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p h o t o g r a p h e r

E-Magazine

A viation

The

issue nr #3 2018

saab 35 draken

a lean, mean fighting machine

av i at i o n photography

a man's world?

flyg festen air sh o w

a unique air show experience

s w e d is h a ir forc e

72 fighter SQD - ghost sqn

T ut oria l

To p Shots

from around the world

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w h at c a m e r a s e t t i n g s should i use?


T h e A v iat io n p hotog r apher

THIS ISSUE E D i t o r i a l : t h at d e j a v u f e e l i n g

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T U T O R I A L : w h at c a m e r a s e t t i n g s s h o u l d i u s e ?

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saab 35 draken - a lean, mean fighting machine

18-22

To p s h o t s

23-26

s w e d i s h a i r fo r c e - 7 2 . f i g h t e r s q u a d r o n - g h o s t s q n

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top shots

33-35

r e v i e w - F ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w , d a l a - j ä r n a , s w e d e n

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Av i at i o n P h o t o g r a p h y - A m a n ' s w o r l d ?

43 - 4 5

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EDITORIAL

that déjà vu feeling Some of you, who read The Aviation Photographer, might be in the early days of your aviation photographer journey, some might be seasoned aviation photography geeks who’s been doing this for a long time but regardless of your level of experience, sooner or later we will all get that Déjà vu feeling of having seen the same displays over and over again. You go to the same air shows each year and you see the same air planes, the same displays and the same aviation geeks and let’s be honest, at some point it just feels like the movie “Groundhog day”. When you get to that point, it’s time to shake things up a bit! It’s time for some changes. If you live in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to plan for the aviation photography season ahead, to try and figure out what events to visit, where and when. What aircraft will be flying where? Are there any aircraft I especially want to take pictures of this year? Are there any new places I want to visit, events I’ve never been to before? As with any hobby, sport activity or even in a relationship you need to evolve, move forward, take things “to the next level” and feel that you are improving yourself. It could be that you need a change of scenery, find some new hunting grounds, take a class to learn something new or just start experimenting for the fun of it. Most of you probably have a “bucket list” of places you want to go to and planes you want to take pictures of so why not start checking items off that list? It’s only you own imagination that sets the limit.

Peter Eliasson www.e-pic.se

Jörgen Nilsson www.jn-photo.se 3


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tutorial

what camera settings should i use? In the past issues of this E-magazine, we have covered what you should think about, when buying camera equipment that works well for Aviation Photography and now it’s time to put the equipment to good use and dive in to the (not so) wonderful (?) world of camera settings. As you probably realize, the question ”what camera settings did you use” is a question that we get a lot. And personally I must admit that the reaction and response we get when answering these questions are, sometimes, not what we expected. It’s our experience that people tend to make this more complicated than it has to be and that they are surprised when we answer them, how simple it can be. My co-conspirator Peter Eliasson, who represents the brains in our cooperation (and I represent the good looks), is the one who is the ”tech-geek” when it comes to camera equipment and settings. The technical stuff bores me so I simply listen to what Peter say and then I do what he tells me to do and I hope it works. If it doesn’t work, I adjust it to fit me and my needs to find a method that works for me. Peter has become quite good at ”dumbing down” this information for me, so that even I can understand it. That is what we’ll try and do in this tutorial, simplify and break down the fundamental settings required for aviation (and action) photography. To us, aviation photography is all about making aircraft look sexy. By using the camera settings wisely, we can create some “sexy effects” and gather enough light-data to save a digital file that allow us more “room to maneuver” when it comes to editing. Remember, the camera is only a “light gathering device” and we want to gather as much light as possible, without over-exposing the picture. The objective, when going to an Airshow or photo event is to come back home with as many good pictures as possible. One way of statistically achieving this objective is to take a lot of pictures, as the probability of taking a good picture increases with the number of pictures taken. So, take 10 000 pictures in a day and you will most likely get more ”keepers” than if you take ”only” 2000 pictures. By using the camera setting to our advantage, we can reduce the number of pictures you have to take and still get a good ratio of keepers. And on the subject of ”good ratio of keepers”, what do you think is an ”acceptable” ratio? When me and Peter are out taking aviation pictures, we normally take between 3000 - 4000 pictures in a day, if we are talking about an airshow. Out of these pictures taken, we probably end up editing 150 - 300 pictures and we’re ok with 10 of these being ”above average” in quality and one or two being ”spectacular”. So don’t be discouraged by the fact that you ”only” get a few good pictures at an airshow, that’s actually normal. You’ll discover that the more experienced you get, the lower the number of ”good keepers” get, as you will become more and more critical in your judgement of your own pictures and raise the bar on the quality of your pictures. This is called progress and development and it’s a sure sign that you and your pictures are improving. But you will probably also think that your pictures aren’t as good as other photographer’s pictures, right? “Everybody else is getting such great pictures and mine are mediocre at best…”. Forget that! 120 mm, 1/20 sec, f/20, ISO 100. 4


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tutorial We all see different things when we are out taking pictures and we edit the images differently, so, other photographers will think the same of their pictures and of your pictures. Stick to what you like and to your ”style” and you’ll do great! To take better pictures using the equipment we have access to, we need to activly use the cameras’ settings and figure out how to best utilise our camera equipment. We will focus this tutorial on moving aircraft that fly above and in front of you and the challenges these represent when it comes to photography. Aircraft that are on static display pose different challenges, with different settings and we will cover that in a later tutorial. We will assume that you have a basic understanding of what shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation are and what they do to your pictures. If not, then we recommend that you check the user manual of your camera or Google those things, to find out more.

