Perkins Aviation by chris perkins
Old pilots saying: "Attitude determines Altitude."
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Taking Air to Air Pictures

Taking pictures through cockpit windows can be frustrating, because of the special conditions presented on the flight deck. The following factors make it difficult to get sharp images:

- cockpit windows are built of various layers, including a heating device. So the picture will be taken through different layers of glass and other material, causing disturbance
- reflections from objects in the cockpit may show up on the picture
- turbulence
- great travelling speed (an airplane travels at around 800km/h) creating very short windows of opportunity and increased risk of blurring

Hints how to beat the odds and get a good picture:

- use high shutter speed! Anything below 1/500 is very difficult
- take pictures as close to cockpit windows as possible (to avoid reflection)
- take pictures at right angles to cockpit window if possible (this reduces refraction effects due to cockpit window structure)
- avoid taking pictures through the sides of cockpit windows, as there the composition of the windows changes
- use an image stabilizer to reduce blurring
- set camera settings to limit focussing range to at least a couple of meters (at minimum), to avoid focussing on reflections/ dirt on cockpit windows
- never use a flash ( I know that's real basid advice..)
... and of course, pick a clean spot of the cockpit window
TAKE MANY PICTURES - ESTIMATED SUCCESS RATE IS AROUND 1 IN 200 TO 1 IN 500 PICTURES TO BE USEABLE (SHARP, GOOD CONTRAST)
...if you have any further advice, please let me know! Thanks!
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last update: March 8, 2013 11:31 by chris perkins