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Author Topic: Shooting High Flying Planes at Airshows  (Read 3429 times)
mikeseb
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« on: June 20, 2005, 09:30:22 AM »
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What I'd do is to try to get a reading from the fuselage of some similarly-colored aircraft on the tarmac as a guide to exposure--assuming the light is similar to that aloft--then preset your camera at those settings as a start. Remember that the meter reading you'll get from a light-colored fuselage will "try" to have it rendered as middle gray, so you'll need to open up the aperture a stop to render the fuselage the "right" tone. Try these settings as a guide and see what it gets you.

Depth of field won't be a big issue since you are shooting against the sky, so you have aperture leeway. And you do not necessarily need to be on maximum shutter speed if you are panning with the aircraft, as its relative motion across the sensor will be small.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
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michael sebastian
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JJP
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2005, 04:58:40 PM »
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spot, evaluative, center weighted and the other one if my memory serves me correct (don't have my camera handy now).
Sorry folks, that's spot, center weighted average, partial or evaluative.
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JJ
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 08:21:29 AM »
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In all honesty, your replies are confusing me all the more.  I don't know what camera you're using, but my camera (which is the 1Ds)....when I select the "MANUAL" exposure mode, I still can choose between 1 of 4 "METERING MODES" which are 1.  SPOT
2.  EVALUATIVE
3.  PARTIAL
4.  CENTERWEIGHTED AVERAGE
So, my original question/reason for starting this thread stands:  And that is:  Which "METERING MODE" is best suited for shooting planes in flight at airshows?
Please realize that I'm NOT asking which "Exposure" mode (Tv, Av, Program, Manual) is best suited for airshows.
With all due respect,
jules
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JJ
JJP
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2005, 06:26:07 AM »
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Is there a prefered metering method...ie spot metering?
thanks,
jj
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JJ
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2005, 09:18:38 AM »
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F-stop/shutter speed combination, that is.  And a high shutter speed, at that.
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JJP
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2005, 12:15:52 PM »
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Peter, Candela,
Assuming I'm not missunderstanding you, when I say "metering", I was referring to the camera's (1Ds) built in TTL meter, of which can be spot, evaluative, center weighted and the other one if my memory serves me correct (don't have my camera handy now).
jules
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JJ
jani
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2005, 01:58:40 PM »
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Peter, Candela,
Assuming I'm not missunderstanding you, when I say "metering", I was referring to the camera's (1Ds) built in TTL meter, of which can be spot, evaluative, center weighted and the other one if my memory serves me correct (don't have my camera handy now).
The 20D has evaluative and average, so I guess it's "average", then.
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Jan
boku
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2005, 06:45:56 PM »
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spot, evaluative, center weighted and the other one if my memory serves me correct (don't have my camera handy now).
Sorry folks, that's spot, center weighted average, partial or evaluative.
JPP,

Just in case this isn't clear, these folks are telling you to use your camera's meter to measure an exposure and then set it manually on the camera. No Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Programmed, Auto, or any other metering mode. Pure manual. Measure it, set it, and forget it. Don't let the camera choose an exposure for every shot.
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Bob Kulon

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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2005, 07:09:20 PM »
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YAH!  What he said!    

Timing is everything with this kind of shooting.  You don't want ANY delay or fiddle-faddling.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2005, 07:25:37 AM »
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It really boils down to the place where you are shooting:

- Arizona desert: M mode no questions asked,
- British airshow: the light is overall so changing that M won't be of any help (I have been there...),

Regards,
Bernard
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boku
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2005, 08:53:15 AM »
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In all honesty, your replies are confusing me all the more.  I don't know what camera you're using, but my camera (which is the 1Ds)....when I select the "MANUAL" exposure mode, I still can choose between 1 of 4 "METERING MODES" which are 1.  SPOT
2.  EVALUATIVE
3.  PARTIAL
4.  CENTERWEIGHTED AVERAGE
So, my original question/reason for starting this thread stands:  And that is:  Which "METERING MODE" is best suited for shooting planes in flight at airshows?
Please realize that I'm NOT asking which "Exposure" mode (Tv, Av, Program, Manual) is best suited for airshows.
With all due respect,
jules
The whole point of this has been to give you a holistic metering strategy.

Sometimes thinking enhances the operation of camera equipment. We tried to get you to contemplate what you are doing beforehand.

The manual exposure strategy (given stable lighting conditions as correctly admonished), gives you the ability to determine a baseline exposure setting at the onset and the freedom to concentrate on your framing for the rest of the shoot.

Use whatever metering mode you want. For me, I use evaluative but always check the histogram afterwards (mainly beneficial for those that shoot in RAW) and adjust to suit. Once everything is locked down in manual who gives a flip what metering mode you are using? The meter isn't setting exposure.

You might consider trying to open your mind to advanced advice rather than coming down on the perpetrators.
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Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2005, 09:17:23 AM »
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I wouldn't attempt to meter this on the fly.  Metering each shot would guarantee you'd miss some critical moments and is largely unnecessary since the exposure would be pretty constant throughout.

I'd set an F-stop/aperture combination, shoot RAW and concentrate on framing and timing.  

Peter
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2005, 01:28:43 PM »
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I assumed that you meant your camera's internal meter.  

I guess that Candela and I are saying that exposure will be pretty constant for this subject.  Once you've decided what it is, you won't need to change it unless the weather changes.

That said, I imagine that spot metering the aircraft would be the way to go.  DOF won't be an issue, so neither will be aperture, but I'd want a shutter speed of at least 1/500th unless you're looking for motion blur.

Since Candela has an aircraft as his avatar, I'll bow to his advice  
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2005, 11:36:10 PM »
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I vote for manual as well unless it's partly cloudy and the light changes frequently. In that event, you'll get best results from evaluative metering and about +2/3 or +1 EC in Tv mode.
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williamrohr
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2005, 09:01:01 AM »
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Set the camera manually using shutter speed you desire (1/500 or 1/1000) and metering off the medium blue sky (no clouds) opposite the sun (and shoot raw as recommended above). Use the ISO setting to keep the f stop within the aperature range you desire. Like the old "sunny f/16 rule" it works so well its scarry.  By the way, a polarizer works great to bring out the deep blue of the sky but may make the exposure setting much more sensitive to the direction you are shooting.  If all the airwork is in front of a viewing stand that may not be a problem.
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