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A Beginners Guide to Aviation Photography

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Thanks to “An Adventure in Awesome” for sharing.  Knowledge without application is meaningless –Thomas Edison

Part one: Some thoughts on Aviation Photography

Troll disclaimer. This is not the only way to photography aircraft and aviation events. This is information that I have learned and what works well for me. My tips and tricks may not work well for you. My goal is to share what I have learned with others. Knowledge without application is meaningless. –Thomas Edison

This is the start of series that would help someone start to shoot aircraft and aviation events more successful. This has been a project I have had in minds for years now. When I first had the idea, I wanted to do it as one lengthy article but never manage to find time to complete it. Now here, it will make a great series, giving me time to figure out topics, how to say as well as find images to support the post.

Tbird waving at Thunder

Before we go any further, there are two things I want to address. First, make sure you RTFM that came with your gear! And for those of you who are unwilling to read, you’re in luck. There is a wonderful website called YouTube where you can search the make and model of your gear and watch a video on how to use it. Before you start shooting anything with your gear, you should have a basic understanding of how to use it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know how to use your camera and gear properly. Here’s the thing, I’m going to be using some basic terminology of photography like ISO, Shutter/Aperture Priority, F-stops to name a few and I’m not going to define or explain them. These are a few things you should know what they are as well as how to access them on your gear. Just because you own a camera, does not make you a photographer! And second, what gear you should have to shoot aviation events with. For most of us, this is a hobby and we do something else for a living. I know I do not have $10 to $15,000 to drop on gear and tell anyone who want to start shooting aircraft is unrealistic. That is why knowing how to use your gear properly is so important. Yes, having great gear helps but it is absolute useless unless you know how to use it properly. Like anything you buy, you get what you pay for. A $4600 camera body does far more than a $700 one. Buy the best that you can afford, learn to use it properly, find and work around its limits then grow into better gear.

Let me share with you my feelings about Aviation photography and want to get you to start thinking about how you feel about it. When I think about Aviation photography, I don’t think about all the airshows and aviation events I want to attend however I do think about a list of aircraft set in great lighting conditions where I can create unique images. For me, it is a passion. (going to have a future post on Passion and what it means to me) It’s something that if I was told that I could never shoot aircraft and any type of aviation event ever again, I would fight for my life to keep shooting what I love. It is something that I’m never going to stop trying to master. I love being behind my camera making new images as well as being around aircraft of any sort. Warbirds to modern fighters, from helicopters beating the air into submission to spotting airlines at the local airport. If it flies, I want to try a make a great image of it. I also feel that like any other art form, it should be creative and not just documenting aircraft and aviation events. Using elements of design to create visual interest, adjusting my camera setting to get a sense of motions along with telling a story.

Corsair at Thunder

This leads me into my first question for you, “What makes a great image?” I feel it comes down to three things, light, subject and the story behind the image. How well did you capture the light along with what does the image say? I’m no professional but I do know a great image when I see one. And in those images, the photographer mastered the exposure, composition and the image speaks to the viewers. You should not have to explain what the viewer is looking at. Great photos just don’t happen, Photographers work hard to make them. You’re going to have to work hard too. Here’s a helpful tip, collect images from photographer that you like and study they’re work. Collect them from Flicrkr, Instagram, 500pix even from their personal website. Books and magazines are also a great source to find image that you like. Ask yourself how did he or she shoot it? If you have a EXIF viewer and the data was not striped from the image, you can as least know what setting were used. What you will not learn is how they saw the image before they shot it. Your “eye” or creative vision is something that you and you alone must develop and nurture. Looking at photos from other photographers can help train your eye to start to see thing differently. It’s not going to happen overnight and you can read every book on photography about to how do so but it’s not going to matter until you try to put what you read into practice.

