It’s 9:30 now; one hour down, one more to go. The places are filling up now, looks like people are really sad to see the 747 go. I’m still perched on top of a rock, good thing I was able to nab this spot while I could.
It’s 8:30am, and here I am at Victoria’s Peak waiting for the Cathay Pacific 747-400 Farewell Flyover. Even though I got here two hours in advance, the place is already jam-packed with spectators. I managed to find a nice spot on the rock, and now the waiting begins. The total value of all the camera gear people have brought here today? Beyond me. I’ll have pictures from today uploaded as soon as possible.
As someone that goes planespotting a lot (as in so often that I feel like my hearing is worsening), I often get bored of having to watch the exact same flights come in and out the airport every time. Though HKG is a really big and busy airport, the flight schedules are pretty much the same each day and things can get real bland real fast. That’s why I get pretty excited about special liveries or non-typical aircraft movements, in this case the arrival of the Cathay and Finnair A350’s.
Most beginning plane spotters and aviation photographers struggle to get their first photo accepted on to online aviation photography databases such as Airliners.net or JetPhotos.net. This is no surprise at all as these websites are very strict when it comes to image quality and reject the majority of images that pass through the screening and selection process. Therefore you shouldn’t feel discouraged when your first couple of uploads are rejected. It took me nearly a dozen attempts before I was able to get my first photo accepted on the Airliners.net. With some persistence and practice, eventually the right photo will come along. Here are my five tips to help you improve your aviation photography and increase your Airliners.net photo acceptance rate.
Back in the day when I first started looking at planes I had the hardest time distinguishing between the Boeing 767 and 777 because they just looked so similar to me. When people try plane spotting for the first time, they typically have to rely on very concrete and noticeable features of each aircraft to distinguish them from others (for example the number of engines or doors present) before they are able get a feel for each aircraft and recognize them based off
In September of 2014, China Eastern Airlines announced their new livery just weeks prior to the delivery of their first Boeing 77W (777-300ER), which was painted in the update livery. It was a much-needed update, as the old livery was living far beyond its expiration date. As can be seen in the picture below, it featured a classic blue and red circular logo on the tail with what appears to be a white crane over top. Running down the fuselage is a blue, red, and gold cheat-line that opens up near the front. The words “China Eastern” and its equivalent in Chinese are printed above the passenger windows in a very bland and inauthentic typeface. To finish it off, there’s a tiny black spot on the nose (used to protect the radar dome) and a black area in the shape of a crescent in front of the main cockpit windows. These features, especially the cheat-line and tail desgin, were very common among aircraft in the 80’s, but are quite rarely seen nowadays, which is why the livery appears somewhat outdated.
The name of this location is quite misleading as you’re not actually supposed to be spotting from outside the GFS headquarters. You’re welcome to try doing so, but most of the time you’ll be catching the butt of planes departing from 25L. I mean the APU exhaust and rear fuselage are quite sexy, but I’d rather catch the front. To get the right angle, you should be approximately halfway between the threshold of 07R and the GFS headquarters. This spot is really only good for 25L departures and 07R arrivals (which come at best once every hour). 07R departures are visible, however you won’t be able to get any shots due to the fence.
This location is really the only place where you can catch 07L arrivals, which occur frequently during the winter time, usually in the morning. I really don’t like this location as it’s quite far from the approach path of RWY07L, but unless you have a sweet yacht to go out in, this is the best option available.
From here, 07R arrivals (which come around once every hour and are usually cargo) will be approximately the same distance from you as 07L arrivals. The recommended focal length here is ~250mm for APS-C cameras, and ~400mm for you rich bastards with full-frames.