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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Transportation Talk 
Thread started 07 Aug 2018 (Tuesday) 18:40
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What makes a good Aviation Photograph

 
Croasdail
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Aug 07, 2018 18:40 |  #1

So looking through the commercial aircraft thread, I am curious what the basic elements that make a classically good aviation photograph? Is it phase of flight? A particular angle? Does background matter, and if so, how? Obviously tastes vary. But I do sports a lot, and I can easily identify a shot that has the right elements there. Eye contact, moment of tension or transition.... yada yada yada. Is it point of rotation up? Wheels up? Wheels down? Engine exhaust vapor? Give me what you look for in a shot.


Mark
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PhotosGuy
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Aug 09, 2018 12:44 |  #2

Tough question, & nobody seems to want to chime in! Besides the old "I'll know it when I see it!" thing, & some prop blur where appropriate, I really like the ones in early Am/late PM lighting. I especially liked shooting the Night Air Show in Alma, MI.
Interesting angles & backgrounds like the mach loop ones are fun, too.

And in addition to the usual fly by, it can be fun to watch for unusual situations that occur. Like a Me 109 flying past the tail of a B-17:


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Or a Spitfire flying air cover for the army.


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Croasdail
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Aug 10, 2018 19:17 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #3

Fun catches... the me 109 was my favorite model to build as a kid


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BigAl007
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Aug 12, 2018 20:37 |  #4

Frank you really need to up your aircraft recognition skills!;-)a For a start that is not a B17 tail, it's much much too small for a start, looks far more (to the point I'm certain about it) like it's another P47, to go with the nose in the background. Or it's one supersized Jug back there. The P47's are a little incongruous for an early war E series 109 to be flying over too. I think this P47D shows the fin/rudder configuration well enough.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1723/40718947150_9c93ab59f9_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/253c​fmW  (external link) Republic P47D Thunderbolt (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

Maybe not such a great photo compositionally, but it does demonstrate the shape of the fin/rudder better.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4521/38203143851_c02d291d8e_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21cT​6FZ  (external link) Boeing B17G Flying Fortress (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

Then of course you have committed the greatest possible crime in the aircraft identification annals. It is sacrilege to miss identify a Hawker Hurricane as a Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. The aircraft in your photo being either a Mk II or a Mk XII. The Mk XII simply being a Canadian built Mk II. You can instantly tell a Hurricane from a Spitfire in a nose on shot from the large centrally mounted radiator fairing, a much thicker wing section, and the fact that the main eight .303 Browning machine guns are in a close group of four in each wing. RAF practice was to have a red cloth patch fitted over the guns to prevent icing. On the Hurricane this is seen as a large single "block" of colour on the leading edge. The Spitfire has a much thinner almost laminar flow wing section, and the 8 Browning's of the early marks are mounted signly in the wings, with four individual small squares of red. You can tell it's a Mk II/XII from the fact that it has two extra guns mounted outboard of the landing lights, bringing the total to 12! A Hurricane of this type would not have been out of place doing ground support in the Tunis campaign although this aircraft is not fitted with the underwing bomb racks of the Mk IIb variant.

A Mk II closest to the camera, with a Mk I behind. The Mk II is actually in the markings of a 1940 vintage Mk I of the Battle of Britain period, and both aircraft were flown by Polish members of the RAF. They have removed the outboard guns in this plane. The RAF's Hurricanes not only shot down more bombers than Spitfires did, but they also shot down more fighters too! But then we did have a lot more of them, as they were more traditional in construction than a Spitfire, and so easier to build.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4471/37367892230_b419b17f04_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/YW5d​tY  (external link) Hawker Hurricane Mk XII, Hawker Hurricane Mk I (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

This is a MK IIb, showing the bomb racks fitted under the wings, and the protruding muzzles of the outboard guns.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4514/37626900391_5b5b40cd0d_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ZjXG​zV  (external link) Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

The Mk IIc cannon armed version was often used for ground support, fitted with four 20mm cannons. They even had one Hurricane version fitted with 40mm cannons for anti-tank use in the western desert campaign operated by No 6 Sqn RAF, still known as the Flying Can Openers.

Here is a Spitfire Mk I that was shot down over France during the Dunkirk operation. It then spent 50 years buried in the beach at Sangatte before a painstaking restoration to flying condition.
IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1738/42475461302_e0e5b851a2_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/27Hp​QPG  (external link) Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

When it comes to compositions I usually try to get the aircraft from a more interesting angle. Although dead side on shots do have their place, especially during takeoff, when the gear is part way through the retraction cycle.

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Photo from BigAl007's gallery.


Prop blur is really important IMO, and even harder is rotor blur for helicopters. Large helicopters need really slow shutter speeds, I used to find 1/80s or slower for the Sea King, and needed 1/25s for this RAF CH47. Oh and it really helps if you are blessed with good light. Too often at shows the light can be really bad.


