Online Magazine

Recent Posts

More Places to Go

Tags

Archives

PhotoPlus Conference & Expo

12th October 2015

 

 

I have a strong interest in staying on top of the rapidly evolving picture taking techniques and amazing new advances in photo equipment. One way of doing this is for me to attend the various conventions and meetings. On my docket is the upcoming PhotoPlus Conference & Expo.

Next week I’ll be going to New York City and the Javits Center where PhotoPlus runs from Wednesday, October 21 through Saturday, October 24th.

 

 

 

 

Traveling to New York is always an enjoyable trip for me. I was raised in Westchester, just a stones throw from NYC. I’m anxious to ride the subway to the brand new Hudson Yards station (across the street from Javit’s). Taking the subway will save me a couple of miles walk from Grand Central to Javits.

What is PhotoPlus?

Since 1983, PhotoExpo has grown to be the largest photography show in the US. The conference is geared towards amateur and professionals who can sit in on more than one hundred seminars and classes ranging from posing and lighting techniques to business and promotional practices. Seminar and class instructors are led by noted professionals who are anxious to share their know-how. With New York City as a backdrop several accompanied photo walks are scheduled for attendees can explore the city photographically.

PhotoPlus also attract attendees to the expo where more than 200 exhibitors are showing their latest equipment, supplies and services. They’ll get hands-on time with cameras, lenses, flashes, gadgets, and accessories galore. Several large vendors are on hand at the expo for those ready to buy new equipment. Many vendors present live on-floor demonstrations of their equipment and services so attendees can see the products in action.

As an interested photographer, if you’re in the New York City area next week consider attending. Here’s where you’ll find more information at the PhotoPlus Conference & Expo.

 

 
Written by Arnie Lee

 

 

 


Am I Equipped Right?

30th September 2014

Like many other dedicated photographers, I’ve somehow accumulated a sizable stash of photo equipment over the years. I’ve also gained a lot of experience knowing what equipment I’ll need for a particular type of shooting.

My last two assignments were a combination of travel and outdoor shoots. My aging back and wobbly knees beg me to travel as lightly as possible for two reasons: a) to minimize the size and weight of the load that I carry and b) to reduce the amount of time I need to get ready for any given shot.

Since I don’t like carrying camera bags or backpacks, I rarely carry extra lenses. On hikes, it’s a chore for me to search for the right lens and change it on the fly, especially if wildlife is the subject matter. It’s far faster for me to slide the desired camera/lens setup on its shoulder strap up to my eye and be ready to shoot in a few seconds.

After these two recent assignments, I’ve zeroed in on a reasonable set of cameras and lenses to use when traveling long and far. I based my choice on the range of the lenses that I typically use: a very wide angle, a medium range telephoto zoom and a long range telephoto zoom.

For several years, I’ve come to rely on Sony’s NEX series of mirrorless cameras. Not only are they compact and lightweight, but they have several features that I appreciate such as the electronic viewfinder which instantly previews your exposure adjustments and a mode that captures in-camera panoramas. One drawback of these mirrorless cameras is that there isn’t a long telephoto lens available. For this I have to stick with a full-frame Nikon DSLR.



Here’s the short list that I’ve found works well for me:

For very wideangle, I use a Sony NEX7 with a manual focus Rokinon 8mm fisheye.

For the medium telephoto, I use a Sony A6000 with a Sony 18-200mm lens.

For the long telelphoto, I use a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 80-400mm lens.

As you can see, the Nikon DLSR setup is monstrous next to other two cameras. But lugging this heavyweight around is the price I have to pay for the lens’ long reach.



The NEX7 is a very a very capable camera. I like its large 24mp APC-C sensor, excellent electronic viewfinder and brightly lit tilting LCD.

The 8mm Rokinon lens is about 1/4th as large as my expensive fisheye lens for Canon DLSRs. Using the Rokinon lens I have to manually focus and set the exposure so it’s less convenient than the Canon setup. But the savings in bulk is a major plus for me.

