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11-13-2019, 03:53 PM   #31
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Every case is different but I'd use 1/250 as a starting point and go from there.

11-13-2019, 03:59 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Every case is different but I'd use 1/250 as a starting point and go from there.
As do I - 1/250 for the "fast" planes but 1/180 (possibly a bit lower) for early and thus slower biplanes.
11-13-2019, 04:57 PM   #33
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This was at 1/60 or so if I recall correctly, but it was too slow so you don't see the rotor.
11-13-2019, 05:00 PM - 2 Likes   #34
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I think if you're only shooting up into the sky with a telephoto, you're missing out on the chance for great shots on the ground with a wide or ultrawide. Here are the DA 55-300 and DA12-24 with a K-S2:






11-13-2019, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #35
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... and watch out for atmospheric distortion...

This was not taken with the world's greatest gear combo, but the K-01 is still a pretty decent bit of gear, and while the Tamron 70-300 is a purple fringing monster, it is good and sharp, especially at a little less than 300mm...




This was shot at 160mm, f6.3, 1/500s... the wavy mess you see is courtesy of a hot, humid day and a lot of atmospheric distortion.
Dangit...

-Eric
11-13-2019, 09:20 PM - 1 Like   #36
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The venue itself impacts your shots. (This is probably not news to anyone who has gone to photograph airshows, so for people new to the event...)

Time of day and flight direction in relation to the sun can make more of a difference in overall look of images than clouds or overcast. Winds at the time of the airshow will dictate which runway is in use for takeoff and landing, and may impact whether or not you can get any decent images during those activities. Wind or lack thereof can leave exhaust and pyrotechnic smoke hanging in the air and impact images. Eric mentioned atmospheric distortions. I know it doesn't even have to be a hot month for conditions to mess with your photos, I've had wavy takeoff shots in October. Sometimes it doesn't take much altitude gain before it becomes less of an issue.

Small show at a small local airfield, you might be a bit closer than you'd think. Still within FAA (or equivalent) distance requirements, but closer than you will most likely be at something like a large Air Force Base/ airport.

The layout of the airport with regard to taxiways, parking ramps, and runway compared to crowd location might give opportunity for shots you won't get trying to camp out on show center-line. I try to find the airshow info beforehand and see where the crowd zones are in relation to aircraft parking, taxiways and runway used for the show. First thing I do after getting into the show, is to find show staff and check where the aircraft will taxi and which runway will be used. I try to position myself to get at least some head-on, or close, shots of aircraft whenever I can.

I tend to remain mobile at smaller venues where I can catch shots everyone else misses due to camping in the crowd zone right up against the crowd control fence/ tape. If a larger venue lends itself to moving and being able to get some less-common shots I'll roam at those as well.

As Clackers mentioned, don't forget what's going on around you. Sometimes the crowd can be almost as interesting as a slow show, if you're into doing photos of people at events.

When you can, get some background in the shot with the aircraft in-flight, it can add to the visual sensation of speed. And if there is any performance event with multiple aircraft, try to get more than one in the frame.

IMHO don't get stuck trying to zoom all the way out trying to fill the frame. If you find your lens is not quite as sharp at max zoom, or you are having a bad day/ getting tired and are starting to be less stable, don't be afraid of cutting the zoom. Most of the shots from my last airshows were with a 100-400 between 100 and 300 (and most of them were at 135 or 200).
11-14-2019, 03:28 AM - 2 Likes   #37
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I agree with pretty much all you said, but would add one point directed at UK-based photogs:

Except at very small airfields where they fly slow biplanes etc., the distances between the front of the crowdlines and the minimum display lines have been substantially increased since the tragic crash at the Shoreham airshow in 2015 (we were there - Hawker Hunter crashed and killed/injured many people on the edge and just OUTSIDE the actual airfield) - to the extent that there is a much greater "need" for lenses around the 400-500mm f/l if one wants to get reasonable sized images of flying planes on the sensor. That's probably why I see guys with Canikons with massive 500mm+ lenses situated along the fronts of those crowdlines !!

Even at those small shows (I go to the Shuttleworth Trust at Old Warden near Bedford several times a year) the minimum display distances have increased, as have the minimum display heights for anything more than flat/"high side" passes. - and with good reason: couple of years ago I was there and during the interval in flying full-size planes there was a large scale models demonstration, during which one of them got out of control and fell only a few feet from the crowdline!
11-14-2019, 10:27 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
@Pentikonian
I agree with pretty much all you said, but would add one point directed at UK-based photogs:

Except at very small airfields where they fly slow biplanes etc., the distances between the front of the crowdlines and the minimum display lines have been substantially increased since the tragic crash at the Shoreham airshow in 2015 (we were there - Hawker Hunter crashed and killed/injured many people on the edge and just OUTSIDE the actual airfield) - to the extent that there is a much greater "need" for lenses around the 400-500mm f/l if one wants to get reasonable sized images of flying planes on the sensor. That's probably why I see guys with Canikons with massive 500mm+ lenses situated along the fronts of those crowdlines !!

Even at those small shows (I go to the Shuttleworth Trust at Old Warden near Bedford several times a year) the minimum display distances have increased, as have the minimum display heights for anything more than flat/"high side" passes. - and with good reason: couple of years ago I was there and during the interval in flying full-size planes there was a large scale models demonstration, during which one of them got out of control and fell only a few feet from the crowdline!
I'm sure the distances will continue to increase here as well, over time. And there are people who want to stop the old warbirds from performing. Of course, those things will likely be the end of shows at the smallest airfields that don't have the required room, and drop airshow attendance even more.

As for lenses in those cases, I guess all someone can do is use what they have and try to enjoy the show, or rent a longer lens if they can do so.

11-14-2019, 10:47 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentikonian Quote
I. . . And there are people who want to stop the old warbirds from performing. . . .
there was a recent crash involving a B 17 in October which was carrying passengers

amazingly some folks on board survived

New details of B?17 crash emerge - AOPA
11-14-2019, 11:00 AM - 2 Likes   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
there was a recent crash involving a B 17 in October which was carrying passengers

amazingly some folks on board survived

New details of B?17 crash emerge - AOPA
Yup. A recent event being used to (quietly) push the issue.

IMHO, you can't safety-proof life. Striking a balance is key, otherwise life becomes an intolerable tedium.
11-14-2019, 11:46 AM   #41
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The atmospheric distortion is what I know as Heat Haze. Really not much to do about it. That get's accentuated with longer focal lengths.
11-14-2019, 01:44 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
The atmospheric distortion is what I know as Heat Haze. Really not much to do about it. That get's accentuated with longer focal lengths.
I heard the Wright Brothers flew in the cooler air of December so the first flight photos would be better

Of course, where you are doesn’t really do cool and dry much, does it?

-Eric
11-14-2019, 03:01 PM   #43
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For me, I've only had the opportunity to go to one airshow with my camera and lenses (I go to it every year but this was the first time with an actual camera and decent lenses) but I normally photograph landing aircraft anyway. I've always assumed the longer the better so I would normally the longest lens I had, which is a 50-500, along with a smattering of other lenses just in case I wanted to use them. I'm a sucker for self punishment so I usually carry enough lenses to cover the entire range of what I have.
11-14-2019, 05:59 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Of course, where you are doesn’t really do cool and dry much, does it?

-Eric
Ehhh let's just say my kids consider 75F as freezing
11-14-2019, 07:08 PM - 3 Likes   #45
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Last summer I went to a local airshow, and took my 30mm 50mm and 200mm K lenses.
Used the 200mm during the show set to f11. Got a pretty could workout twisting to keep up with some of those jets on the fly-bys.















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