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AAFO_WSagar
10-06-2004, 09:39 AM
Is it just me or, have you guys that post shots here gotten a ton better over the last year or so????

Is it a new crop of posters or, have we all pushed each other to higher levels of our work? I'm totally impressed with what you guys are getting here, most of which is taken from less ideal positioning than those of us who call ourselves "pro" and are, by the grace of our body of work annually, and the luck of getting published *somewhere* each year, granted greater access.

Not to mention, a lot of us who are in that "pro" category have a ton more invested in higher level cameras....

You guys have, for sure, raised the bar!

I stand humbled in the presence of all this great photography being put up this year!!!

Thanks for bringing the races, in such grand fashion, to those of us who did not make it this year!

Wayne

Stevo
10-06-2004, 09:52 AM
Well, like I've heard it said before (and I'm sure you have too), if you shoot thousands of photo's you are bound to have a few of them turn out good. This was my fist year really trying to get some good shots at Reno. I bought the Canon Digital Rebel about 9 months before the races and the 100-400 IS lens about 2 months before, considering my relitive inexperience with either of them I don't think I did too bad.

rpzo
10-06-2004, 12:58 PM
Is it just me or, have you guys that post shots here gotten a ton better over the last year or so????

Wayne, I have noticed the same thing too and my feeling is that as a group we are feeding off of each others creativity. I am constantly impressed by not only the quality that is being posted by those of us stuck in the pits but the quickness with which we can turn it around and get it online.

I believe a great deal lies in the improvement in the technology (we're all digital now!) which allows us to immediately see if we captured the image that we saw in our minds. Being able to see what one person shot and posted on Tuesday definitely inspired me to get out there on Thursday and shoot for the same quality. The technology doesn't replace the required photographic ability but it does enhance it.

Are we competitive? Maybe a little, but in a friendly positive way. I know that if I post a shot of a blurred prop that Victor is going to post something as good or better, which in turn forces me to improve. Same thing for shots posted by Tim and others. I look at their photos, compare them with mine, and try to figure out how I can recreate what they did or improve on what I did.

Just my .02 on the subject.

Victor Archer
10-06-2004, 06:42 PM
Ut oh someone's talkin about me, what did I do wrong this time :D .
I'm not trying to compete with anyone I'm just inspired by the other great photographers here (Rick, Tim, Bill [hey where is Bill?], Wayne, Tyson and others! Pro - haha I don't even have a web site, oh wait this is my web site as long as I'm aloud to stay here.

T. Adams
10-06-2004, 06:54 PM
Web site?, I hope to put one up someday. As Rick said digital has really made a huge difference. I can look down at that tiny LCD screen and see, well that looks like crap, lets try this. Going to 5 airshows, and 3 races at Road America, also helped me a lot before I got to Reno. If I would have just went digital before Reno, I would have been real disappointed. As for the money spent on equipment, digital is not cheap no matter what camera system you chose. I may have a amateur body, but I have pro glass. I have spent more than I care to mention here since April, when I made the switch.

It may also be true that if you take a ton of photos that you will get something worthwhile, but you still need to have little knowledge.

I think the real truth is we all want Wayne's cushy job. :D :D

AAFO_WSagar
10-06-2004, 07:48 PM
I think the real truth is we all want Wayne's cushy job. :D :DHA! It's MINE all MINE!! Job... what's a job?? In truth, if I had not worked for nearly 30 years before being downsized out of work at 50, and had an EXTREMELY well run and well contributed to pension plan, then I'd very likely be working at McDonalds!

Anyway... you photo posters stick round... Mark's got some stuff up his sleeve that I'm pretty sure you guys will like.

As for me... *yawn* ... I need a nap.... (now, don't jump to conclusions! I'm not lazy.. I just tire easily right now... ;))

Keep em comin guys....

Tim, did you go digital this year?? If so, eventually, you *will* actually break even on the cost of the body in film and develop costs. You will, of course, shoot more with digital than you would with film but average your annual film bill out, it takes longer for some than others, depending on how much you spent on film but it does average out eventually and you wind up with a free camera.... Least that's how I look at it to justify that original five grand for the old D1... which, no matter what anyone says, takes good pictures!!!!!!! Not as good (let's say, as easily) as the latest crop of bodies but darn it... everything I've got on this site up till the live fire demo down in Vegas was shot with my D1 and there's some fairly decent stuff.. I'm looking at a 13x19 blown up from the D1 on the wall in front of me... looks good to me..

