Air to Air mission

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plutocrat03
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:45 pm

Air to Air mission

Postby plutocrat03 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:49 pm

I would like to photograph a friend's airplane in front of our city's skyline. The route is basically north/south

I'm looking for some suggestions to make this work as smoothly as possible. I have a DSLR with a 18-200mm lens

Since the camera will be shooting toward the west the time will have to be in the AM.

The camera will be in an open airplane or one I can open the window. I plan to use a polarizing filter.

Any books, articles etc....

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

futurshox
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby futurshox » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:00 am

Hi,

First of all, do your pilots have any formation training or experience?

There's a couple of links here that will help; Mike Fizer is good at this stuff:
http://www.avweb.com/news/profiles/182930-1.html
http://www.avweb.com/news/profiles/182931-1.html
So is Jim Koepnik:
http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today ... ooter.html

Shoot through an open window if at all possible. Not sure a polarizer will help you though. As soon as the angle changes (which it will) then you have to keep resetting it. And you probably don't want to use a polarizer through Perspex!

Assuming the plane is propeller driven, look for shutter speeds of 1/250 or less. 1/60 plus or minus a bit should get you a full disc, depending how many prop blades he has. Start faster and get slower so you have some keepers. Your hit rate will depend on how bumpy the air is as much as anything else.

As for focal length, your 18-200mm should be fine.

Apologies if this is old hat; I don't know how much you know about this stuff.

Hope these help.

Jo

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jackhodgson
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Re: Air to Air mission

Postby jackhodgson » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:32 am

I have no real experience with air-to-air photo shooting, except to say that you must be very careful.

I've heard from many pilots and "shooters" that it requires a great deal of planning to be done safely. Don't expect to launch and then coordinate everything by radio once airborne. These folks plan their photo missions turn-for-turn before putting a key in the ignition.

Be careful out there.

// Jack

plutocrat03
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:45 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby plutocrat03 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:50 pm

Planning is what I am doing now. I have a 10K hour military pilot and a 6K hour GA pilot at the controls of the two a/c. One of the challenges is that we have to fly under the airspace of our major airport. Another challenge is the local air quality is variable.

I have a storyboard identifying my desired background and perspective. What I want to do is working on controlling all the variables as best I can.

e.g. How close should we be to get a decent view if the pilot? Should I plan on additional lighting inside the cabin?

futurshox
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby futurshox » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:58 am

You won't need to be all that close with a 200mm lens. Try standing by the plane on the ground first, use the different focal lengths to see how the plane will look. Walk around a bit to check angles. When you find what you want, see where you're standing. That's how close you will need to be.

I haven't heard of anyone using additional lighting in the cockpit. You can normally see the pilot OK.

plutocrat03
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:45 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby plutocrat03 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:49 pm

Well we got the mission accomplished. Chase plane was asked to fly straight and level. Only asked to move forward and backward by changing the throttle. Lead plane was responsible for altitude. Turns were coordinated in advance by radio communication.

Surprisingly, the focal length used was mostly under 100mm. I have given my memory card to the other pilot. Will post a couple shots when I get my memory card back.

plutocrat03
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:45 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby plutocrat03 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:21 pm

4854U pier.jpg
4854U pier.jpg (29.5 KiB) Viewed 6392 times


4854U bahaism.jpg
4854U bahaism.jpg (176.16 KiB) Viewed 6392 times


A couple selected shots from our mission. Learned a lot about apertures and formation flying.

plutocrat03
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:45 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby plutocrat03 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:49 pm

Our air to aim mission made the cover of the Cessna Pilot's Association magazine!

Too much fun.

plutocrat03
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:45 pm

Re: Air to Air mission

Postby plutocrat03 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:08 am

Another of the flight's series is on the 10/10, Pictures of the Week at AVWeb. not the winner, but .....

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PilotBillFromTexas
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Re: Air to Air mission

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:18 pm

Pretty cool! How close were the two planes?

plutocrat03 wrote:Surprisingly, the focal length used was mostly under 100mm.


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