Below are a few photos using this setup. The extra wide angle lets me record everything in front of me. I especially like how the fisheye exaggeratingly bends the horizon.



The A6000, Sony’s successor to the NEX7 is also mirrorless. Feature wise it is very similar to the NEX7 except that it has a superior autofocusing mechanism. This enables high speed captures at frames rates up to 11fps.

When not traveling, the A6000/18-200mm setup is my everyday camera. With a large zoom range I have a wide angle to medium telephoto in a single lens.

When traveling, it becomes my primary camera with the other two cameras reserved for special points of view. Below are a few examples that illustrate the versatility of the 18-200mm lenss.



The Nikon D600 is a full-frame DLSR with a 24mp sensor. It weighs in at two pounds which is twice as much as the A6000.

The Nikon 80-400mm zoom lens weighs just under three pounds making this setup a combined five pounds. Although this is hefty to carry, the lens lock (prevents the zoom from unintentionally sliding) keeps it secure while carrying it with a shoulder strap.

This long telephoto comes off of my shoulder mostly for the long distance shots such as these below.



So there you have it, my equipment of choice for outdoor photography. Of course, not everyone has the same preferences or requirements in the field as myself so this set up may not work universally. But for me being properly equipped has proved to be an ideal way for me to work comfortably, quickly and efficiently.
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 
 
 


What a View

27th August 2014

Wide Angle to the Extreme

It’s eye-catching when I see a photo that “bends” the horizon.

This bend comes from the camera’s lens. Use a very wide angle lens and you’ll see the curved “barrel” distortion on the images. One well-known type of wide angle lenses is the fisheye. These lenses typically have a field of view approaching 180 degrees – allowing you to capture the entire scene in front of the camera.

Until recently, fisheye lenses were expensive. I have one that cost well over $1500. But when I was looking for an ultra-wide angle for my Sony equipment, I found an inexpensive lens made by Rokinon. With its $300 price tag, I was a little skeptical of the quality of images from such a low cost lens but decided to try it regardless.

Here’s a short gallery of some of the scenes that I captured during my first outing with the lens a few weeks ago.
 
 



This is an 8mm f/2.8 fisheye. I wanted an ultra-wide angle for an extra Sony Nex7 mirrorless camera.

The Nex7 is very compact and lightweight. The Rokinon 8mm fisheye is also surprisingly compact.


The Sony Nex7/Rokinon 8mm setup is only about 1/3 the size of my Canon 6D with a Canon 8-15mm fisheye – a true space and weight saver.

One of the first images that I recorded with the new lens was in the Tetons. I especially like the curved horizon.



Here in Yellowstone you can see that the bridge rail curves upwards. The lens does not support the camera’s autofocus feature.

However an 8mm lens has a very wide depth of field which makes focusing less critical as you can see in this image taken at Mono Lake.



At Grand Canyon, the bend in the horizon is amazingly scenic. The lens does not support autoexposure so I set the camera shooting mode to manual, set the lens aperture to f/8 and adjusted to the proper shutter speed.


In both of these photos, you can see that the exposure for both a shaded and sunny scene were correct. Neither the manual focus nor the manual exposure requirements of this lens is a concern.



At Monument Valley I took advantage of the lens’ extreme wide view. Here I was able to take in a 180-degree view to photograph this huge monument within a single image.


The fisheye excels for those of you who like shooting portraits that include the vast surroundings.



At Mesa Verde, we encountered another “tight squeeze”. However, we were able to capture this with the lens’ wide view.


In Rocky Mountain National Park, the lens took in not only the winter’s left over snow but the billowing overhead July clouds.

What about the sharpness?

Here I’ve enlarged a small section of one of the above images. You can clearly see the detail in the face, the lettering of the cap and the tufa formations in the background.

I found the sharpness of this inexpensive lens to be very acceptable.


