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Michael Russell
43,461 followers -
Landscape and Nature Photographer from British Columbia, Canada
Landscape and Nature Photographer from British Columbia, Canada

43,461 followers
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"...if I need to compromise my experience, the experience of others, or the welfare of the places, life and things I photograph in order to “get the shot,” then to hell with the shot." ~ Guy Tal

http://guytal.com/wordpress/2017/02/22/not-that-kind-of-photographer/

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Storm clouds over Pyramid Peak in North Cascades National Park, Washington State, USA. Just a few hours before it was sunny but on my way back I liked how the clouds were closing in over Pyramid Peak and the surrounding area.

http://photoblog.mrussellphotography.com/pyramid-peak-north-cascades-national-park/

For #mountainmonday (+Mountain Monday) by +Michael Russell
+Landscape Photography #landscapephotography by Margaret Tompkins et al.

#nationalparks #northcascades #mountains #photography #washington
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Now all I need to do is fly somewhere....! 
Shooting from an Airplane: Tip #4 - Camera Settings
I haven't posted to this collection in a while, so I thought I'd touch on something I haven't talked about yet...camera settings. This is something that many people will likely have a wide variety of opinions on, so if any of you have thoughts on this please comment as I am always open to getting input from others and hearing what works or doesn't work for you.

Before I touch on camera settings let's talk briefly about what cameras to use. These days phone cameras are getting better and better. You can get some pretty decent images from cameras. The downside of a phone camera though is that you can't really zoom in and focus on a specific area more closely.

You can also use point and shoot cameras which take pretty decent images. I posted some shots in tip #1 that I took about 8 years ago with a point and shoot Canon camera. The downside to point and shoot cameras (unless you get the more expensive high end ones) is that you can't shoot in RAW which makes a huge difference for aerial shots. I'll cover why that is the case in a future tip.

For purposes of this tip, I'm going to assume you have a camera that you can control manually (i.e. a camera where you can shoot with something besides auto mode). On to the camera setting tips:

1. Shutter Speed: This one should be fairly obvious, but you will want to use a fast shutter speed. If you want a crisp, sharp (non-blurry) photo, you need a faster shutter speed. As long as the light is good, I'll try to shoot at 1/800 second or faster. The faster the better within reason. If the light is less I'll drop down to 1/400 or 1/320, but I try to stay above that if I can. It should be pretty obvious why you need a fairly fast shutter speed. You are speeding through the air at around 500 mph and the plane is bouncing up and down and constantly shaking (sometimes more, sometimes less). As with anything you are trying to shoot that is moving, you want to use a faster shutter speed to freeze the motion.

If you are not comfortable jumping from auto to M mode (manual mode) on your camera, you might try starting out with S (shutter priority) as a stepping stone to full manual mode. What shutter priority will do is it allow you to set the shutter speed and the camera will adjust the aperture and ISO to get the proper exposure. This will ensure that you have a fast shutter speed. You just want to keep in mind that as the light gets low, the ISO will get higher which can introduce noise.

2. Aperture: Using a specific aperture isn't really that important as you are generally shooting things that are all a very long distance away. If you are cruising at 40,000 feet, you are a minimum of 5 miles away from what you are shooting even if you are flying over mountains (unless you are flying over Mount Everest). Given this, you don't really need to worry about the depth of field as once you focus, pretty much everything is in focus when your camera is at infinity anyway. However, do keep in mind that most lenses are sharper somewhere in the middle, so you are typically going to get a sharper image at around f8 or f11. The downside of this is that increasing the f-stop to a higher value will decrease the light, which affects the shutter speed you can use.

3. ISO: Generally you want the ISO to be as low as possible to avoid noise. The problem is that if you have less light which you have flying around or through storms that are blocking the sun or at sunrise or sunset, you may not be able to shoot at a fast shutter speed and ISO 100. This is one where you kind of have to experiment and it's really a matter of personal taste. If you need to drop your shutter speed to 1/60 to keep the ISO at 100, you may be better off shooting at ISO 320 or ISO 400 so you can keep your shutter speed at 1/320 or faster.

Just keep in mind that these are general guidelines and just like all of the other "rules" of photography, you'll learn what your own personal preference is and when you can break the "rules" or why you may not even agree with a "rule" for some reason. In my case I have done aerial shots at 1/50 second or shot at 3200 ISO which are both contrary to my guidelines above.

Hopefully this is helpful to those of you that are trying to get some aerial shots on your flights.

Be sure you check out my other tips in my Tips: Shooting from an Airplane Collection (click the link at the top of this post or https://plus.google.com/collection/U-cdQB).
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Subalpine Lupines (Lupinus arcticus ssp. subalpinus) on Kulshan Ridge with Mount Shuksan in the background – Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington State, USA. Still the only time I've seen lupines flowering up here. Try to ignore the obvious GND fiasco - it was my first time using them (7 years ago). :)

http://photoblog.mrussellphotography.com/arctic-lupines-and-mount-shuksan/
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The moon rises over the peaks of the North Cascades mountains in Washington State, USA. Peaks here include (L to R) Round Mountain, Mount Higgins, Skadulgwas Peak, White Chuck Mountain, Glacier Peak, Disappointment Peak and Whitehorse Mountain. Photographed from Mt. Erie Park on Fidalgo Island (Anacortes), Washington.

More photos here: http://photoblog.mrussellphotography.com/mt-erie-park-moonrise-north-cascades/

#blackandwhite #photography #northcascades #mountains #photos #washington
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Mount Redoubt

I've shared a number of images of Mount Redoubt (in Washington) photographed from Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park (Chilliwack, British Columbia) before. Most have been of Redoubt itself, or Redoubt and the surrounding mountains only. I thought I'd share one today that also shows Chilliwack Lake. Most of my others with the lake are rather wide angle and you can barely see Mount Redoubt in the background. This is an older photo from 2011 and I can say I sure don't miss those old dusty 30D files all that much!

Larger version: http://mrussellphotography.photoshelter.com/image//I0000.kvq6Vwyjq8

For #mountainmonday (+Mountain Monday) by +Michael Russell
+Landscape Photography #landscapephotography by Margaret Tompkins et al.

#mountredoubt #northcascades #photos #mountains #washington #chilliwack #britishcolumbia
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A flock of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) take flight near the Harrison River in British Columbia, Canada.

http://photoblog.mrussellphotography.com/bald-eagles-harrison-river-chehalis/

#wildlife #fraservalley #canada
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