a decent bookshop last time I was there.

Karl, I have not been at this spot for a while, I presume it is still open for photographers, in this security-conscious age?


Best regards,

Jim
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5267
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:57 am



Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 2):
Some people disapprove of posting your own images as examples, so I'll post someone elses from this spot:

Yup, that's why I didn't post any of my own; but it looks like you did the job for me...!!  Big grin

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 2):
I have not been at this spot for a while, I presume it is still open for photographers, in this security-conscious age?

It's fine Jim. The penultimate time I was there I walked past three officers on my way into the car park. It was obvious what I was intending to do as I had a set of ladders and a big camera bag! On Sunday the police drove past as I was taking pictures - they took a quick glance and that was all.

Only shot that's difficult to get these days is the last one you linked to (ZB A320), as the new fast turn-off taxiway usually sees to it that smaller types no longer roll far enough to make it to the end of the runway.

Karl
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5267
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:04 am

On a final note guys, if in a car don't forget to always have a nosey around the old Elmdon part of the field (the old terminal turned freight and maintenance area), as there's normally something interesting resting there from time to time. Again, ladders are useful (unless you've a really small lens or a compact P&S) as you'll have to negotiate two crash gates.

Example (and I know it's my own but it ain't in the database yet):

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 683 File size: 547kb


All the best!

Karl
 
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:07 am

Hi all

Is the roof terrace still there:

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Photo © Gary Watt


Regards

Gary
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:50 am



Quoting Granite (Reply 5):
Is the roof terrace still there

Yes, although the type of shot on offer these days is somewhat different to your link.....

If you're not a passenger there's a small admission charge, but it's hardly worth it for the limited photo opportunities. That much building work has gone up in front of it it's almost unrecognisable today. And besides, the deck was only really good on summer mornings, when the sun was at your back early doors.

I fly from BHX a lot and always have a wander up there as a passenger (free entry) - It's OK for passing the time waiting for your flight, and there's a good shop and a cafe up there (although they don't mind me taking my own tinnies and suppin' 'em!)

Karl
 
GPHOTO
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:44 pm

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:21 pm



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
Yup, that's why I didn't post any of my own; but it looks like you did the job for me...!!

No favouritism involved I assure you! Just the angles I was looking for  Smile Same with Mick's photo, purely a coincidence that it is a photo from another crew member.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
It's fine Jim. The penultimate time I was there I walked past three officers on my way into the car park. It was obvious what I was intending to do as I had a set of ladders and a big camera bag! On Sunday the police drove past as I was taking pictures - they took a quick glance and that was all.

Oh good, that is the way I remember it. Was kept an eye on by the odd drive by, but never, ever hassled. Maybe time I made another Saturday or Sunday morning trip up there soon - I miss the big(gish) jets.

Best regards,

Jim
 
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:28 pm

Hi all

Was a great location back in the 80's. Only been there once:

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Photo © Gary Watt


Probably gone too?

I flew PIK to BHX for £19.00 one way. My first flight on a 747.

Regards

Gary
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:04 pm

Gary,

That Highland 747 appears to be taken from the same spot as my KLM 738 and Mick's Uzbek 757 Jim linked to in his post. If it wasn't then wherever that image was snapped certainly ain't accessible any more!

Pretty certain though, it's somewhere near where the spot at the bottom of Long Stay 1 now is. Things have changed slightly but the same type of shot is still (unbelievably) on offer, providing runway 15 is in use (as it looks like it was for the 747 shot) and aircraft roll out long enough to come off at that taxiway.

This one was snapped on Sunday, taxiing to 33 for departure.:

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 683 File size: 603kb


Karl
 
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:15 pm

Karl

Yes, looks like the same spot.

The EuroHub was not there at the time so the ramp will have changed quite a bit. Just a few small things parked there, BA HS748, Irish Bell helicopter and a few light props. Got quite a few images that day including a Wardair 747, Orion A300, Balkan TU154, Dan Air 732, Aviogenex and Aeroflot TU134.

