Waddington Air Show

Soldato
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Hello chaps,

Come July I'll be taking a bunch of cadets to Waddington Air Show and want to try and take some decent photos of the day as for a lot of them it'll be a whole new experience for them.

I confess my knowledge of photography stretches as far as my iPhone zoom function and Auto on my Nikon, so forgive my stupid questions.

I currently have a Nikon D3000 which I appreciate is just a baby camera compared to what some of you guys have... Is this going to be 'good enough' to get some decent shots?

Would I be better off getting a bigger lens to zoom in more and if so, which one?

Cheers :)
 
Associate
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24 Jan 2005
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North Yorkshire
Having a good camera and lens may help a little, but I believe composition, light and having a good subject is the key to a good photograph. To get the fast moving shots may be difficult but practise practise is the key maybe try capturing a moving car or somebody running. For the static shots it goes back to the composition and if you like the subject then that half the battle won!
 
Caporegime
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wndsr - have you seen Mike Browne videos on YouTube? Very informative about every aspect of photography you can think of (well at least to a novice like me). I have just watched a few covering depth of field, focal length and manually setting exposure. Look forward to seeing the photos :)
 
Soldato
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Can't help on the photography side of it, but I'm camping Thursday to Sunday at Barn Farm on the edge of the runway. I'll keep an eye out for you all!
 
Soldato
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From my limited experience (three visits to the Shoreham air show since 2009) the best thing you can hope for is good weather!

Aside from that, depending on what you want to shoot I found that 200mm was fine on a full frame camera. It seems obvious now but I learned from other shots on this forum that you need to lower the shutter speed to get a sense of movement from propellors and rotors, and that really helps bring the photo to life.

This was my last set from Shoreham in 2012. A horribly dull day, with cloud so low that many of the flights were cancelled. I hope you have better weather!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gregkingston/sets/72157631371643774/
 
Soldato
Joined
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4,082
I try to do a couple of airshows every year, have a look at these sites:

http://digital-photography-school.com/air-show-photography-a-guide-for-beginners/
http://photo.net/learn/airshow/

Got a few shots on my Flickr, might give you a few ideas. If it's just a one off don't worry about not taking award winning shots, just enjoy the day and get some shots that remind you of a great experience.

Who knows, you may get the bug. That would be the time to think about buying new gear but there is a financial health warning attached to that!
 
Associate
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I remember when we were at farnham airshow, guy there with his plane thought a couple of our cadets were actual RAF so invited them in from the crowd to have a look round the inside of the plane. Of course they nodded and played along for a look round :D
 
Associate
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The one thing you don't say is the current lens you have. If you want images with the fast jet solos you will be looking at 300mm minimum. Also, the sun is in your face for the start of the day to make matters more difficult for photography.

If shooting props, switch to shutter priority and play it safe with 1/320th. That will still give you movement in the propeller which is essential if you don't want it to look like its falling out of the sky.

For helicopters you are probably aiming for 1/200th or less do to the slower rotation of the blades, especially for a chinook display.

For any jets, stick it in aperture priority, around f/8 and shoot away. On a good weather day at low iso you'll be in the 1/2000th area which will give much more consistent results.

Most of all though, enjoy it. If you don't have a long lens, put the camera down and take in the displays. Grab the camera for the display teams where length doesn't matter as much. Plus, you also have the static displays there where lens length really won't matter!

And i echo the statement above about the financial health warning of getting the bug of airshow photography!

Take a look at my flickr for examples, should be a couple of sets from recent Waddo shows on there
 
Soldato
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Thanks for all the replies folks, some very interesting reading here. Sorry it took so long to check back in!

My current lens is 'AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G' which if I am honest means absolutely nothing to me. All I know is that it has been fine for any photos I have wanted to take up until now.

I know it's a sin to all the experienced photographers, but I've never took my camera off Auto mode as it's done pretty much everything I need it to. A friend said I should be looking at getting something like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-55-300mm-4-5-5-6G/dp/B003ZSHNCC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

I think I need to spend some time learning the basics of photography as things like aperture and shutter priority mean nothing to me. I do find it all very interesting though so some reading is definitely in order.

And you think you'll have time to take photos inbetween stopping them getting drunk and destroying everything?

I remember when I was a cadet:D

Nobody dare give me any grief or they'll be walking back from Waddington!
 
Associate
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Thanks for all the replies folks, some very interesting reading here. Sorry it took so long to check back in!

My current lens is 'AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G' which if I am honest means absolutely nothing to me. All I know is that it has been fine for any photos I have wanted to take up until now.

I know it's a sin to all the experienced photographers, but I've never took my camera off Auto mode as it's done pretty much everything I need it to. A friend said I should be looking at getting something like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-55-300mm-4-5-5-6G/dp/B003ZSHNCC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

I think I need to spend some time learning the basics of photography as things like aperture and shutter priority mean nothing to me. I do find it all very interesting though so some reading is definitely in order.



Nobody dare give me any grief or they'll be walking back from Waddington!

For airshows (I've been reading up about fairford in particular so can't comment on wadd) people generally recommend 300mm with some even saying stuff like "went with 300 last year going back with 400 this".

The 55-300 is a good in expensive zoom lens and has certainly allowed me to get some great shots. Mines currently on the MM as I've got the upgrade bug :(


Cuerden Birds of Prey-14.jpg by lukext, on Flickr
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Jun 2013
Posts
3,638
Location
Manchester, UK
That's an excellent photo. I'm guessing it wasn't achieved through what I'll be doing - Auto mode? :p

I saw your lens on the other day and did want to make an offer, the only reason I didn't being the fact I loathe spending any substantial amount of money for a lens I know I will probably only use once or a few times at best.
 
Soldato
Joined
29 Jul 2011
Posts
15,317
Location
Near Northants / MK
The one thing you don't say is the current lens you have. If you want images with the fast jet solos you will be looking at 300mm minimum. Also, the sun is in your face for the start of the day to make matters more difficult for photography.

If shooting props, switch to shutter priority and play it safe with 1/320th. That will still give you movement in the propeller which is essential if you don't want it to look like its falling out of the sky.

For helicopters you are probably aiming for 1/200th or less do to the slower rotation of the blades, especially for a chinook display.

For any jets, stick it in aperture priority, around f/8 and shoot away. On a good weather day at low iso you'll be in the 1/2000th area which will give much more consistent results.

Most of all though, enjoy it. If you don't have a long lens, put the camera down and take in the displays. Grab the camera for the display teams where length doesn't matter as much. Plus, you also have the static displays there where lens length really won't matter!

And i echo the statement above about the financial health warning of getting the bug of airshow photography!

Take a look at my flickr for examples, should be a couple of sets from recent Waddo shows on there
Your photos are absolutely amazing.
 
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