Aerospatiale SA-316B Alouette III - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 7D - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM - 142.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/13 - 1/40)

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tutorial Now, what settings should I use to get the ”perfect” pictures?

We’ll start with the basic set-up of your camera, settings that you rarely need to change and what you can use as a “default setting” for Aviation Photography and moving objects. Use this as a checklist when starting the day at an airshow, maybe even on the night before.

If you have bothered to read through the user manual of your camera, you quickly realize that there are a gazillion different camera settings that you can apply, for various situations. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, exposure, TV, AV, P, M etc. etc. How on earth are we going to be able to remember all this and take pictures at the same time?

1. You always want to shoot in RAW format, so make sure that you set your camera to take RAW format pictures. If you have the option to take a RAW image and a JPG copy, don’t. All you need is a RAW format picture. 2. Set your white balance to Auto. 3. Make sure that you have the camera set to take a series of pictures. This means that if you keep the camera trigger down, the camera will continuously take pictures until the memory buffer or your memory card is full. 4. You want your Auto Focus (AF) to automatically keep the focus on a moving object. On a Canon, it’s called AI SERVO and on a Nikon and Sony it’s called AF-C. 5. Since you will be taking pictures of fast moving objects in the air, you want as many AF focus points as possible in your view finders as there will be nothing else then an aircraft for the camera to see. This makes it easier to keep the moving object in focus, even if it’s not centered in the camera view finder. 6. Set ISO to AUTO and cap the maximum ISO to 1200. The camera will then automatically find the best mix of ISO and Aperture based on the selected shutter speed and it will prevent “crazy high” ISO numbers. 7. If your camera has more than one memory card, make sure the camera automatically starts to use the second card when the first one is full. (if you use two cards) 8. Set metering mode to Evaluative mode 9. And last but not least, select the Tv program on your camera, as we will be working with shutter speed and shutter speed only.

Well, let’s see if we can make this really simple by keeping the number of settings used, to a minimum. Let’s not make this more complicated than it has to be.

Once you have done this, you won’t need to change these setting again, until you decide to change them to take other types of pictures.

Getting your camera set-up for aviation (or action) photography might seem complicated, but by keeping to a few simple settings and remembering a few simple rules, it is actually not that difficult.

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tutorial

SAAB A JS 37 Vig gen - Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 250 - f/6.3 - 1/1600)

Next, the more “flexible” settings, the settings you have to adjust according to light, aircraft type, aircraft color, speed and weather. But don’t worry, it’s quite easy.

If you have a lens with a focal length of 500mm, you want to use 1/1000 sec shutter speed. This will, in most cases, prevent camera shake when you try to catch those fast jets. If you have a zoom-lens, you use the highest number in the lens focal length span.

In the ”default settings” previously described, you have selected the Tv program, meaning that you will be controlling the shutter speed of your camera, based on what type of aircraft it is you are taking pictures of. There are a couple of simple “rules of thumb” when it comes to what shutter speed to use at various situations.

By now some of you are probably raising your hand to protest as you KNOW that the rule is 1/(focal lengt of your lens). Yes, that is correct for stationary or slow moving objects which will not move much across you sensor, but when you are trying to focus on a fast moving jet which may be passing you at speeds of 200-300m/s (600-900feet/s) you will have a hard time keeping it still on the sensor and zoomed in as much as possible. So you will have to compensate for this by doubling this to 2 x (1/(focal length)).

Aircraft with no exterior moving parts.

Let us start with the easy stuff, aircraft that don’t have any exterior moving parts, such as airliners, fast jets and gliders. With these aircraft we can speed things up and limit the risk of camera shake, making these types of aircraft easier to take pictures of. The trick is to find the perfect shutter speed that result in acceptable ISO and aperture numbers.

Now, let’s see if we can adapt these settings to make your pictures a little more interesting. What if we have an aircraft with no exterior moving parts that is landing? What we’ve said so far, is that you should go for a faster shutter speed as you don’t need to take any consideration to any moving parts.

We just need to factor in one more thing in to the equation: The focal length of the lens you use. Say what?!

But if we instead lower the shutter speed, we will create a motion blur on the background while the aircraft is in focus, creating a feeling of speed in the picture.

Relax, it’s easy. Just remember this: • Your shutter speed should be TWICE the focal length of the lens you use.

And now you are probably thinking, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Huh? 7


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tutorial With a slower shutter speed, like 1/60 sec you create motion blur in the background while panning the aircraft. But notice that some parts of the airplane are un-sharp due to the vertical movement of the plane during landing.

300 mm, f/20, 1/60 sec, ISO 100. Let’s see if we can explain this a bit further. As you are panning, you are trying to keep the aircraft stationary in the viewfinder. This usually means that you are trying to keep a center part of the aircraft stationary in the viewfinder, but as you pan, the nose and tail will move at different speeds across the camera sensor. Have a look at this Spitfire image. It’s shot at 1/30 sec shutter speed.