Every time I’m out shooting, I see other photographers and I ask myself “What’s going to make my images stand out from theirs?” This is the second question I want you to think about. For me, it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and do something different. Can I shoot from a higher location? How’s the light now V’s later? Go portrait or landscape? Always pushing myself and constantly nurturing my skills. Over the years of shooting, failing and learning, I’ve manage to build a collection of images I can call my own. A set of images that are well exposure, creativity composed and unique to me. Every show and event I go to, I try to add new images to my collection but it does not always happen. This is my approach to Aviation photography, to build over the long haul a set of images unique to me from my mind’s eye and from skills that I learned.

86 at Thunder

On to the last question I would like you to think about is, “What type of Aviation events are you interested in photographing?” There are many to choose from. Airshows, fly-ins, base visits and exercises, museum visits and finally, spotting. All of them offers different perspectives and opportunities to photographing aircraft as well as they have their own unique challenges. I enjoy warbirds and I attend airshows, fly-ins that are mainly cater warbirds as well as visit the museums where they are based. The internet is the best place to find out what is happening and when. Google is your smart friend, used and learn! I will talk more about each type of events in a future post in this series.

The reason why I started with these third questions and not jumping into what’s the appropriate settings and how to pick a show/event is that I wanted to get those deep and untapped juices flowing about how you’re going to approach aviation photography before you start shooting. Along with to get you to start thinking about what is it you’re shooting. Like any other art form, it is a learning process and it going to take time. You’re going screw up shots, use the wrong shutter speed, forget to switch back to your previous settings and totally forget with the sneak pass is coming! There will be plenty missed opportunities to come. It’s just another chance to get it right.

Row of mustang at Thunder

I’m going to cover in future post of this series is the different types of aviation event and what to look for while choosing an event, setting to get results, element of design, panning and spray & pray, chimping and why it helps, getting out of your comfort zone and I will retouch on sorting images.

Part one: Some thoughts on Aviation Photography Troll disclaimer. This is not the only way to photography aircraft and aviation events. This is information that I have learned and what works well for me. My tips and tricks may not work well for you. My goal is to share what I have learned with others. […]

via A Beginners Guide to Aviation Photography — An Adventure in Awesome

Chasing Sunsets

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Sit back and enjoy a few sunsets from around the world 🙂 Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thanks to “traveldlife” for sharing

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21 Interesting Snake Facts That Will Amaze You

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21 Interesting Snake Facts That Will Amaze You — UnprecedentedNow

Source: Fact-Retriever

Snakes. The first thing that comes to mind when we hear this word is that snakes bite and some of them are poisonous as well. But there are so much more to know about these snakes. So here are 21 Interest Snake Facts that will amaze you:

1. Some snakes such as The Hognose, Grass snake and the Spitting Cobra fake death when they feel threatened.  They simply flip into their backs, open their mouths, and flop out their tongues. And then they will let out some smelly stuff from their anal gland. Nobody would want to eat that snake as it becomes extremely dirty and smelly.

2. Snakes that are poisonous have pupils that are shaped like a diamond while snakes that are not poisonous have round pupils.

3. When someone is bit by boomslang snake, what happens next is a bit scary. The venom of the snake destroys the red blood cells of the victim, thus causing to bleed from all the holes of the body such as gums and nose.

4.Ophiophobia or Herpetophobia, the fear of snakes is the second most common phobia in the world. People suffering from this phobia get creeped out by even python-skinned bags.

5. The completely separated head of a dead snake can bite even hours after its death. Since it is dead, it cannot regulate how much venom it is injecting, it can often inject large amounts of venom and thus can be fatal.

6. Some snakes have two heads. The two heads fight for food if while being fed, their vision of each other is not blocked. This is an interesting snake fact.interesting_snake_two_heads

7. Snakes are worshipped in many countries such as Africa, India, Cambodia etc.

8. Each year about 50000 people die from snake bites, but in Australia, which is home to some of the most deadliest snakes, only 5 people die from snake bites in a year.

9. A new and mysterious disease known as ‘mad snake disease’ causes boas and pythons to tie themselves up in knots and maybe it is caused by a rodent virus.

10. When it feels threatened, the Sonoran Coral Snake farts instead of hissing or rattling. This is a really interesting snake fact.

