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yerbol
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Spotting In LHR

Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:07 pm

Dear all,
I think I would be able to visit London this October and planning to do some spotting there.
Your advices to my questions highly appreciated.

Should I expect police stopping me for photographing aircrafts?
Do I need any ladder and how high if its required?
Is 70-200mm[on crop sensor] long-wide enough for action shots as landings and take-offs?
What is the best time for spotting?
How about traffic? I heard that my battery will die in LHR because of traffic  Wow!
What kind of weather will be in mid of October in London?
What else I should know about spotting in LHR?

I want to do photos like this.
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-India/Boeing-777-337-ER/1984373/L
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Kuwai...-Airways/Airbus-A340-313/1983194/L
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Finnair/Airbus-A319-112/1967838/L

Thanks!

[Edited 2011-09-18 06:18:14]

[Edited 2011-09-18 06:20:56]
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:51 pm

Hi Yerbol,

In answer to your questions....

1) Unless you're acting really suspiciously or are somewhere you shouldn't be the police will leave you alone. Photography at airports is not illegal in the UK.

2) A ladder is useful for a couple of spots but not essential.

3) 70-200 will be fine. I some cases, a wider angle could even be needed.

4) There is no real best time for spotting, but personally I prefer the traffic between about 12:00-16:00 (although is using the 27s they swap the landing runway at 15:00). If you like US traffic, sunrise-11:00 is okay.

5) UK weather is hard to predict as it's very changeable. Expect temperatures of anywhere between 5 and 15 degrees Celcius.

6) Not a lot else you need to know really.

Cheers,

Karl
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:50 pm

Be aware that a couple of those photos look like they've been done from the Renaissance Hotel with a rather large lens. Happy to be corrected.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:03 pm

Yes, I'd say the KU and AY were definitely shot from the Renaissance - but the AI appears to have been shot through the fence on the north side.

Through-the-fence shots are possible if you've got a lens with a front element diameter of 58mm or less. I believe there are also several locks in crash gates which can be used, but it's probably a fight to secure one!

Without access to the hotel or a small lens, you're looking at shots like these...


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Photo © Karl Nixon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Karl Nixon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon



Karl
 
jrowson
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:08 pm

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
Yes, I'd say the KU and AY were definitely shot from the Renaissance - but the AI appears to have been shot through the fence on the north side.

Just to add to what Karl says, you might have problems with the light if you want those types of 27R shots in October (unless it's cloudy). Summer months are the best when you can shoot with good light early in the morning and late in the evening but for most of the day it will be backlit. I fear in October that it will be backlit most if not all day.
 
Rotate
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:16 pm

Picture number 3 is taken from the IBIS and not Renaissance ...
 
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FYODOR
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:47 pm

I'll be in LHR in the end of September. I go to UK for business, but might will be able to have short spotting as well.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 1):
Photography at airports is not illegal in the UK.

Is that mean that approach shots are also illegal case? What is the theoretical penalty? I remember I was stopped by policeman in LCY in 2007 but he just asked me what was I doing. And yes - left me alone after that.

One remark. Russia is not the best example of freedoms however we are going to legal spotting and in practice at least in MOW and LED it is not typical nowadays to be restricted by police or aviation security. How does that happened that UK - the Promised Land for aviation and human freedoms came to photography is not legal??? This is rhetorical question indeed but mundus - quo vadis?
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:52 pm

Fyodor,

I said photography at UK airports IS NOT illegal. You can take photos of what you like here and to be honest the police have no jurisdiction to stop you or even ask for I.D. (unless you're somewhere you shouldn't be).

Karl
 
ryangooner
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:13 pm

Not entirely correct Karl....

The Police DO have the jurisdiction to stop you at any time.

A Police officer can stop you and ask you to account for yourself ie: your actions, behaviour, PRESENCE IN AN AREA or possession of anything.

I hope ive clarified that for you....

Ryan
 
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FYODOR
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:49 pm

Ops... Sorry for misunderstanding.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:44 pm

Quoting ryangooner (Reply 8):
Not entirely correct Karl....