I might as well throw this one in to fill up the eight photos.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1806/29087133608_ff8cac9d9a_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Ljka​rA  (external link) Dassault / Dornier Alpha Jet E (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr
Alan

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PhotosGuy
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Aug 12, 2018 20:43 |  #5

It's been about a decade since I shot those, so I'll go with your ID. Thanks, Alan.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Aug 13, 2018 09:47 |  #6

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18680898 (external link)
Or a Spitfire flying air cover for the army.

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by PhotosGuy in
./showthread.php?p=186​80898&i=i81143125
forum: Transportation Talk

Whoa dude, this is a totally cool image!


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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Aug 13, 2018 09:52 |  #7

BigAl007 wrote in post #18683047 (external link)
Here is a Spitfire Mk I that was shot down over France during the Dunkirk operation. It then spent 50 years buried in the beach at Sangatte before a painstaking restoration to flying condition.
QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/27Hp​QPG  (external link) Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

Now this is a fascinating bit of information. Thanks for sharing.


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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Aug 13, 2018 10:01 |  #8

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18683056 (external link)
It's been about a decade since I shot those, so I'll go with your ID. Thanks, Alan.

Hey PhotosGuy...

This is a bit off topic, but at the bottom of your post it says an image must not exceed 1600 pixels.
But when I click on the link, the Sticky it brings me to says 1200 by 1200 box.

Does the Sticky need revision, or am I missing something? Thanks.


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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Aug 13, 2018 10:15 |  #9

Here's another similar thread from a couple of years ago. Some interesting information, especially if you like the Thunderbirds ;-)a

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1462535


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Aug 13, 2018 14:05 |  #10

Perfectly Frank wrote in post #18683330 (external link)
Hey PhotosGuy...

This is a bit off topic, but at the bottom of your post it says an image must not exceed 1600 pixels.
But when I click on the link, the Sticky it brings me to says 1200 by 1200 box.

Does the Sticky need revision, or am I missing something? Thanks.

Dunno. Maybe I'm too early, or maybe the other figure needs to be updated. Here's where I got it from:

https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=18527360

Pekka wrote in post #18527360 (external link)
Some comments on this:

- always store original (RAW) locally in at least three storage mediums! That is your (pre-)negative, your most valuable possession.

- To make life easy, trust AMASS to resize your uploaded photos, just make sure you upload something like 3-5MB size (2500x2500 or so). If you upload in 1280 size, it won't be sharpened or resized here, but it is re-saved (JPEG compression artifacts accumulate). Uploaded originals won't be stored on the server after resize is done. Don't worry about server stress, just do it.

- Next version of the forums will have a 1600x1600 upload choice, and sharpening (USM) strength selection (easy to change for each upload). You can also choose to apply sharpening on downsize only, or also to sizes that already fit to rules. JPEG compression quality will be improved in AMASS 2.0, too.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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BigAl007
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Aug 13, 2018 14:10 |  #11

Perfectly Frank wrote in post #18683330 (external link)
Hey PhotosGuy...

This is a bit off topic, but at the bottom of your post it says an image must not exceed 1600 pixels.
But when I click on the link, the Sticky it brings me to says 1200 by 1200 box.

Does the Sticky need revision, or am I missing something? Thanks.


I think the sticky needs revision. I remember hearing that the size had changed again. I'm sure the old one was 1280px as the maximum image size, it's why I use that size. I think it offers a nice balance of visibility on screen, with limited ablity to make prints for those who like to take images without authorisation.

Alan


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 14, 2018 11:20 |  #12

For anyone who has missed them, there are some outstanding images on this page: https://photography-on-the.net …ead.php?t=10383​85&page=93


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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Croasdail
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Aug 22, 2018 20:04 |  #13

Ok.... so boiling out a list here of best of shots for aviation....

1) Panned at slow shutter speed (1/40th seems to be a good spot)
2) Moment of tension - wheels up, wheels down, afterburner on... flares being deployed
3) Weather adds drama
4) Prop or fan spin preferred if not required.
5) heat vapor/air disturbance
6) Crew visible

Its really easy to identify the really good shots.... just trying to quantify what the elements are that make those shots stand out.

Thanks for the pointers.


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Aug 22, 2018 21:45 |  #14

Croasdail wrote in post #18690533 (external link)
1) Panned at slow shutter speed (1/40th seems to be a good spot)

Remember that there are a lot of variables. AC speed & distance, pan speed, shutter speed, + prop speed is faster on take-off than landing.
Good luck out there!


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Croasdail
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Aug 23, 2018 10:01 |  #15

I mainly do photo journalism and sports..... and there are some hard truths about what differentiates a "B" shot and a true "A" shot. One of those is eyes. You gotta have the subjects eyes in the shot. Doesn't mean there aren't a lot of good B shots out there.... but to be a "portfolio" quality shot, eyes (and emotion) are what set shots apart from the ordinary. Trying to quantify that for aviation is a bit harder.. what makes a portfolio quality shot. Particularly when there is a lot of really good shots out there. How do you stand out.

Cheers!


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What makes a good Aviation Photograph
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Transportation Talk 
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