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Greg Chappell Oct 9, 2009 1:26 PM

Bob, I see we have an air show next weekend!
I may have to make it out to this one, on the 24th and 25th at Alliance Airport. Never been to one before. I know I'll wish I had already bought the EC20! I'll need to try both the 70-300 and 50-200.

I also received an email from Olympus about an outdoor lighting and macro workshop they were sponsoring on Saturday the 17th at the Dallas Arboretum. I was thinking about it until I saw it was a $99 class!

HarjTT Oct 9, 2009 2:20 PM

Hi Greg !

Sounds pretty cool !! I think both 70-300 and 50-200 will be more than enough as long as you can get close up to the barriers that are usually up. What I've noticed at the two shows I've been to is that most photographers setup shop in one spot and stay there, while me I find that quite difficult to do and take a bit of a tour as theirs usually quite a bit more than planes to shoot.

Hope you have a blast at the show...!!



:D :eek:

Steven R Oct 9, 2009 10:57 PM

Greg: glad to hear that you are going to go to the air show. I know that you will have some great photo ops.

As a long time veteran of many, many military air shows, I'll be glad to share a few tips since you said it would be your first show. (Okay, my advice is probably worth what I'm charging you, but maybe some of it will help make your time more enjoyable. LOL!) I only do shows at military bases, but my general guidelines should be the same for a civilian airport.

First: wear good sunglasses, and a good hat; (preferably a bush or safari hat that also shades your neck as well as your face.) Apply sunblock before you go, and wear good athletic shoes. You are going to be walking around a lot more than you realize, as the static displays are usually well spread out. (Not to mention the walks to the concession stands and the port-a-potties.) And bring a lot of money. While military air shows are free, plan on spending for food and drinks from the many concession stands. (If it's a hot day, you'll probably buy more cold drinks than you anticipate.)

Second: go early. The real flying exhibitions will not usually start before 11 am, but the gates usually open by 9am. The static displays are usually many and varied, and always offer some great photo ops. You can wander around to cover the displays, and also check out where you want to be when the flying starts.

Photo talk: You are going to carry your equipment around all day. You may be tempted to carry a lot of lens, etc. But by 5:00pm you will be feeling every ounce of the weight of your gear. A common mistake is to take only tele-zooms, but don't forget the wide angle. You are going to very close to the static display aircraft; (even inside some of them), and the wide angle will be the most used lens before the flying starts. My personal recommendation is to carry only one tele-zoom and one wide angle zoom, plus a circular polarizing filter. Use the wide angle in the morning, and then the telephoto for the flying parts.

Scope out a position where you will have a view of the center-point of the runway for the flying actions. Smooth panning to follow the planes in flight is very, very important to getting some great shots. Choose a spot over the field that you want to take the shot. Do not wait for the plane to fly into your viewfinder; pick up the plane from far away, and follow it until it arrives at the spot where you want the shot. It also helps when you are familiar with the particular maneuvers so you can anticipate when the aircraft will be doing the particular turn or climb that you want to catch. Your auto-focus should be fast enough to keep the aircraft in focus; if not, then just manual focus to infinity and fire away. For jet aircraft, keep the shutter speed high and capture the water vapor that streams over the body in high speed turns. For propeller planes, lower your ISO and lower your shutter speed..

I saw that the Blue Angels have that Texas air show on their calender. The Blue Angels performances are absolutely the best of any of the demonstration teams that do the air shows. You should be impressed.

Well, I was only going to write a few sentences, I guess I rambled on too much. We will be looking forward to your photos.

Steven R.

boBBrennan Oct 10, 2009 9:00 AM

................this should be a really good show with great weather temps.

Originally I had hopes for going and had thought right away of maybe we might could experience that together (I have never attempted such a show either) BUT.... there is another event on my calendar for that weekend. I am going to Midland, TX (HS football game) next weekend, 16 & 17 which pushed a family need reschedule for the next.

...........that is a lot of information, good stuff too and I appreciate your sharing.

tnx, boBB

Greg Chappell Oct 10, 2009 3:26 PM

Yes, thanks, Steven. All duly noted. Will need to think about the equipment....and bag type. The 9-18 will definitely be going. May take just that and the two tele zooms.

Steven R Oct 11, 2009 7:33 PM

"...Will need to think about the equipment....and bag type."

Always tough choices, but like going to a ball game, you are also going there to enjoy your day and absorb the general overall experience. I find that a simple leather side pouch around the waist, loaded with just 1 or 2 lens, plus a filter and extra CF card is a lightweight solution. At the end of the day, you be glad you were not lugging around a big bag or a big backpack.

Greg Chappell Oct 12, 2009 9:43 AM

I have a relatively small, low profile Lowepro shoulder bag just big enough for the 50-200 and enough pocket space for things like an extra battery/cards/misc. Just slightly larger than the bag Olympus includes with the 50-200. I may just carry the E620+9-18 and that bag, forget the 70-300 and just crop images where I need to.

It also has my contemplating whether or not I want to just go ahead and pick up an EC20 for the reach so I don't have to crop so much.

HarjTT Oct 13, 2009 7:03 PM

Can't add much more to what Steve's already posted - two lenses should be fine 50-200 and the 9-18. Personally I think the 50-200 should be perfect for nearly all shots of the planes - on the ground or in the air. I found that the 135mm OM F3.5 was pretty good for most shots (with no need for cropping) so i can see the 200mm being just right.

The crowd:

E3 + 35-100

E1 + 135 OM F3.5

E1 + 135 F3.5 OM - no cropping.
Free entrance ???? .. damn the airshows that I've been to at Duxford cost about $30 to $35 a ticket!



:D :eek:

zig-123 Oct 13, 2009 7:37 PM


Originally Posted by Greg Chappell (Post 1008256)
It also has me contemplating whether or not I want to just go ahead and pick up an EC20 for the reach so I don't have to crop so much.

Hi Greg,

You'll be glad that you did.

Hope you have a great day at the air show. I've been to one and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was at a time that I didn't have a digicam and never thought of getting one. Today, I regret not having one that day.


Greg Chappell Oct 14, 2009 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by HarjTT (Post 1008914)
Free entrance ???? .. damn the airshows that I've been to at Duxford cost about $30 to $35 a ticket!



:D :eek:

It's not quite completely free since they do charge $20 per car to park, so the per person cost will depend on how many people you have with you. I'll be going by myself so I can do what I want without checking with someone else in a group:D.

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