11. Snakes have been known to explode after eating. A 13-foot python exploded after it tried to feast on a 6-foot alligator. The python was found with the alligator’s tail protruding from its midsection. Its head was nowhere to be found.interesting_snake_facts2_poisonous

12. Titanoboa is an extinct species of snake which lived about 60 million years ago is the largest, heaviest as well as longest snake ever discovered.

13. In quite a few Asian countries, it is believed that drinking the blood of snakes, particularly the cobra, increases sexual virility. The blood of snake is drained from a live snake and then it is mixed with liquor. This is a shocking as well as interesting snake fact.

14. Some of the deadliest snakes and highly venomous snakes are : The Big Four (Indian Cobra, Common Krait, Rusell’s Viper, Saw-Scaled Viper), Terciopelo, King Cobra, Many-branded Krait, Malayan krait, Inland Taipan, Eastern Brown Snake, Common Death Adder, Tiger Snake, Green Mambas and True Cobras.

15. The death adder snake has the fastest strike among snakes in the world. It can attack, inject venom, and go back to its striking position within 0.15 seconds.

16. Antartica is the only continent that is devoid of snakes.interesting_snake_facts2_eyes

17. Evey year, bees kill more people than snakes. Now that’s a shocking stat. This is another shocking as well as interesting snake fact.

18. The hedgehog (Erinaceidae), the mongoose (Herpestidae), the honey badger (Mellivora capensis), the secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius), and some other birds are known to be immune to snake venom and thus can that feed on snakes.

19. A 30-year old Indian woman from Orissa, who claimed that she had fallen in love with a snake married the snake in 2006.

20. Snakes never stop growing, though it’s growth rate reduces as it’s age increases.

21. There have been cases of death of poisonous snakes after they bit themselves by mistake. This is a really weird fact about snakes.

I hope you guys enjoyed the list and make sure you follow us if you haven’t done that already and share it with your friends or people to share the knowledge.

Do you know of any such interesting snake fact? If it’s a Yes, don’t forget to mention the fact below. We would love to know more facts.

Cheers till our next post! Have a great time guys! 🙂

Do check our other posts: 8 Awesome YouTube Channels That You need to check out! and 15 Incredible Facts about Northeast India

Picture Credits:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com,Pinterest and Factslides

Source: Fact-Retriever

via 21 Interesting Snake Facts That Will Amaze You — UnprecedentedNow

 

3 Ways to Start Thinking Outside the Box 

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By Dave Anthony – theunschool.blog

We are in a box, a box not too big. It is claustrophobic, restrictive and debilitating. How do we get out?

The box is a metaphor that sums up much of our lives. All our beliefs, customs, morals, norms and traditions are locked inside the box. We are scared of what might be outside, as it threatens our reality and influences change.

A change of heart, a change of mindset, goals, lifelong beliefs and the status quo as we know it.

The box has clearly defined boundaries and we know where they are. We know the lines we should not cross, the walls we should not breach. However, for some of us, there comes a time when the box gets too small. It begins to drown our creativity, stifle productivity and leaves us lost and left behind in a radical thinking generation.

So, how do we change this and start thinking more open-mindedly? These steps might just help with that…

Learn everything

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There is a very close correlation to the box and the life paths we choose. The box says you will become a doctor or a lawyer, hence, you take the necessary steps to doing just that.

Get good grades in school, get a bachelor’s, and a master’s. Obtain a good paying job, with great benefits, save in a retirement account, retire at 65 and die.

For many that is a life well lived. But, that is also a life very limited.

Many people, once they have reached the pinnacle of where the box limits them, stop learning. They apply what they have learned to get to that point in their lives, but they refuse to or do not see the need to learn anymore.

In a 2008 article entitled The Goal of Learning Everything by Scott H. Young, he says:

“The justifications for functional learning are easy. If your goal is important, you learn what you need to learn. If I want to become a professor, I need a graduate degree. It’s easy to justify spending time and money learning when the outcome is right in front of you.

