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A Beginner’s Guide to Aviation Photography

If you’re an aviation enthusiast, there’s nothing better than getting a great shot of your favorite planes. But capturing take-off, or smaller details of a plane’s structure can be tricky. That’s why it is important to learn as much as possible, and one great place to start is with this beginner’s guide.

There are several places you can practice aviation photography. While you might take photos of war planes and other iconic vehicles at an aviation museum, the airport is the perfect place to go for capturing take-off snaps. So, if you’re a beginner, and want to polish your skills, check out these top tips below.

Visit airshows and museums

As mentioned above, museums are a great place to hone your skills. After a while, taking photos of these planes will become a breeze, and you’ll be looking for something a little more challenging. That’s when airshows come in.

Airshows are a great place to get up close and personal with plane models throughout history. Here, you’ll be able to experiment with different angles as well as taking photos of planes in the air.

The only issue with airshows is that they’re less common. There may be a few a year at different locations with very little activity in between. As such, if you want to fill the time between shows, you might want to head to the airport.

Understand airport etiquette

As airports are high-security areas, it’s important to do your research about what is and isn’t allowed. That said, visiting the airport is essential for anyone who is serious about aviation photography.

As a general rule of thumb, you should make sure to always have your ID on you when visiting. There may be security and other authorities checking the grounds, so being able to prove who you are and why you’re there will save you a lot of questioning. You should also make sure you’re complying with the rules your specific airport has. If you fail to comply, you will no doubt be quickly asked to leave.

The third rule you should always follow when taking airport photos is to research where you can and can’t go. There will be several off-limit locations within the airport and area around it. If you’re unsure of where to go, book airport parking Los Angeles International space or at another airport and use the car park as a starting point. Chances are, the parking will be far enough to avoid trespassing while close enough to get a good view of the runways.

Capture airport life too

While aircrafts are the primary focus, you should also try to capture the busy life of the airport itself. Be careful where you take photos and who you take photos of, though. Photos from behind are a great way to show daily operations without identifying anyone. Taking imagery of the architecture, other vehicles, and workers will also add depth and meaning to your other photography.

Aviation photography can be risky, and knowing the rules is vital to your success. Once you’ve got the basics down, you are then ready to begin your exciting journey to capturing the perfect take-off shot.


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