Shooting An Airplane With A Camera

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Shooting An AirplaneThere’s something to be said about freezing a moving aircraft in a photograph.

To be able to capture something flying at top speeds of more than 200 mph, one needs speed and dexterity in adjusting camera settings and the ability to make split-second decisions. One would also need Lady Luck and a good digital camera.

There are several tips and techniques to photographing airplanes, especially in air shows and events. A slow shutter speed is essential in order to capture movement; set the camera to ISO[ISO settings] 100 no matter what the lighting conditions are. Use a long or zoom lens to bring the subject airplane closer so as to fill the frame.

The angle of the subject plane in the photograph will spell the difference between boring and spectacular. A great view of a plane is when it is facing towards the photographer, rather than away from.

Another interesting angle is when the plane is banking before landing or after taking off; this shows off the plane’s top side and the cockpit.

The photographer can follow a plane’s trail across the sky while panning from left to right and back. It is advisable that the photographer also learn how to adjust his camera focus and settings while panning, and to keep the shutter depressed.

Multiple pictures of one scene will allow the photographer to choose the best picture from among several; waiting for the perfect shot might cause him to miss the best opportunity for one.

Don’t rely too much on the camera’s automatic settings; these may not be able to keep up with the photographer’s panning speed, and may not have time to focus correctly. It is best to use the camera’s manual settings and adjust them accordingly.

Posted in: Digital Photography Tips and Tricks

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  1. david says:

    I love photographing airplanes in air shows,but never tried it!You have given some really great tips here.I am going to try them and maybe my pictures will look better.Thanks foor sharing…….

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