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Author Topic: From 35,000 feet  (Read 14273 times)
Tubas
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« on: September 27, 2006, 06:58:06 AM »
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Hi people,

It is time to stop lurking and become exposed in the shadows. So..  Hi all. Nice to be here.

My work as a pilot lets me see the world from a different perspective. However that perspective has technical problems.

Images get very blue, and very washed out. The light can be very harsh, and at other times the light levels are marginal at best. With low light comes noise. How can I minimise that? Can CS2 help me here? I am also shooting through 4 inches of "glass" and that acts like another filter.

Colour balance: At altitude, all is blue. I manage that in PS. But could I make better selections in camera.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

My Photos:

The Nomad
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SeanBK
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 07:34:26 AM »
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Which camera you are using? Also what settings or is it set at default. It has been some time since I shot from the cockpit, but light changes so radically from a scene to scene, that I have reservation whether one can standardise a setting. If you are using Nikon than try their NX software & shoot RAW, otherwise Capture One should be able to take away all the color aberrations.
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Tubas
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 07:41:56 AM »
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I am curently using a nice new shiny Nikon D80. I have been trying some shots in RAW, and others in JPEG.

I have settled on RAW for the moment with sharpening turned off. White balance set to cloudy.
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mikeseb
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006, 08:01:31 AM »
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Boeings and Airbuses obviously make better camera platforms than Lances and 182's!  Gorgeous aerial shots--has me yearning for the sky again; if only I had time to fly!

Not sure how much UV is being filtered out by the cockpit windows, but that could be a factor in the blue cast you notice at that altitude. Worth a try using UV filtration if you aren't already. I was going to suggest a polarizer but as I recall both instrument panels and cockpit windows' plexiglas are themselves polarizers, which could lead to some funky results.

One other olde-tyme suggestion: put a rubber lens hood on your camera and use it as a seal against extraneous reflections/glare as you press it against the window to shoot.

And who's flyin' that thing while you're shooting pictures?  At least you have your priorities right!
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michael sebastian
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Tubas
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2006, 08:08:07 AM »
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I am not using a UV filter. Defo worth the try. Using a polarizing filter is not going to work sadly. You get bizzare patterns in the glass.

I like the rubber lens hood idea. Great idea. Reflections are the bane of my life.

Many thanks.
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opgr
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 08:25:36 AM »
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Make sure you also catch Julieanne Kost's "Window Seat":

Interview with Julieanne Kost
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Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 10:44:02 AM »
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My spouse has a small plane, and I've had major problems with "blue haze" in most photos through the plane window.  I find that to get decent pictures without the blue haze I have to do one of two things:

(1)  Pick my lighting angles very carefully - most have blue haze, but some, especially pointing mostly downward away from the sun, don't.

(2)  Take infrared photos.  I have a DSLR custom-converted to full-time IR, and you get much better clarity in IR.  No blue haze.  You're stuck with B&W photos, though, not color.  You could do the same with IR film in a film camera.

I haven't tried the soft rubber lens hood approach Mike mentions above to avoid window reflections.  That might work well too.  I'll try it next time!

Lisa
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Gary Brown
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 11:14:54 AM »
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I'll second the suggestion to get a copy of Window Seat by Julieanne Kost -- it has an appendix showing how she processed the photos, with "before" and "after" examples.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 02:23:40 PM »
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Lovely images, Tubas.  Keep at it.

I agree, window reflections are probably the biggest problem you face that's unique to your location.  White shirts, right?  I actually asked the flight deck crew to put on their jackets once because of this.   The captain was not amused.

I'd take a two-foot-square piece of black cloth and keep it in with your Jepp charts.  You can drape it over your head, surrounding you and the camera, or you can make a donut out of it and wrap it around the lens and use that to "seal" the lens to the window.  Camera departments and grips use a cloth called "Duvateen" that's especially designed for this.  It's very black.  Otherwise, some black velour or velvet would work.

You see some extraordinary stuff.  Please keep sharing it with us  

Peter
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 04:51:45 PM »
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I shoot through Boeing laminated glass also (the 74 is so bad I see 3 sets of taxi lights at night, I follow the middle ones). I have found using PSCS2 New Adjustment Layer-levels to reduce the dynamic range - increase contrast (i.e. cut through the haze). And New Adjustment Layer-Color Balance to correct the blue tint (usually means more green by adding yellow)
Marc

[attachment=988:attachment][attachment=987:attachment]

Forgot to add 2 thoughts
1. UV filters are supposed to deteriorate the image quality on digital cameras, but I have not experimented from the air, let me know if you try it.
2. Also warming filters get you close sometimes, PSCS2 New Adjustment Layer-Photo Filter
« Last Edit: September 27, 2006, 06:22:07 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
Tubas
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2006, 10:43:18 AM »
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Thanks to all of your very helpful replies. It has given me alot to think about.

