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Flying High

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Britcat100, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Britcat100

    Britcat100 Active Member

    I have a flying lesson lesson on Friday and want to know any tips on taking photos from inside the plane with my Nikon F80, but I only have a 28-80 lens and my partner will be taking the photos as I'll be driving(so to speak).
    Any help will be gratefully appreciated as I don't plan on making a habit of flying lessons as I would rather waste my money on things photographical..thanks and needless to say a hasty reply would be appreciated!
  2. Canonball

    Canonball Well-Known Member

    Er, this won't help with the photography but I'd strongly recommend brown trousers and a pair of bicycle clips/img/wwwthreads/wink.gif

    Have fun anyway

  3. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    I assume that we are talking about light aircraft and probably a Cessna 150/152 or similar. Since these have a high wing, shots of the ground should be straightforward. Some Cessna's have a small opening side window for photography - if you can avoid it, don't shoot through the glass as you will get reflections and flare. Avoid using a polarising filter if you do have to shoot through the glass/perspex. If you can shoot through a window, use a UV filter and a lens hood. As you won't be at the controls while shooting, ask the pilot-in-charge to bank the aircraft for ground shots.

    If flying in a Tiger Moth, you don't have to worry about windows and the view is excellent. Make use of the wings/struts as part of the picture - it adds foreground interest and looks very effective. Keep your goggles on as much as possible because it is 'quite breezy' to say the least. It might also be cold despite a warm ground temperature.

    It's also fun to borrow a very wide-angle lens for interior shots of the aircraft and controls - I remember getting a good shoot many years ago from the rear seat of a Cessna 172 as it was nose-down on approach - I had the pilot and co-pilot, the instrument panel and the runway lights of Humberside Airport through the front screen. I also got some great interiors of a helicopter with a wide-angle and hope to repeat the exercise next month. Be careful of interior shots if it is sunny because some parts will be in shadow and you will have a contrast range too great for the film to handle. Fill-in flash would normally be best but I wouldn't advise dazzling the pilot with your flashgun!

    Finally, be very careful of dangling camera bags and straps and anything that isn't secured. You's be surprised at the number of accidents caused by buckles, straps and other bits and pieces fowling the controls.

    Otherwise, enjoy the flight. You might want to try hot air ballooning if you are keen on aerial photography. Again, a wide-angle is best to capture occupants of the basket and the burners above your head.

  4. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Didn't old Slimey used to do that sort of thing when he was in the RAF? Mind you, he's so old they probably used to dangle him by the feet out of a Sopwith Camel with old Bri holding on for grim death to his Leica!
  5. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    You know, I have just had this vision of Smith at the controls of a Sopwith Camel with old Bri in the back seat. The original "Dastardly and Muttley!"
  6. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Best of luck with the lesson. I don't think you will have much time for much photography. The Pilot in Command will be doing a lot of instruction. And part of the fun is to get the hands on the controls.

    Some advice on photography. Firstly if you are to take a shot, please ensure that you inform the Pilot in Command what you intend to do.

    Don't use flash at all. Not only will this intrude on the vision of the pilot, but could give fright to other aircraft in the circuit.

    Better if you are in a high wing for ground shots. But if in a low wing like an AA5A/B take shots through the spinner/prop. Actualy could make for intersting shots, or take the side shots when banking over to port (you will sit on the left)

    Keep a good attitude

    Steve C Thompson MRIPN
  7. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Yes Will, Slimey used to be a bit of a dab hand at the old aerial photography lark. But we used serious cameras. One was designated the K20, it was a hand held 5"x5" roll film camera with lever wind and a fixed focus 20" lens. The other was a F24 with either 24" or 36" long focal length lenses again 5"x5" with interchangeable 100 exposure magazines. The shutter speed was actualy changed by taking it out and replacing it with another. The shutter speeds were A,B,C and denoted the width of the split in the blind. Exposures? well it rather depended on how you felt at the time. Oh and on the F24 the film was advanced with a huge winding lever operated by another crew member. The viewfinder was just a peep site and the whole thing with a 36" lense weighed about 25lbs, Oh we were men in those days. The results? often stunning as anybody who has access will confirm.

    Of course this was for casual air/ground, air/sea, air/air. For other stuff we used really serious kit.

    Slimey.Who only got three thousand odd hours in./img/wwwthreads/wink.gif
  8. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member


    Perhaps we could say that pilots are more concerned with 'attitude' than photographers...


  9. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Shouldn't that be "Keep a good altitude" Steve!
    Big(Watch out for that mountain!)Will
  10. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    ....well if you're going to take that attitude! /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
  11. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Actualy Will, no. Keeping a good attitude. Is to keep the aircraft level and trimed with no crossed controls.

    Steve C Thompson MRIPN
  12. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    I thought keeping a good attitude was not shouting "Help, let me out of this bloody thing, we're all going to die!"
  13. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    No thats Air Rage. Now Will back to your seat and enjoy the nice view............of the wing falling off.

    Steve C Thompson MRIPN
  14. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Oh heck, Geoff, I think the bicycle clips have just failed due to overload!
    This is your Pilot Steve here. "Wu or corrintly flooing ot in oltotuode of 4 thoosand fot and ere aboot to lond on ruinway 19'er" Sorry Steve, couldn't resist it! /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
  15. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    After a rather dodgy landing

    Pilot "sorry about that but this is a very short runway only about 100ft, to get down quickly we skimmed a couple of trees and fences"

    Passenger" yeah bout at 3000yds its bloody wide"

  16. Britcat100

    Britcat100 Active Member

    Thanks for the help and I'm glad to provide a slightly higher platform than usual for your humour Big Will :)
  17. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    There's high and there's 5000 feet high! Help, get me down outta here!
    Big(Strictly a terra firma man)Will
  18. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    Hey Niall

    Since we helped you out,w hy not post a few piccies after the event so we can all see what you were up to.

  19. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Especialy the one AFTER your instructor has taken you through a couple of spins.

    Steve C Thompson MRIPN
  20. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    Nah, the best expressions on a pupil's face are after a forced landing in a helicopter with the engine off.


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