As you can see, this image is sharp on the pilot, but the tail and nose are un-sharp. This is due to the fact that I am panning, with the pilot in the center of the view finder, and as the aircraft passes, the tail and nose will “grow” on the sensor until it has passed me and then they will start to shrink on the sensor. 8


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tutorial If the speed of this change is large enough this will render parts of the picture un-sharp. Have a look at the nearest wingtip and far cannon, they are also sharp, why is that? As I´m panning those parts are moving at the same speed, on the sensor, as the pilot due to their difference in distance, from me, which makes them sharp. So, using slow shutter-speeds will introduce interesting effects into your pictures, some good and some bad. Slow shutter speeds are primarily used on aircraft that has exterior moving parts, parts that we want to have some motion blur on, to make the picture look a bit more ”alive”.

Swedish Air Force SAAB 340 (TP 100C) - Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM - 200.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/7.1 - 1/80)

Propeller and rotary aircraft.

The slower the shutter speed, the more propeller/rotor blur you will get but you also increase the risk of camera shake and pictures you’ll end up deleting.

These types of aircraft have one, or more, spinning propeller/rotor attached to them and when we take pictures of this type of aircraft, we want to see some movement in those propeller(s)/rotor(s) to make the aircraft look like it’s in motion. Use a shutter speed that is too fast, and the propeller/rotor blades will be standing still, and it will look like the aircraft has suffered an engine failure in midair. NOT sexy!

For helicopters, shutter speeds between 1/100 – 1/200 works fine as this will give you enough motion blur in the rotors to make the picture look “live”. But some older helicopters has really slow turning rotors and you may have to go as low as 1/60s to get good motion blur in the rotor. One good thing though is that you will have a full prop circle on the tail rotor!

So, when we take pictures of propeller/rotor aircraft, we want to use shutter speeds of around 1/160 sec to 1/400 sec. 1/160 – 1/250 sec is suitable for warbirds and propeller aircraft where the propeller isn’t moving “super fast”, 1/250 – 1/400 is suitable for more modern aerobatics aircraft that tend to move fast in all directions at the same time, and the rotational speed of the propeller is higher compared to wirbirds as well.

When you start to feel comfortable with these shutter speeds, you will start to experiment with slower and slower shutter speeds to get that full circular propeller/ rotor disc that we are all (?) looking to get. When you do start experimenting with this, you will be deleting a lot of pictures but don’t worry, we all have to do that. With practice, and a good image stabilizer in your lens, you will be able to use slower and slower shutter speeds, with an increase in number of “keepers”.

These shutter speeds are enough to get some motion blur in the propeller(s)/rotor(s) and still avoid most camera shake.

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tutorial By now you are probably thinking “But, but, but.... What about the rule that says that I should keep my shutter-speed to 2x(1/(my focal length))?” This is a general rule for objects where you don’t have to prioritize motion blur. If you want to get good pictures you will have to go out on a limb on this one and trust your own ability to keep the lens steady, and/or the image stabilizer in you lens. One thing you will learn quickly, is that the shorter focal length you have on your lens, i.e. the lighter and shorter your lens is, the easier it is to use longer shutter speeds.

Full propeller discs, something many of us(?) strive to get, requires practice and a steady hand. Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules (L-382) - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS - 400.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/13 - 1/100)

We’ve mentioned that slower shutter speeds increase the risk of getting un-sharp pictures due to camera shake and you get a lot of pictures that you will delete. If you are at an air show that last for more than one day, where the same aircraft will do their displays more than once, there is a strategy you can use, to increase the probability of coming home with some sharp pictures. The first time an aircraft performs its display, play it safe, meaning that you should use a slightly faster shutter speed. Instead of 1/200, start with 1/250 or even 1/320. When you think you have gotten some ”keepers” then start slowing down the shutter speed gradually, until you are using speeds where you get a lot of ”blur effects. If the aircraft is doing just one display, start a bit faster and slow down the shutter speed as the display progresses. Another interesting ”phenomenon” you should be aware of, especially if you have a big heavy camera and lens, is that as the day progress, your arms will get more and more tired and it will become increasingly difficult to hold the camera steady. The later in the day, the more un-sharp picture you’ll get.

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tutorial On most DSLR cameras you can configure what button you want to use when changing a specific camera setting. If you set your camera up so that you can change the shutter speed without having to lose focus on the object in your view finder, then you can quickly adapt to changes that require different shutter speeds, without losing a photo opportunity. Eventually, you will find that if you get used to doing this, your muscle memory will kick in and you will start doing it without having to think about it. Another piece of good advice is to get in to the habit of checking your camera settings regularly. It’s a reoccurring phenomenon that ”someone” (I hate to admit it, but it’s me) changes the camera setting without me being aware of it and it’s no fun taking pictures with the wrong settings. Been there, done that, didn’t bother to get the T-shirt. One way or another, you will screw up the camera settings when you are shooting and in most cases, you’ll notice it too late. As we primarily work with shutter speeds, the most common mistake is to forget to change the shutter speed between slow moving propeller aircraft and fast jets. Don’t worry about it and don’t feel bad about it because it happens to us all and it can actually lead to quite funny pictures. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them and be sure that you will make the same mistakes again.

