Photography Question

Is there a way to avoid heat waves when taking a photo of an aircraft, or should you just move?

In this, you can clearly see the heat waves below the plane as it lands. Is there a way around this?


There is unfortunately no way you can get around this. Since the plane is a bit far away, the heat haze takes over the photo. If the plane is closer, you sort of see most of the plane, but some heat haze. You can try to edit it, it takes awhile


Actually, your best shot is to try panning, you’ll need the light conditions to be low.

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Hehe. Panning at 2pm with an f.stop of 18 go brrrrt

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Spot on a colder day lol. That’s really all there is to be done.

I have heard before that panning can help as @ItsBlitz mentioned. You can just stop down the aperture to make it dark enough for that. That’s some significant heat haze so I wouldn’t hold my breath for that to fix it all, and panning is hard to do in its own right. I’d also say looks like he is coming down the runway towards you, why not take some pictures closer? The shorter the distance the less heat haze, and generally higher quality especially because you will be able to get it to fill the frame.


I use maximum 9.0 in day 😂 Goodbye quality is what your saying, thats why I only pan at evening for the best lighting and reduced heat haze.

Me trying to figure out how panning gets rid of heat

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Diffraction isn’t gonna be as bad as heat haze if you’re right that it helps lol

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Panning is the fight against global warming 🤠

But how does it help? If anything seems like it should hurt tbh. Because as the heat ripples along the plane if you catch that for a longer time I feel like it would not only look like you are seeing the plane in a fun house mirror, but it would be like an oil painting as well from the heat changing if that makes any sense.

Nope, It gets rid of majority of the effect. Plus, if you shooting 90 minutes before sunset (after sunrise), it almost completely removes it.

Here’s the difference. Hainan is a regular shot and the DL is panned.


Both taken on the same day by one of my Vegas friends.

DL seems much later in the day though which could definitely explain that imo.

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That proved my point 😂

That going later did it not panning? 🤔

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The asphalt is the main cause of heat haze. The longer the day goes on the hotter the asphalt gets. Panning does nothing except maybe distract people from the amount of haze.

One of your photos is clearly at a lower angle if insolation implying that it’s either right after sunrise when the asphalt hasn’t heated up or right before sunset when it has cooled down.


My mom wanted to go when it was the hottest, so I couldn’t really change the time

This is something very important to keep in mind in my opinion.
Avoiding heat haze can especially be done by changing the location, so if you can get to a point where no asphalt/concrete, but only grass or so, is between you and the plane, this will enormously help with the heat haze :)


Photoshop can also be quite beneficial to remove or reduce heat haze, post spotting.

That’s a great way of ruining the photo quality as well.

Heat haze is a natural occurence. You can see it even when it’s 25° outside (source: trust me) and you can’t really do anything about it.