Some great ideas for keeping those reflections at bay. "Window Seat" has been ordered via Amazon.

and yes, Boeing does not make it's glass photo friendly. Just getting the flightdeck windows cleaned is an epic in itself.

I have tried the warming filter in CS2. With mixed results. I found the clouds looked brown. There is special glacial blue that you can get, and warming seems to kill it. But it still needs warming...  a conundrum.

Now looking for a big black cloth. Wife thinks I am going mad.  :-)

Tubas
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2006, 11:39:57 AM »
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Quote
Boeing does not make it's glass photo friendly. Just getting the flightdeck windows cleaned is an epic in itself.

Tubas
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78140\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

HA!  You should see how hard it is to get 'em cleaned back in coach!  
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2006, 01:59:43 AM »
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[attachment=994:attachment]

I wish I had one of these for the house!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
mikeseb
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2006, 08:28:43 AM »
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Guys, really enjoying the aviation-photography chat here; the pictures are a nice side-benefit!

Seriously, though, in these days of tension and heightened security in the air, has anyone at your employers, the TSA, FAA, etc ever given any of you flyboys/-girls any grief about shooting pictures from the cockpit?

Keep 'em coming, and thanks for sharing.
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michael sebastian
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2006, 08:08:55 PM »
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Guys, really enjoying the aviation-photography chat here; the pictures are a nice side-benefit!

Seriously, though, in these days of tension and heightened security in the air, has anyone at your employers, the TSA, FAA, etc ever given any of you flyboys/-girls any grief about shooting pictures from the cockpit?

Keep 'em coming, and thanks for sharing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78256\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Other countries are not as paranoid as the US. So no problems taking pictures around the airport. I just took a picture of the crew outside the aircraft on the ramp in Nagoya and the security guard just looked at our ID's and let us continue.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
marcmccalmont
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2006, 04:15:47 PM »
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I tried the experiment UV vs. Protection filter
Hazy day in Hawaii shot of Haliakala from my Lanai on the Big Island
Canon 5d, 70-300is RAW then Tiff then Jpeg
It looks to me like the UV filter removes some detail and contrast as reported by others. A bit hard to see the difference on the jpeg but more obvious on the original tiff
Marc

5023 is with UV filter, 5024 is with protection filter

[attachment=1006:attachment][attachment=1007:attachment]
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 04:17:49 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
Tubas
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2006, 05:45:48 PM »
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5024 looks better to me. The UV filter strips detail out.

My view is thet I am shooting through 4 inches of plexiglass. Normally scratched and dirty. One more "glass" between me and the subject is one too many,

So I do not use a UV filter. Your experiment would seem to confirm that a UV filter is not a solution.
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bjanes
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2006, 08:04:50 PM »
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Thanks to all of your very helpful replies. It has given me alot to think about.

Some great ideas for keeping those reflections at bay. "Window Seat" has been ordered via Amazon.

and yes, Boeing does not make it's glass photo friendly. Just getting the flightdeck windows cleaned is an epic in itself.

I have tried the warming filter in CS2. With mixed results. I found the clouds looked brown. There is special glacial blue that you can get, and warming seems to kill it. But it still needs warming...  a conundrum.

Now looking for a big black cloth. Wife thinks I am going mad.  :-)

Tubas
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78140\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Speaking of conundrums, working in LAB might be helpful with blue low contrast situations as described in Photoshop LAB Color--the Canyon Conundrum by Dan Margulis. In the book, he describes how he handles blue haze in mountain shots, and the same methods might work for aerial shots.

High radius low amount sharpening also may help cut through haze.

BTW, I think the shots you posted are striking.

Bill
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 08:07:43 PM by bjanes » Logged
Smack
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2006, 08:17:24 PM »
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747-400?
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2006, 12:45:18 PM »
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747-400?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79013\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The window washing picture is a JAL 747-300, Our Honolulu base (non Japanese crews gets the left overs! They will be retiring in the next couple of years)  

Midway Atoll, photo taken by one of our pilots Mario Azpura:
[attachment=1014:attachment]
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Marc McCalmont
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