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Old Jun 1, 2009, 8:21 AM   #1
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Default Rochester Air & Water Show (Lots of pictures)

Had a chance to get to the airshow today to test techniques for shooting the aircraft. Took 546 pictures, probably the most I've ever shot in any single days worth. Here are some that I liked the best. They came out a little soft but that's because I was shooting at 300mm with my 70-300mm Tamron and it's well known for being a little soft. They still turned out pretty good considering. The only PP I did on these was some cropping and sharpening that was applied by Lightroom. EXIF information is contained in all the photos. Comments and suggestions are more than welcome.





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Old Jun 1, 2009, 8:22 AM   #2
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 8:23 AM   #3
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You can see more here: Airshow
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 8:25 AM   #4
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Last one I want to post is this shot I got lucky to have snapped at the right moment. The plane in the front is blurred because I was panning across with the plane coming in from the right so that I could try and catch them at this moment and I have to say I really got lucky with my timing but I think it's pretty cool. These planes pass so close to each other when they do this.

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Old Jun 1, 2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Great compositions of the aircraft in flight. The softness is an issue with the 70-300's at 300mm. I usually try to pull back to about 280mm and try to shoot at the middle of the f range (about f/8) on my Sigma 70-300mm.

Airshows are difficult to shoot at due to speed, and not always ideal lighting. For e.g. #3 of the F15 is a great composition, but looks like you had to contend with some backlighting which has thrown the top of the fuselage and tail area into the shaddows.

I've been hanging out at the airport recently trying to improve my skills in shooting commercial aircraft which move much slower. But my Sigma 70-300 is showing its limitations in terms of speed, and sharpness. I spent 2 hours on Sat morning and took about 100 images of which I got no keepers! I'm trying to talk myself into the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 + a t/converter or even the Pentax DA*300 f/4.

I love shots of aircraft...thanks for sharing these!
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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those are great, i love number 5 especially
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 11:54 AM   #7
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Airshows aren't easy. For your first time out I think you did very well. Speaking on the close-ups of the f15 and A10 -
You can improve your sharpenss by stopping down the lens - I would recommend F8 given the lighting you had. I would recommend shooting shutter priority ONLY for the prop planes. For the jets, shoot manual or aperture priority - increasing ISO to get shutter speeds up. You had plenty of light and the ISO 400 performance of your camera is plenty good enough. On the F15, what hurt you is the shot is very much underexposed. You want to be able to see details - pilot's head, lettering etc. (like the f-18 shot. You'll have to use EC or shoot manual to get exposures right. It can be difficult on sunny days - especially with the fighters that do passes from all different directions as the amount of EC will vary with position in the sky relative to the sun. It's a bit easier with the props that genearlly stick to passes along the flightline. The F-15 looks to be the sharpest shot (f-18 is well exposed but not sharp).
On the passing shot - great timing. The blur can be improved with a faster shutter speed. Again, no reason to limit yourself to 1/1000 at ISO 100.

Again, nice job on your first time out!
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelpee View Post
Great compositions of the aircraft in flight. The softness is an issue with the 70-300's at 300mm. I usually try to pull back to about 280mm and try to shoot at the middle of the f range (about f/8) on my Sigma 70-300mm.

Airshows are difficult to shoot at due to speed, and not always ideal lighting. For e.g. #3 of the F15 is a great composition, but looks like you had to contend with some backlighting which has thrown the top of the fuselage and tail area into the shaddows.

I've been hanging out at the airport recently trying to improve my skills in shooting commercial aircraft which move much slower. But my Sigma 70-300 is showing its limitations in terms of speed, and sharpness. I spent 2 hours on Sat morning and took about 100 images of which I got no keepers! I'm trying to talk myself into the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 + a t/converter or even the Pentax DA*300 f/4.

I love shots of aircraft...thanks for sharing these!
Your welcome and thank you for the advice. I must also mention that wind played a little part in these as well as we were getting some pretty regular gusts between 20-30mph. The wind caused them to scrap the Golden Knights skydivers and part of the Coast Guard demonstration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazuya View Post
those are great, i love number 5 especially
That seems to be the general concensus with even some of my friends who I have showed the pictures so. #5 seems to be everyone's favorite so far.
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Old Jun 1, 2009, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Airshows aren't easy. For your first time out I think you did very well. Speaking on the close-ups of the f15 and A10 -
You can improve your sharpenss by stopping down the lens - I would recommend F8 given the lighting you had. I would recommend shooting shutter priority ONLY for the prop planes. For the jets, shoot manual or aperture priority - increasing ISO to get shutter speeds up. You had plenty of light and the ISO 400 performance of your camera is plenty good enough. On the F15, what hurt you is the shot is very much underexposed. You want to be able to see details - pilot's head, lettering etc. (like the f-18 shot. You'll have to use EC or shoot manual to get exposures right. It can be difficult on sunny days - especially with the fighters that do passes from all different directions as the amount of EC will vary with position in the sky relative to the sun. It's a bit easier with the props that genearlly stick to passes along the flightline. The F-15 looks to be the sharpest shot (f-18 is well exposed but not sharp).
On the passing shot - great timing. The blur can be improved with a faster shutter speed. Again, no reason to limit yourself to 1/1000 at ISO 100.

Again, nice job on your first time out!
More good advice. I need to put it all down in a notebook or something. Haha. As I mentioned just above in my other reply, which I didn't mention in the original post. I had to also contend with 20-30mph wind gusts and I'm not the steadiest hand. I had shake reduction on to help out a little, I don't know if this contributed to some of the softness as well, who knows. I can only get better with time. But I won't be hitting another airshow probably until at least next year. So we'll have to gather up all the advice and keep it until I need to use it again at the next show. But it's all good and I had a great time shooting. My son sure liked it. As far as sharp shots, I think this one probably turned out the sharpest of the F15:


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Old Jun 1, 2009, 1:12 PM   #10
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Great series , nr5 being my favorite closely followed by the coastguard.

Ronny
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