The Police DO have the jurisdiction to stop you at any time.

A Police officer can stop you and ask you to account for yourself ie: your actions, behaviour, PRESENCE IN AN AREA or possession of anything.

I admit it's one of those 'grey areas', but unless they have enough evidence to connect you to a potential terrorist threat they have no authority to demand your name, I.D. or an explanation as to what you are doing - providing you are in a public place and not acting like a fool. Of course if all communications are polite then there's no point in giving the police hassle - but in law they actually don't have the authority.

It is a common misconception, and a lack of public awareness regarding citizens' rights is what is leading the police to become convinced they do have the power 'in the interest of national security'.

The bottom line? they don't. Go and ask an officer to provide you with a copy of the legislation that says you must comply with his demands. It doesn't exist. Unless you are being detained (i.e. arrested - which they again have no right to do without sufficient evidence), you are under no obligation to answer any questions and are permitted to freely excuse yourself at any time.

The police will often advise you to the contrary but this is written in law.

***EDIT***

Ryan, I see that you are a police officer. With all due respect, you should know the rules here; but perhaps you have never been told as information passed on is often subject to the rules of 'Chinese whispers'. If it's said enough times, it becomes law. Go and check - I nearly had a policeman in a lot of trouble a year or so back because he got all shirty with me after I refused to answer his questions. They were directed at me with such suspicion and disrespect that I really didn't feel like answering!

Politeness and respect is all it takes.......

Karl

[Edited 2011-09-19 15:51:43]
 
ua935
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:46 pm

Your not going to win Ryan............................

Enjoy work tomorrow, it really is a shame you don't work in the Manchester area  
 
ryangooner
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:55 pm

Your reply to me Karl is so flawed you dont deserve a reply!

You said " Police have no duristriction to stop you" - Police can stop and ask you anything, whether you reply is a different matter, i said nothing about demanding anything! if you look closely the words i used were ASK (a little different to demand!), you dont have to answer & dont have to provide your name, Police can merely record your details as per your description...

Police dont need evidence to connect you to terrorism or dont need evidence to arrest you - merely suspicion.... i hope ive clarified that point as well...

If the police had the evidence to connect someone to terrorism do you think they will be asking for your name and ID?!!!! - i think not!!

Police do not need a "power in law" to talk to someone either, next time your stopped at an airport refuse to give your details and watch that suspicion o meter fly up the section 44 ladder!

Please dont try and tell me how to do my job by the way - its not cool! ( i was merely clarifying a few pointers in your direction so that any police interaction with yourself would be as smooth as possible!)

ua935 - whats there to win?

Cheers

Ryan - i dont do chinese whispers in my job!
 
JakTrax
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:08 am

Ryan,

Again, with all due respect, you should have clarified things a little better. I'm not saying you need telling how to do your job, but fact is some officers obviously do. Standing at an airport perimeter fence on a public road holding a camera is not in itself grounds for an officer to become suspicious and start hassling you.

I recommend you read a statement issued by the Met's Chief Constable in 2009, advising officers down the line that anti-terror laws are NOT to be misused against the law-abiding public.

I have used such arguments against an officer and have received an apology, so it's obviously less straightf-forward than you are claiming. It's been a good while (3-4 years) since I was even approached by an officer at MAN so they've got it pretty sewn up there.

Anyhow, this isn't helping the original poster so if we could possibly get back on topic.....???

Karl
 
ryangooner
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:28 am

My clarification was spot on - you misled (unintentionally) the topic poster into what could have been a sticky situation for him, i clarified your point that police do have duristiction to speak to anyone and ASK those specific questions i posted.

I would hate to see him have police interaction and take your beligerant stand point at an airport, when an officer speaks to someone its not all about suspicion, its about positive interaction and if i ask your name im being polite and i am not interrogating you - since i am a "planespotter" too!

i have read and have a copy of that report from the met in 2009, speaking to someone is NOT using or misusing anti terror laws!!

