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winterlight
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Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:09 pm

Can anyone suggest the best set up for a Canon to enable cockpit shots. I'm using their 10-18mm.
Question everything. Trust no-one.
 
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airkas1
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:54 pm

- Use auto mode
- Half-click the shutter button while pointing through the windows/hold the camera as if you were to take the photo already
- Remember the settings (e.g. 1/160, F5.6 ISO400)
- Switch to M
- Input the settings you remembered
- Turn on external flash (wait for it to be charged fully)
- Take photo


If too bright/overexposed, try:
- Reducing ISO
- Setting a faster shutter speed
- Bouncing the light from the external flash
 
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kulverstukas
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:42 pm

Wooo... Why not use flash with TTL metering?
 
AndyEastMids
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:15 pm

Quoting Kulverstukas (Reply 2):
Wooo... Why not use flash with TTL metering?

Because, while that might get the instrument panel the right exposure, it won't necessarily result in the outside being correctly exposed.

For best results, as airkas1 says, set the exposure for the ambient light outside (meter through the windows), recompose, and use fill-in flash for the interior. Ideally, bounce the flash off the ceiling so that there is no glare on the instruments (not possible with a built in flash, unfortunately).

Result should be something like this (although in this case I admit I don't like the glare on the left hand panels):

http://www.alphamikeaviationphotography.com/palmdale/e5bee615e

Alternatively, a multi-shot HDR with one set to the outside light levels and the others for the inside is possible.
 
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kulverstukas
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:56 pm

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 3):
Because, while that might get the instrument panel the right exposure, it won't necessarily result in the outside being correctly exposed.

Oh! Thanks for enlighten me in this. I always get outside overexposed and correct it in LR.


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Photo © Kulverstukas
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Photo © Kulverstukas



Now I'll try your and Kas advice.
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:02 pm

Allan - going anywhere in particular to do your flightdeck photos?

airkas1 - good tips but doesn't the camera have a hissy fit if the image is too under exposed?
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:10 pm

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 5):
airkas1 - good tips but doesn't the camera have a hissy fit if the image is too under exposed?

What do you mean? Why would the camera get upset over underexposure?
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winterlight
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:35 pm

Thanks for the advice. I was on an AY A330 recently and managed to grab a few shots before getting off. The results were fine exposure wise but were soft as hell. It may even be the lens.
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ua935
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:13 pm

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 5):
airkas1 - good tips but doesn't the camera have a hissy fit if the image is too under exposed?

You're shooting in Manual so the camera will do what you tell it.
Live every second like you mean it
 
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yerbol
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:19 pm

10-18mm is very wide angle and you need a good light to show the details in shadow and dark areas by lighting them.
Assuming camera's build-in flash wouldn't be enough I suggest to use a proper flash.
Play with your gear and flash in a car by sitting at the back seat and pretending that you shooting cockpit. Practice.
The goal is to have a proper exposed cockpit and outside cockpit area.
I usually use apperture mode: f/8, ISO 100 or 200, flash. You may compensate exposure to + or - depending on the result you see while shooting.
Most of the wide angle lenses do not have image stabilizer so steady hands is a must.

Good luck with your cockpit shots!
With best regards from Almaty
 
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airkas1
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:33 pm

Quoting Kulverstukas (Reply 4):
I always get outside overexposed and correct it in LR.

I'm sure there are more ways to do it, but the above is how I take my cockpit photos.

If you have the time, quickly check the photos for their exposure and adjust accordingly. That way, they should never be over-/underexposed. If the results aren;t satisfactory, I play around with the 3 points I mentioned the last. And if still not perfect after that, I can still do some corrections in the RAW converter.

The real challenge lies in the amount of time you have. Try taking a good cockpit photo within literally a minute and you have time to snap about 3 photos.

Either way, practise makes perfect, as asual  
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:54 pm

Quoting airkas1 (Reply 10):
Quoting Kulverstukas (Reply 4):
I always get outside overexposed and correct it in LR.

I'm sure there are more ways to do it, but the above is how I take my cockpit photos.

Also depends on the level of overexposure.

If your cockpit windows are actually blown, you won't be able to recover them. Kulverstukas's windows, while maybe bright, aren't blown, so the detail is still there.
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Dehowie
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:55 am

Multi exposure bracket when shooting LCD or CRT aircraft or if you expose for outside you will get black screens which make the aircraft look lifeless.
Even better shoot at dusk in a single frame.

