Hopefully Ciccopo weighs in on this. He's an expert.
Kind of like shooting racing cars. You don't want to use so fast a shutter that there's no blur in the car wheels or the plane's propeller, and you want to pan with the subject so it is not blurred due to the not-quite-freezing shutter speed, but the background shows motion blur.
Going to be taking pics at a rc plane field.
What is a good starting point for settings, I'm assuming manual mode ? And I'm confused on metering? Thanks, I'm very new to all this awesome hobby. Rebel T6i.
Normally, when taking pictures of fast moving objects, you need to have the shutter speed set to something high like 1/1000 or even faster. You mentioned you're very new at this so I'd recommend you use Tv mode, set the speed to 1/1000 and set ISO to Auto and go have fun at it.
However, like ScottyP had stated, for propeller airplanes, people dislike the "frozen" propeller syndrome...so the common way to capture propeller airplanes is to pan the camera at ridiculously slow shutter speed so that the props are blurred. This requires a lot of skill and that comes with a lot of practice. The added advantage of panning is you get the background to blur beautifully. I have a few of those but it would take too long to find them. Here is one I captured with just the sky background to show you the blurred props...
This picture was of an actual airplane...taken at 600mm, f/13, 1/100, ISO 100 using a Canon 5D Mark III and a Tamron 150-600mm f/4.3-5.6 lens. Note the blurred props and creamy smoke...that's the effect of panning.
The good news is that model aircraft engines spin much faster than full scale which allows prop blur at higher shutter speeds but 1/800 is the high limit for most circumstances. This is my guide for those trying to learn the basics.
A lot of the info also relates to motorsports too where wheel / tire & background blur with a nice sharp car or bike say it's in motion rather than looking like a parked race vehicle.
This is from last Sat's Float Fly. We have a Warbirds event tomorrow & amazingly we may get a nice day.
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