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Air to Air What are Your Tricks???

Aviatorbumm

Naperville, US
868 posts

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Aviatorbumm Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Dec 2005
Wed 16-Apr-08 04:43 AM

As an active GA Pilot and Flight Instructor, it's great to have this forum like this. Hope to see it "take off"!

I've found air to air shots to be the most challenging of all aviation photography and would like to start a thread to see what others are doing to get the "perfect" shot. I am fortunate to always have access to an airplane as well as pilots to fly me. I can also get at some great photographic subjects...everything from Luscombe's, to a variety of biplanes, to T34's.

So far, however, I've just not been able to get the kind of pictures I would like. I've gotten some decent shots, but not great. The two below probably represent my best. The Acro Sport actually made the cover of last June's Trade-a-Plane Magazine...I guess because the composition is pretty cool. But, I'm not happy with the lighting and the resultant shadows on the airplane. This was taken with a D200, 80-400VR at 300mm, F/10 and 1/250s from a C182 with the window open in late morning light.

The next picture of the Luscombe is, in my mind, okay. But, I don't really care for the background. This was also taken from a C182, window open, D200, 105 Macro VR, F/4, 1/250 in early morning sun.

So, some of the questions I've had...how does one deal with shadow issues...where to you position the sunlight...what time of day is best for air to air work from a lighting standpoint? I purposely had both aircraft in the Luscombe shot fly towards the sun but positioned so that the light was coming in off the left front of the aircraft. Does this make sense? Could I have gotten better results with different positioning?

What about vibration? I would like to keep the shutter speed lower for prop blur, but just can't get consistent keepers below about 1/250 even with VR. Anybody else have this problem and if so how do you deal with it? I know that there are gyro units that cost a gazillion bucks but I'm not making that investment anytime soon

I have all these questions and more and would love to see some of the more experienced air to air photographers kick in some advise if you feel up to it.

Thanks in advance!

Mike

My Aviation Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/mjpastore/aviation

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