The classic ”rookie mistake” (that we all do regardless of experience), forgetting to change the shutter speed from a jetfighter to a propeller plane. A propeller plane with a 1/1250 sec shutter speed is not sexy. An interesting situation is formations of propeller aircraft. You have to keep focus on one of the aircraft in the formation. and as you do this you will keep one aircraft more or less stationary on the sensor and this aircraft will be sharp, but as the formation passes, the other aircraft will move at other speeds on your sensor, which may render them unsharp, just as the previous example with the Spitfire. Nothing to do about that except to use a faster shutter-speed and have them all look like they suffered a collective engine failure, so this might not be an option either. Either accept this or try to find a middle ground using shorter shutter-speeds without freezing the propellers.

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tutorial

When you start experimenting with slower shutter speeds, you can expect a lot of pictures like this ”gem”. But don’t worry, remember that you only need one ”keeper”, so one good shot out of a series of 10 - 15 pictures is ok. 1/100 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 300mm.

A tricky situation; a propeller plane and a fast jet in the same picture. What shutter speed should I use? I obviously choose the wrong speed... Set the shutter speed based on the slowest aircraft. 700 mm, 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500. Should have gone for 1/250-ish.

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tutorial Still with us?

If we increase the Exposure compensation by +1 step, the camera will allow more light to hit the sensor, creating an over-exposed but still editable image. If we take it down to -1, the image will get under-exposed, i.e. the camera will not be gathering enough light to provide a detailed image in the darker areas.

Good! We are almost finished. One more setting to talk about: Exposure compensation. This one requires a bit of explaining but bear with us and we’ll guide you through this.

So what’s the benefit of this? With this method we have better control over how much light and what light your camera gathers as this will depend on weather, light and how dark/bright the aircraft is. Properly handled, an image where a positive exposure compensation has been used, will contain more details that you can ”bring out” when editing the picture.

Your DSLR camera and lens is a “light gathering device” that converts the light it gathers in to digital 1 and 0 and saves it in a digital file. If the camera and lens don’t gather enough light, the picture will be dark (under-exposed) and if it gathers too much light it will be very bright (over-exposed) and in both cases it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to edit these pictures because there is too little information in the digital file.

If you aim a camera at a dark aircraft against a bright sky you will end up with a gray sky and a black aircraft and this is not what we want. But the camera is programmed to make an image neutral gray, and this will give the image an “ok” exposure for “normal” situations with highlights and shadows. But as we aim the camera at the sky we are no longer in the “normal” exposure according to the programming of the camera and the camera will try to make the sky neutral gray.

So, we want the camera to gather the optimal amount of light that creates a digital file that has enough light data in it to be able to get the most out of it when editing the picture, without it being under- or over exposed. To achieve this, we use the Exposure compensation feature. Let us start by setting the Exposure compensation to 0. This means that the camera will collect enough light to create a normal looking image if we take a picture.

If you take a picture of a dark aircraft, the more light that camera gathers, the more details we can see on the dark aircraft and the more we can edit details in the picture. So, we want to go + on the exposure compensation, from +2/3 up to +1 1/3.

+2/3 EV exposure compensation has been used when taking the picture above. This is what the RAW image looks like, before editing starts. 1/60 sec, f/8, ISO 100, Ca n o n E F 5 0 0 mm f/4 L I S . 13


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tutorial

After editing, you can see that there are details and structure in the ”milky white” background that can be brought out when editing, to give a little more depth to the picture.

The edited and un-edited image, where you can see that details in the darker parts of the aircraft has been made more visible and there’s a bit more ”shine” to the aircraft. With the added light-data we get from that +2/3 EV over exposure, we get more data to work with when editing. 14


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tutorial The numbers we have stated here are not exact nor absolute as you will have to experiment to find what works best for you, your camera and your lens.

In this case, the sky behind the aircraft will be (very) bright, but don’t worry, in most cases we can darken the bright areas in the picture when we edit it and you will find that there are a lot of details in those areas that looked too bright on your screen. It’s ALWAYS easier to darken a picture and still get details, than trying to brighten a picture. Brighten a dark image will just create “noise”, especially in the darker areas of the image.

One good tip is to “Expose To The Right” (ETTR), which means that you should use the exposure compensation to keep the histogram as far to the right as possible, this will give you the most latitude for editing afterwards without introducing more noise. Do a Google search for “ETTR” and you will have enough reading to have this explained in detail. We will probably write more on this subject in a later issue where we get more into details.

But if the aircraft we took the picture of, was bright and shiny against a dark blue sky, using too much exposure compensation will make the aircraft too bright and overexposed, so in this case we want to set the exposure compensation to 0 or even -1/3. This will make the image look a bit dark, but you’ll be surprised at how much details you get out of the bright and shiny aircraft, when editing.

A regular histogram

The exposure compensation is a setting that we want to be quite active with, using it, and adjusting it based on light conditions and brightness of the aircraft. It’s also a very good idea to double-check the exposure compensation setting ever so often because it has happened more than once that the setting has been changed by “someone” without you being aware of it, creating pictures that isn’t editable.

A histogram where the ETTR method has been used.

