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Shutter or Aperture ?

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  • ~Alan~
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2010
    • 5019

    Shutter or Aperture ?

    I'd be interested to know if any of you use either Shutter or Aperture control
    when taking aviation photos. Or stick with pure manual settings ?

    P.S Where have all of the threads gone from here ?
    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.
  • Wallace
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Feb 2007
    • 133

    #2
    There is a kind of a general rule of thumb that says use Aperture control for static shots and shutter control for moving but you really need to use what works best for you. I'm shooting a lot more in manual these days than anything else mainly at f/8, f/5.6 or f/4 depending on which lens I am using and how much depth of field I want from it.

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    • Moggy C
      Moderator
      • Jan 2000
      • 20534

      #3
      Originally posted by ~Alan~ View Post
      P.S Where have all of the threads gone from here ?
      Nowhere.

      Go to the front page of THIS forum and scroll down. You will see a drop-down menu which says something like "Show Threads From:" and is almost certainly currently set to "One Month"

      You can probably guess what to do next?

      Moggy
      "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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      • ~Alan~
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2010
        • 5019

        #4
        Thanks, I thought it was just me
        Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

        Comment

        • ~Alan~
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Mar 2010
          • 5019

          #5
          Originally posted by Wallace View Post
          There is a kind of a general rule of thumb that says use Aperture control for static shots and shutter control for moving but you really need to use what works best for you. I'm shooting a lot more in manual these days than anything else mainly at f/8, f/5.6 or f/4 depending on which lens I am using and how much depth of field I want from it.
          Thanks for the info. I need to experiment more.
          Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

          Comment

          • pegasus911
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Dec 2012
            • 202

            #6
            Practice makes......
            When you are at a show the aircraft you are filming normally makes more than one pass. Try different settings each pass and make notes about your progress or lack of process.
            After a new camera or lense purchase I normally go to the local airfield or even heathrow and have a play with the settings, again its a learning curve.
            Lastly, when I am at a show I always talk to people around me and ask about their camera, lense, settings etc. You normally find they are more than happy to talk and exchange info. Wallace's advice at the start is a very good foundation.
            Good luck and enjoy.

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            • ~Alan~
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Mar 2010
              • 5019

              #7
              Cheers
              Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

              Comment

              • ~Alan~
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Mar 2010
                • 5019

                #8
                Just an update to this.

                When taking pictures at Southend the other day, when the BBMF were landing and taking off, I tried both shutter and
                aperture settings, with the ASA set at 200. With both I found the pictures were coming out too dark. Always a problem
                I know, when shooting into a bright sky. What I ended up doing was checking to see what aperture came up in shutter
                priority, then going to manual and increasing that setting by a couple of stops. That seemed to improve things a lot.

                This is one I was very pleased with, getting a reasonable amount of prop blur.
                Last edited by ~Alan~; 25th August 2014, 11:46.
                Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

                Comment

                • Bruggen 130
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2004
                  • 1786

                  #9
                  Originally posted by ~Alan~ View Post
                  Always a problem I know, when shooting into a bright sky. What I ended up doing was checking to see what aperture came up in shutter
                  priority, then going to manual and increasing that setting by a couple of stops. That seemed to improve things a lot.
                  You just need to set your exposure compensation to + 1 or 2 stops, you don't have to use manual.

                  Comment

                  • ~Alan~
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Mar 2010
                    • 5019

                    #10
                    Shall have to read the manual
                    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

                    Comment

                    • SimonR
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jul 2011
                      • 396

                      #11
                      Hi Alan,

                      I wrote a bit about this in another thread but here's a few thoughts on the matter.

                      Firstly, your camera has a built-in light meter so that's why (as Bruggen 130 says) you just have to compensate by + 1 or 2 stops - i.e. you're telling your camera that you want to expose your shots that bit lighter than the built-in light meter is suggesting. Check your manual because there's probably a setting where you can change how the light meter works: at a guess, at the moment it's using an average across the whole image which means that the large bright area around the aircraft is causing it to under expose.

                      With the argument about shutter/vs aperture, here's my thinking:

                      1. with prop aircraft you want to get some prop blur so the only way of ensuring this is to control the shutter speed. Listen to the engine note, learn which aircraft had fast/slow-spinning engines and choose a shutter speed which maximises clarity (i.e. fast enough) but also gives you some prop blur (i.e. slow enough). Experimenting is the only way but you'll probably need something between 1/180 and 1/500. with a bit of practise you can review your images immediately after you shoot them, decide if you've got the right setting and then crank the shutter speed one way or another.

                      2. With helicopters, the same applies but you'll probably need slower shutter speeds as the rotors spin more slowly. Thankfully helicopters tend to move more slowly so you can still achieve sharpness.

                      3. with non prop aircraft against the sky, (i.e. no close background) you can switch to aperture priority and choose a wide aperture (low number) which gives a nice fast shutter speed and crisp image but also keeps the whole aircraft in focus. As a rule of thumb the more zoomed in you are (and the longer lens you've got on your camera) the more pronounced the effect.

                      4. If you're photographing aircraft against a background (e.g. when taking off/landing or a low pass) then switch back to shutter priority and follow the aircraft as you'll probably want to get some background blur.

                      Always choose the ISO (ASA in old language) which will enable you to get an usable value for the non-prioritised setting e.g. as light fades and you want to close the aperture to increase depth of field or speed up the shutter to increase sharpness, you'll find that the non-prioritised value maxes out to a point where the camera can't cope and you'll get an under-exposed image. The problem with increased ISO is that in effect you're asking the camera to amplify the signal from the sensor so it'll get more noisy (i.e. the colours will begin to look like they've got a badly-tuned in analogue TV signal super-imposed over them and they'll be less faithful to the original) and if you're thinking of doing any image processing then the lower the ISO the better...

                      The other thing that'll help a great deal is to shoot in RAW and not be afraid of improving your images in Photoshop. One thing that has made a big difference in my pictures is the ability to boost the detail in shadows, thus your under-exposed aircraft can be fixed.

                      Above all else just keep experimenting because it's FREE!
                      "A Flight is much like a short life.... So is a Life just like a, er , long flight...?" - Bernard Chabbert, Flying Legends, (Saturday) 2015.

                      Comment

                      • jasop
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Nov 2004
                        • 63

                        #12
                        very helpfull,

                        Comment

                        • ~Alan~
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Mar 2010
                          • 5019

                          #13
                          Horses for courses I know, but I shoot everything in manual....I find it works the best for me, with aircraft and wildlife
                          Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

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