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Prop Blur (SP) vs crisp detailed shots (AP)?

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  • Prop Blur (SP) vs crisp detailed shots (AP)?

    I was about to post a thread the other day about this but deleted it. I'd figure I'd post and see what others think?

    When you are photographing prop planes, do you use Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority?

    Before I knew anything about settings(which is still not much) I did nothing but manual. The shot below was taken my a P&S camera.
    [photoid=378992]

    or a shot from the DB which shows all 6 props clearly(not knocking it, just as an example.
    [photoid=554934]

    More of my none DB shots are here which show the same issue, stopped blades
    http://community.webshots.com/album/171687020BeBNjX/1

    As I started learning more about slowing the shutter down low enough to get the proper prop blur I starting to get more shots like these.
    [photoid=5642162]

    With this shot, he must have made 4-5 VFR passes in the pattern, each pass I would try a slower or faster shutter speed to see what I could get hand held
    [photoid=5720931]

    Now with digital, it's all about not being worried to take chances because it cost nothing to take shots. When I had a 35mm I would never attempt prop blur because I wasn't sure how it worked.

    I can understand a "chance of a life time" and playing it safe to make sure you don't screw it up, but shouldn't the picture of a prop plane show that the plane is flying rather than gliding?

    I'd be curious to see if people think it should be a rejection reason like I do. We reject for being over or under exposed, what about "wrong technique"?

    If it's a static plane, then shoot AP, but if it's taxing or flying, switch to SP and fire away.

    I totally understand that people here aren't professionals, but with a little practice and the help from this forum, it's pretty easy to start figure out how it all works.

    Looking for your thoughts?

  • #2
    I would not think that prop blur would be a rejection reason. Sometimes lighting may require a bit slower shutter resulting in prop blur. Other times you may be using a faster shutter to capture a fast moving plane and end up stopping the prop as well. I prefer the blurred prop, looks like the airplane is actually working. Just my .02
    My photos at JP.net

    National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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    • #3
      Prop blur should NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER be rejected. I absolutely LOVE and PREFER shots of the blurred prop. It makes it look really nice. Personally, I like the blur prop shots, but if the prop isn't blurred, that's not a problem either. As long as the picture looks nice overall, I don't care.

      You're right as well, the slower the shudder the more blur you will get. I personally shoot in Av mode for Aperture, but if the opportunity comes by, I'd love to shoot in Tv to get a nice prop blur.

      EDIT: Also note: Keep in mind that props spin at different speeds. It's likely that the C130 has slower moving props than the Extra, although I'm not sure. This is what was happening in your shot compared to the Extra. This is why you weren't getting the full blur effect. Because the Extra was moving so fast, a slower shudder speed was able to get more of the spin in.

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      • #4
        Dave,

        You've brought up a part of aviation photography I am particularly passionate about and that is blurred/stopped props. Put me down definitely in the blurred camp.

        Originally posted by Top_Gun
        I can understand a "chance of a life time" and playing it safe to make sure you don't screw it up, but shouldn't the picture of a prop plane show that the plane is flying rather than gliding?
        If it's a plane I'm unlikely to see again, I will take one or two at a higher shutter speed as "bank" shots and then step down the shutter speed to blur the props. At an airshow a couple of months ago (where there was not a lot that was new), I never went above 1/125 for the majority of the props (an Orion did a display without landing so I went up to 1/250). I had the use of a 100-400L with IS, so this helped with the slower shutter speed.

        [photoid=5708326]
        [photoid=5708336]
        [photoid=5709602]
        [photoid=5709604]

        Helicopters are even harder.....

        [photoid=489000]

        As for a "stopped props" rejection reason? While I personally dislike stopped props, I don't think this should happen.

        Comment


        • #5
          If the plane itself is moving fast I go for a high shutter speed, as it is too likely to blur the whole plane and not just the props. If it is moving slower, then I would alwys go for propblur.
          My photo editing guide - updated and improved Feb. 2010
          My Nikon D100,D200,D300, D800, D7200 basic spotting settings guide
          ACIG - the best resource for military aviation information

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          • #6
            Hard enough going below 1/500 with my camera at LCY on a sunny day! Some places are just SO bright!

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            • #7
              Theres no way we are going to reject a photo for prop blur. If the subject is in focus tehn it will be accepted. Most of the time the prop blur gives the photo a more in-depth motion feel to it producing some stunning results.

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              • #8
                Guys,

                I read Dave's post to mean he was supporting a "stopped props" rejection, not a "blurred props" rejection.

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                • #9
                  So your saying we should reject for a stopped prop? lol
                  Either way if the photos good, a stopped prop or prop blur works fine for me

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by twr75
                    Guys,

                    I read Dave's post to mean he was supporting a "stopped props" rejection, not a "blurred props" rejection.
                    Now, that is a matter of taste for me and not wrong or bad technique. So a stopped prop rejection seems senseless to me.

                    For exampel here I wanted to show that he plane has 2 props.

                    [photoid=5735365]
                    Last edited by seahawk; 2006-06-08, 12:25.
                    My photo editing guide - updated and improved Feb. 2010
                    My Nikon D100,D200,D300, D800, D7200 basic spotting settings guide
                    ACIG - the best resource for military aviation information

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BA747-436
                      So your saying we should reject for a stopped prop? lol
                      Not at all.

                      Originally posted by twr75
                      As for a "stopped props" rejection reason? While I personally dislike stopped props, I don't think this should happen.
                      I was merely pointing that I thought Dave was supporting a "stopped props" rejection.

                      Originally posted by seahawk
                      Now, that is a matter of taste for me and not wrong or bad technique. So a stopped prop rejection seems senseless to me.
                      Of course it's a matter of personal taste and I also agree that such a rejection reason is silly.

                      It's just that I prefer, and can appreciate the extra effort put into, blurred prop shots.

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                      • #12
                        IMHO in many cases "frozen" props should be rejected, unless the image has other qualities, or is of a particulary rare aeroplane.

                        Frozen prop images may be OK if your goal is to photograph every regie, but as images they generally lack any sence of movement and miss the whole passion of propeller aeroplanes.

                        Getting good prop blur takes care and a higher risk of motion blur / camera shake, especially at the longer focal lenghths. But it depends what you want, I'd prefere one great blur image to 100 frozen props.
                        Last edited by thecloudbuster; 2006-06-08, 14:01. Reason: Picture size

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thecloudbuster
                          IMHO in many cases "frozen" props should be rejected, unless the image has other qualities, or is of a particulary rare aeroplane.
                          I don't. If your good at motion blur then great, if your not then you won't want your shot being rejected because theres no prop blur. I have to admit, I am useless at panning and it doesn't help having a dirty sensor. I think bringing a rule in like this would be as stupid as a.net rejecting pilots waving.

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                          • #14
                            Not to worry Sam and anyone else thats interested, this rule will not be brought in.

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                            • #15
                              Isn't that a rule over at the other site.

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