After my short time with this lens, I am no longer skeptical of it’s quality. The images are tack sharp with very good color reproduction. If you’re on the lookout for an ultra-wide, include this lens in your search.

The Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 fisheye is also available for other camera models as well: Fuji, Samsung and Canon M mount. Other similar versions with a maximum f/3.5 aperture are available for Canon, Nikon, Sony A mount, Pentax and Olympus 4/3.
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 
 
 

Parade of New Cameras

01st October 2012

Photokina Part 1 – the new stuff

Every two years the photographic industry gathers at Photokina to introduce its new products.

The event takes place over a week period in early September at the huge Koelnmesse Exhibition Center in Cologne, Germany.



 

This year I again attended Photokina along with some 150,000 other visitors and walked the aisles of the messe’s ten huge halls to see the new photographic and imaging products from more than 1500 vendors.

What follows is a condensed report of those products that were of particular interest to me.

Prior to the start of Photokina, many of the photo manufacturers announced new products that would be on display at the expo. Like many others, I was curious to touch and feel some of these products and these were the ones that I gravitated to when I reached Cologne.


Sensor Size

Two seemingly “opposite” trends seem to be taking place in among the camera equipment makers.

On the one hand there is a strong movement towards smaller, yet higher quality cameras. More about this shortly.

On the other hand, there is also a recent movement towards larger sensors. Why larger sensors?

Advanced and professional photographers have historically chosen equipment that produces the highest quality images regardless of size and weight. This has been the realm of equipment with larger sensors.

 


Left: full-frame sensor; Center: APS-C sensor;
Right: typical point-and-shoot sensor

View showing a full-frame sensor in an upcoming mirrorless camera
 

The advantage of a full frame sensor is its superior light gathering ability and the reduction of image noise compared to a smaller sensor.

At this show, I saw no fewer than five new models with full-frame sensors.


Camera Size

If there’s one thing that electronics has taught us is that next year’s devices will be smaller than this year’s. For the higher level cameras, this has been happening quietly for several years.

With Canon and Nikon – the “big guns” of the camera industry – now having compact interchangeable lens cameras, this movement gains momentum.

 

These are also known as mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILC). With new models made by Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung and Sony, the MILC is the fastest growing part of the market for advanced equipment.

Removing the moving mirror from a DSLR enables the camera makers to save a lot of camera body real estate. Instead of looking through an optical viewfinder, the photographer composes using the LCD or electronic viewfinder.

Early MILCs used smaller sensors which allowed the manufacturers to design smaller, lighter weight lenses. Canon, Samsung and Sony MILCs use APS-C size sensors but the corresponding lenses are remarkably small as well. The result is a high quality, interchangeable lens camera that is extremely compact and convenient.


This looks like a typical point-and-shoot camera, but is actually a new model MILC from Canon.
 

Keeping these two trends in mind, I made my way through the aisles of the Koelnmesse.


Nikon D600

First on my list was this new DSLR from Nikon. This model is a lower-cost model than their D800 which was introduced just a few months ago and features a large full-frame sensor (same size as 35mm film frame).

For those interested, I’ve summarized the main differences between these two models:

 

Model D600 D800
resolution 24.3 mp 36.3 mp
media 2 SD card slots 1 CF card slot
1 SD card slot
continuous shooting 5.5 frames/second 4 frames/second
auto-focus 39 points 51 points
size 5.6″ (width)
4.4″ (height)
3.2″ (depth)
5.7″ (width)
4.8″ (height)
3.2″ (depth)
weight 26.8 ounces 31.7 ounces
price $2100 (body) $3000 (body)

 

The D600 felt noticeably smaller than the D800. The demonstration model was equipped with Nikon’s new 24-85mm lens for full-frame cameras. Both the D600 and 24-85mm lens are currently available.

If you’re the owner of any of Nikon’s DX (APS-C) series lenses, the D600 automatically recognizes when this lens is mounted and adjusts the resolution to about 10mp. This allows you to continue to use your investment in DX lenses.

