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  • Gliding

    Anyone any advice on taking photos from a glider?

    Got a "gliding experience" tomorrow at the Cambridge Gliding Club, so intend to pack the camera!

    Polarising filter?
    Telephoto (40-150), Wide angle(12-40) or Ultra wide angle(7-14 4/3)?

  • #2
    Re: Gliding

    How about 12 -100mm zoom ?
    Don't think you need a polarising filter IMHO, unless your flying over water and want to see the bottom of the lake.
    Last edited by wornish; 24th July 2018, 07:51 AM. Reason: typo
    Dave

    My Flickr

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    • #3
      Re: Gliding

      I flew gliders for over 20 years of my life and was a member at Gransden Lodge (Cambridge Gliding Club). I also used to live in Great Gransden.

      I instructed too for about 10 years. So - here are my thoughts...

      - There's not a great deal of room in the front of a glider. Whilst an E-M1 plus 12-100 certainly will physically fit, IMHO it's too big. There won't be anywhere to stow it so you'll have to hold on to it and that means you won't get a chance to fly the gilder - which is really the most important thing.

      - You'll be shooting though perspex and chances are it will not be as clean as it could be and there will be a lot of internal reflections, so getting high quality shots won't be on the agenda.

      - If it's your first time in a glider then you'll probably be into sensory overload so it's unlikely you'll have the presence of mind to take nicely composed shots. There'll also be things in the cockpit that get in the way and of course the glider will be a moving platform.

      So in summary - your trial lesson is not going to be the ideal environment for photography! IMHO - take a compact, or even your phone and enjoy the flying experience instead.

      Finally - to appreciate gliding photography fully - check out the work of the late Neil Stuart Lawson:

      http://www.whiteplanes.com

      BTW - this used to be my glider (but I wasn't flying it - my syndicate partner was):

      Paul
      E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
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      • #4
        Re: Gliding

        No glider experience here, apart from when the donkey stopped!
        I used to fly and take photos (film was the only game in town). Shots were crap, basically, lots of haze, generally, and not worthy of the effort. I used to fly window open with the rear passengers wrestling with the 1/2 mil ... that had somehow migrated from my lap Ah the good days.
        Steve

        on flickr

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        • #5
          Re: Gliding

          This may be more the job for an action camera?

          Ian
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          • #6
            Re: Gliding

            About 40 years ago I was asked to take pictures of the firms social club glider in flight for the staff newspaper.
            However they wanted the pictures showing the plane in fllight taken from the air.

            I was to be in the tug plane, however to get a decent view I had to be perched 3/4s out of the plane sitting on the edge of the door (still strapped in) and the door removed.

            The skill of the tug pilot was excellent, he positioned the tug plane to get me the best views. I was using two 35mm cameras - one with transparency film, one with negative film. During the flight I took about 60 to 70 pictures and the only time I took my eye away from a viewfinder I found myself looking straight down onto the spire / tower of Lasham Church.

            This has no usefull information re this thread, but the topic reminded me of an interesting 20 minutes.
            This space for rent

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            • #7
              Re: Gliding

              Originally posted by DerekW View Post
              The skill of the tug pilot was excellent, he positioned the tug plane to get me the best views.
              Having done this sort of thing before, I can promise you that the pilot of the glider had the most work to do. Basically, the tug pilot just flies straight and level with a rate of descent similar to the glider's. Meanwhile, the glider pilot must position him/herself in a stable position close to the tug plane so that the 'tog can get the right shots. It's basically flying in formation. Most glider pilots get quite good at this sort of thing anyhow since it's basically what you do when you get an aerotow.
              Paul
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              • #8
                Re: Gliding

                Originally posted by Ian View Post
                This may be more the job for an action camera?

                Ian
                Actually, a GoPro strapped to the instructor's instrument binnacle and pointing forward to show the student (Walti) and the flight would be ideal. That way you get to review all that happened later when you have time to appreciate it better. In fact, it's something that the gliding club could consider doing for all trial lessons. Something for the punter to take home as a memento.
                Paul
                E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
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                • #9
                  Re: Gliding

                  Well, it was a short flight...

                  A couple of snaps:



                  The glider - probably the one you used to instruct in Paul?