Too much exposure compensation on a shiny aircraft can easaly ”burn out” bright reflections, making it very difficult to edit the picture. Finding the best level of exposure compensation based on light and airframe require practice. 15


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tutorial But what about the aperture? There are some places where aperture comes in to play for aviation photographers and this is when using slow shutterspeeds and when we have a zoom lens. Let me explain a little more. When we are using apertures smaller then F11 we will start to see that the image will become more and more un-sharp due to diffraction. (Google Lens diffraction to read more). So, we want to be aware that small apertures give a more unsharp image. One example is when trying to catch full prop circles using slow shutter-speeds at noon, then the camera will use really small apertures and we will soon see the impact of Lens diffraction. Then we have zoom lenses. Most zoom lenses are compromises, designed to take a picture that is as sharp as possible at both ends of the lenses’ focal width. The manufacturers will also want to have the widest possible aperture printed on the lens to sell it to us photo-nerds. This compromise implies that there will be some shortcuts taken by the manufacturer to achieve sharpness at both ends and this is usually at the largest aperture. Almost all zoom lenses get A LOT sharper if you step down the aperture by one step. When I used my old 100-400 mm lens, I used it in AV-mode at f/8 if prop blur or motion blur was secondary. f/8 was where the picture became the sharpest, almost double the sharpness from fully open according to Reikan FoCal. In AV-mode it is possible to set the aperture you want, and the camera will adjust the shuttertime and ISO to produce the exposure. The camera will also adjust for focal length and choose shutter-speed according to the 1/(focal length) rule. So, if you are at 100mm the camera MAY use shutter-speeds down to 1/100s and if you are at 400mm it may use shutters down to 1/400s. In pretty much all photography tutorials that you have red, there has been a section about aperture and the impact it has on the Depth Of Focus (DOF) of your pictures. It’s one of those tools you use to make your pictures a bit more interesting to look at. And this is a good tool to use if the object you are trying to take a picture of is somewhat stationary and not too far away. So, when taking pictures of aircraft on static display, aperture becomes a factor, and this require different camera settings. More about this in a later tutorial. The aircraft we are trying to take pictures of are neither stationary nor close (in most cases) so changing the aperture to increase/decrease the focus depth really don’t make much of a difference. Remember that at an air show, if you are standing in the spectator area, you will be between 300 – 400 meters away from the aircraft, at least. And what about darker and brighter backgrounds, do I need to manually adjust for those? In short: No. Most modern DSLR cameras are designed to handle these different light situations and it’s best to let your camera do what it is intended to do; gather the optimal amount of light. When using Evaluative exposure the camera will use the focus points that are sharp to prioritize the exposure and in most cases this will be the aircraft. The background is always secondary unless you are trying to make a silhouette. Aviation photography is action photography, meaning that if you try to manually change settings while shooting, you will miss a lot of great pictures. If you want to change the settings of your camera while shooting, do this in between display acts. Having said that, being aware of ever changing light circumstances and adjusting for them is never a bad thing and with experience comes the ability to “adapt and overcome” changing light- and backdrop situations.

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tutorial You have stated that I should set ISO to AUTO. Doesn’t that create pictures with high ISO and a lot of ”noise” in them? YES, but I prefer a sharp noisy image to an un-sharp image with no noise. Some camera models are very good at handling higher ISO numbers, other simply suck at it. But most cameras will automatically find the best (lowest) ISO number based on the shutter speed and light conditions and create an image file that is editable. Don’t be afraid of setting ISO to AUTO. An ISO of 500 to 800 are in most cases acceptable, compared to setting ISO to 200 and get a very dark picture that you can’t edit at all. Just make sure that you cap the maximum AUTO ISO number so that you don’t get numbers of more than ISO 12003200. If you are taking pictures at night, you might want to increase the maximum ISO cap or remove the cap all together, or you run the risk of getting very dark pictures. Panning Panning is a bit of an art that require practice, especially if you are using a long and heavy lens, but correctly used it’s a technique that can improve the quality of your pictures and make them a bit more interesting. The trick is to keep your camera and lens steady and to keep the objective in your view-finder as still as possible. Most modern tele-lenses have a built-in image stabilizer that will help, but at the end of the day, what really matters is how steady your hands are. There are of course other aids you can use, like a monopod or a tripod, but our experience with tri- and monopods is that they are mostly in the way. One situation where a tri- or monopod can be useful, is when taking pictures of aircraft starting and landing, as you don’t need to move the camera up and down so much, you primarily need to move the camera horizontally. But when taking pictures of an aircraft moving in front and above you, hand-held is what gives you the most freedom and usually gives the best result. One very good way of practicing your panning technique with slower shutter speeds is to go to the nearest airport and take pictures of landing/starting aircraft. If you don’t have any airfields in your area, photographing birds in flight is a very good way to train your aviation photography skills!

