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Photo Tips

You have put a lot of time, effort, and energy into building or restoring your aircraft. It is your pride and joy, and we want to make it look as good as possible with photos worthy of your effort. 

Here are some tips for photographing your airplane that will help make it look great in print.

What makes a good photo?

Photos of the aircraft in flight are always good — either an air-to-air shot or the aircraft taking off or landing. If you can’t get a photo of it in flight, try shooting from an interesting angle or with good scenery. Show us the whole aircraft, and pay attention to lighting, composition, backgrounds, etc. 

Interesting Angles

  • Three-quarter view from the front.
  • Use a stepladder and shoot looking down.
  • Get really low and shoot up.

Interesting Scenery

  • Mountains
  • Fields
  • Blue sky with white clouds

General Tips

  • Background: Avoid taking a photo in front of your hangar unless it’s especially interesting — for example, a period hangar as a backdrop for a vintage aircraft can work; instead, look for a spot on the ramp that has a natural background.
  • Clutter-free: Watch for poles and buildings behind the airplane, taxiways or other lines going through the airplane, or other distractions.
  • Contrasting color: This will help the airplane stand out. If the plane is light, the background should be dark and vice versa.
  • Composition: Include the whole airplane; avoid cutting off a wingtip or tail section and leave a buffer all around for cropping if needed. Read up on the rule of thirds if you’re not familiar with it. 
  • Sky: Avoid gray/white sky if possible. 
  • Resolution: Photos must be large enough to print well at 300 dpi. Generally speaking, any reasonably modern camera, current iPhone or Android device, or any consumer level or above DSLR camera will have a resolution that is more than adequate for our purposes. 
  • Filename: Your camera will put a name on your picture that won’t make sense to anyone. Change the file name to your name and the airplane type, such as “SmithGlasair.jpg.” 
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