I hope the poster to this topic does not mind reading our posts as its in his best interests to fully understand that interaction with a police officer (what you call "hassle") is also a positive thing and certainly not the negative picture that you paint.

Cheers

Ryan

p.s not all terrorists will walk around the perimeter fence weilding their shiny AK-47 ! (humour - i hope you take it that way!)
 
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NZ107
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:23 am

What are the best spots when 27R is in use for arrivals? I've been told about Myrtle Ave for 27L but obviously that's some distance from 27R.. From these places, will I have any use for the 100-400 or are heavies within 24-105 range?
 
harlequin67
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:42 am

The one thing all new visitors to LHR have to understand is that there is no dedicated viewing area.

By this I mean no viewing deck, no specific spectators area. You tend to end up at hotels for some shots. On open space and road verges for other shots.

There used to be a Heathrow visitors centre on the northside of the A4 road with a grandstand type seating enclosure, but that was facing into the sun for most of the day and was useful for number crunchers and public to view the action, not really for photographers. I believe that grandstand has gone and so has the visitor centre.

The thread starter wanted to achieve the example shots and that means a stay at either hotel or both hotels.

I think light will be the biggest issue. Today I am currently looking at steel grey clouds as far as the eye can see and this is September, it should be better than October. Also the length of the day will be shorter meaning less photography time.

If the posters country is to be believed then temperature wont be an issue, Alamaty in Kazakhstan can get a lot colder than LHR in October!
 
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yerbol
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:21 pm

Dear all,
Thanks to all for information!
I still do hope that the weather in mid October will give me a bit of light. I am not an often visitor of UK so I want to use this opportunity.
 
spencer
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:39 pm

Yerbol. October is by far one of my favourite months at LHR. You'll have (providing the Sun is out) some lovely light irrespective if you shoot into or away from it. Most of my ILS shots are taken in October, too. There's some decent pubs in and around the airport should you decide the wx is too crappy.
Other than that, basic rules apply; no ladders against the fence line, friendly cooperation with the law and just enjoy yourself.
Spence.
 
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yerbol
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:25 pm

Quoting spencer (Reply 18):

Thanks Spence!
Are you from London?Perhaps we can go for LHR spotting together.It will be great to be with local spotter.
 
spencer
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:02 pm

I am from London however I don't live in England anymore. Sighhh......
Spence
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:18 pm

Yerbol,

Autumn, winter is the best time for shooting arrivals at LHR, i.e. standard side on photos. Yes, you can obtain photos from the hotels but I would go for the easy option.

The choice of course, is yours.

Digressing, I don't want to get too involved in the law enforcement debate but LHR is owned by the BAA and depending where you are standing on the perimeter, they, through their security officers are perfectly entitled to tell you to move off private property if they wish.
 
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yerbol
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:19 pm

Quoting spencer (Reply 20):
I am from London however I don't live in England anymore.

No problem Spence! I'll find good places  
Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 21):
Digressing, I don't want to get too involved in the law enforcement debate but LHR is owned by the BAA and depending where you are standing on the perimeter, they, through their security officers are perfectly entitled to tell you to move off private property if they wish.

Let's hope they will leave me alone   Is any chance that we can go together, G-CIVP ?It will be 16th or 23rd of October,16th is more realistic for me.

I have found a map with best spotting areas in LHR so even if I go alone I'll try to find those places.
I like walking  
 
Ychocky
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:05 am

In February I found the walk from Hatton Cross to Myrtle Ave. more than reasonable.

The volume of traffic alone made my short visit well worth it.
 
jrowson
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:30 pm

Quoting Harlequin67 (Reply 16):
I believe that grandstand has gone and so has the visitor centre.

The visitor centre has gone but the grandstand is still there. Well, that's if you can call it a grandstand. As you say though, pretty much useless for photos as it's not high enough, but ok if you just want to stand and watch the goings on.
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:02 am

The grandstand exists but with real planning wisdom, a row of trees has been planted in front of it. It is hopeless for photography !


