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Old 30-10-2007, 22:24   #1 (permalink)
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Question Red Arrows

Hi everyone...

I am back from the dead... been extremely busy with life... started my MBA, had a cute little baby boy, and haven't had a chance to play around my 350D for the past 5 months or so

Anyways... The Red Arrows (Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team Red Arrows) are coming to town on Friday afternoon. They are going to start their show at about 3.00 pm. I am planning on photographing them but have a few questions.

Fom watching them in their past performances in town, they usually perform above shore line and [us] looking into the sun. Making very difficult in some manuvers.

This year, with my 350D, I am planning on taking a lot of shots... what is the best way to approach a situation like this?

Thanks
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Old 31-10-2007, 10:17   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

Only shot the subject once, so I'll leave more experienced shooters to comment on setup, but don't forget to look for the wider pictures to capture moves such as these :-



All shot with 70-200mm lens
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Old 31-10-2007, 17:21   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

They've just flown over my house a couple of times in Wellingborough. Absolutely stunning.
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Old 31-10-2007, 17:28   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

Shot a whole roll of film off once in Whitehaven as they passed at eye level. Old A1 with Vivitar zoom (I was on cliff top) Only two shots I was pleased with though. Now with digital, higher ISO and autofocus would love another try. Panning technique as they passed did get those shots.
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Old 31-10-2007, 18:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

SBTM, what lens are you shooting with ?
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Old 31-10-2007, 19:39   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

Red Arrows are one of my favourite subjects so I'll give you a few thoughts of mine. I am sure others will have hints and tips too.

First off, your equipment list only shows the camera body you use and not the lens. I am guessing you are not using fast telephoto lenses and things so I'll work on the basis of you having a kit lens and telephoto up to 200mm.

The Red Arrows always do their displays in two sections (seemlessly), the first being the formation flying and the second the crossovers, inverted flying, smoke trails (like the heart with an arrow through it etc) and so on. If you have a 200mm lens, this will be useful when you do the crossovers and things but it will be difficult to get all nine planes in the frame when they fly past close to you. If you are further away then you might be able to do so. The kit lens would enable you to get the formation shots and then switch to the telephoto lens for the second half.

When getting the formations, try and include some of the smoke trails, the best of which are when they fly in a curve, the curved smoke trails make a much more dynamic shot.

Remember that when the planes fly past you from left to right at a distance, focusing is much easier as they are at infinite throughout. However, when trying to track an individual plane, it will change distance rapidly and focusing can be a problem so set your camera to AI Servo which continually adjusts focus until you fire the shutter.

The planes are moving slowest (relative to you) when they climb high and then turn to fly back down. At the apex of the curve, they are moving slowly in terms of distance covered in the frame, this makes them easier to frame well and shoot.

Forget using a tripod, it is nigh on impossible to track them properly. A monopod with a ball head can be useful for support.

If you want to get a good crossover shot, look at where they do the crossover once, it will be much the same every other time so then you can predict where they will be, keep your camera in that position and catch them as they come together using multi frame shooting. However, a better method is to track one of the planes so that you are panning that one which will keep it nice and sharp. If you can do it (this takes practice) train your non-viewfinder eye to stay open so that you can see where the other plane is relative to the one you are tracking.

Go for a fairly wide aperture so that you can get the fastest possible shutter speed and if necessary, be ready to go up to ISO 400. On your camera, this will not give significant noise but will give you two stops faster shutter speeds. If it's a bright sunny day then you don't need to worry about that.

On sunny days, look to catch the planes when they are against the blue of the sky as the red stands out extremely well. However, also remember that if the sun is ahead of you and you capture the planes between you, you will get the black arrows instead of the red arrows as they will be in silhouette!

The sky tends to become quite foggy with their smoke trails after a while so look for when they move into less smokey areas. Sometimes it is unavoidable but other times they try to move into clean air so then you'll get better shots.

