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Aircraft Photography

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I thought I would create this thread to describe how I took the photos used in the Aircraft Showcase. Now, I don't profess to being a great photographer, in fact I think I'm pretty average. I cheat a fair bit, because I have a camera which does most of the work for me. The camera used for most of those photos was a Lumix FZ35, which I unfortunately (my wife says stupidly) lost at the Avalon Airshow this year. However I have been able to pick up an even better model, FZ45) secondhand for under $100.


I have submitted, and had accepted, photos to one of the most difficult and pedantic aircraft databases, airliners.net, although my success ratio is not good. Their photo screening, which usually takes about a fortnight, is ultra picky on lots of criteria, but then it's their show.


The images captured by the FZ35 were 4000 x 3000 pixels in size, and using the Auto setting, exposure and focus were managed by the camera. Simply line up the shot, press the shutter half way till a green frame appears around the subject, and focus is set. However, a 4000 x 3000 pixel photo is a large file (up to 6 Mb), and the image is too large to display without resizing.


Here is a photo that has been reduced to 750x 562 pixels from 4000x3000 pixels.




Here is the same photo at the ful 4000 x 3000 pixels.




I use a photo editing package called PhotoScape, which is free software downloaded from the internet. Once I have uploaded the images from the camera to the computer, I open the image in Photoscape. When taking the photo, I leave some space around the subject which gives me room to work to make any adjustments. For example, if the camera is not level, I can rotate it image in minute steps with Photoscape. This will leave blank spaces in the corner which the software automatically crops out.


Then there may be distracting foreground objects which can be cut out by careful cropping. In the image below, the foreground shadow is distracting. The file size is 6.7 Mb.




I chose to use 16:9 as the aspect ratio for the showcase, because with aircraft the rest of the image is sky or foreground. I set the cropping tool to 16:9 and draw a frame around the subject , eliminating the foreground shadow, but taking care not to clip the wings or tail. One of the rejection reasons on airliners.net is parts of the plane being cropped off.




However, at 3145 x 1769 pixels, the image is still too large. File size is still 4.9 Mb.


I then use the Resize function to reduce the width to 750 pixels. At the new aspect ratio of 16:9 the height is 422 pixels, and the filesize is 157 kb.




This is the image size I use in the showcase.


Sometimes there are objects in the foreground which cannot be removed by cropping. For these, I use the software Clone Stamp tool.


Before cloning 872425602_24-5262CTLSYMAV20170305flagsremoved.thumb.JPG.89905e13dc2f0cef5f9bbd27f537246e.JPG





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Hongie, as I said in the first couple of lines, I'm not much of a photographer, and I don't know anything about jpeg compression other than I had a few photos rejected by airliners.net for jpeg compression artifacts. Here is one of them.




I tried looking up jpeg compression, but it may as well have been written in ancient Hebrew or Chinese. This random sample for instance.


In simpler terms, quantization is a method for optimally reducing a large number scale (with different occurrences of each number) into a smaller one, and the transform-domain is a convenient representation of the image because the high-frequency coefficients, which contribute less to the overall picture than other coefficients, are characteristically small-values with high compressibility.


As I said, I leave space around the subject to allow for correction of mistakes, framing the subject in post processing, etc. I can frame the subject more correctly on the screen than in the camera. Bandwidth is a consideration. Many sites, including this one, won't accept image files larger than 500 kb. I trialled compressing a 4.7 Mb image on a online compressor. 73% compression still yielded a file of 1.7 Mb. And as illustrated by the red Virgin photo in the OP, many sites will only display a small portion of a full size image without having to scroll left to right, top to bottom.



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"maybe up the jpeg compression"


("Joint Photographic Expert Group" )


I was told, Long ago, That Jpeg "loses" quality every time it is saved, or scand. Ending up with a photo image thats not worth keeping.


T(aged) I(mage),F(ile). F(ormat). TIFF does not loose anything when saved to a filling system.




is a large file format, to keep All the image information.


See, ( Guide to Image Formats: JPEG, GIF, TIFF vs PNG )





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a jpeg will lose detail each time it is saved inside a editor that is compressing it ie photoshop. If you are simply copying and pasting the file to another place, it will not degrade the quality. Each file has a CRC or a checksum. a digital DNA if you will, and any change to a single pixel of that file would result in a change of that checksum hash, and rather than lose quality, you would be simply unable to open it (by ordinary means)


I would have to check to be sure, but I think that opening a jpeg in simple editor, such as MS paint for instance, would not result in such as loss. From memory, MS paint does not do any JPEG compression.


A simple way around such limitations as we are talking about (dimensions, file size etc) that are enforced by most forums, is to use other hosting (such as IMGUR, Imgur ) and link to them on the forum by wrapping tags%20around%20them.%20Most%20of%20these%20image%20hosters%20do%20some%20dynamic%20resizing%20to%20suit%20the%20size%20of%20whatever%20client%20is%20viewing%20it.



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Hosting sites usually charge a monthly fee, which as a pensioner, is something I can't justify. I feel my photos stack up OK against most others for viewing on a computer screen. Blown up on a 65" TV may be different, but I'm not entering any photo comps.



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  • 2 weeks later...

How is this for a cool airport? Scott's Island, Chesapeake, West Virginia.





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