Beech B200 Super King Air - Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/16 - 1/80) 17


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saab 35 draken

a lean, m ea n f ig h t ing m achin e

SAAB Sk 35C Draken, the two-seater training version of the Draken Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/5,6 - 1/400)

The Saab 35 Draken (”the kite”) is a Swedish Cold War fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by SAAB between 1955 and 1974. The aircraft was in active service in four different Air Forces; Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Austria between 1960 and 2005. In 1950, the Swedish Government realized that the Air Force needed a jet fighter capable of shooting down the newly developed atomic bombers, in case of war. This was during the Cold War and both NATO and the Warzaw pact were very active above the Baltic Sea region. The original specification for the new interceptor included the ability for supersonic flight, radar equipped, a very good rate of climb, long range, stamina, ability to land on short road bases and an armament that would make it able to shoot down enemy bombers at high altitude. The Government and Air Force choose a double delta-wing design by the Swedish manufacturer SAAB. The wing-design gave the airplane good aerodynamic properties at both low and high speed. The first prototype flew in October 1955 and delivery of the first version, the J 35A, took place in 1959. The production versions of the airplane met all the specifications, except one: long range. As the intended primary objective for the fighter was to take off and quickly climb to high altitude and intecept enemy bombers, before landing again to refule and reload, long range capabillity was not a priority, something that resulted in pilots joking, saying that they were short on fuel as soon as they retracted the landing gear after take-off. 18


SA AB Sk 35C D raken, the two -seater training version o f the DrakenPhotographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (C anon EOS 5D Mark I II - Can on EF 70- 300m m f /4- 5. 6L I S USM - 300.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/7.1 - 1/3 2 0 )

T h e A v iat io n p hotog r apher

saab 35 draken

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saab 35 draken

SAAB Sk 35C Draken - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 500 - f/5.6 - 1/1600)

SAAB Sk 35C Draken - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/7.1 - 1/400)

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saab 35 draken

SAAB J-35J Draken - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS - 400.0 mm - ISO 1000 - f/8 - 1/400) 21


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saab 35 draken

SAAB Sk 35C Draken, the two-seater training version of the Draken Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/6.3 - 1/500)

From the first interceptor version, the J 35A, the plane evolved in to a reconnaissance version, a two seater trainer version and an attack version. A total of 644 SAAB 35 Draken planes were built and it served in four different Air Forces, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Austria for a total period of 46 years. There are currently a few Draken planes, with civilian registration, still flying in the USA and Swedish Air Force Historic Flight (SwAFHF) has a SAAB J 35J and Sk 35C (two seater) that are airworthy. The two seater has been flying since 2014 and the J 35J will hopefully be flying air show displays in 2018. Technical data SAAB J 35 Draken Width: Length:

9,42 m 15,34 m

Height: Wing area: Weight, empty: Max. take off weight: Max speed: Thrust: Engine:

3,89 m 49,2 m ² 8 250 Kg 12 400 Kg Mach 2 78,4 kN RM 6C

Version J 35A-J Sk 35C S 35E RF-35 F-35 TF-35 J 35OE

Role Fighter Two seater trainer Reconnaissance Reconnaissance (Denmark) Attack (Denmark) Two seater trainer (Denmark) Export version (Austria)

More SAAB 35 Draken pictures can be found at our websites: • http://www.jn-photo.se/Browse-my-images/By-Type/SAAB/SAAB-Sk35C-Draken/ • http://www.e-pic.se/Aircraft/Aircraft-sorted-by-type/SAAB/Saab-35-Draken

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top shot

RNLAF AH-64 Apache - Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/9 - 1/320)

Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback or ”Hell Duck” - - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 160 - f/5,6 - 1/1250)

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To p s h o t

McDonnell Douglas F-A-18C Hornet - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 500 - f/3,5 - 1/1600)

Belgian Air Force F-16 solo display team - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 250 - f/5.6 - 1/1600)

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top shots

Czech Air Force Mi-24 Hind Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se. (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 125 - f/5.6 - 1/200)

Boeing CH-47D Chinook Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se. (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 600mm f/4.0L IS II USM + 1.4x - 840.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/1 0 - 1/100)

General Dynamics F-16C Block 52+ - Photographer: Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 600mm f/4.0L IS II USM + 1.4x - 840.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/5.6 - 1/1250)

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top shots

RAF red arrows - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsso n - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 125 - f/5.6 - 1/1000)

Boeing 787-9, Dreamliner - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM - 600.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/5 - 1/400) 26


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s w e d i s h a i r fo r c e

72 . FI GH T ER S Q U A D R O N - g hos t s quadr on The 72. Fighter sqd, Ghost Sqn, is part of the F 7 Såtenäs Wing, one of three fighter Wings of the Swedish Air Force and it’s located on the southern end of lake Vänern in the south-west parts of Sweden. The letter ”G” in the sqd ensignia comes from it being the seventh letter in the alphabet (F 7) and blue is the color of the 2nd Sqd in the Swedish Air Force (Red is 1st sqd, Blue is 2nd sqd) The Ghost in the ensignia, the White Lady, represents the ghost that has been reported in the Flotilla officer’s mess hall, a bulding that dates back to the late 18th century.

SAAB 39C Gripen from the 72nd Fighter sqd, armed with 2 x IRIS-T, 2 x AMRAAM and 2 x Meteor missiles.