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mick Bajcar



This was indeed taken though the fence north side but not as suggested by Carl, with a lens with 58mm front. It was taken, very carefully, using a Canon 100-400 which has a front element of 77mm. Remove the lens hood and hold the lens up to the fence using your hand to make sure it is perfectly centred on the holes in the fence. Panning is a challenge and you will probably lose a few shots to the fence showing but with care you should get most of them.

As to security.....

British Police are rarely heavy handed and Ryangooner has summed things up nicely. Remain polite and that politeness will invariably be returned

Mick Bajcar
 
747438
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:52 am

Hi Yerbol,
Just seen this thread having been away for a couple of weeks. Let me know what dates you are over and I will gladly show you most of the good spots and how to interact correctly with th UK police if we need to.
I work shifts so should be able to spend some time showing the the joys of LHR.

There are some superb locations here, even those that some (see Mick's post ) think might have trouble with heat haze  

This is another great location, be it through the fence too.

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Briti...d=28f2989c3d4c9f8ba8b316d7b563502c

PM me on here and we can arrange some dates and times.

Phil
 
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yerbol
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:48 pm

Phil,
Thanks for reply! I've sent you an e-mail via a.net.

All,
thanks for information!I'll try to get most of it.
 
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FYODOR
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:29 pm

Hi guys,

Yesterday I'd made this shot while final approach:
https://www.airliners.net/addphotos/b...aflt-vq-senkevich-appr-parking.jpg

For my surprise there are no anybody at the parking however location looks fine and even a bus stop very close. Is that restricted access area?

Regards,

Fyodor
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:18 pm

Fyodor, in short yes. Also if you stood on that car park you would be facing into the sun as well.
 
spencer
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:35 am

But you can get some lovely ILS line ups I've heard... ;-D
Spence
 
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NZ107
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:19 am

Can someone tell me where abouts this image was taken?


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Photo © Mark Kwiatkowski

 
Flyingfox27
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:06 am

Its at Sunset in the description so i guessing 27L, so maybe near Myrtle Avenue but the inner fence (not across the A30) but i could be wrong.

This Saturday looks like 09 ops so iam going to go to 09L for landings, hope they make the EK001 land on 09L, sometimes they make it go on 09R.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:31 am

Quoting Flyingfox27 (Reply 32):

I suppose the field in which the landing lights are in between Hatton Rd and the A30 is off limits? Having a look on streetview, it looks like that shot could have been taken from somewhere in there.. Obviously the sun won't be setting there in November so I guess I shouldn't really be thinking about replicating this shot!
 
mkwiat
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:40 am

The sunset shot is mine   I shot it from inside the field. I saw that the owners of the field were there looking after their horses and asked for permission to go in to the field and they said it was okay.

Mark
 
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FYODOR
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:45 pm

Seems I'll be able to go for brief spotting in Friday, after 3 pm.

If it will be 27R for landings - how shoud I go there? Until Hutton Cross and then take a bus - am I correct? And which bus should I take? Alternatively - is it any public transportation from Terminal 4 to the good points?

Regards,

Fyodor
 
spencer
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:43 pm

It's a very short walk from Hatton Cross to the Myrtle area. Ten minutes you're definitely there. I'm not sure where you're starting off from however but to get to Hatton Cross you can take the bus or the Tube (obviously).
The wx for the rest of the week looks great afaik.
Spence
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5267
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:07 pm

Quoting spencer (Reply 36):
The wx for the rest of the week looks great afaik

Don't jinx it Spence!!!!!

Karl
 
747438
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:57 pm

Quoting FYODOR (Reply 35):

FYODOR..
PM me. I'm off Friday afternoon.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Spotting In LHR

Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:11 am

Quoting mkwiat (Reply 34):
The sunset shot is mine I shot it from inside the field. I saw that the owners of the field were there looking after their horses and asked for permission to go in to the field and they said it was okay.

Great shot! Nice to know that they allowed it.

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