“How Do I Take Better Photos?” Is The Question We Hear From The Most Enthusiastic And New To The Scene Aircraft and Airplane Photographers.
To become the best always follow the best! In other words, before trying to be an airplane or aircraft photographer, a beginner should try to get some kind of training under the veteran.
Ironically, the number one question that a novice aircraft and airplane photographers has is, “How do I take better photos?” and “How did you get those?”
So along with tips that we’ve picked up over the years, we’ve shared some of the own secret techniques about how to take your aircraft portraits to the next level.
The closer to the aircraft or airplane the better!
Fill the frame with the aircraft or airplane and see how your photo will look without so much wasted space. The closer you are to the subject, the better you can see their finer details too. Aviation photography is a challenging genre as sometimes it’s physically impossible to get close. The use of a zoom lens is highly recommended.
As a beginner airplane and aircraft photographer you need to click a photograph each day
The best way to hone your skills is to practice, “a lot”. Shoot as much as you can – it doesn’t really matter what. Spend hours and hours with your camera, shooting photographs of airplanes and aircrafts. As your technical skills improve over time, your ability to harness them to tell stories will happen for you automatically. In the beginning, all aviation photographers need to experiment and test their boundaries.
A perfect Aircraft Portrait is, where the light is!
Before you raise your camera, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. How can you use natural light to make your photos better? How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? These are all things you should consider in order to click an aircraft portrait that’s extraordinary.
Use flash during the day to capture the best aircraft photograph
You might think that you should only use flash at night time or indoors, but that’s not always the truth. If it is an extremely bright day outside and the sun is creating severe shadows on your subject, switch on your flash. By forcing extra light onto your subject, you will be able to fill in those ugly shadows and create an image.
Buy informational books/magazines about the art of aviation photography rather than camera gear
Having expensive camera equipment doesn’t always mean that you’ll take good photos. We’ve seen some absolutely amazing images shot with nothing more than a Smart Phone. Instead of having ten different lenses, invest in some expert aviation photography texts. By looking at the work of the professionals, not only do you get inspired, you come away with ideas to improve your own photos.
Take time to think about what is going on in the view before pressing the shutter. How are you going to compose the shot? Have you got all the settings organized? These are some significant questions that need answering for you become an adept aviation photographer.
Chimping is an everyday term used in digital photography to describe the habit of checking every photo on the camera display immediately after capture. It’s a bad habit digital photographers can develop. Time and time again we see photographers take a photograph and then look at the back of the screen straight away. By doing that you could miss all those unique moments flying past. You can look at your photos later. However, by looking in your camera LCD right away, you can miss ‘that one shot’ and it affects the flow of your work.
Have you got the best aircraft photography? It’s best to watermark your work. Create a watermark and date it. Protecting your image is important to any form of photography let alone aviation photography.
Knowing your shutter speed means the difference between taking a blurry photo and a sharp photo. To capture fast action you will have to use a shutter speed over 1/500th of a second, if not 1/1000th to 1/2000th. On the other hand, you might want to capture the long streaks of lights running through your camera photographs. Therefore you would change your camera’s shutter speed to a long exposure.
Charge your batteries
This seems like a simple one, but pretty much every photographer on the face of the planet has been caught out before. A camera without batteries is as good as a dead camera. The trick is to put the battery on charging as soon as you get home from your photo shoot.
Be part of a photographic community
Be part of an active group of enthusiasts that offer you invaluable feedback. You can learn new things to help you improve your technique, and you might even make some new photography mates. Alaskafoto.com is a good starting point
The golden hour
Photograph aircraft and/or airplane in the golden hours, the light is softer and the colors are more vibrant.
Now that you have some tips about aviation photography courtesy of Alaskafoto.com, go ahead and play with them! Experiment. Have fun. Learn from your mistakes. Make up your own tips and techniques for taking fantastic aviation photographs.