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kann123air
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Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:34 am

Hi everyone,

Spotting at my hometown airport, FSM, can get a bit boring after a while, so I bought my Sigma 150-500 last year in hopes of getting decent ground-to-air shots like these:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mohammadreza Farhadi Aref - Iranian Spotters
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mohammadreza Farhadi Aref - Iranian Spotters



However... This seems to be the best I can get:

N839DN over FSM enroute LAX-ATL by kann123air, on Flickr

What can I do to get better quality shots?

Thanks in advance,
Amrit
Going for great
 
ckw
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:59 am

A lot of this is weather dependent - you've got miles of air between you and the subject - dust and humidity will seriously impact image quality.

What you need is cold, still air for best results - cold winter day, early morning is probably best.

Cheers,

Colin
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oly720man
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:23 am

Comparing where you are and where Mohammedreza is, he is somewhere that's 5000ft higher so the planes are a bit closer.

I'd put the lens at f8 or f11 not at f6.3 and that should improve the sharpness.

The photo seems quite noisy for 320ISO. You'll probably be better taking photos closer to midday when it's brighter and you can use a lower ISO and smaller aperture. Your eyes may think that daylight is the same for most of the day, but if you watch the exposure during the day it does become longer as the afternoon progresses even though it still looks bright.


Also, photograph bigger aircraft. A B777, B787 and A380 are rather larger than a B737
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angad84
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:37 am

Quoting oly720man (Reply 2):
Comparing where you are and where Mohammedreza is, he is somewhere that's 5000ft higher so the planes are a bit closer.

Yep.
Altitude plus weather is an unbeatable combination. Cold, clear day in the mountains and you're set Amrit 

Cheers
A
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:52 pm

Quoting kann123air (Thread starter):
What can I do to get better quality shots?

Among other things, don't expect too much. 500mm is long, but for airplanes at cruise, you need some SERIOUS length. And as noted, the more focal length you have, the more any little variations in air quality are going to affect the resulting image.

It looks like you've had to crop in a lot, which is probably why it looks so noisy.

Quoting oly720man (Reply 2):
Your eyes may think that daylight is the same for most of the day, but if you watch the exposure during the day it does become longer as the afternoon progresses even though it still looks bright.

   Absolutely!
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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kann123air
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:29 pm

Thanks for all the tips guys. I think I'll just head out to Mount Magazine (the highest point in Arkansas) on a cold day and try out my luck then.

[Edited 2015-06-03 14:29:49]
Going for great
 
jderden777
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:17 am

Quoting kann123air (Thread starter):
Spotting at my hometown airport, FSM, can get a bit boring after a while

FSM boring? You get tons of transient mil traffic - I'd love to see a fraction of the stuff that comes through there! 
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
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kann123air
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Posts: 1649
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:27 am

Quoting jderden777 (Reply 6):
FSM boring? You get tons of transient mil traffic - I'd love to see a fraction of the stuff that comes through there! 

I agree, though I live quite a distance from FSM itself, and military visits are unpredictable, so by the time I hear that something interesting is here and I drive out to the airport, it's already gone. I can't tell you how many times I've defied the speed limit racing to the spotting location, only to see a C-5 doing its last round of the day and flying off...  

However, in the instance that I am lucky, I get pretty awesome shots like these:

164221 ATC PS USM by kann123air, on Flickr

Amrit
Going for great
 
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ihsanushshabri
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:38 am

Quoting kann123air (Thread starter):

great photos
Ihsanush Shabri
 
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DolphinAir747
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:45 pm

The thread tite has probably put you on the no-fly list...how does the TSA know you are referring to photography? 
 
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kann123air
Topic Author
Posts: 1649
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:06 pm

Quoting DolphinAir747 (Reply 9):
The thread tite has probably put you on the no-fly list...how does the TSA know you are referring to photography? 

Haha true, I guess I should be more careful with my wording...  
Going for great
 
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Moose135
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RE: Shooting Ground-to-Air Advice

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:57 pm

Quoting DolphinAir747 (Reply 9):
The thread tite has probably put you on the no-fly list...how does the TSA know you are referring to photography?

That's why I like to tell people I shoot airplanes with a Canon...
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