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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?





There should be a web site for sanctioned events at the AMA site but many clubs have their own "event listing page" & most clubs work together in a region to schedule things without conflicts so each event draws pilits from the region. There may be conflicts between heli & fixed wing events or even jet vs fixed wing but they aren't too common & most pilots decide which they'd prefer if there are 2 events scheduled. AMA & MAAC are the sanctioning bodies & provide the necessary insurance / safety guidelines etc & it's rare for a club to hold an event & insure it themselves. Next time you talk to someone from the club just ask how they know what's coming up & get the web address. 

DON'T worry about the motion blur with these things. Prop blur is more important at the beginning & when you feel you've got several good shots of the plane(s) then try a few at slower shutter speeds as they do a low pass. Motion blur is much easier with a race car than a model airplane due to the size difference / distance between camera & subject. If it was easy to get right it wouldn't be what sets some photos apart from all the rest.

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

Sorry, yes I meant prop blur, getting the full circle of blur, most of my shots have either a quarter or half turn of blur...

Which is ok for me, for now 🙂

In orden to get the blur prop you are looking for, you'll have to slow down your shuter speed and follow the model with your camera in hands or moving it on a tripod or monopod (assuming that it is in movement). This does definitively requires some practice but the result is really worth it.


Tracking AF points in the proper mode should also help to get the model focused and sharp using this technique.



Rising Star
Hi thanks.
Yes, I could do this in horse racing, slow the ss down to 1/60 or 1/80, but for this being my first time, it was a challenge, not an excuse, just didn't work. I was concentrating on trying to get the propellers in the proper blur, didn't work haha.
I'm going to try tomorrow since it's their float event. Water and planes, what could go wrong. Haha.

I had it on continuous shooting, but I didn't have my tracking focus on 'focus'. So the pic was in focus and in the sequence after that, not so much. I used case 2. And the 65 points, kept grabbing the tree line and of course didn't work when the planes were on the ground; I use the 4 points for that.
Still learning, but had a blast and look towards tomorrow.

You did quite well for your first event. Was that the Lancaster crashing or was it just doing a cart wheel after a bad landing? I'm building one roughly that size myself. A float fly can present some very unique opportunities. IF the water is calm & the light is right you may be lucky enough to get the reflections like I did here.





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

Cool David, please keep posting your pictures.


Here are some few of my captures on last event at my RC club in Santiago, Chile, South America.


I am learning too, part of the enjoyment is that there is always something new to discover or improve.












It is suppose to be a cool, very nice day.

No, not a crash, just a bad landing.

Very cool pics, both of you.......

Rising Star
Here's the link to the album.
The pilots all loved the pictures.
Thanks for the tips.

@ilzho wrote:
Here's the link to the album.
The pilots all loved the pictures.
Thanks for the tips.

Nice shots, all around.  It's not hard to tell you were having a ball.  The passion is palatable in the shots.

"The right mouse button is your friend."
click here to view the gallery