First Time Spotting With A Camera @ KDCA

The other day I went to Washington National Airport to pass time so I wouldn’t be cramped in my room flying for 11 hours a day which is what I wanted to do over Spring Break. I hadn’t gone spotting before with an actual camera, usually I use my iPhone 6S, but this time I used my dad’s Pentax K200. I got out my tripod (a Velbon CX 300) and some picnic stuff and my mom drove me to Gravelly Point. Gravelly Point is located in front of Runway 19 at DCA, just across a small stream from the patch of land that makes up Reagan National. My tripod does not do vertical 360 degree maneuvers, so I had to position it in a way that the tripod had the camera facing almost directly to the sky, because there aren’t many good planes to get aircraft taking off and landing up close from the side at DCA. I caught many pictures, of Delta CRJs, American A319s, 737-800s, E170s, Southwest 737-700s and -800s, and JetBlue E190s. Here are images of those aircraft, all in good quality, all (except for the JetBlue who’s registration is on the ‘roof’ of the fuselage and a Southwest 737 with a registration hidden by the shaddowing) have the registration visible, and unfortunately, I did not pay attention to the departure and destination of these aircraft. Here they are:

N402YX; an American Eagle E175LR operated by Republic Airways (1)

Unidentified Aircraft; a JetBlue E190 operated by JetBlue (2)

Unidentified Aircraft; a Southwest 737-800 Canyon Blue operated by Southwest (3)

N959AN; an American Airlines 737-823WL operated by American Airlines (4)

N119HQ; an American Eagle E175-200LR operated by Republic Airways (5)

N440YX; an American Eagle E175-200LR operated by Republic Airways (6A & 6B)

Those are all of my images that were actually relatively descent, let me know which one was your favorite in this poll!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6A
  • 6B

0 voters


Obviously 2, 4, and 5 are the best of the bunch.

Stand by, number 2 is failing lol

Great pics, but picture 3 had the best quality. You should try spotting at the Reagan airport park next time ;)

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And where is Reagan Airport Park?

But… What did you spot with BEFORE?
first time spotting with a camera

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Second sentence @Robertine

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Nice job, but there are some fundemental issues to work out. It seems as if you were shooting with manual on your first try, I would not recommend it at first, learn to use auto. It also seems like your ISO was a bit messed up, in part why there is a ton of noise in your pictures. Remember these guidines for the spotting category.

  • Can you see the registration?
  • How pixelated is your photo if you are zoomed in a long way?
  • Is there any way to add to the post to enhance the topic if your photos are not the best quality?

Yes, I can, except for in two of them.

The ‘pixelation’ was caused by the photo editor (only used for cropping),

Use a different photo cropper next time.

The photos are a bit blurry, but you did get some nice catches. Nice angles to btw. If you usually use an iPhone 6S, than I suggest exporting the photos to your phone and cropping them on images. 99% of the time, cropped Apple images are not blurry

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