                  The tow


                  The release


                  And some old building tell-tales!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gliding

                    Thanks Walti. Indeed, that glider is a Puchacz. I have flown it many a time. If it's the same Robin towing you as they had when I was there, I've also flown that quite a bit too. I hope you had a good time! Who was the instructor? - I might know him/her.

                    The Puchacz is a Polish glider and I'm told it translates to "eagle owl". It's a basic training glider and is infamous for being very easily spinnable. In fact, it's not the main training glider at Gransden - they use the German Schleicher K21 for that role. The K21 has better performance, is more robust, has a more comfortable cockpit and is somewhat easier to fly. However it's almost impossible to spin it, so the Puchacz is kept to provide for spin training - essential before solo and for annual checks. It gets used for trial lessons too though.

                    The Poles are infamous for building spinable gliders and for doing crazy aerobatic things in general. The Swift S1 is another Polish machine and it's fully aerobatic. I once did a flight in one at Gransden with Guy Westgate, UK aerobatic champion at the time. To finish a flight of fairly agressive manoeuvers (by gliding standards), he flew the entire circuit inverted - only rolling to the right way up on final approach. It was "interesting".
                    Paul
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                    • #11
                      Re: Gliding

                      The instructor was Andrew, he's been doing it a long time.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gliding

                        Originally posted by pdk42 View Post
                        Thanks Walti. Indeed, that glider is a Puchacz. I have flown it many a time. If it's the same Robin towing you as they had when I was there, I've also flown that quite a bit too. I hope you had a good time! Who was the instructor? - I might know him/her.

                        The Puchacz is a Polish glider and I'm told it translates to "eagle owl". It's a basic training glider and is infamous for being very easily spinnable. In fact, it's not the main training glider at Gransden - they use the German Schleicher K21 for that role. The K21 has better performance, is more robust, has a more comfortable cockpit and is somewhat easier to fly. However it's almost impossible to spin it, so the Puchacz is kept to provide for spin training - essential before solo and for annual checks. It gets used for trial lessons too though.

                        The Poles are infamous for building spinable gliders and for doing crazy aerobatic things in general. The Swift S1 is another Polish machine and it's fully aerobatic. I once did a flight in one at Gransden with Guy Westgate, UK aerobatic champion at the time. To finish a flight of fairly agressive manoeuvers (by gliding standards), he flew the entire circuit inverted - only rolling to the right way up on final approach. It was "interesting".
                        I was once told off for doing steep turns in the circuit at an an RAF base. The unforgivable sin I committed was overtaking; I think the steep turns were of secondary concern. Not good I admit, but never did I fly inverted, but tight circuits, yes. I was met on the Tarmac by a squadron leader who dressed me down verbally.
                        Steve

                        on flickr

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                        • #13
                          Re: Gliding

                          I did a two week gliding course at Shalbourne back in the last baking summer, 1976. I was the only one on the course, and with the great conditions, managed to solo after one and a half weeks. I didn't have the money to follow it up much then. Training glider cockpits are usually fairly tatty perspex.

                          In 1986 I tried hang gliding, and since 1993 have been paragliding, which is a great way of getting aerial shots, as there's nothing in the way, but you usually have to take them one-handed unless you stick a GoPro somewhere. Some of my paragliding shots on Flickr, including aerials.
                          https://www.flickr.com/photos/bruce-...57600575164113

                          This summer is odd, and proving to be fairly hazardous for paragliding. The parched fields and constant high pressure are making conditions more like Spain, with vicious, broken thermals and very strong gusts. Great for the record breakers though. Over 300km flight recently from mid Wales to Scarborough!
                          Bruce

                          http://flickr.com/photos/bruce-clarke/

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gliding

                            Wow - 300km in a paraglider!
                            Paul
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                            • #15
                              Re: Gliding

                              Originally posted by pdk42 View Post
                              Wow - 300km in a paraglider!
                              Yes Paul, the performance of the top end ones is reaching some hang gliders, but of course you can jump on a train at the end and get home (at vast expense!) This summer has been great for them, as they can take-off in strong winds, and cover the ground relatively fast (not compared to racing gliders of course). Not so good for us ordinary mortals though. The climate is definitely changing flying weather. I might have to get back into gliding...

                              Here's the 301km flight, click on XC Player tab for more detail. http://www.xcleague.com/xc/flights/2...ml?vx=01200715
                              Bruce

                              http://flickr.com/photos/bruce-clarke/

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