Airshow...settings on a 1D Mark II

Bend The LightBend The Light Bend The LightRegistered Users Posts: 1,887 Major grins
edited June 21, 2013 in Technique
Can't remember if I asked before on here, but I am off to an airshow in 2 weeks time. I have a 1D mark IIn and I am renting a Sigma 50-500 lens. I know it's gonna be heavy, but doesn't cost much to rent so was gonna give it a try.

Was after advice on settings for jets and for props. We will be seated in a stand for the air display. The stand faces South-East, runway running north-east to south-west. As the display starts at 10.30, there may be a little bit of shoooting into the sun, however, as it's getting to summer, the sun should be quite high.

So, any help with settings would be great...I rarely shoot planes, apart from the odd one from the side of Manchester Airport, so it's all new.

I don't get much joy from exposure compensation, but maybe I am using it incorrectly. I am happy to shoot manual, though.

Any other pointers useful for my daughter who will be shooting a 1100D with a 70-300 f4-5.6 IS at the side of me. She won't be able to adjust settings so reliably...she's only 7. icon_smile.gif

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,325 moderator
    edited June 21, 2013
    Settings will partly depend on conditions, of course.

    To stop propellor motion I like to stay above 1/250th-1/500th shutter, but sometimes propellor blur is nice to show motion. Experiment to see what works and when, and what you prefer.

    Shooting planes on the ground is generally standard metering and exposure, but a plane in the sky will often silhouette against the sky with a standard exposure. Either switch to manual and take some test exposures, chimping to verify the results, or use an automated exposure mode and spot meter the plane, using a positive EC to brighten the plane as necessary (and if necessary).

    Flash is still indicated for any indoor shooting. That includes hanger shots, unless you are just at the hanger opening, and interiors of planes, should you be lucky enough to gain access. Flash modifiers are highly recommended, as usual. Off camera flash may also be indicated.

    Flash can also be used for some of the plane exteriors, to add a glint here or there, or to brighten a drab paint scheme in overcast skies.

    I like the "Bigma" best at f8 on the wide end and a little smaller aperture on the long end (f11-f13), exposure permitting.


    Great that your daughter is coming along. thumb.gif

    If she is unfamiliar with photography settings, I would just set the dRebel T3/1100D on "Program" mode and see what happens. (Do set AWB and an appropriate ISO, along with a starting combination of shutter speed and aperture.) Good that she has the IS to help (on the 70-300mm, f4-5.6 IS). Just work with her on subject, angles and composition.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Bend The LightBend The Light Bend The Light Registered Users Posts: 1,887 Major grins
    edited June 21, 2013
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Settings will partly depend on conditions, of course.

    To stop propellor motion I like to stay above 1/250th-1/500th shutter, but sometimes propellor blur is nice to show motion. Experiment to see what works and when, and what you prefer.

    Shooting planes on the ground is generally standard metering and exposure, but a plane in the sky will often silhouette against the sky with a standard exposure. Either switch to manual and take some test exposures, chimping to verify the results, or use an automated exposure mode and spot meter the plane, using a positive EC to brighten the plane as necessary (and if necessary).

    Flash is still indicated for any indoor shooting. That includes hanger shots, unless you are just at the hanger opening, and interiors of planes, should you be lucky enough to gain access. Flash modifiers are highly recommended, as usual. Off camera flash may also be indicated.

    Flash can also be used for some of the plane exteriors, to add a glint here or there, or to brighten a drab paint scheme in overcast skies.

    I like the "Bigma" best at f8 on the wide end and a little smaller aperture on the long end (f11-f13), exposure permitting.


    Great that your daughter is coming along. thumb.gif

    If she is unfamiliar with photography settings, I would just set the dRebel T3/1100D on "Program" mode and see what happens. (Do set AWB and an appropriate ISO, along with a starting combination of shutter speed and aperture.) Good that she has the IS to help (on the 70-300mm, f4-5.6 IS). Just work with her on subject, angles and composition.


    Thanks. :)

    Good to know the better apertures for the Bigma. :)

    TinyTogger can dial in setting ok if I give her starting points...she's not quite at the stage to make her own mind up about settings. :)
    Her composition and so on are pretty good, and often refreshingly different to a grown-up's viewpoint. :)
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited June 21, 2013
    For planes in flight i prefer to shoot in Manual mode for sunlit planes, and open two stops when they become shaded or backlit. Or Av mode, with +1-1.5 + EC when back lit.

    For prop planes I prefer to keep my shutter open longer than 1/200th to capture nice prop blur. Some aficionados really complain about images with total absence of apparent propeller movement or blur.

    I tend to try to shoot 2 stops smaller than the maximum aperture of the lens, as that is usually where it is sharpest, and that is pretty close to the apertures Ziggy suggested above.

    Fill flash can be a great help in lighting up airplane interiors or deep into engine cowlings, like this one, even on a sunlit day

    green%20cowling%20%20T-38%20%20_MG_1747-L.jpg


    Pray for some clouds or even some overcast; clear blue skies from 10-2pm, are not the best light to shoot in, but what one frequently has at air shows.

    One of my favorite lenses for airshows was my Tamron 200-500, which is similar to the Bigma at the long end. It did not have IS, but then most of your shooting is panning along with planes in flight anyway. A wide angle, 16-35 or so, is quite useful on the flight line.

    I have a few frames of air shows here - http://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Airplanes

    I would have your daughter shoot in P or Av unless she can monitor the shutter speed while she shoots in Av. Or set her up with TV and Auto ISO. In bright light, that may work out better than many would think.

    Don't forget to switch to AI Servo for planes in flight...
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • Bend The LightBend The Light Bend The Light Registered Users Posts: 1,887 Major grins
    edited June 21, 2013
    pathfinder wrote: »
    For planes in flight i prefer to shoot in Manual mode for sunlit planes, and open two stops when they become shaded or backlit. Or Av mode, with +1-1.5 + EC when back lit.

    For prop planes I prefer to keep my shutter open longer than 1/200th to capture nice prop blue. Some aficionados really complain about images with total absence of apparent propeller movement or blur.

    I tend to try to shoot 2 stops smaller than the maximum aperture of the lens, as that is usually where it is sharpest, and that is pretty close to the apertures Ziggy suggested above.

    Fill flash can be a great help in lighting up airplane interiors or deep into engine cowlings, like this one, even on a sunlit day

    green%20cowling%20%20T-38%20%20_MG_1747-L.jpg


    Pray for some clouds or even some overcast; clear blue skies from 10-2pm, are not the best light to shoot in, but what one frequently has at air shows.

    One of my favorite lenses for airshows was my Tamron 200-500, which is similar to the Bigma at the long end. It did not have IS, but then most of your shooting is panning along with planes in flight anyway. A wide angle, 16-35 or so, is quite useful on the flight line.

    I have a few frames of air shows here - http://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Airplanes

    I would have your daughter shoot in P or Av unless she can monitor the shutter speed while she shoots in Av. Or set her up with TV and Auto ISO. In bright light, that may work out better than many would think.

    Don't forget to switch to AI Servo for planes in flight...

    I do a little bit of manual, but I am not quick enough in my adjustmemnts yet to be totally sure, so may be Av with some EV.
    I am also renting a 16-35mm L. So that'll be good as you say for the static display.

    Ruby will possibly be Tv with Auto ISo as you say...she can change settings fairly well, when it's one at a time. She can just dial up or down the shutter speeds perhaps, dependent on the aircraft.

    In all, we'll have fun, and if we get one or two good ones, we'll be happy. :)
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