Nikon also announced a wi-fi adapter for the D600 that lets you automatically transmit images to a smart device. In addition to providing synchronized backup, you can share these images as text messages or with online social media sites. The low cost adapter (about $60) is not yet available.


Canon 6D

Next up was the Canon booth where I saw the newly announced 6D.

 


The 6D has a footprint and feel similar to Canon’s 7D, only this model has a full-frame sensor.

Here you can see that both GPS and Wi-Fi are built into the 6D
Although the prices of tge 5DMkIII and the new 6D are quite disparate, here are the major feature differences between these two models:

 

Model 6D 5D Mark III
resolution 20.2 mp 22.3 mp
media 1 SD card slots 1 CF card slot
1 SD card slot
continuous shooting 4.5 frames/second 6 frames/second
auto-focus 11 points 61 points
Wi-fi built-in external with $850 transmitter
GPS built-in external with $400 receiver
size 5.7″ (width)
4.4″ (height)
2.8″ (depth)
6.0″ (width)
4.6″ (height)
3.0″ (depth)
weight 24.0 ounces 30.3 ounces
price $2100 (body) $3500 (body)

 

Perhaps the most significant features of the 6D besides the full-frame sensor are the addition of both GPS and Wi-Fi.

GPS automatically adds location information to the images. This is especially useful to landscape photographers who can now precisely identify the location at which a photograph was captured.

Adding Wi-Fi capability to the camera again provides automatic backup and rapid sharing of images through online smart devices.

Two other features which are new in this model: 1) in-camera HDR which combines bracketed exposures to yield images which encompass wide exposure levels. 2) multiple exposure capability to superimpose up to nine separate images onto single frame.

Similar to the 5D Mk III, neither have a built-in flash but reply on external flash units.

The staff at the Canon booth indicated that the 6D will go on sale in December of this year.


Sony Alpha 99

Although Sony is a distant third to Canon and Nikon in terms of high end market share, this company has been delivering products with innovative features.

 

Sony’s new Alpha 99 is their first full-frame camera using its unique translucent mirror. Instead of a conventional mirror which flips out of the light path when the shutter is depressed, the translucent mirror remains stationary allowing light to pass through to the sensor. This design provides continuous autofocus and exposure and high speed capture.

Below I’ve compared the new Alpha 99 with the Alpha 77, which is Sony’s top if the line APS-C size cameras in the translucent mirror series.

 

Model Alpha 99 Alpha 77
resolution 24.7 mp full-frame sensor 22.3 mp APS-C sensor
media 2 SD card slots 1 SD card slot
continuous shooting 10 frames/second 12 frames/second
auto-focus dual phase detect 19 points,
102 additional points
single phase detect 19 points
GPS built-in built-in
video 1080p @ 60fps 1080p @ 60fps
Viewfinder 2.4 mp OLED electronic 2.4 mp OLED electronic
size 5.83″ (width)
4.5″ (height)
3.13″ (depth)
5.75″ (width)
4.2″ (height)
3.25″ (depth)
weight 26.0 ounces 23.0 ounces
price $2800 (body) $1300 (body)

 

The Alpha 99 uses a unique dual phase detect system is designed to provide continuous and precise autofocus. Other features carried over from earlier Sony’s translucent mirror cameras are sweep panorama, automatic HDR and multi-frame noise reduction.

The Alpha 99 is due to begin shipments in early November.


Sony RX-1

I didn’t expect to see a camera such as this from Sony.

The RX-1 is compact camera with a full-frame sensor and a non-removable lens.

It looks as if Sony has identified a market of well-to-do photo enthusiasts that can afford $2800 for a camera with a 24mp full-size sensor and fast but fixed focal length Zeiss 35mm f/2 lens. You’ll have to compose your subjects with the 3″ screen unless you purchase either the optical or electronic viewfinder.