Don't know what I'm gonna do next time out, I've never been so pfaat on camera gear! I have two complete body and lens combos.. I so far have kept it all, have the D1 and Tamron 28-300 and Sigma 50-500 and the D2H with the 24-120VR and 80-400VR or whatever that lens is on the low end (is it 80 or 100?) and yes, I am the epitomy of "accidental photographer" shoot like heck and once in a while get a good one... ;)

Like Wingman says... F8 and be there...

Man, I must be feeling better, my fingers are doin some walkin today, that's for sure! Nuff with the long winded posts <slaps self>

Wayne

Pylon1_Mark
10-06-2004, 08:33 PM
Tim, did you go digital this year?? If so, eventually, you *will* actually break even on the cost of the body in film and develop costs.

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm staying with the slide film. Like the fexability of digital or prints - can even go up to 24x36 IF needed :D . Besaides - old school pics are usually slides anyway - so not having a scanner that does a great job makes that job all but impossible... and I think air racing history is the most facinating addicition to the hobby. I think you guys will be seeing a lot more of that here at aafo in the future when Wayners lets me REALLY start cutting loose.

As far as the topic of great shots.... I feel that the bar is being raised simply because of the fact we all share a passion for air racing and aircraft. When you love something like this, it's very hard not to start going to the next level - taking pics to "capture the moment". The more we do, we better we get at it... and I can see some really great shots taken here. You all should be congratulated on doing a fantastic job. :)

Dare I say it - but some credit also must go towards today's techknowledgy. Matrix metering, advancements in film & digitals, better lenses, and faster autofocus has made huge leaps and bounds in the last few years. This makes the job for the photographer more of composition then tech knowledge... and there are a LOT of people here that have "the eye" for photography. No amount of tech can substitute for that - so bottom line here - great pics are the result of many ingriedients... and man, can you boys cook!!!! :thumbsup:

AAFO_WSagar
10-06-2004, 09:11 PM
Dare I say it - but some credit also must go towards today's techknowledgy. Mark, you hit the nail on the head for me at least... I have a fairly steady hand, I shoot guns fairly well. As for knowledge of the camera, start talking f stops and other techy stuff about the camera I'm using and I'll glaze over on ya...

Actually, one of the guys who does the wonderful calendars, I'll not mention his name because I can't remember it but they are all wonderfully lit air2air shots of exotic classics... On his website, of his work he says something to the effect that his camera does the work, he uses mostly auto settings and he is just the composer. He also "fudges" by only shooting very early AM sessions before the air gets bumpy so he has the added aid of fairly stable platform....

So... what I'm trying to say is, any of us who take decent shots, yet don't know crap about the actual science of photography, I don't think we should feel badly. I've never tried to hide the fact that I'm at the mercy of a good camera..

If I have any photographic skills, it's the ability to keep the platform stable. Put a guy in very bumpy air, with a pilot who is VERY uncomfortable getting in close for an air2air session and then you start to think about how in the world are you going to pull the rabbit out of the hat and actually get something. I had this problem with Steve Coutches and his P-51 H a few years back as he and his son were departing the Grass Valley Air Show and I was in the back of Parker's Seneca.. Man it was BUMPY, I'm up with one of, if not the only flying H model Mustang, a break of a lifetime and Steve was not happy to get within less than maybe even a couple thousand feet of us not unusual when someone does not know the pilot he's forming on from adam... (probably a bit closer but certainly not what you'd call "formation" .....) you just have to become a spring and shock absorber in the knees... I'm proud to say that I wound up with about 7 keepers... none tack sharp mind you but acceptable..

The solution to the dilemma was really pretty simple, pan back to give myself some "room" for all the motion and raise the shutter speed a bit... and try to become a human "steady cam" It worked.. but man, I was sweating that I'd blown such a rare opportunity to be in the same airspace as this airplane, and its stablemate... !

