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Monday, March 3, 2014

Bird view, Shooting from an airplane

City of Vancouver, 5D Markii, 50mm prime lens, f11, 1/320sec, ISO 320  AV Aperture Priority
This happens to all of us, being in an airplane passing over beautiful country side, approaching a city, sitting in our  window seat waiting for the opportunity, missing it, because the pilot decided to change course, or the light change or that big cloud just moved in, a lot of frustration. 
Even if we are not in command of that big bird, the light and weather, the opportunity of a great shot is there, and to be able to seize it we have to be ready.

  • Make sure your battery is full, and if you have a spare one bring it
  •  Used the biggest storage card you have, I use 32G
  • Prepared your camera before hand, what kind file to shoot, I always shoot Raw,
  • Check all your settings, ISO, I put mine at 200, if needed I boost it but I don't exceed 800, shooting mode,  I suggest  AV Aperture Priority, f8 to f11, don't let your camera take over,  it may boost the ISO to get the shot, read your book or search the web and make sure that the shooting mode you are choosing will not boost  ISO, put your white balance to auto, put your metering to evaluative, depending on the camera you own, you can use single or continuous  shooting  it all come to how fast  your camera is, I put my Canon 5D Markii at single shooting, it's a very fast camera, if your is slow use continuous, AF auto focus, I use one shot AF, I am in a plane I am not following any action, but again read your book and find out what work best for your camera and do some testing.
  • What kind of lens will work better, I tried different lenses, my zoom  24-105,  my small 50mm 1.4 prime lens,  a zoom is more flexible, but it takes a lot more space, space is a problem in plane, I tried both lenses, I found that the 50mm was perfect for the job, wide enough and very small.
  • Bring 2 cloths one to clean the plane window and the other to clean your lens.
  •  Now you are ready to shoot,  you can use your view finder, or live view,  I tried both,  and live view works better for me, cause you have to put your lens against the window to prevent the glare if you are using your view finder, it may be difficult to avoid  knocking your lens against the glass, it happened to me quite a bite, learn from your errors, another thing I learned is to take off your lens filter, it can add a lot of glare, just be careful not to knock your lens.
Canadian Rockies, Canon 5D Markii, 50mm Prime Lens, f9, 1/400sec, ISO 200 AV Aperture Priority
  • Start shooting, and shoot till you're plane touches the ground, I had no problem doing it traveling with Westjet

    Canadian Rockies, Canon 5D Markii, 50mm prime lens f9, 1/320sec, ISO200 AV Aperture Priority

  • Don't get too excited, many of the shots won't be in focus, but you'll get some great ones, that can be improved in Light Room,  Photoshop, Corel etc... 

City of Calgary, Canon 5D Markii, 50mm prime lens f8, 1/250sec ISO 200, AV Aperture Priority

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