Airplane Silhouette

35mm  f/18  1/1000sec  ISO200
In early March this year I spent some days in the city of Anchorage, Alaska. The Ted Stevens International Airport is famous for heavy traffic of huge cargo aircraft. Because I love airplanes it was fun for me to stay near the runways and take photos of approaching or departing machines. At one of the locations at the airport when you take photos of departing airplanes it would be against the sun in the afternoon hours. This is really bad if you want a photo of the airplane in full detail, but it is excellent for shooting aircraft silhouettes.

62mm  f/16  1/1000sec  ISO200
At earlier shots with my newly acquired EF-S 18-135mm kit lens I noticed a beautiful star appearance of light source produced by an closed aperture. With this in my mind I started an experiment: I wanted to catch the airplane close to the sun, so that I have an airplane silhouette together with a sun star in my frame. This experiment turned out everything but easy. Because each departing plane had a different climb path I had to move around a lot to get a position for the intended shot. Fortunately there was enough traffic at this time and I got lots of chances. From all the many photos I took these are my favourites.

59mm  f/18  1/800sec  ISO200

Here are the technical details again: I used my EOS 600D and my EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom lens for the photos. The camera was set into P mode and calculated aperture and shutter speed automatically. Usually you set a fixed aperture with a higher value to get that nice star appearance of the sun, but in my case the automatic mode was sufficient. ISO was at fixed value of 200.

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