Thursday, May 21, 2015

Airplane Silhouette

35mm  f/18  1/1000sec  ISO200
In early March this year I spent some days in the city of Anchorage, Alaska. The Ted Stevens International Airport is famous for heavy traffic of huge cargo aircraft. Because I love airplanes it was fun for me to stay near the runways and take photos of approaching or departing machines. At one of the locations at the airport when you take photos of departing airplanes it would be against the sun in the afternoon hours. This is really bad if you want a photo of the airplane in full detail, but it is excellent for shooting aircraft silhouettes.

62mm  f/16  1/1000sec  ISO200
At earlier shots with my newly acquired EF-S 18-135mm kit lens I noticed a beautiful star appearance of light source produced by an closed aperture. With this in my mind I started an experiment: I wanted to catch the airplane close to the sun, so that I have an airplane silhouette together with a sun star in my frame. This experiment turned out everything but easy. Because each departing plane had a different climb path I had to move around a lot to get a position for the intended shot. Fortunately there was enough traffic at this time and I got lots of chances. From all the many photos I took these are my favourites.

59mm  f/18  1/800sec  ISO200

Here are the technical details again: I used my EOS 600D and my EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom lens for the photos. The camera was set into P mode and calculated aperture and shutter speed automatically. Usually you set a fixed aperture with a higher value to get that nice star appearance of the sun, but in my case the automatic mode was sufficient. ISO was at fixed value of 200.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A380 Overflight

On a cold and clear day in Anchorage, Alaska this March I spotted a contrail in the sky that was heading in my direction. When it came closer I noticed 4 contrails and so I knew it was a larger airplane. I grabbed my camera with the telephoto zoom lens and tried to catch that plane. With full focal length of 400mm I needed to stabilize myself and the camera. Since I usually do not carry a tripod with me when I'm on vacation I lent myself and the lens to my car. Together with image stabilization I got a quite still image. Later on in post processing the image at my computer I was amazed, how detailed the shot came out. You can not only see that it was an Airbus A380, but you can clearly spot, what Airline that was: Korean Air. Very impressive, if you keep in mind that the airplane was flying at about 38.000 feet or 12.000 meters.

400mm  f/10  1/1000sec  ISO400
I took this photo with my EOS 70D camera and my excellent EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L telephoto zoom lens. The camera was set into P mode and calculated aperture and shutter speed automatically. ISO was at a fixed value of 400. I've chosen this high value to get a higher aperture value and faster shutter speed for a possibly sharper image.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Icy Road

29mm  f/14  1/500sec  ISO400
I am a regular reader of Digital Photography School. Every weekend they start a new challenge dedicated to a specific topic and everyone can contribute for free. I participated a lot in past time. This week the topic is "Roads and Pathways" and it matches perfect to some photos of my recent vacation to Alaska in early March. We had a long road trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back. In Denali National Park the road conditions were horrible, but the landscape was amazing, especially on our way back home to Anchorage when we had sunny weather.

135mm  f/11  1/800sec  ISO400

85mm  f/14  1/1000sec  ISO400

All the photos were taken by me hand-held with my EOS 600D and my EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom lens. The camera was set in P mode and calculated everything automatically. ISO was at a fixed value of 400.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring In the Woods

18mm  f/5.6  1/640sec  ISO200
Every day the train to my office takes me through a small piece of woods. Now during early Spring the trees start to grow new juicy green leafs. If the sun is shining through the trees the leafs are glowing brightly. It was such a beautiful sight that I decided at one sunny Saturday to go to that area and take some photos. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable walk through the woods. The smell of nature and the sound of wind in the trees was fantastic. At some location I even saw a deer, but it was escaping too fast for me to take a photo.

18mm  f/5.6  1/640sec  ISO200

18mm  f/5.6  1/500sec  ISO200

I took the photos hand-held with my EOS 70D and my EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens. Unfortunately the camera was set into aperture priority mode (Av) with the lowest aperture value. I forgot to change the setting after previous shots. I think a higher aperture value would have resulted in better images. Shutter speed was calculated automatically. I've chosen a fixed ISO value of 200.