Resist the temptation to view your pics during the show. Focus on getting as many shots as you can and then go through them later on. If using multiframe shooting you are going to take a very large number in a short space of time (usually about 25 minutes) so make certain you have a fresh battery installed and an empty memory card. You don't want to waste time changing either of those just as they do a 2-up 2-down flypast!!!

Ok, that has given you a bit to think about. I look forward to seeing your results. I won't post any here but if you want to see some of mine, I have a few in my Gallery.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 21-11-2007, 16:38   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

Wow thanks a lot Rob.

I caught a few pics of them (about 390 to be exact ) and need to filter through them to get the ones which are framed properly and are in focus.

Any software that can help me go through them quickly enough?

Software I have currently: Adobe Photoshop CS2, Light Room, and Picasa!

Once I sift through these images, I'll post them up so I know how I did

Later
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Old 21-11-2007, 20:40   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

I've uploaded 5 pics of the few hundred that I took...

I would like your honest opinions... Thanks
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Old 22-11-2007, 23:37   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Red Arrows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
Red Arrows are one of my favourite subjects so I'll give you a few thoughts of mine. I am sure others will have hints and tips too.

First off, your equipment list only shows the camera body you use and not the lens. I am guessing you are not using fast telephoto lenses and things so I'll work on the basis of you having a kit lens and telephoto up to 200mm.

The Red Arrows always do their displays in two sections (seemlessly), the first being the formation flying and the second the crossovers, inverted flying, smoke trails (like the heart with an arrow through it etc) and so on. If you have a 200mm lens, this will be useful when you do the crossovers and things but it will be difficult to get all nine planes in the frame when they fly past close to you. If you are further away then you might be able to do so. The kit lens would enable you to get the formation shots and then switch to the telephoto lens for the second half.

When getting the formations, try and include some of the smoke trails, the best of which are when they fly in a curve, the curved smoke trails make a much more dynamic shot.

Remember that when the planes fly past you from left to right at a distance, focusing is much easier as they are at infinite throughout. However, when trying to track an individual plane, it will change distance rapidly and focusing can be a problem so set your camera to AI Servo which continually adjusts focus until you fire the shutter.

The planes are moving slowest (relative to you) when they climb high and then turn to fly back down. At the apex of the curve, they are moving slowly in terms of distance covered in the frame, this makes them easier to frame well and shoot.

Forget using a tripod, it is nigh on impossible to track them properly. A monopod with a ball head can be useful for support.

If you want to get a good crossover shot, look at where they do the crossover once, it will be much the same every other time so then you can predict where they will be, keep your camera in that position and catch them as they come together using multi frame shooting. However, a better method is to track one of the planes so that you are panning that one which will keep it nice and sharp. If you can do it (this takes practice) train your non-viewfinder eye to stay open so that you can see where the other plane is relative to the one you are tracking.

Go for a fairly wide aperture so that you can get the fastest possible shutter speed and if necessary, be ready to go up to ISO 400. On your camera, this will not give significant noise but will give you two stops faster shutter speeds. If it's a bright sunny day then you don't need to worry about that.

On sunny days, look to catch the planes when they are against the blue of the sky as the red stands out extremely well. However, also remember that if the sun is ahead of you and you capture the planes between you, you will get the black arrows instead of the red arrows as they will be in silhouette!

The sky tends to become quite foggy with their smoke trails after a while so look for when they move into less smokey areas. Sometimes it is unavoidable but other times they try to move into clean air so then you'll get better shots.

Resist the temptation to view your pics during the show. Focus on getting as many shots as you can and then go through them later on. If using multiframe shooting you are going to take a very large number in a short space of time (usually about 25 minutes) so make certain you have a fresh battery installed and an empty memory card. You don't want to waste time changing either of those just as they do a 2-up 2-down flypast!!!

Ok, that has given you a bit to think about. I look forward to seeing your results. I won't post any here but if you want to see some of mine, I have a few in my Gallery.

Cheers,
Rob


Rob i saw in his equipment list he has a 28-200 would that work for all shots ?
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