Digital Photography Tips for Photographing Airplanes

When it comes to digital photography, there are still some scenarios that present a challenge to both hobbyists and professionals. Attempting to photograph airplanes from the ground is one such challenge and, just as troublesome is trying to take pictures of the ground from on board a plane. Fortunately, experienced aerial photographers have shared some tips that will help you get that perfect shot.

5 Tips To Help You Get That Shot
  1. Practice – Of course, we all know that repetition helps us improve at any task, but there’s another reason for frequent practice with airplane photography. While many of the pictures you take will be flawed or unimpressive, keeping at it will increase the likelihood that you’ll get that one-in-a-million shot.
  2. Time Of Day Is Important – When capturing still airplanes from the ground, try to arrive early in the morning or near dusk, when the metal catches the sunlight at just the right angle. This will help you get a more dramatic photograph.
  3. Panning – When shooting a moving plane, twist at the shoulder and follow the plane’s movement with your upper body. Do this, until the shutter stops to ensure getting the best possible shots.
  4. Air To Air Shots – While these types of photographs can be complicated, the best advice is to utilize a camera that offers a vibration reduction option. Turning on that feature will greatly improve the quality of your photographs by eliminating grainy noise caused by the movement of the airplane.
  5. Prop Planes – With these kinds of planes, a slower shutter speed will blur the propellers and better illustrate motion in the photograph. A shutter speed between 1/25 of a second and 1/125 of a second is recommended.
Air Shows Present A Great Opportunity For Beginners

Getting your photography feet wet isn’t that hard to do, especially with the frequent air shows hosted by cities throughout the country. Budding photographers can find some unique opportunities for capturing great air feats on film. One trick that novices can use to capture great images is to take their shot as the planes come in low and bank. This can make it seem as though the picture was taken from above, instead of from the ground.

Typically, air shows run through the weekends and the first two days can end up becoming practice runs, if you don’t show up prepared. One suggestion is to spend the preceding week photographing the dog running in the yard or the kids riding their bikes. Pretty much shooting anything in motion will get you used to getting the right angles and panning with your upper body.

Again, the key to honing your craft is practice, so taking every opportunity to get out there and get your shutter into action is highly recommended. As you spend more time with your camera, you’re bound to find that those one-in-a-million photos will become more and more frequent.

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