The justification for lifelong learning isn’t as obvious. Lifelong learning feels important, but when you break it down to practical reality, it isn’t for most people. Most people see a far clearer return on investment for working more, socializing or entertainment than learning unnecessary subjects.”

Learning new things opens up your mind to new worlds, to new realities which you never thought existed. It widens your net and gives you a much firmer footing in your career and personal life.

Lifelong learning does not entail going back to a formal school setting, nowadays you can learn anything online. Learn physics, sociology, psychology, art, health, aviation, dance, writing, marketing, mechanics, etc. Learn and learn well, be varied, be in-depth, be thorough, and absorb everything.

You will be surprised how much of what you learn outside your niche or career bubble can be applied to it. You will begin to think with clarity, make decisions from an informed and diverse standpoint and quickly come up with creative ideas that you never thought you could.

So, learn everything and you will see how much your mind opens up and your thinking changes.

Network outside your niche

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Birds of a feather flock together. We have heard this saying time and time again. This is very true as I expressed in a recent article, however, flocking with the same set of birds all the time may not be so helpful.

In most cases, our friends reflect us. They represent our values, beliefs and our self-identity. Hence, they most likely share our opinions and viewpoints on most things.

As good as this might be, it can also be to your own detriment. One of the first steps in thinking outside the box is to listen and respect opinions different from your own. It is understanding that everyone has a unique mind that is crafted by the way they were raised and the life experiences they have had.

Opening up your network to people who you may disagree with will be hard, but only having “yes men” around you will not help you grow. It will keep you stagnant and guarded.

You need a diverse network. Comprised of people that will be honest, share their real opinions (not the ones they want you to hear), tell you when you are wrong, open you up to new ideas and teach you something new ever so often.

Your network should be an asset to you, your business, your career and your overall growth, not a disservice.

Really travel

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It is the norm to wait for your 2-week vacation in the middle of the year and book it to a hotel in a cookie cutter hotspot like Hawaii. But, that is not thinking outside the box.

We love to play it safe when we travel. We go to places our friends and family have told us good things, we stay in 5-star hotels with walls on all four sides and we go on organized tours booked months in advance.

After your return home, you come back learning nothing new other than the fact that there is a hotel in [location you visited]. You did not really explore, you did not mingle with the locals, you did not try the tasty, authentic food from the mom and pops, you did not visit the beautiful beaches and landmarks that are not in travel guides…

You were just someone who went on a plane or road trip somewhere.

The only way to really start thinking out of the box is to put fear aside. Not saying you will not be cautious, but fear restricts progress and true learning. Garnering an open mind means unlocking the fear that has held you back. Getting rid of the fear that kept you inside the box.

Fear of rejection

Fear of change

Fear of death

Fear of failure

Fear of success

Fear of life itself

It makes you play safe, and many times too safe. To extend your mind and at extension, your thinking, you have to see new things, do new things, create your own realities, your own memories. One of the best ways to do this is to really travel.

Travel deep, travel far and long, learn all that you can while traveling, take pictures, create journals, embrace and delve into other cultures, try new foods, sing new songs, learn new languages.

Travel for fulfillment, but also to open up yourself to different ways of living. To learn acceptance and respect of other norms while acknowledging that the world is far bigger than the box in which you have lived.

Conclusion

Stepping outside the box is very frightening. We do not know what to expect when we do, and that creates a sense of fear and apprehension.

But, once we begin to open up our minds to other possibilities, other existences, other realities, and other ways of life, we will see that the box was all an illusion in the first place.

How do you think outside the box?

Source: 3 Ways to Start Thinking Outside the Box ‹ theunschool.blog ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

Sanctuaries and Sunsets 

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Black Crowned Night Heron

In the afternoon of Easter Sunday, I went to see the birds at the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary again. Here are a few portraits of the resident birds, some of whom by now are old friends, like the Red-Shouldered Hawk, the Great-Horned Owl and his house mate, the Barred Owl.

