Shutter or Aperture ?

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Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

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 ?

Original post

Member for

17 years 2 months

Posts: 133

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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24 years 3 months

Posts: 16,832


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

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Thanks, I thought it was just me :stupid:

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

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.

Member for

11 years 3 months

Posts: 201

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.
:eagerness:

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Cheers

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

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.
http://i478.photobucket.com/albums/rr141/Deetektor/Eastbourne%20August%202014/Vera3_zps250dee03.jpg

Member for

20 years 2 months

Posts: 1,751

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.

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Shall have to read the manual :)

Member for

12 years 9 months

Posts: 400

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!

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Horses for courses I know, but I shoot everything in manual....I find it works the best for me, with aircraft and wildlife

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 4

I have found through trail and error that for most Warbirds priority settings of 1/80 - 1/160 work best with 1/125 being my go to setting. For Aerobatic aircraft (e.g. MX300) I usually bump it up to 1/250. For jets I'll use 1/600 - 1/800. 

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 4

I have found through trail and error that for most Warbirds priority settings of 1/80 - 1/160 work best with 1/125 being my go to setting. For Aerobatic aircraft (e.g. MX300) I usually bump it up to 1/250. For jets I'll use 1/600 - 1/800. 

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 4

I have found through trail and error that for most Warbirds priority settings of 1/80 - 1/160 work best with 1/125 being my go to setting. For Aerobatic aircraft (e.g. MX300) I usually bump it up to 1/250. For jets I'll use 1/600 - 1/800.