Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alaska range

Aerial of Little Delta river and Mount Hayes of the Alaska range.
Canon 1Ds Mark III, 70-200mm 2.8L IS, (170mm) 1/400 sec @ f3.5, ISO 400

Aerial photography seems to be a never ending learning endeavor. Perhaps this is so because conditions almost always push the limits of camera's, every aircraft is different in nuance, and things are always happening fast. This photo is sharp for 2/3 of the frame, but a little blurred on one edge. This is somewhat odd, and I'm not sure of the exact reason. Image stabilization is generally an asset, but I have had act funny on occassion causing some blur. Additionally, the shutter speed was a little low, and the f-stop almost wide open. I used a polarizing filter, something I do less frequently now with a digital camera, but it can help cut the haze significantly. The down robs up to two stops of light. With a focal length of 170mm, a 1/400 sec shutter speed is really pushing it to compensate for wind, aircraft vibration, odd shooting position, etc...

A shutter speed that is at least twice the focal length is a good starting point, but even more is good insurance. Shooting at 800 ISO would have given me a shutter of 1/800 sec., and that would have helped a bit. Avoiding vibrations that travel through the door, seat, or any part of the craft, twisting the body in a small seat to avoid framing the wing struts, and keeping a long lens out of the wind are things to deal with . The image is sharp enough, but I like them razor sharp. Mount Hayes is the prominent peak in the frame, which is one of the distinct and notable peaks of the range visible from Fairbanks. Such incredible country!!

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