Photography at Airports – Anthony Kernich

Hi Anthony, I am impressed by the large number of aircraft photos you post on Flickr.  How about sharing some of your thoughts about techniques and tips for photography at Airports.


Cargolux landingHello James, I keep forgetting but here’s some ideas for the “airports” Camera Clips article.

I’ll base it off someone who’s got a few hours layover before another flight, with a sunset. No tripods or other exotic equipment, only camera and lenses.

Camera settings: Medium to wide aperture (usually never higher than f9.0) and fairly wide angle (~50mm or less full frame equivalents). The iso may increase due to low lighting. One doesn’t have to be too fussy with exposure and burst shots. Never use flash. Never use a long lens (unless taking pictures of aircraft from a distance).

If its a place I’ve never been before, I go for a wander first to get the lay of the land, looking for interesting objects, angles, shapes or lighting. Many terminals are long and contain things like coloured lights, travellers, doors, symmetry, nice shapes and other things. I then start taking images on the second pass.

Also, one must consider the security aspect of such photography. Walking round taking random photos in a terminal isn’t always the wisest thing to do, especially in many of the larger airports. It’s therefore important to be discrete and use common sense.

For night shots, using a window sill to support the camera during a long exposure can be done. Night shots at airports are some of the best when they work, like my A380 shot.

That’s all I can come up with at the moment. Only a few weeks till I get to Hong Kong, so I can try some things there.