 


with optional electronic viewfinder

convenient settings with multiple dials
 

All of the RX-1 samples were firmly locked behind glass at Photokina so I wasn’t able to have a hands-on demonstration. Of course Zeiss is noted for its superior lenses so coupled with the same full-frame sensor used in the Alpha 99, we can expect this camera to produce remarkable photographs.

The expected availability date of the RX-1 is late December.

 


 

This concludes the coverage of the new full-frame sensor equipment from Photokina.

Coming up in Part 2 of our Photokina coverage are the compact MILC cameras. We hope to see you back here soon.

 

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 

 


It’s time for CES again

04th January 2012

What’s in store for 2012?

The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off again in less than a week.

 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the CES, it’s a huge technology trade show at which the electronic and associated manufacturers showcase their new products. In recent years, CES has attracted more than 120,000 attendees to the Las Vegas Convention Center and surrounding venues.

 
There are literally miles of aisles lined with home theaters, thundering auto audio systems, pulsating illuminated LED signs, massive large-screen televisions, deafening stereo systems and wacky computer game displays. It’s a crowded, noisy affair.

Despite the negatives, CES has been a “must” show for me. In fact, I find it an exciting place to be. So much so that I’ve been to attending this annual event (for a while it was held twice a year) for more than 30 years to learn and write about the new products that are applicable to our businesses. For the first time, the Photographic Marketing Association trade show is being folded into this year’s CES. I suppose this tells us that photographic equipment is now considered part of the consumer electronics realm. Merging of these trade shows into one makes it even more convenient for me to learn about new photo equipment as well.

On the photography side, I expect these will be the trend this year:

  • There will be more offerings of high end interchangeable lens cameras (ILC). This relatively new breed are imirrorless and use real-time electronic viewfinders and are significantly smaller than DSLRs. The Nikon V1 and Sony NEX5 are current examples that have compelling and innovative features
  • It looks like we’ll see big improvements in the video capability of both DLSRs and ILCs. The norm will be 1080p HD video, full-time autofocus amd complete manual control of exposure. These devices are reinventing the way in which video is recorded.
  • Watch for even better images from cellphones. Some models already have large 8MP sensors with builtin flash. There is a striking difference in quality from last year’s models.
  • Slowing sales of compact cameras hasn’t deterred manufacturers from improving image quality. In particular, the trend is towards better low-light performance by using more responsive image sensors and wider aperture lenses. This will most likely continue but at a higher price.
  • Again with compacts the major brands are also competing aggressively on a feature basis. For example the Samsung SH100 has builtin wireless transfer and several company’s have cameras with builtin GPS. I expect that features such as these will become very popular.
  • Last fall in China, I met with several manufacturers who were pushing easy to use, all-weather still and video cameras. This may become a popular category as the younger generation continues the YouTube tradition of recording and producing movies of their varied outdoor activities.

On the technology side I will be looking at these items:

  • I just read that Microsoft will be showing their upcoming Microsoft Flight at the show This is of special interest to me as one of our other businesses sell software for their older Flight Simulator.
  • There are likely to be a slew of new and improved tablet from a variety of manufacturers. Since the launch of the iPad, these devices have made a dramatic shift in mobile computing behavior. With the recent addition of reading devices such as Amazon’s Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, the market is heating up quickly.
  • Cellphones have made the most impact on consumer behavior in the last few years and I’ll be interested in seeing the new features that are upcoming.
  • For several years, robotic devices have been randomly appearing at CES. For the most part, this promising technology has been confined to a few areas such as floor cleaning devices and children’s toys. I’m hoping to see new and innovative consumer-level robots at the show.

I’ll report back to you about the show soon.

Yes, I’m looking forward to another CES. By the way, I’m also looking forward to a few days away from the cold and snowy weather here in Michigan.

 

 
Written by Arnie Lee


Shooting Planes

30th November 2010

Aviation Photography
learn from my many years of practice

Over the years, I’ve shot many planes – with a camera. In fact, I’ve been interested in aviation for a long time. I began taking pictures of all things aviation at a young age and recall the excitement of visiting the airport to pick up relatives. I would race to the rooftop viewing area to catch a glimpse of the planes like these:


Here’s America’s first jet airliner, the Boeing 707 Astrojet.


