Plane Watching

Watching planes come in for landings never gets old at the In-n-Out by LAX.

Watching planes come in for landings never gets old at the In-n-Out by LAX.
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4 Comments | Report
LotusRadiante March 10, 2018
Perfect spot!
Jasman2016 PRO
Jasman2016 March 11, 2018
Great Shot
eliabbott March 11, 2018
deannaschulze_2735 PRO+

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Behind The Lens

I took this photo at near LAX airport in Los Angeles. There's a small park on the corner of S Sepulveda Blvd and W 92nd St; it's right across the street from an In-N-Out Burger so it's a great place to get a burger and watch planes coming in for landings.
This was taken around 5 in the afternoon which is a good time to plane watch here to avoid crowds. Parking is pretty limited and it can get pretty busy during lunchtime.
Lighting is all natural in this photo. I got pretty lucky though since it was such a nice day. The partly cloudy sky adds a ton of definition to the photo that I really like. Even though it was relatively bright out, I used a high ISO so that I could increase my shutter speed to make the plane freeze in the sky, and stopped down my aperture so that both my feet and the plane would be in focus.
I used my Nikon D750 and 20mm f/1.8G lens handheld as I laid on the ground. To get the shot right I used burst mode to take a bunch of photos as the plane flew by and later chose the best one.
Even though it's very difficult to do these days, I try to be as original as I can with just about any photo I take. While I don't think this photo is original in any way, I do think that it's different. The first time I took photos at this location I did what I think most people would do and that was to zoom in on the plane and track it, taking photos as it flew by. The photos weren't bad, but they weren't very exciting either. So this time I took out my wide angle lens instead of my kit zoom lens and captured this photo. I wanted to capture the feeling you get when a huge plane flies by at low altitude, not just the plane itself, and I think I did a pretty good job of that this time around.
Of course I did post-processing! For this photo, I did the basic RAW processing: exposure correction, contrast, vibrance/saturation, and white balance. For most photos I aim for a neutral white balance, but for this photo, I went a little cooler than normal since I thought it matched the subject a bit better. It's extremely rare for me to not post-process my photos because I shoot in RAW format, as any serious photographer should! When I got my first camera that wasn't a point-and-shoot or a cell phone, I shot in JPEG for a couple of years because I thought that RAW format was just too large and unnecessary. Boy, do I regret that. I have hundreds of photos from that period that have huge potential to be great photos, but I can't do very much with them since they're all in JPEG. From now on, my camera is always in RAW mode and never gets changed!
In my camera bag
My bag usually contains the following: Nikon D750, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6, Nikon 20mm f/1.8G, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 E-series, Tokina 100mm f/2.8 Macro, and Samyang 12mm f/2.8 Fisheye. I also always make sure to carry extra batteries and a camera strap!
You don't have to live in LA to capture a photo like this, just about every airport probably has some area where you can get some nice views of incoming planes. I don't live in LA, but I do fly out of LAX every now and then so this is what I like to do to kill time before my flight. Also, don't be afraid to get body parts in your picture! It can add a neat perspective to your photo. I had actually never done a shot like this one before, but I tried something new and I was pleased with the results. So don't be afraid to try new things, you might fail, but you might also succeed!

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