I could start this topic with some nostalgic statements but let’s just get to the point.
Today, September 8th, 2020, is the two year anniversary of my first time spotting with a real camera. Here are my top ten photos I’ve taken since then, coupled with a little explanation.
#10 [WESTJET 787-9 C-GUDO]
I considered not putting this photo on the list because of the obvious quality shortcomings, but I dig the perspective so much, combine that with the exhaust distortion and the beautiful aircraft, this definitely ranks high on my list.
#9 [AIR NEW ZEALAND 777-200(ER) ZK-OKA]
I’m really proud of this edit and I’m not afraid to say that. Had to pull out all of the stops to edit this due to an abysmal raw file, but I think it turned out well. I especially love the beacon contrasting against the moody mountains and clouds in the background, all coupled with the panning effect.
#8 [AIR CANADA 787-9 C-FNOG]
Winter light in Toronto is liquid gold. It fits especially well with the contrasting black and white of the Air Canada livery. Add onto that some golden 787 fanblades and it makes for a very solid shot overall.
#7 [AIR CANADA 777-300(ER) C-FIUV]
I love this shot because of the perspective. It’s not the sharpest shot I’ve ever taken, but the tight front-angle coupled with the GE90’s fanblades makes for a pretty cool effect, not to mention the reflections.
#6 [AIR CANADA 787-8 C-GHPT]
Confession: I claim no skill in the outcome of this shot. It was more like a spray and pray type of thing because I didn’t have much experience with long exposures at this point. In fact, I ignored it for a long time because it wasn’t the “standard” long exposure with starbursts and a lit up plane. However, once I put it under the editor, the true colors (pun intended) of the shot were revealed. I love the variety of lights lining the taxiways and runway as well as the moody purple tone in the sky from the sunset 30 minutes earlier.
#5 [KALITTA CHARTERS II 727-200(A)(F) N729CK]
This is one of my only shots that isn’t a gimmick. There’s no dramatic editing to accent a part of the image like I normally do. There’s no tight crop to create a perspective like I normally do. This is just the quality night shot that I’ve always been looking for from the start. The fact that it’s a great looking aircraft with a fitting livery and that I got to go airside with an airliner for the first time ever is just icing on the cake.
#4 [BRITISH AIRWAYS A350-1000 G-XWBE]
These brand new aircraft always have a beautiful shine to them. This one was a really fun shot to edit, as it was already pretty shiny to begin with. I wish the A350 fanblades were a little more pronounced, but as one of the only two good shots I have of the BA A350 (swapped for the 787-10 starting October), this will always be near the top of my list.
#3 [EMIRATES A380-800 A6-EEO]
This shot is the definition of a gimmick. Look up “aviation photography gimmick” in the dictionary, this shot will come up. It breaks a lot of conventional aviation photography rules (too much dead space, aircraft way too high in frame, little overexposed), but it really works in my opinion. The Emirates livery is the perfect blend of colorful and bright to contrast against the sky and cityscape, and this is one of my only aviation photos that seems to tell a story. In addition, I deliberately planned and prepared for this shot; it wasn’t some lucky shot.
#2 [SWISS 777-300(ER) HB-JNH]
Longtime viewers of my photos on this forum will be surprised at this one because until recently this was my very favorite shot I’ve ever taken, despite being the oldest shot on this list. I’ve explained it elsewhere, but this shot represents my style of aviation photography, taking any shot and accenting the most prominent feature for something eye-catching.
#1 [DELTA 717-200 N942AT]
100%, without a doubt, well worth the 5:45 am wakeup call and my favorite photo of all time. I love the aesthetic feel with the sun right behind the tail in the left third of the frame and the tower in the right third of the frame. Like the Emirates shot, this was deliberately planned and my spot along the road was calculated to capture a shot just like this. It’s a great feeling watching the aircraft flying away into the sky knowing that you’ve a quality shot in the pocket.
- #10 WestJet 787-9
- #9 Air New Zealand 777-200(ER)
- #8 Air Canada 787-9
- #7 Air Canada 777-300(ER)
- #6 Air Canada 787-8
- #5 Kalitta Charters II 727-200(A)(F)
- #4 British Airways A350-1000
- #3 Emirates A380-800
- #2 Swiss 777-300(ER)
- #1 Delta 717-200
A Thank You to the Community
I want to extend a thank you to all of you. This group has been nothing but supportive of my work from day one, it makes me truly happy to see people appreciate my work (but, looking at my early topics, you all are liars, those were definitely not “great shots”). Especially a big thank you to my Triple S members for always being there to bounce ideas off of, hold entertaining chatter with, and also for dealing with my constant ranting about Rochester. As always, I have to extend a thank you to Isaac @HiFlyer for dealing with my amateur questions in my first camera spotting thread on the IFC (seriously, I can’t even read through it, the cringe is way too much). I’m now trying to replicate that for our new spotters because I know how much of a help that can be when everything seems overwhelming at first. Nothing else from me today, hope you enjoyed these photos and have a great day! Here’s to many more years to come.