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Old 4th Nov 2005, 01:17   #1 (permalink)
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Question about plane spotting at night

Hi Spotters,

I am wondering if there is a rule of thumb for spotters while taking photo’s of aircraft on approach at night with flash.

I have heard from many pilots that they do not care (I am one that does not care) and some that find it irritating a flash going off during approach.

I am just curious and am not trying to criticise any spotter, I am going to BNE to watch the A380 land and it going to be a night arrival (according to Qantas website) and would like to get some shot’s

Should i wait till the aircraft has past my point? or should i just have a longer exposure set on the cammera or just take the photo with flash?

Thanks and happy spotting.


P.S if any one knows of any good viewing spots at bribane i would appreciate it
flyboycoxy is offline  
Old 4th Nov 2005, 21:05   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Berkshire, UK
Age: 73
Posts: 8,126
What flash gear you will be using as the built in flash on most common cameras would be totally inadequate for what you propose? Most will only work to a few metres and an A380 is bigger than that! Wind the ISO up to about 3000 and try a normal pic with the flash off.
Old 4th Nov 2005, 21:11   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dunedin
Posts: 42
try near the "BIG" hanger at around 2100-2200 , go up lomandra turn left and there she blow's..............
Mustangbaz is offline  
Old 5th Nov 2005, 01:07   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 10

Thanks Heathrow Director and mustang baz for your replys.

I will turn the ISO up instead of flash i think.

flyboycoxy is offline  
Old 5th Nov 2005, 12:29   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ?
Posts: 462
i dont mind flashes going off on final...you're so focussed on the papi's and threshold/ils instrumentation/altimeter you hardly if ever even notice it as the PF.Plus,theres millions of other flashing lights on an aerodrome at night anyway.

Happy spotting!
captain cumulonimbus is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2005, 11:10   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 5,655
However can you light up an aircraft on finals with a flash ?

There was a US photographer in the 1950s called O. Winston Link (look his stuff up on the web). He used to take scenic photos of moving trains at night, using up to 1,000 flash bulbs for the shot. Presumably not what is being discussed here.

A more serious issue is tourists taking flash photos of underground trains coming into stations in London, which is certainly banned. Not only a very confined space but the driver's eyes are accustomed to tunnel darkness and the flash renders them unable to see for a few seconds, and they are relying on their vision to stop the train accurately in the platform. Don't do it on any underground.

I am also reminded of a "phone in" on the old LBC radio in London some years ago, half an hour with a photography expert. Someone phoned in to say their new flash gear was giving them no results. Initial questions like "can you see the flash going off", then "what is your subject matter ?". Back came the reply "Well, it's on a tripod, with zoom lens, and I'm trying to take a picture of the moon". Stunned silence from the radio studio ! I don't think it was a wind-up, I couldn't have kept a straight face in that situation. Just didn't understand the concepts.
WHBM is offline  
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