Taken in 1963 at Idewild Airport in New York. The airport is now known as John F Kennedy.


Let’s skip forward 30 years to the mid-1990s when our company has already become involved with flight simulation. I find myself immersed in the emerging new world of digital photography and am now ready to marry two of my long time interests: photography and aviation. With digital, the equipment and processing techniques are radically different from conventional film photography. But the basics of photography haven’t changed much. Therefore I’m in a position to benefit from my prior photographic know-how.

The remainder of this article are a collection of tips that I hope you can use.

TIP: you don’t have to buy an expensive digital camera to take quality aviation photos. Below, I’ve listed the camera used for each photo. But you’ll see from the wide range of equipment I’ve used, that the camera’s maximum resolution isn’t all that important unless you are going to make large, printed enlargements. You’ll see that for web pages, resolutions that starting at 1.4 MP and increasing to 10+ MP are all quite satisfactory.

The vast array of digital cameras make taking aviation photos very forgiving …. and very inexpensive – verging on free. And with instant development that’s faster than a Polaroid, the built-in color LCD gives you immediate feedback so you can try again when you need to reshoot. You can hardly miss using a digital camera with silicon film and a computer as your darkroom.

The first digital camera that I used was a single lens reflex (SLR) called the Olympus C-1400L. With a resolution of 1.4 MP and 3x zoom lens, it produced very acceptable images. To take the photo of the Beech B200 below, I was standing behind a chain link fence. You can clearly see the vignetting of the image (shadow) at the upper left corner due to the fence. TIP: avoid fences Click the thumbnail below of the Beech B200 to see an enlargement. You’ll see that the photo is quite sharp and has a lot of detail. So you can see that 1.4 MP is quite adequate for photos that are destined for web pages.


Olympus C-1400L



Beech B200 at Lake Tahoe (KTVL) taken with C-1400L in 1998.
1280 X 1024 pixels (1.4MP)
 
A few years later, I graduated to the Olympus C-2000 with 2.1 MP resolution, also with a 3X zoom lens. The picture of Lake Mead was taken on approach into Las Vegas. TIP: sit by the window From my window seat, I was able to capture the rugged shoreline of the Colorado River / Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. The resolution here is fine enough to capture the boats skimming across the water. Minimize the glare by keeping the lens close to the window surface. If the sunshine is falling on your window, you may not be able to take quality shots since the glare may be excessive. When you’re ready to take a picture out of the windows, sometimes the direction of sunshine is a matter of luck.

Olympus C-2000
Lake Mead shortly before landing
in Las Vegas (KLAS) taken with C-2000 in 2000.

1600 x 1200 (2MP)

Aircraft normally make left-hand traffic – left hand turns on the approach to landing. So before the flight from Paris to Nice, I requested a window on the left side of the plane. This would allow me to see the approach to the airport over the blue Mediteranean. Had I been sitting on the right-hand side, I would be looking at a lot of sky as the pilot made left-hand turns! TIP: choose a window seat on the left side of the aircraft


Olympus C-2000
Flying downwind leg for landing in
Nice Cote D’Azur (LFMN) taken with C-2000 in 2000.

1600 x 1200 (2MP)

Many photos of aircraft are taken through the window of an airport terminal. While this is often the most practical way to get your snapshots, shooting through the glass introduces an extra layer which can degrade the final image. TIP: when possible, get out from behind the glass Many airports have rooftop viewing areas which not only are glass free but get you closer to the the action. On the roof, you may have views of the tarmac that are totally inaccessible from the terminal below.


