View Full Version : Airplane pics from the dust bin
16th of May 2005 (Mon), 14:07
Here are some photos I saved from the trash. I don't know how I missed them the first time around.
This is a thunderstorm over kentucky. I took this last summer with my old Powershot S30
Here's my favorite first officer.
16th of May 2005 (Mon), 14:14
Cool shots! I assume you are the pilot? Is that a King Air? After a heart attack and 5 bypasses, I'm grounded. Take me for a ride?
16th of May 2005 (Mon), 18:24
Nice shots Dave... Always liked those DO's.
Great pbase gallery too!
Please tell me how you process your arial shots? Espically the cityscapes! they are fantastic. Everything on the ground that I shoot out the window comes out grey and dingy.
Here is one of mine and a plea for help...
16th of May 2005 (Mon), 20:45
Don't know how to save your pic. I never have any luck with air to air photos.
My trick for cityscapes is to sharpen way way more than I would for a normal pic. Before I do anything to the photo I run it though unsharp mask two to four times. The first time I set the levels to amount 150, radius 1.5, threshold 1.0. Those numbers are huge, but it works. I then sharpen it again at amount 20, radius 50, threshold 0. After that I may sharpen it one more time depending on how the pic looks. It is an art. Experiment. If you screw up just hit the undue button.
After sharpening, I crank up the contrast. I am extreme with the contrast too. I'll set the slider anywhere from +20 to +40. It all depends on the photo. Play with it a bit.
The last step is to play with the colors and levels. Most the pics I take out the window have a strange color cast and the levels are all wrong. I've found that most of my pics need the midtones and shadows darkened and the highlights lightened. This is also an art and totally depends on the photo. One of the strange things I've found is that I have to add a lot of red in either the midtones or shadows. If you can't figure out why your pic doesn't work try adding red. Same goes for reducing green. Sometimes taking out a little green makes a huge difference. As for the highlights, they are different. I find they need blue added to make things look natural. A lot of times the highlights will have a slightly red or green cast that needs to be removed.
If the picture has a lot of trees or water, use the magic wand tool to select the trees or water and then correct those colors seperately. I've found tree need lots of green added. Water is a nightmare. Good luck with that.
After doing all this, I will try auto levels. If you did things right, when you hit the auto levels comand only slight changes will be made. I find the auto levels smooths out the rough edges and makes the pic look more natural. Why not just hit auto levels to start with? Most of my pics from the air are so screwed up that auto levels doesn't have a clue what to do to fix things. Auto levels really doesn't help until you have your photo fixed manually.
Hope that helps.
Take your camera on every trip.
16th of May 2005 (Mon), 21:09
Here's a before and after so you can see the massive amount of editting that goes into my cityscapes.
I forgot the most important part. You have to start with a fixable photo. Make sure the sun is front or side lighting the buildings. Also, haze is the killer. If it's hazy don't even bother getting out your camera. I get my best pics in the morning and evenings shortly after cold frontal passage.
Another trick is to use your sunvisor to block out glare. On the CRJ our sunvisor is detachable. I take it off the slider and hold it under the camera at the base of the window to shield any out any reflections. Before I figured out this trick I had a bunch of pics with reflections of approach plates or glare from the latches on my flight bag. The sunvisor trick made this Chicago photo possible. http://www.pbase.com/rbndave/image/42048657
17th of May 2005 (Tue), 22:40
Wow. Thanks Dave! I will get on these tips right away.
Most of my air to air stuff is poor as well. I blame EMB-145's crapy 6 layer plastic laminate windows. Anything over 200mm looks like crap. RVSM sure gives you alot of targets though. I have found the window distortion is far from uniform, some spots are really warped. Also keeping the lens perpendicular to the window helps, looks from the Chicago shot that your CRJ has better windows (guess thats why they cost more). One feature I got you beat on is, I can open my window! This gives me something to do on those ground stops. I can park at the end of the runup and shoot unobstructed.
How do you get your night shots? Fast lens woth high ISO obviously, but mine always come out blurry!
18th of May 2005 (Wed), 01:06
The ERJ's opening window kicks a$$. I am jealous when I see you guys cruise by with the windows cracked. Too cool.
My night shots are done with my tamron 28-75 f2.8. I shoot all my night stuff at f2.8 and ISO 1600. That really limits DOF, but it's the only way to get a decent shutter speed. My editting for night pics is the only thing that makes them work. I magic wand select the dark areas and then turn them completely black. I then select inverse and lighten the highlights. Also I sharpen the highlighted areas. Not much to it. Again, you need really clear weather. My favorite night over New York city pic was taken on a clear cold night. http://www.pbase.com/rbndave/image/39513211
18th of May 2005 (Wed), 01:47
Thanks again Dave! Now I gotta go back over many thousands of photos...
Can't wait to try some night shots.
Sucks about the window... I know how it feels I did 2 tours on the ATR, damn hatch!!! (3.5 on the 1900, but i've managed to block most of that out...):)
18th of May 2005 (Wed), 13:46
Ok I posted a picture of Toronto taken on a recent trip. Using your advice I was able to bring it along way. Not perfect yet but Im very happy that I am light years closer than I was before... Check it out...
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