Air-to-air advice needed!

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Adam
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Air-to-air advice needed!

Post by Adam » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:10 pm

Hi all, looking for some quick tips before the weekend for filming video air-to-air both in daylight and at night with pyrotechnics. I'm reasonably competent at filming airshows generally and I have all the kit I need, I'm looking for specific advice for filming air-to-air, any good tips, and recommended settings I may not already know about - especially for the night flight. Thanks in advance!
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RyanS
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Post by RyanS » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:21 pm

Video should be pretty much the same as normal, but what are you shooting out of and towards? There's a big difference between tagging along in a back seat and a dedicated photo flight from a photo ship.
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Post by Adam » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:28 pm

Bit of both. Some time on a dedicated photoshoot (probably in the back of a Cessna, although it may be something else like an Autogyro. That's still TBC), and some time flying "inside" the aerobatic team itself. The team's planes are two motorgliders with nice big bubble canopies.

Edit - the friend who's going with me also asks about stills photography during a nighttime air-to-air with pyros. He's done daytime A2As before, so like me he's not looking for the basics, but for any points we may not have come across yet that are specifically for nighttime shoots.
Last edited by Adam on Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by RyanS » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:20 pm

You'll want to approach the flights differently for sure.

When you are riding along, they will just do their thing and you will have to be opportunistic as you shoot. As with any high pressure shoot, film it all and edit it later. You might be surprised at how tight the cockpit can be so bring only the essentials and make sure they are stowed in a secure but reachable spot. I usually tuck a couple batteries and memory cards in a pocket and make sure I can get to them when buckled in. You should also be concerned about reflections on the glass. Wear dark clothing and get the lens as close to the glass as you can, but don't touch the camera to it because that can induce some bad vibrations. I have a sheet of black craft store foam that I cut a hole in to stick the lens through; I tried it out with some success the last time I flew but unless you are shooting straight to the side you will still get some glare from the panel, pilot, dash, etc.

On the dedicated flight, you will need to be a lot more in charge. A very thorough briefing with all photogs and pilots is in order with clear explanations of what specifically you want to do and what shots you want to get. Agree on a system for directing the subject aircraft around (do you talk on the radio? Do you relay it through the photo pilot? Hand signals? Etc). Cover everything on the ground and ensure it is within the capabilities of all involved. Do not try to add new twists while in the air. The shooting should be much simpler since you will presumably have an open window or door. Don't stick your camera into the slipstream and do not use a lens hood.

As for shooting at night, it is always tricky to meter properly. You may want to fall back on full manual mode instead of AV or TV. Hold it as steady as you can and check the screen often to make sure it looks good. Shoot like there's no tomorrow!
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Post by Adam » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:12 am

Cheers Ryan. Much appreciated advice. I'll let you know how it goes!

The biggest unknown is the evening flight. I have a Sony AX-53, same as you I believe. It'll be pretty much the first time I've taken it out at night!
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Post by Adam » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:14 pm

Well that was brilliant fun! Here's what I got over the weekend. Two flights in the back of the Cessna (through perspex, sadly) and two night ground runs.

https://www.facebook.com/AerosparxTeam/ ... 869511571/
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Post by RyanS » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:04 am

Awesome! Looks like the glass didn't harm you too much
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Post by Adam » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:31 pm

The final result:
https://www.facebook.com/AerosparxTeam/ ... 458114412/

Obviously they were fairly pleased with it, looks like I may be going abroad with them as their videographer a couple of times this year.
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