Pentax Optio SV

Shot from the rooftop viewing area at

Amsterdam Schiphol (EHAM) taken with
Pentax Optio SV in 2003. 2592 x 1944 (5MP)
 

Many of the most impressive aviation photos are of planes that are either taking off or landing. TIP: take shots of takeoffs and landings For takeoffs, wait until the nose wheel is lifting off the runway. For landings, wait until the main wheels are just making contact with the runway. With a little practice you’ll hit it just right.

Canon Digital Rebel

Shot from the Sunset Blvd viewing area at
McCarran International (KLAS) taken with

Canon Digital Rebel in 2005. 3072 x 2048 (6MP)

One common complaint is that photos taken with digital cameras often lack contrast. TIP: boost contrast with software This problem is often solved after-the-fact after you’ve transferred your images to the computer. Many photo editing programs offer the “auto levels” feature which enhances the contrast, adjusts the white balance and make the overall photo snappier and more pleasing.

Olympus 720SW

Kalamazoo (KAZO) taken with Olympus 720SW in 2006. 2304 x 3072 (7MP)
Same shot enhanced with Photoshop Elements (auto levels) to make it more “snappy”

When shooting with lower cost digital cameras, there is often a delay between the time you take the first shot and the camera is ready for the next. If the delay is lengthy, you may miss an important photo. More capable cameras are able to capture multiple shots rapidly. TIP: be patient and don’t hurry the shot Very often, you’ll get the best shot by waiting patiently until the plane passes at the closest point to the camera. Below, you can see that by waiting for only a short time I was able to capture the right hand shot with much more detail.

Canon 20D

 
Shot a few seconds apart at Grand Rapids (KGRR) taken with Canon 20D in 2005. 3504 x 2366 (8MP)
For action shots, you’ll need to use a high shutter speed. TIP: use a shutter speed high enough to stop the action A shutter speed of 1/300 or shorter is usually able to stop the action. Most digital SLR cameras have a sports mode which can be used to photograph flying aircraft. With other digital cameras you can set the shutter speed manually. The fast-moving A-10 below was shot using the sports mode.

Canon 20D

A-10 landing at Nellis AFB (KLSV) taken with Canon 20D in 2006. 3504 x 2366 (8MP)
Get the lighting right. For maximum detail, you’ll want to make sure that the sunlight is shining over your shoulder as you shoot. TIP: keep the sun shining over your shoulder Backlighting (light coming from behind the subject) makes for great silhouettes and shots of the sun, but it usually hides or obscures the detail. For best results, keep the light behind the camera.

Canon 5D


DC-9 departing Grand Rapids (KGRR) taken with Canon 5D. 4368 x 2912 (12MP)
 
Now is a good time to take the camera out of its case and head on down to the airport. I’ve found the best way to gain proficiency is to take shot after shot after shot. Afterwards, review the captured images to see your results and adjust your techniques accordingly. After all, digital film is free.

For other examples, visit our Photo Gallery that has hundreds of other aviation related photos.

To view another fantastic site with very impressive photos taken by talented photographer Ralph Duenas and other members, visit Jet Wash Images

Quick Definitions

MP – megapixel (million of pixels) – measurement of camera resolution (e.g. 3504 pixels x 2366 pixels = 8,290,464 pixels = 8 megapixels)

SLR – single lens reflex – a type of camera that allows you to view the subject directly through the lens

LCD – liquid crystal display – a small viewing screen that displays the subject, the captured image (or both)

Author: Arnie Lee Unless otherwise noted, photos are from the author’s personal collection.

Good Photos Can Come Cheap

28th November 2010

I’ve been interested in photography since I was a very young kid; so much so that I wanted to study photography at college. However, I somehow became distracted and ended up studying something completely different. Yet for these past 50 years, photography has remained a professional interest.

I’ve also been involved with computers for my entire working life. In the early 70’s, there was no such thing as a personal computer. When PCs started to appear about 1976, I yearned for a way to marry the computer with photography. But the movement to digital imagery was slower than even molasses. Of course we know that this has all changed in the past ten years or so and now digital is the standard – having all but replaced conventional film photography.
(more…)