The aircraft flown by the 72. Figther Sqn are the SAAB 39C Gripen (one-seater) and SAAB 39D Gripen (two-seater), a multi-role fighter capable of fighter-, attack- and reconnaissance missons ”at the flick of a switch”. The aircraft actually don’t belong to the fighter squadron, they belong to the aircraft maintenance company who’s responsable for the maintenence of the aircraft and that the aircraft are equipped and configured correctly for the planned flights. The figther squadron then ”rent” the air craft when they fly it. This means that there are no personal aircraft in the Swedeish Air Force. The pilots fly the aircraft that is provided for them as everything is standardized and the same, regardles of aircraft.

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s w e d i s h a i r fo r c e

The pilots use bicycles to get to and from the aircraft before and after their flights.

”Without groundpower, there is no airpower” In most cases, it’s the pilots and aircraft that get most attention when doing aviation photography but lets not forget that without the work of the ground crew none of the pilots or aircraft would fly and there would have been nothing for us to take pictures of. As soon as a plane has landed and taxied to the flightline, the pilot cuts the engine and heads for the coffee room. That’s when the ground crew takes over and makes sure that everything is ok and prepair the plane for the next flight. A quick de-briefe with the pilot, who reports any problems, the plane is fueled, checked and, if needed, repaired so that the next pilot can jump in to the cockpit and take off. It’s not very often that civilians get to see this ground handling but I can say that it’s quite impressive to see how quickly they can turn an aircraft around and have it in the air again.

The ground crews starts working on the air plane as soon as the ehgine has been shut down, to get it ready for the next flight. 28


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s w e d i s h a i r fo r c e

Ghost Sqd operates both the C and D version of the SAAB 39 Gripen fighter.

Swedish Air Force Gripen Solo Display pilot, callsign STARBUTT, is one of the pilots of the 72. fighter sqn.

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Swedish Air Force SAAB 39C Gripen in fighter role configuration: Rb 98 IRIS-T, Rb 99 AMRAAM and Rb 101 Meteor. (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 160 - f/5.6 - 1/800) 30


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s w e d i s h a i r fo r c e

16 SAAB 39C/D Gripen - 71. and 72. Fighter sqn in the traditional Christmas Tree formation flight.

Pilot CHAOS from the 72. Fighter sqn expresses his feelings after a flight.

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Douglas A-26B Invader - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/11 - 1/250) 33


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To p s h o t

Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback or ”Hell Duck” - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - E-PIC.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/45 - 1/1250) 34


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f ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w

a uni qu e a ir s h o w ex per ien ce

Yak 3U flown by Rick van der Graaf - Photographer: Jörgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 125 - f/10 - 1/250)

Take a small village, with a population of around 2000 people, located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, ad a small aero club with enthusiastic and committed members that includes a couple of aerobatics world champions, sprinkle a bit of creativity and thinking outside the box and what do you get? A quite unique air show experience that you have to experience to believe: Flygfesten in Dala-Järna, Sweden. It’s called ”Flygfesten” (the flying party) but most just call it by the name of the village: Dala-Järna. It’s held once every three years and for a weekend, the small village with 2000 inhabitants is invaded by 40 000 aviation lovers who come for the planes, people and atmosphere of the event. This is one of those events where you have a whole village pull together to create something out of the ordinary, something that people will actually talk about for years. There’s very limitied numbers of hotels and accommodations in the area, so most people tend to camp so what you get is kind of a music festival feeling where the singing is done by airplane engines. And when the air show is done for the day, put on your dance shoes because at night the music bands starts to play and there’s food and drinks available. Another feature of this airshow, that is kind of different, is that the airfield they use is small. It’s very small. It’s so small that only propeller planes can land there (though a SAAB Viggen once landed there) so the faster jet-planes are all stationed at a larger airport about 100 km away from the airshow and they fly in to do their performance and then they fly back and land at an other airport. But the size of the airfield actually works in favor for the organizers, as you get close to the airplanes if you are a spectator. You get very close.

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f ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w So, what can you expect to see in the air at this airshow? You get a very nice mix of vintage aircraft, sail planes, world class aerobatics, warbirds, fast jets, display teams, modern jet fighters and they usually manage to book something spectacular as the main act of the show. Back in 2015, the last time they held the airshow, the following acts participated, mention a few: • Baltic Bees • SAAB AJS 37 Viggen, Sk 35C Draken, JAS 39 gripen • Spitfire • Mustang • Yak 3U • Air Bandits • Dh Vampire • A 26B Invader • Jurgis Kairys - SU-31 Flygfesten in Dala-Järna is truly an event for the whole family as there is something for everybody to see and do. If you are not an aviation fan, you have access to spectactular nature, there’s fishing and hiking and as the event is held in August, you can enjoy a traditional crayfish party. Just don’t try and keep up with the locals when they drink snaps. You’ll have a very bad ”day after”, trust us.

Flygfesten, Dala-Järna 2015.

