photo 4 photo 3 photo 2 photo 1 photo 8 photo 7 photo 6 photo 5 KODAK: KODAK e-Magazine: Sleeping Giants: Photo Tips

If you want to take great photos of air shows or historic aircraft, you needn’t go far. Many air shows take place across the U.S. and around the world. And aircraft museums can be found in San Diego, CA, Tucson, AZ, Washington, DC, Tillamook, OR, North Canton, OH, Horseheads, NY, Palm Springs, CA, Fayetteville, AR, and even New York City. To take great pictures of classic aircraft, try these techniques:
Get close, and use a wide-angle lens

Most pictures in this Kodak e–Magazine feature were photographed with a 28mm lens. A wide–angle 28mm or 24mm lens helps capture the panorama of wide wings, big engines, and long fuselages.
(See photo 1)
Use film meant for bright daylight

Kodak Gold 100 or 200 speed films work well, as do Elite chrome color slide films, for shots of aircraft on display. For pictures of planes in the air, you’ll often use a telephoto lens that requires more light, so switch to Kodak Max 400 film. Max 400 and Max 800 films are also great if the skies turn overcast. Pack more film than you think you’ll need!
Digital dos and don'ts

Many digital cameras do very well without flash in daylight conditions. Turn off your flash and experiment. You can always delete pictures you don’t like later. Carry a lightweight monopod to help keep your camera steady for longer exposures.
Hazy days demand a filter

An inexpensive skylight or UV filter on your camera can help cut haze and glare in color photos.
(See photo 2)
Polarizer, please

A circular polarizer or filter on a single–lens reflex camera lets you "punch up" the deep blue skies everyone loves. Just rotate the polarizer until the skies in your viewfinder are a pleasant, deep blue. But watch out for the prism–like dispersion of light that a polarizer can cause in the Plexiglas canopies of fighter jets. (See photo 3 and photo 4)
Overexpose as needed

Light–colored planes and concrete taxiways often reflect intense bright sunlight, and this can fool your camera’s light meter. If your camera has exposure compensation, adjust it +1 EV, to tell your camera not to close down the lens too much. You’ll get more shadow detail in your pictures.
(See photo 5)
Avoid mid-day shots

Direct sun overhead can wash out any picture. Many planes are naturally reflective, so shoot early in the morning or after 3 p.m. for more flattering light angles. Overcast days actually make for good daylight pictures.
(See photo 6)
Create emphasis by varying your angle

Instead of taking all your photos from a standing position, crouch or kneel to add a sense of drama to head–on or profile shots of aircraft. (See photo 7)
Don't forget the silhouette
Modern jet aircraft often have sweeping, graceful lines that call for an intentionally under–exposed picture. Look for opportunities to capture aircraft in shadow, or with the plane’s wing or tail blocking the sun. Switch off your flash and let your camera create a cool silhouette. (See photo 8)

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