Memories  Sad

Regards

Gary
 
Psych
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:34 pm



Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 2):
Some people disapprove of posting your own images as examples

Hi Jim. I'd love to have a debate with some of 'those people' right now - I am in the mood  wink . You and Karl post away! Going all out to try to con people into looking at your images just to boost your view counter is one thing - posting examples of your own photos to illustrate a valid point is completely different - and appropriate. We have to remember these are thumbnails - readers don't have to open them to get the drift of your point, but then again why should you not promote your own images.

The whole point of bothering to upload images to the site is in the hope that someone somewhere will look at them. Surely we should be honest about that.

Sorry - just had to make this point, and I don't want to take the discussion off track, but this often winds me up.

Take it easy.

Paul
 
GPHOTO
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:07 pm



Quoting Psych (Reply 11):
You and Karl post away!

Well Karl can. I have not been to Brum for a while and my workflow and technique is hopefully a little better now, ahem!

I agree with you, there is nothing wrong with using your own images as long as the 'motiv' is good. Can't see what the fuss is all about most of the time.

Quoting Granite (Reply 8):
Was a great location back in the 80's. Only been there once:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Watt



Probably gone too?

Yes it's gone, sort of. Looks like the old outside viewing area, with a mound so you could see over the fence. Very nice and civilised, some old trees and a pond, lots of wildlife! Usually an ice cream van used to set up there in the summer - used to go there as a kid in the mid-eighties to see the BAC 1-11's and BA 737's (First gen).

The Eurohub and carpark expansion used up the ground, but I think the trees and pond are still there? Not sure, will have a look next time, many happy memories.  Smile

Best regards,

Jim
 
misterdsdan
Topic Author
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Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:25 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:43 pm

I did not expect to create such an active topic! Thanks for all your replies, I expect I'll be heading down at some point in the not too distant future armed with your advice!

Dan
 
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:00 am

Jim

Thanks for responding.

Yes, it was a mound looking over the fence. Short walk from the terminal. Have a few in the database from that two days:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Watt


Dan, let us see your images once you have been.

Regards

Gary
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:17 am

It's definately the same spot by the look of it. Appears to be more-or-less where the old viewing bank used to be, in which case the reference to a 'mound' would make sense. This area slowly became worse, with the expansion of the car park and subsequently the apron on the other side. It was eventually mothballed but we actually ended up with a superior spot at the bottom of the new Long Stay 1.

If anyone is planning a trip let me know, I'll probably tag along and introduce you to some of the other locations.

Regards,

Karl
 
GPHOTO
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:36 am

Do I sense an A.net mini-meet may be in the offing?

Regards,

Jim
 
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:23 pm

Jim

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 16):
Do I sense an A.net mini-meet may be in the offing?

Yes, Dan, Karl and yourself  Smile

Cheers

Gary
 
misterdsdan
Topic Author
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:35 pm

I would feel privelidged taking my first aviation photos in such company! I would feel slightly embarrassed, however, using my P&S Canon and with my lack of photography knowledge thus far!

Dan
 
GPHOTO
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RE: Spotting At BHX

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:30 pm

Well it looks like Karl is going to be giving us an on-site masterclass sometime in the next few weeks, perhaps  Wink

Best regards,

Jim
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5267
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Spotting At BHX

Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:12 pm



Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 16):
Do I sense an A.net mini-meet may be in the offing?

Well I think I'd definately be up for that.....

If someone has any ideas about when let everyone know.

Quoting Misterdsdan (Reply 18):
I would feel privelidged taking my first aviation photos in such company! I would feel slightly embarrassed, however, using my P&S Canon and with my lack of photography knowledge thus far!

Nonsense! In some ways it's harder to master aviation photography with a P&S, especially taking into consideration the shutter delay. When I first moved to digital I experimented with an Olympus P&S, prior to spending huge sums on a DSLR. I used it for a good two years and have some great images from it.

Karl

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