Http://www.vortexaviationphotography...phy/i-hdDmnMs/0/X2/IMG_8637-X2.jpg

Decent bodies allow good shifting of shadows so another is expose midway for shadows(panel) and highlights(outside).
Then adjust in post.

http://www.vortexaviationphotography...phy/i-pLLVwWj/0/X2/034A5283-X2.jpg

Personally dislike flash for flight deck images it's creates an unnatural feel to me and I spend my life in one.

[Edited 2016-01-13 21:56:32]
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scbriml
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:54 am

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 3):
Alternatively, a multi-shot HDR with one set to the outside light levels and the others for the inside is possible.

But of course, wouldn't be allowed here.  Wow!
Quoting Kulverstukas (Reply 4):
Oh! Thanks for enlighten me in this. I always get outside overexposed and correct it in LR.

That's OK when it's dull outside, but you'll really struggle on a very bright day.

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 12):
Even better shoot at dusk in a single frame.

Yes, we'd all like to try that. Sadly not possible for most of us.
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G-CIVP
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:51 pm

Thanks for the replies. I didn't explain myself terribly well! Using the airkas method, taking the metered exposure for the outside, isn't the risk that your inside photo is significantly under exposed before further adjustments?
 
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airkas1
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:26 pm

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 14):
Using the airkas method, taking the metered exposure for the outside, isn't the risk that your inside photo is significantly under exposed before further adjustments?

Not for me. If anything, when I mess up they always come out very overexposed. Never underexposed.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:14 am

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 14):
Using the airkas method, taking the metered exposure for the outside, isn't the risk that your inside photo is significantly under exposed before further adjustments?

That's why there's this part:

Quoting airkas1 (Reply 1):
- Turn on external flash (wait for it to be charged fully)
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
dumbell2424
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:42 am

One tip that I had read on these forums long ago, if you don't have an external flash, hold a hankie or piece of paper in front of your built-in flash. Not as ideal as an external but (in my experience) can help prevent some washing out too much as a head-on flash from the external would normally do.
 
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glen
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:21 am

Especially with wide angle shots you will have shadows on the sides with the built in flash due to its limited angle and from the lens. These can be avoided with an external flash, but depending on the model you may also need a diffuser or some kind of softbox to lighten up all the corners. Some post processing will still be necessary to get proper results.


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Photo © Bruno Camenzind

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 3):
Ideally, bounce the flash off the ceiling

To improve this effect you can hold a sheet of white paper over the angled flash. Difficulty then is to hold steady the whole equipment with flash attached with only one hand available, especially when inflight.
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vzlet
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:09 pm

I'm still learning, but here are my FWIW thoughts:

No one has yet mentioned regulating flash output by either adjusting the flash exposure compensation or simply manually setting the flash power, but those techniques make it much easier to balance the exterior/interior exposures. (If you have the luxury of dusk conditions like Dehowie's, by all means ignore this!) The best flash shots are those where it's not immediately obvious that flash was used -- not because the scene is dark, but because it looks more natural, as our eyes perceive it. The direction of the light plays a role in this as well, so for those of you with external flashes, a 2-foot flash extension cord can make a big difference.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Mark Carlisle
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Carlisle


On the overcast-day shot on the left, the flash is reduced quite a bit to match. On the right, the flash is strong enough to look like the ambient sunlight. (Note how dark the shadows of the bolts on the side of the throttle console are. That's how dark the shadowed parts of the interior would be without the flash.)

Another comparison, late and overcast, and sunny:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Carlisle
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Mark Carlisle



Yerbol's car suggestion is a great one. And don't be afraid to put exposure and flash under manual control -- the resulting consistency makes it much easier to come up with a desirable balance of interior/exterior exposures. Practice is free!
"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
 
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kulverstukas
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:16 pm

Quoting vzlet (Reply 19):
Practice is free!

Yes but mostly cockpit shoots are made in big hurry, no time to make experiments  

Even on the parked a/c it will be owner or technician who waiting impatiently to you to finish this strange procedures inside his precious plane  
 
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vzlet
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:53 pm

Quoting Kulverstukas (Reply 20):
cockpit shoots are made in big hurry

That's why practicing in a car is a good idea!

With a parked aircraft, you can set the exterior exposure before you even go on board. If you're using TTL flash metering, reduce flash exposure by 2/3 stop or so to keep the interior from looking too "flashy", and use that as a starting point.

(And you tell the owner that his aircraft is so nice that it deserves a high-quality photographic depiction!)
"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
 
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ivandalavia
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RE: Cockpit Camera Settings

Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:32 pm

into glass cockpit flash light is bad choice when day light
when the night flash into glasscockpit much worse

[Edited 2016-01-17 14:34:36]
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