My Photography Journey

My Photography Journey

I was a small 10 year old boy when I first found out about aviation photography. I loved planes, but I never thought about taking pictures of them. I joined Instagram and followed some very good photographer such as UnitedFlyerHD and CargoSpotter. I wanted to be just like them. So, I found my iPad, and went to the airport with my dad the very next day.

When I got to the airport, I was completely mind blown with all the airplanes in one place. I didn’t know we got so many airplanes at IAH, which is in Houston. I whipped out my iPad and begun my “Photography Session” which lasted around an hour. It was starting to get dark, so we went home. I got home, and immediately posted one of my pictures on Instagram. I thought I had some of the best photos in the world until I compared mine with other aviation pictures.

One of my photos I took with my iPad:


Soon after, my dad offered me his Canon Powershot SX30IS, which I thought was the best camera in the world back then. I was wrong… I went to the airport again, and I took some pictures of airplanes (duh). I got home and put the pictures on my iPad and posted them, unedited. I was in for a lot of rude comments about my pictures. I started to read them, and people said they sucked and I should kill myself. I was determined to prove them wrong.

3 of my first spotting pictures:


About a month later, I found a great group of people who loved Infinite Flight . We did group flights all the time and we made Instagram events. When I turned 11, we started to become photographers. I had already had experience with it, and it was not good. Lucky for me, I had a great group of aviation photographers in Houston I met on Instagram. They helped me improve my photography skills greatly, which resulted in better photos of mine.

One of my best pictures with a powershot (Yes, grainy, I know. It’s how all of my pictures were back then)


When I turned 12, I got my dad to get me a Canon T5 for my birthday. When I got it, I fell in love with the way it clicks every time you take a picture. Nate, one of my fellow Houston Spotters, taught me how to use manual mode and change the lens on my new camera.
After that, I self taught myself how to edit, well over edit, a lot. I also taught myself how to use some other modes. Gerald, another Houston Spotter, taught me a lot on how to do long exposure night photography.

Example of a few of my way over edited photos


Example of some of my night shots

Now, as a 13 year old photographer, I have learned so much from other amazing photographers. I have learned some amazing things about my camera and what I can do with it.

Some of my best current photos

Never Give Up

As many of you on this forum may be aspiring photographers, some of you just want to give up. You think your photos suck, and you just want to stop doing what you love. You might have a phone camera, or one pricy camera, and you still can’t figure out a way to get nice photos. I was in the same spot as you, 3 years ago, when I was only a small 10 year old boy. As I got older and learned more things, I gained confidence in my photos and in my editing.

Just keep doing what you love.

Don’t stop taking pictures of planes. It’s one of the best things in the world. I encourage you to continue to use that camera of your to photograph the best aviation images - ever.
Also, from now on, I will never ashame you of the photos you take and post on this forum. I will give you some of my personal feedback that I feel you could use to improve the photos you take.

Feel free to comment your photography journey below. Cheers!

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I don’t have a photography journey but those are great pictures! 👍🏼

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The point of this was to show everyone that you can work your way up. It wasnt to show off my pictures.

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@JRRaviation’s pictures are always great! Well done to you for making such a success out of plane spotting. ;)

Now that I have a new phone, I am considering taking spotting up, I will use this thread to help. Thanks!

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I know but the pictures are really good :)

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I feel like i suck. I never get to go plane spotting ever even if i plead. I dont have a good camera and always use auto mode but i never give up. I look at ur photos and know that maybe i could do it with practice

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Do you still use this camera? @JRRaviation

Yes I do. It’s probably one of the best camera for the money.

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I’m in a similar journey, Cannon Powershot SX30IS, also from my dad, but I still have a lot to learn before I’m worthy of an upgrade.

Awesome. Great story!

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Mine was very similar… 3 years ago I was taking pics like this with my iPhone 5
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After this trip I was really happy and wanted to pursue aviation photography; coincidentally that Christmas my uncle game me his old Canon Rebel XTi

A month after I got it I took to Founders Plaza at DFW this was the trip when I met my friend/ spotting buddy @fortworthaviation on Instagram
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This was the trip I used AV mode on my camera and shot RAW for the first time

After this trip I got serious about this and I begged my parents to get me a new camera; after some back and forth the agreed to buy me a brand new Canon 750D or T6i. This is my new baby with exceptional performance.

Editing

After one of my spotting trips I decided to actually edit my pictures so I started a free trial on Lightroom and I just loved it… with some advice from @JRRaviation and some of my fellow DFW spotters I learned to edit on Lightroom some of my early edits were trash

After a lot of trial and error I learned to edit

This are my most recent pics after edits

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Amazing progress you have made. Yes, I remember helping you a lot in the DMs.

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2 years progressed me from iPad to iPhone to a Nikon D5100 with a very nice telephoto. I’ve learned how to take good photos and where the best spots are at my local airport. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. You take super great photos @JRRaviation and I’m a big fan of your work!

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Right back at you! You take great photos as well. It’s amazing how far all of us have come.

@dfwaviationphotography is you? I love that page!!!

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Yup that would be me glad you like it

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Beautifullll pictures! 😍 And beautiful story! Keep doing what you’re doing 👍

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Really appreciate your story and offering encouragement to fellow enthusiasts. The embodiment of the IF community.

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That pic at night of the United 787 with all the other planes parked in the back looks beautiful !.. looks like a aviation museum.

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Marvellous pictures! Your spotting pics are always amazing!