Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel
/forum/topic/600984/4134

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briancphoto
Registered: Jan 07, 2011
Total Posts: 319
Country: United States

I tried asking this on the Landscape section and someone suggested I try here. I am looking for advice on shooting out of a smaller cessna plane. I am trying to get shots of the valley I live in with Mt Hood in the background. I have a D800e with a 70-300 g, Tamron macro 100 , Nikon 85 1.8, Nikon 50 1.8, Nikon 18-35 g, and a Samyung 14mm.

I was thinking of taking off right at sunrise or so and staying in the air for up to an hour and was looking for suggestions on which lenses to bring or not, Minimum shutter speeds, if you would leave earlier or latter etc. Or if anyone has any good links to article which cover this. Thanks in advance for any help. Brian



kwbarnes
Registered: Jun 26, 2005
Total Posts: 251
Country: United States

About that 38 million gallons of "contaminated" water.

A sensible solution would be to add 15 million gallons of quality Scotch, stir well, and serve over ice.



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

Welcome, Brian. You've come to the right place for air-to-ground advice. Here are some simple rules for you...

- shoot at the highest shutter speed conditions allow. The smoother the air and the better your technique, the slower you can go, but there's little need for small apertures since most aerial subjects are effectively at infinity. For wide angle shots try and stay faster than 1/250 and with the longer lenses strive for 1/800 or better. That said, if you have to shoot slower take lots of frames and be prepared to throw most of them away.
- try and arrange for an open window or door to shoot through: plexiglas is a lousy optical medium. Most Cessna side windows will open all the way in flight if you remove one screw from the closer mechanism.
- leave your lens hoods on the ground and keep the lens barrel out of the airstream to reduce shake.
- the only part of you that touches the airframe should be your backside. Don't brace against anything, and don't let the camera touch anything: airframe vibrations will ruin your shots.
- don't change lenses in the air to avoid sensor contamination in the swirling cabin air: if you want to use two lenses, bring two bodies and leave the lenses on the whole time.
- I use the 70-200 for most overhead shots and the 24-70 for most landscapes. A wider lens isn't very useful because you'll end up with bits of the airplane in your frame.
- secure everything, including yourself! You don't want to lose anything out the door/window. Hats, eyeglasses, etc. tend to get sucked out the opening. I've seen news photos of a very expensive (and very dead) Canon lens that fell from an airplane: you don't want to be that guy. Don't stick anything out in the airstream.

Most great aerial photography is done in the hour or so around sunrise or sunset. The air is smoother in the morning, usually, but launching before dawn to be in position when the light is good can be unappealing. If you're shooting a mountain peak and also want light in the valley, expect some compromises on the light: the peak will be in full sun long before you can make out detail in the valley.

Now that you've found us, stick around! And by all means post your results from the shoot.



nrferguson
Registered: Apr 20, 2004
Total Posts: 2314
Country: United Kingdom

briancphoto wrote:
I tried asking this on the Landscape section and someone suggested I try here. I am looking for advice on shooting out of a smaller cessna plane. I am trying to get shots of the valley I live in with Mt Hood in the background. I have a D800e with a 70-300 g, Tamron macro 100 , Nikon 85 1.8, Nikon 50 1.8, Nikon 18-35 g, and a Samyung 14mm.

I was thinking of taking off right at sunrise or so and staying in the air for up to an hour and was looking for suggestions on which lenses to bring or not, Minimum shutter speeds, if you would leave earlier or latter etc. Or if anyone has any good links to article which cover this. Thanks in advance for any help. Brian

That was me
Niall



briancphoto
Registered: Jan 07, 2011
Total Posts: 319
Country: United States

Wow Steve. Thanks for all the great advice. I did talk to the pilot about an open window and she said it was possible but I wasn't sure how open it would be. Getting up before dawn is standard for landscapers and the pilot said she could start at 6 am so I am going to try for that.

