A Little Aircraft Photography Guide

Hello, IFC,
This is a little aircraft photography guide that I made to help community photographers get better!
This was just made to help out people who would like to get better shots!
Don’t worry, I’m not an epic photographer either :D

Most photos used here were found on the forum and the name of the owner is written under them. If you are not OK with me using your pic, just tell me and I will change it.

1: Lighting:

When dealing with plane photography, the first (and one of the toughest) things you need to think about is lighting. The plane (or subject) you are trying to capture must not be in front of the sun or between you and clouds above. The contrast will make the plane backlit.
Example of a backlit photo:

Example of a correctly lit photo:

2: Framing:

When you are taking a photo of a moving plane, it is very hard to keep the framing nice for this, you can use any photo editor to make it correct. For a photo to be accepted on most aviation forums, it should be centered and leveled with the ground. To improve ground leveling, I recommend using a tripod…
Example of a poorly framed photo:

Example of a nicely framed photo:

3: Focus:

When taking photos of planes, focus is essential. Focus is how clear the subject is. It may be hard to get nice focus through windows, on a rainy day or of a fast moving plane.
Example of a badly focused photo:

Example of a nicely focused photo:

4: Editing:

Photo editors are a nice way to improve your shots, crop them, and sometimes add things to your images but please remember that over-editing is never a good thing. As soon as you over-edit, the photo starts hurting the eye and it loses of it’s realism.
Example of Over-edited photo:
Example of a nice use of photo editors:

This picture is bad because:
It’s backlit
There is a wire cutting a piece of the aircraft
It is not focused or clear
It is over-edited
and @robertine STILL posted it on the IFC…

I hope this helped!
Thank You!

If you have any questions, ask me!


Deja Vu has come at me again. This time, in the form of a Spotting Guide…

The topic I linked below retains a lot more information. While it is closed, it is still as useful.


That over edited photo is all of my infinite flight pictures…rip


RIP, on the day I took that backlit photo it was impossible to get decent lighting for the shot, as there were broken clouds all around. I managed to get one decent shot that day. Doesn’t feel good to be an example for a bad shot 😂
Nice guide @Robertine

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Nice guide! Maybe remove the tags for the people who took bad photos. Everyone has them. It’s not so nice to point it out to everyone in the forum.


Thank you! I did that. Sorry, @Airbus_737


Deja Vu you say?

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No that photo is definatly over saturated and the one above has shadows done wrong with its black and whites also not correct


I find it mildly humorous that the person posting a guide to take good photos used all other peoples for the “good” example…


Slightly over exposed

Great guide, @Robertine!


Overexposure has nothing to do with focus, as far as I know. Also, that’s just @Cameron_Stone’s editing style. Not every photo needs to be technically perfect.


This edit was mainly for Instagram. Instagram tends to darken photos for whatever reason, so in my edits, I generally compensate for it a bit. I have a less-edited version of it on JetPhotos, and it is properly exposed, just in case it really worries you that much.

And yes, he didn’t mention it as the world’s best edited and exposed photo, just as nicely focused. Which it is, if I do say so myself. I appreciate any constructive criticism you want to offer. ;)


Oh, hello, @Cameron_Stone!

@James_Browne, Indeed, I meant that the photo is very Clear and sharp, I was not talking about exposure :)

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Has @Cameron_Stone ever taken a blurry photo?
I wonder… :D

I have, I just don’t share them lol.

Well, except one. See Photo 4 in this thread, but I gave it a little leniency because it was a pretty good pan for what I’ve been able to do.

But yes, more than my fair share of out of focus and blurry. Especially shooting through windows at fast-moving planes (darn you Taipei).

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But it’s still a very good pan :)

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Wow! You roasted @Robertine I’m a tell him! lol

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Where? When? Who?

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Well it wasn’t really a roast but you know, lol

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