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Going to try to shoot RC Airplane airshow

Rising Star

There is a an RC airshow near me this weekend. This should be fun. I'm just a spectator bringing my camera.


I haven't shot this kind of event before, so I'm up for the challenge.


Might be putting my 65 focus points to use....


Anyone ever shot an RC airshow before?





Great pictures David.


Those are really nice models at a nice flying field, photographer paradise!


Can you try to take some more picture tracking on the model in movement (taking off or landing is the ideal situation), so you get the subject sharp, but blur the background HORIZONTALLY (and not blurring the background caused specifically by a thin DOF)?


In order to achieve this, you will need to slow down your shutter speed, may be to 1/100 or less with an ISO low range (100 - 400) in goog light conditions.


Those are my favorit shoots (but also the most hard ones to capture, it requires some practice), becuase they are more dramatic and realistic; they really show the speed of the model in the air.


Just a tip for the above type of shooting, you will increase your chance getting a good picture using continuous shooting mode (10 fps on the Canon 7D m2) and using servo AF mode with the right focus tracking mode and focus points selection.


Good luck and enjoy,



@ilzho wrote:
Here's a lot of pictures.
The pilots loved them and asked my to shoot tomorrow at the float event. Water and planes, this could be fun.

Wow.  I have looked at the first page so far, and I had to stop and comment.  I love the low angle, down to the ground, shots of the planes parked in the grass.  It makes them look like full size plane, not just models.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Wow, thanks for the compliment!!

I'm getting ready to go to the float event.

Not sure how I'm going to do with the water and planes, but should be fun.

Man the float event was fun.....

Anyway, here are a couple from today.....

Glad I don't fly and crash these things. 🙂


Nice stuff again. I didn't get into all the things that can & do go wrong but you learned quickly. Wind blows the lighter ones around or flips them over easily but in most cases there's very little damage. It takes a lot of extra power to get up off of water vs a runway. The extra drag can be a real problem but add a bit of chop & wind & it can get even more interesting. These are from a recent float fly & the first 2 are attempts to take off & both eventually did. The third was supposed to be a touch & go but a bad bounce ended the GO side of it (all 3 are large models, not foamies).







"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Cicopo....Excellent pictures.


It was a little windy and that big boy gray Coast Guard plane did crash in the trees/marsh;they did find it.


Some of the touch and goes were more like, 'Hold my beer and watch this', haha, they touched and the water grabbed, like you said......


One thing I really liked is that this is a sport for all ages, there were 8-13 year olds, middle age and retirees.....

Have to say, I don't see that a lot.

The kids wanted to see my pics immediately, especially when they crashed 🙂


Very nice club/s of people.

Sounds like there were more young people at that event than we average at the ones I attend but in general the hobby is getting cheaper & thanks to flight simulators for home computers learning to fly is a whole lot cheaper too. Crash on the sim, press "reset" & you have a nice new plane to fly again. There are also more & more cheap foamies on the shelves for those who prefer to fly rather than build like us old timers had to. Best of all it sounds like you've made some new friends & can enjoy sharing your hobby with theirs which is how I look at this. I get to be on the flight line enjoying the flying, taking photos and making lots of new friends. It has taught me how to pick the more interesting photos & how to process them quickly so they are on line before the next event and every so often some go for publishing in Model Aviation Canada which is a non profit publication for the MAAC (same idea as AMA) members. A few photos have been used in "for profit" magazines too but in general thinking you'll make money from this style of venue is not going to pay the travel expenses due to the number of events going on weekly & on how few magazines are still in print.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

It was more than 2/3 adults and 1/3 under 18 years old.

Not sure my photos are magazine worthy, but when the pilots complement me on the photos and offer me lunch, it's more than worth it.

Exactly. They love it when they see decent photos of their "toy" which certainly isn't a toy. So many people think they can take a photo of these things flying using a cell phone or cheap P & S that decent photos are rare. Also many with decent gear rely on Auto settings & get under exposed photos, prop freeze (pilots in general are OK with that if the plane is in focus) or boring belly shots as it flies directly above the camera. The pilots can't fly & photograph their own planes PLUS you're showing an interest in their plane so it's a win - win.

Now that you're interseted in a new venue which probably runs all year in that part of the world you have one more way to learn what works for you when shooting action. Shooting Motorsports is very similar & both use the same technique & similar rules to what makes a photo interesting. A nice sharp shot of a race car without wheel / tire / background blur looks like a parked car but when you slow down your shutter speed & pan smoothly it now implies FAST moving.

If you didn't notice the link in that article I directed you too my photos have been migrating to Flickr after Google decided to shut down Picasa Web Albums.


You can decide what you think look 'interesting". I don't spend a lot of time on the static side of this because I stay on the flight line as much as possible from start to finish. I leave the static stuff to those who don't have the equipment or won't learn how to use what they did buy well enough to shoot action.  

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Yeah, I still didn't get the motion that I was looking for, but early on I decided to try to get decent photos of every plane flying and some of the activities.

It was a sanctioned AMA event.

I talked to one of the leaders (as I know nothing about this) and he said the events don't happened every weekend, but when it's a AMA event the other local clubs can't hold a sanctioned event, so it encourages everyone to come out and fly.

There are a couple of other clubs in my area, so I need to see when the events are happening.

click here to view the gallery