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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Transportation Talk 
Thread started 27 May 2009 (Wednesday) 19:06
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Circular polariser or not for airshows

 
adrian5127
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May 27, 2009 19:06 |  #1

Went to my first airshow ( Bigginhill ) last year and got the bug.

On a bright day I have problems metering for both the sky and aircraft, the sky being blown out. Would a polariser help with this???

Thanks


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May 27, 2009 19:17 |  #2

Putting your camera in M will help this. Also, try to keep the sun at your back, if possible.


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adrian5127
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May 27, 2009 19:34 |  #3

Derek
Thanks, I will give it a go. Tend to favour aperature priority but will have to get a bit braver. Do you use a polariser??


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beano
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May 27, 2009 19:45 |  #4

I've often wondered how people expose for aircraft shots too!?! Do you just trust the camera, or is there some knack like exposing for the sky, then dropping a few stops?


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adrian5127
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May 27, 2009 19:58 |  #5

When I went to Greenwich the other day I relied on the camera and the camera on and the sky was completely blown out so I will have a go at manual as derek suggested. Hopefully someone will give the definitive answer


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JWright
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May 28, 2009 00:19 as a reply to  @ adrian5127's post |  #6

Most airfields were not built with photography in mind. The builders weren't considering which direction the sun was coming from, but rather the direction of the prevailing winds at the location.

A polarizer is not going to help. It's most effective for darkening skies when it's 90 degrees to the sun. If you're shooting moving aircraft, that angle will change as you pan with the aircraft. A lot of people use Manual mode, but again, the light changes as you pan across the sky.

I have found it most effective to use either Tv (for prop-driven aircraft) and Av (for jets) with my metering set for center-weighted partial. Another technique that is effective is to just shoot a lot. The more you shoot, the better your odds at getting a shot in which the exposure on the aircraft is acceptable.

DDCSD wrote in post #8000580 (external link)
Also, try to keep the sun at your back, if possible.

Good luck with that... At an airshow you don't have the option of picking the best location. You stand where the airshow organizers tell you to stand. Sure, there is some latitude for movement within the spectator area, but at a lot of fields it isn't going to help.


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adrian5127
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May 28, 2009 04:06 |  #7

JWright wrote in post #8002273 (external link)
Most airfields were not built with photography in mind. The builders weren't considering which direction the sun was coming from, but rather the direction of the prevailing winds at the location.

A polarizer is not going to help. It's most effective for darkening skies when it's 90 degrees to the sun. If you're shooting moving aircraft, that angle will change as you pan with the aircraft. A lot of people use Manual mode, but again, the light changes as you pan across the sky.

I have found it most effective to use either Tv (for prop-driven aircraft) and Av (for jets) with my metering set for center-weighted partial. Another technique that is effective is to just shoot a lot. The more you shoot, the better your odds at getting a shot in which the exposure on the aircraft is acceptable.


Good luck with that... At an airshow you don't have the option of picking the best location. You stand where the airshow organizers tell you to stand. Sure, there is some latitude for movement withing the spectator area, but at a lot of fields it isn't going to help.

Jwright thanks, that is the one thing I am good at:D:D


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beano
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May 28, 2009 06:53 |  #8

Cheers guys, i'll have to see how it goes at Farnborough this summer. :D


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adrian5127
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May 28, 2009 07:14 |  #9

beano wrote in post #8003374 (external link)
Cheers guys, i'll have to see how it goes at Farnborough this summer. :D

No you won't;). It is a bi-annual airshow and it is next on in 2010. I couldn't find the dates on their website ane got told this when I e-mailed them.


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beano
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May 28, 2009 07:17 |  #10

adrian5127 wrote in post #8003433 (external link)
No you won't;). It is a bi-annual airshow and it is next on in 2010. I couldn't find the dates on their website ane got told this when I e-mailed them.

Typical! :lol:


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adrian5127
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May 28, 2009 07:23 |  #11

Scott I am trying to go to Old Warden, Duxford and Bigginhill this year. If you are going to them give me a shout

http://www.bigginhilla​irfair.co.uk/ (external link)

http://duxford.iwm.org​.uk/ (external link) 5th Sept though will try and get time off work for the american one

http://www.shuttlewort​h.org/events.asp (external link)


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beano
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May 28, 2009 07:28 |  #12

adrian5127 wrote in post #8003463 (external link)
Scott I am trying to go to Old Warden, Duxford and Bigginhill this year. If you are going to them give me a shout

http://www.bigginhilla​irfair.co.uk/ (external link)

http://duxford.iwm.org​.uk/ (external link) 5th Sept though will try and get time off work for the american one

http://www.shuttlewort​h.org/events.asp (external link)

I've got no plans as yet, but i'll keep you posted.. Cheers for the links. ;)


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May 28, 2009 08:40 |  #13

I have problems metering for both the sky and aircraft, the sky being blown out.

It can be tough to find a middle ground, & RAW helps with the extra exposure latitude.

Would a polariser help with this

If you have a blue sky, it will a bit, but mostly at 90 degrees from the sun. You can see the effect here:
http://img.photobucket​.com …edPano_2.jpg?t=​1243517023 (external link)

Tend to favour aperature priority but will have to get a bit braver.

See why I don't use it in Post #47

Remember, the light up there is the same as the light down here, so try this:
Need an exposure crutch?

Do you just trust the camera,

:D What does the geek at Canon know about what you're shooting?

or is there some knack like exposing for the sky, then dropping a few stops?

Besides trying to get it right in the camera, there are a lot of PP options that will let you adjust exposure after the show. This is just one of them:
""Contrast Control" Tutorial

Just another way: Post #9:
Airport runway shoot

More in the PP Stickies.
Post Processing Tutorials List


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adrian5127
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May 28, 2009 09:04 |  #14

Frank
Thanks for such a comprehensive answer, weather permitting, I do live in the UK, I will be going to an air show in a couple of weeks and will now definitely be shooting in manual.

I already go down the PP route in effect doing HDR's in elements with a few exposures from the same raw. However being trigger happy I would rather get it right in camera as I know I will only pp the select few.

Your panorama with the polariser also higlights the issue that as you pan the effects of the polariser vary so you can get an uneven sky.

I will definitely be looking at those tutorials as I did not know all those stickys existed


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May 29, 2009 14:43 |  #15

I found using Av and spot metering the airplane usually got me good results. chimping is important to figure out if you need to decrease exp. some to bring the sky back but still retain detail in the plane.


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