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The birds that are most represented among the permanent residents are the pelicans, both the White Pelicans and the Brown Pelicans. They tend to get hurt by human activity on the water. This warm day several of them were bathing in the many pools, large and small placed everywhere in their aviaries. Or preening to look their Sunday best.

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My friend the American Oyster Catcher was there too, and appeared to be doing better than last time I saw it.

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On this Sunday, several other birds were visiting their relatives at the sanctuary, like these American Black vultures.

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I also counted more than 50 nests high in the trees around the sanctuary. I believe birds feel this is a protected zone and are confident building nests in the trees around the park. Here a mama pelican peers down from her nest high up in a tall tree, and a Black-Crowned Night Heron nods off at her nest.

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It was a wonderful, life-affirming visit, as always.

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If only the earth would be a sanctuary for all its inhabitants.

At mid-week, I enjoyed a great sunset walk on the beach with our son, who was on a business trip here on the Gulf coast.

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The sunset was as beautiful as ever. Shore birds were running around at the water’s edge and little sand crabs hurried into their homes for the night.

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sand crab UD121

The sun disappeared into the ocean leaving a soft glow on the skies. I thought about the beautiful Irish blessing “May every sunset hold more peace.”

sunset April 18 16x9 UD121

With that thought I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I will be traveling to spend time with the youngest generation of our family. It always gives me hope. Just like the Osprey chicks.

Source: Sanctuaries and Sunsets. ‹ TINY LESSONS BLOG ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

Why Do Your Wings Have Dihedral? | Boldmethod

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Why Do Your Wings Have Dihedral? – Bothmethod

If you look closely at the wings on most aircraft, they’re tilted up slightly. Why would they ever do that? It’s not because you pulled too many Gs on your last flight. It’s because of a design feature called dihedral.
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First Off, What’s Dihedral?
Dihedral sounds like one of those words you cringed at in math class, but it’s actually pretty simple. Dihedral is the upward angle your aircraft’s wings. Here’s a great example of wing dihedral on a Boeing 777:

boeing-777-dihedral

Why Do You Need Dihedral?

It all comes down to stability. If you didn’t have dihedral, you’d spend more time keeping your wings level. Here’s why:

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When you bank an airplane, the lift vector tilts in the same direction as the bank. And when that happens, your airplane starts slipping in the same direction, in this case, to the right.

The problem is, if you have a straight-wing aircraft, there’s no force that will bring the airplane back to wings-level flight without you intervening. And while that may be good for an aerobatic aircraft or fighter jet, it’s not something you want in your general aviation aircraft or airliner.
How Dihedral Fixes The Problem

When you add dihedral, you add lateral stability when your aircraft rolls left or right. Here’s how it works: let’s say you’re flying along and you accidentally bump your controls, rolling your plane to the right. When your wings have dihedral, two things happen:

1) First, your airplane starts slipping to the right. That means the relative wind is no longer approaching directly head-on to the aircraft, and instead is approaching slightly from the right. This means that there is a component of the relative wind that is acting inboard against the right wing.
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2) Second, because the relative wind has the inboard component, and because the wings are tilted up slightly, a portion of the the relative wind strikes the underside of the low wing, pushing it back up toward wings level. What’s really happening here is the low wing is flying at a higher AOA, and producing slightly more lift.
dihedral-slip-rear
The more dihedral your aircraft has, the more pronounced the effect becomes. But for most aircraft, they only have a few degrees of dihedral, which is just enough to return your wings to level during small disturbances, like turbulence, or bumping your flight controls in the cockpit.
It’s Not All Good News: Dihedral Comes At A Cost

Dihedral isn’t always good, and like almost every design factor, it comes with a cost. In this case, there are two costs: increased drag, and decreased roll rate….

Become a better pilot.
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Source: Why Do Your Wings Have Dihedral? | Boldmethod

Microlight Flight Over the Victoria Falls

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Victoria Falls is a massive waterfall, which borders both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

via Travel in Zambia and Zimbabwe: Microlight Flight over Victoria Falls — ESL Ventures

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