Plain Aviation

the life of a planespotter and true avgeek

Category: Spotting guides

5 tips for Airliners.net photo acceptance

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.

Difference Between the Boeing 767 and 777

boeing 767 condor oliver holzbauer

Condor Boeing 767-300ER. Photo by Oliver Holzbauer CC 2.0

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

How to determine spotting conditions at the airport before leaving home

Before leaving my home to go out spotting, I will always check to make sure that conditions are suitable for spotting. As you may know, “suitable” conditions for spotting is much more than just the absence of rain. The light coming from the sun must be bright and coming from the right direction. The visibility must be good, and it would be most preferable if the sky is blue.

How do I choose the right spotting location?

With most airports (usually unofficially) offering at least half a dozen different locations for spotting, it’s hard to choose which one to go to. Unless you want to spend valuable spotting moving around between locations, it’s advised that you visit no more than two locations in a day. At least for most of us, it takes long enough already just to get to the airport. To then move between locations is, at least in my opinion, a waste of time. But if something out of our control happens that makes the location unusable, for example rain, change of active runways, or change of lighting, then of course we have to make an exception.

Spotting Location 3 – Terminal 2 SkyDeck

The “SkyDeck” in terminal 2 of HKIA is the only “designated” viewing location at HKG, meaning that it’s probably where the airport authority would prefer that we spot from (especially considering you need to pay to get in). However, that doesn’t mean that you can or should only spot here, as the airport authority can’t and won’t stop you from spotting elsewhere. That being said, this is where I always go when the 25 runways are in use, as it’s perfect for 25R arrivals and very convenient. You don’t need to mess around switching between the Tung Chung line and various buses to get there, as SkyDeck is located in the main passenger terminal, meaning  you can easily take the Airport Express or a taxi to and from. There are also restaurants, bathrooms, and even a movie theater, whereas most of the other locations are in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

Spotting Location 2 – GFS Headquarters

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.

Spotting Location 1 – HAECO maintenance area

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.

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