Flygfesten is a very good event for us aviation photo geeks as the organizers recognize our group and our needs and they do try to cater for us in many ways. They have dedicated photo locations at a couple of different places along the airfield, locations that they’ve created together with us aviation photographers, to get the best possible spots. If you can only go to one air show in Sweden, I would recommend this one as it gives the most variety, best photo options, close proximity to the aircraft and you get to meet a lot of very nice people. 37


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f ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w

Baltic Bees Jet Team, Aero L-39C Albatros - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 2x - 1000.0 mm - ISO 800 - f/9 - 1/1250)

SAAB Safir - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 70D - Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM - 300mm - ISO 100 - f/8 - 1/250) 38


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f ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w

SAAB A JS 37 vig gen - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/6.3 - 1/1600)

Sukhoi Su-31, Jurgis Kair ys - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/6.3 - 1/400) 39


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f ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w

Supermarine 361 Spitfire LF16E - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS - 400.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/16 - 1/100)

Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 2x - 1000.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/10 - 1/200) 40


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f ly g f e s t e n a i r s h o w

Noorduyn AT-16 Har vard - Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/10 - 1/250)

SZD-59 Acro with Johan Gustafsson- Photographer: Jรถrgen Nilsson - jn-photo.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x - 700.0 mm - ISO 200 - f/5.6 - 1/1000) 41


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C avalier F-51D Mustang 2 - Photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se (Canon EOS 5D Mark III - Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 2x - 1000.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/11 - 1/80)

When: Where: Web: Tickets:

Facts: Flygfesten, Dala-Järna, Sweden. August 10-12, 2018 Dala-Järna, Sweden www.flygfesten.com/english/

https://secure.tickster.com/Intro.aspx?ERC=FMGEFA5AXACENHW

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guest editorial Avi at i o n P h o t o g r a phy - A m an 's wor ld? Let me introduce myself, my name is Justine and I’m a 27-year-old, French, female, student pilot, aviation geek and aviation photographer. Yes, you red correctly, I’m a WOMAN in a man’s world. I’ve been in to aviation and aviation photography for about seven years now, and I must say, it hasn’t always easy being one of few women who have aviation as their hobby and passion, because some of you guys, don’t make it easy for us. Over the years I have endured tons of inappropriate comments, simply because I’m a woman, I’ve received one-night stand proposals and when I have dared to voice my opinion, suggested new ideas and solutions, I’ve had “You are not a professional photographer, so shut up or quit” thrown in my face. I didn’t shut up, and I didn’t “screw around” so I was kicked off a team I was taking pictures for. For a while I seriously considered quitting aviation and aviation photography all together because, if you are a woman in a man’s world, you are not taken seriously. And some of you guys think my only reason to hang around is to sleep with every guy. Well, guess what, I’m just as serious about my photography as any of you guys and believe it or not, I don’t see my passion for aviation as a way to get laid. Lucky me, I have fantastic friends around, who believed in me, and gave me my confidence back.

Stearman PT-17 Kaydet (A75N1) - Photographer: Justine Drogue (Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III - 55,0 MM - ISO 100 - f/5,6 - 1/200)

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guest editorial Now, let me ask you guys, who seems to have a problem with women in aviation and aviation photography, a very simple question: WHY? Why can’t women be part of the aeronautical world? Being a woman doesn’t automatically mean that we are bad photographers or pilots. Have a look at my pictures and tell me that they are bad, simply because I’m a woman, I dare you. I do not wish to brag, but in my world, all the requests for my pictures that I got from both civilian and military pilots and recently a sponsor, tell me that I’m doing something right, even if I’m “only a woman”. So, to all women who are reading this, WOMAN UP at airfields, at air shows and on social medias.

Pioneer team formation flight - Photographer: Justine Drogue (Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM - 100,0 MM - ISO 2500 - f/5,6 - 1/160)

Of course, you will still have inappropriate comments, and probably « friend requests » on Facebook, all from guys you never met. But do not care, go fly, go take pictures and stand up to anyone who questions you being there, because of your gender. You are most likely going to meet a bunch of jerks and idiots, but don’t give up because there are nice guys, both men and women, out there, who will have faith in you, who will treat you with the same respect as any of the other guys, who will judge you based on your commitment and passion for aviation and who are not afraid to let you shine. Here are my advice, what you should do if you are a woman and you’re interested in aviation and aviation photography: • Don’t hesitate to ask for advises • Believe in yourself • DO NOT GIVE UP

Morane-Saulnier MS-733 Alcyon Photographer: Justine Drogue (Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Canon EF 100400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM - 400,0 MM ISO 100 - f/8 - 1/640) 44


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guest editorial Find Justine on Instagram: @justine.dphotography

French air force rafale solo display Photographer: Justine Drogue. (Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM 188.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/8 - 1/1000)

Breitling jet team - Photographer: Justine Drogue (Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM - 100.0 mm - ISO 100 - f/8 - 1/1000) 45


Sukhoi Su-35S Super Fl anker - photographer: Peter Eliasson - e-pic.se ( Ca non EOS 5D Ma rk I II - Ca non EF 500mm f /4L IS USM + 1.4x - 700 mm - f/5.6 - 1/1250 - IS O 1 6 0 )

Fa s t & Lo w A c t i o n P h o t o g r a py S w e d e n H B Publishers:

Jörgen Nilsson Peter Eliasson

E-mail: 46E - m a i l :

jnproduction@bredband.net peter.eliasson@e-pic.se

© FLAPS HB - All rights reserved.

The Aviation Photographer # 3  

The third issue of The Aviation Photographer focus on what camera settings to use when doing aviation photography. The PDF File can be down...

The Aviation Photographer # 3  

The third issue of The Aviation Photographer focus on what camera settings to use when doing aviation photography. The PDF File can be down...

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