I doubt I'll ever equal some of the fantastic artistic shots that I see here, I'm an action driven shooter pretty much.. I do try on the "artsy" stuff but I'm the kind of guy that all flowers and plants look alike to me.... it's really interesting actually how people differ in their skills and what they can and can't do... Two years ago, I was out at the RAGS meeting and just as it was getting over, the sky was one of those rare very red dramatic swirlling masses and Steve Dilda just about had to kick me to get me to take even one picture of it... Looking back, it was perfect, I could have gotten some grand profile shots with very little effort but... I was just not interested..

Anyway.... I had these up a few years ago as POTW's (one extra cause, as usual, I was weeks behind so I played catchup... ;)) and remember what SOOP says about air to air.... 90% of air2air is being there.. words to remember any time you get a really cool shot air2air!! ;)

T. Adams
10-07-2004, 05:33 AM
Yep, I did just go digital this year. I bought everything in Mid April about a month before the first vintage sportscar race at Road America. That's where my digital education began.

I have also done the math on film costs, and processing alone for all the shots I took this summer would have cost me right about $2,000. So in the long run I have saved money, but right now my bank statement sure does not show it. LOL.

AAFO_WSagar
10-07-2004, 06:08 AM
Yep, I did just go digital this year. I bought everything in Mid April about a month before the first vintage sportscar race at Road America. That's where my digital education began.

I have also done the math on film costs, and processing alone for all the shots I took this summer would have cost me right about $2,000. So in the long run I have saved money, but right now my bank statement sure does not show it. LOL.Tim, I thought I remembered you saying that earlier. I figure that at a place like Reno or Oshkosh or Sun n Fun, heck, any show, I shot about 10 rolls a day. At 10 bucks a roll (developed) we're talking about a hundred bucks a day. I shot the D1 from 2000 right up to early 2004. I've never really done the math and I know I shot a lot more frames with it than I would have had I been with film but, I'm pretty sure it was at least a break even thing.

For that $100. a day, I'd get about 360 slides that I had to stick into my scanner, one at a time to see if they really looked ok... that, only after countless hours staring at them through a loup <sp?> so... for me, it was a no brainer.

I totally understand Mark's stance on not going over to the other side, though next time we're together, I'm going to see if he'll play with my D1 for a day or so and maybe get the fever.. ;) but Mark deals with a lot of historic slides, not only his own but sometimes those of others.. for him to have/keep his film setup is also a no brainer.. I think he'll like playing with the D1/D2 though.. I'm sort of stuck with the D1, it's fresh back from Nikon, brand new sensor and whatever else it needed to bring it back to life after it went teets on me in Florida early this year. At a best selling price of maybe $1000. right now, if I was lucky, somehow, it just does not seem worth selling it and my gut feeling is to keep it for backup and "loaner" to let some of my good friends who have not gone over to the other side have a chance to play with, at least the early DSLR technology... The D1 may be "early" and old tech but it still takes a hell of a picture.. Not quite as easy to white balance or as fast as the newer crop but, all my shots from 2000 to not too long ago were with it and some, if I do say so myself, were not all that bad of work....

Your stuff is awesome this year Tim!

Wayne

jarrodeu
10-07-2004, 08:57 AM
I was thinking about getting a digital camera. What would be a good camera for a super amature photographer. Would 4-5 megapixle be good enough?
Jarrod

T. Adams
10-07-2004, 09:04 AM
Thanks again for the compliment. The fact that I have a $100 scanner might also explain why my shots look better this year to.

I still have my cheap Epson scanner just in case I feel the need to scan something. As for film we will have to wait and see, but I think even the MF guys will be starting to switch when the 1DsmkII hits the streets. 16MP, with a full frame sensor, something most people seem to agree that Nikon is never going to do, the full frame sensor that is.

The price however is not good, while a 1DmkII is still at $4,000-4,500, I believe that the 1DsmkII is going to be close to $7,000!!! :eek:

T. Adams
10-07-2004, 09:08 AM
I was thinking about getting a digital camera. What would be a good camera for a super amature photographer. Would 4-5 megapixle be good enough?
Jarrod

Only point and shoots are that low in MP's now. A used Digital Rebel, or 10D will get you 6.2MP, they use the exact same sensor. A used 1D is 4MP, but it will still cost more than a new 20D, which is 8.2MP. A used 1D is still close to $2K. A used 10D, or Rebel can be found for less than $1K if you look around. As for Nikon, I don't know the prices of that stuff.