The only advice I might have trouble following is the not changing lenses in midflight. My back up body is an iphone I don't really have a mid range zoom) So it is either start with the 70-300, which I am afraid will not be wide enough to get the whole valley and the mountain, or either the 50mm or the 18-35. I may just start with the 50 and try to switch once up or down depending on what it looks like. I hopefully will have my son and wife in the back to hold on to stuff as I switch. I guess I could rent a mid range zoom but I am trying to fly in the next few days as the blossoms are peaking and I am just waiting for the forcast to improve from its current cloudy with sprinkles Thanks again Brian



NightOwl Cat
Registered: Feb 19, 2007
Total Posts: 8804
Country: United States

Is that 70-300G the one with, or without VR? Is it possible for you to borrow or rent another body?

briancphoto wrote:
Wow Steve. Thanks for all the great advice. I did talk to the pilot about an open window and she said it was possible but I wasn't sure how open it would be. Getting up before dawn is standard for landscapers and the pilot said she could start at 6 am so I am going to try for that.

The only advice I might have trouble following is the not changing lenses in midflight. My back up body is an iphone I don't really have a mid range zoom) So it is either start with the 70-300, which I am afraid will not be wide enough to get the whole valley and the mountain, or either the 50mm or the 18-35. I may just start with the 50 and try to switch once up or down depending on what it looks like. I hopefully will have my son and wife in the back to hold on to stuff as I switch. I guess I could rent a mid range zoom but I am trying to fly in the next few days as the blossoms are peaking and I am just waiting for the forcast to improve from its current cloudy with sprinkles Thanks again Brian



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

briancphoto wrote:
Wow Steve. Thanks for all the great advice. I did talk to the pilot about an open window and she said it was possible but I wasn't sure how open it would be. Getting up before dawn is standard for landscapers and the pilot said she could start at 6 am so I am going to try for that.

The only advice I might have trouble following is the not changing lenses in midflight. My back up body is an iphone I don't really have a mid range zoom) So it is either start with the 70-300, which I am afraid will not be wide enough to get the whole valley and the mountain, or either the 50mm or the 18-35. I may just start with the 50 and try to switch once up or down depending on what it looks like. I hopefully will have my son and wife in the back to hold on to stuff as I switch. I guess I could rent a mid range zoom but I am trying to fly in the next few days as the blossoms are peaking and I am just waiting for the forcast to improve from its current cloudy with sprinkles Thanks again Brian


You're welcome, Brian. The window will hover open, close to the wing, in flight. If you can close the window (and you should be able to since the closing lever mechanism is still there, just disassembled), changing lenses is less likely to leave you with a pile of crud on the sensor. Good luck!



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18832
Country: United States

Welcome Brian! You just got advice from one of the best on the ground, or in the air, follow what Zim said and you'll be fine. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that you'll need to take the screw out of the little sliding arm on the side of the Cessna's window in order for it to "fly" . Use the longer lens with caution, it's a prescription for air sickness if you aren't a seasoned aerial shooter, and the possibility for losing sharpness also goes up exponentially.

Good luck, and let us see the results!

JW



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18832
Country: United States

Zim, your helicopter image is wonderful!



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18832
Country: United States

Chandler and I had a great day today, r/c flying early for a few hours, back home for the annual Easter egg hunt, then back out to fly 1:1 scale until dusk. The way a day should be!



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

You can never have too many Dragon Rapide shots.



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

I knew I needed all 600mm for this shot: EF300 f/4L + 2.0 TC III. Wish the combo was a little sharper, though.



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

Stealth Staggerwing!



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

Duo Discus XL high speed pass with ballast dump, flown by Gavin Wills.



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4056
Country: United States

The (un)usual suspects: stevez and carrg at Wanaka.



Jan-Arie
Registered: Dec 24, 2005
Total Posts: 4039
Country: Netherlands

Jim cool to see that Chandler has the same determined facial expression as you, cool that he has the opportunity to experience flight...



Jan-Arie
Registered: Dec 24, 2005
Total Posts: 4039
Country: Netherlands

Hey Gerard cool to see the face hope you have a great time :-)



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18832
Country: United States

He Is Risen!

Happy Easter Everyone!



Jan-Arie
Registered: Dec 24, 2005
Total Posts: 4039
Country: Netherlands

Gene Soucy



Glenn Watson
Registered: Nov 13, 2007
Total Posts: 3757
Country: United States

Took another stab at the whole video thing, this time put considerably more time and resources into the production and processing. man what a lot of work! I like the results much better than my first try..




Glenn


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