Tips For Taking Photos From A Plane

Photography from the inside of an airplane is revolving around different social media platforms. The classic window shots with the beautiful scenery and the wonderful puffiness of the clouds never fail to capture almost everyone’s eyes. With all the wonderful plane pictures going around, you will surely want to have a picture of your own. 

Plane photography has now become a controversial topic. Many experts in the field of photography have been giving insights and tips on how to up your airplane photography. Although only a numbered of people care about the angles, lighting, time, etc., it is crucial to consider these factors to capture a breathtaking airplane photo. 

The following are some tips for taking photos from a plane that can help improve your airplane photography. 

Prepare Ahead of Time

It is essential to have preparation if you want to have a beautifully captured plane photo. First, if you’re going to get excellent pictures out the windows, it is preferable to get a window seat. It isn’t easy to lean over and take a photo when seated in the aisle or the middle. You would be lucky if you can ask a nice person to adjust her seat and position and help you capture the perfect window shot. 

Avoid Putting Camera Lens against the Window

It is one of the common mistakes in airplane photography. Taking shots with your lens against the window may do you little to no good. Yes, it may cut down the reflections. However, it only helps a little. And instead of a steady shot, it could make your pictures shaky because of the vibrations coming from the plane. 

To help with reflections, you may use a lens hood or your free hand (if a lens hood is not available) to cover the areas around the lens as it can help shield it from window reflections. 

Study Your Route

It is also possible to study your route on your given flight destination. The internet has a lot of resources that could help you with this. It is also essential in airplane photography to study the route to know what scenic regions and cities you will be passing through and which side of the airplane it would be better to sit on. 

Use a Manual Focus

Switching your camera to a manual focus is vital when you want to capture a good photo from a plane. It is hard to lock your camera’s focus when capturing something through a glass. With a manual focus, it will be easy for you to adjust the focus on the main subject of your picture, achieving better photos. 

Consider the Time of the Day

plane window, airplane wing, nighttime photo

Think about when would be the right time to shoot your photos. Will it be during daytime or nighttime? What will you be witnessing? A sunrise, sunset, harsh midday light, or long shadows? 

Nighttime photography is somewhat tricky, especially when you are inside a moving aircraft. It is also a great trick to shoot early while your window is still clear so that you can get more precise and better shots since windows tend to get sweaty when you have been flying for a long time. 

Prepare for Plane Banking

Having an aerial shot of the ground isn’t easy. However, there are small opportunities to have a fantastic shot, especially when the plane is banking before the landing and after the takeoff. The tip is to be ready since there is only a tiny chance to capture aerial shots as these moments do not last long.

Always Have Your Camera Nearby

purple and pinkish sunset, airplane wing, aerial view of snowy mountains

Your camera must be easily accessible. You will never know when you can see beautiful scenery to capture. So it is essential to keep your camera near you and avoid putting it in the overhead compartment so you won’t miss capturing an excellent photo. 

Do Not Use Camera Flash

It is not ideal to use a camera flash when shooting from inside an airplane, especially when you want a window shot. It won’t have an impact on your picture and will only aggravate the reflection against the windows. 

Adjust your Camera Settings

Adjusting your camera settings is one way to perfect your airplane shot. Manually adjust your shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and time-lapse according to your subject to achieve the best photo as much as possible. 

For the shutter speed, the faster the shutter, the better the result. Considering the plane’s speed and the movement caused by turbulence and vibrations, a fast shutter speed might be more applicable. However, there is an exception if you want to go for a low-light motion blur and streaking. 

Regarding the ISO, the lower it is, the better. However, depending on the plane and the weather’s lighting condition, you may want to increase your ISO to maintain the shutter speed and avoid capturing a blurry photo. 

There is also no issue if you want to shoot with your sharpest mid-range apertures. But, take note that your lens may still be less sharp when shooting through the plane’s windows made from non-optical-quality plexiglass. With this, you may want to open up your camera lens and use a faster shutter speed. 

Timelapse is also an excellent way to capture the beautiful sceneries from a plane. You may utilize your camera and smartphone to create a fantastic timelapse of even a tiny portion of your flight.