I forgot to ad that while many point and shoots will take great pictures, they can't match the digital SLR's, especially when shooting action. The shutter lag is very noticable on a point and shoot, and even on a 10D to some extent. By the reviews out now the new 20D seems to have taken care of that, but it has other issues, which could make me type for hours.

Try going to fredmiranda.com, they have great forums on both Nikon, and Canon, with the majority of the people knowing what they are doing.

Propellerhead
10-07-2004, 09:25 AM
Wayne,

I've got essentially the same set-up as Tim (slightly different mix of glass, I'm gonna get a 100-400mm playing "the Canon Extender shuffle" on my 300mm L is getting old and I'm tired of missing formation shots). Having the 70-200mm 2.8 lens in the pits really changed things for me this year. I've shot compositions I normally wouldn't have made before. The aerial stuff may be about the same. I need to examine my prints from last year to see if the 10D focusing is as fast as the Elan, I have doubts.

I shoot mostly in manual mode and have shot film on my Canon Elan at airshows around California since '92. I haven't posted much in the past because of the scanning step. Too much trouble.

The big change for me coming from film to digital is the culling process. I will definitely save money by not printing the outright failures and duplicates. It's amazing how many exposures you can take in a week's time of the same stuff. This photography stuff is outright compulsive. "Oh, look an airplane!" Click, click, click...

I've found it's incredibly time consuming wading through this stuff virtually. It was easier physically sorting through prints. It doesn't help that my PC is due for an upgrade and I have occasional resource issues that slow me down. I'm probably a week away from having a disk for prints and then the "enthusiasts" version. Last year I culled my Reno album down to 600 prints. We'll see what happens this year if I use the same standards.

Even with that said, it's still fun wallowing in the exposures when they're bigger than 4x6.

Rob :D

Danno
10-07-2004, 10:42 AM
I was thinking about getting a digital camera. What would be a good camera for a super amature photographer. Would 4-5 megapixle be good enough?
Jarrod

I have a very limited budget, so I had to settle for a point and shoot. I did a lot of looking and clicking, because I had used some point and shoot cameras that had too much shutter lag and too much lag between pictures.

To make a long story short, I ended up with a Konica/Minolta Z3. It is a 4mp, has a 12x optical zoom, (35mm-420mm) and has image stabilization built it. The lag between pictures was short enough that I was able to easily pan with the planes, and take several pictures on a given pass. The auto-fucus was very fast, (KM sez fastest in class) and I was able to get, I think, some very good pictures this year. It is definitely not the quality of a DSLR, but it is also only $400-$500.

When I get home tonight, I will post some shots I took with it this year.

Good luck on your search!

Danno

Danno
10-07-2004, 09:37 PM
Here are a few pictures that I took using my KM Z3 point & shoot. Hopefully the re-sizing didn't do too much damage.

Enjoy!

Danno

AAFO_WSagar
10-07-2004, 09:53 PM
Here are a few pictures that I took using my KM Z3 point & shoot. Hopefully the re-sizing didn't do too much damage.

Enjoy!

DannoDanno, for a P&S, you got some darn good stuff there! A few years back when we were shooting film and scanning it on cheap scanners, these would have been right up there with the best!

Geez, scares me what some of you guys would do with REALLY good stuff to shoot with!

Wayne

Victor Archer
10-07-2004, 10:37 PM
Geez, scares me what some of you guys would do with REALLY good stuff to shoot with!


Well, it was a really big investment but I finally got myself a real camera.
Hopefully my new photos will be a lot better than what I've been posting.

T. Adams
10-08-2004, 05:24 AM
Well, it was a really big investment but I finally got myself a real camera.
Hopefully my new photos will be a lot better than what I've been posting.


Nice, I like the weathered look.

rpzo
10-08-2004, 10:32 AM
...I finally got myself a real camera

My grandfather gave me one of those when I was 10. Never did get a decent picture out of it. I think I still have it in a box somewhere.