Winter is coming! If you are a plane spotter, this can mean that snow is due in pretty soon and your pictures are going to win any flickr award that they can! That is mainly due to the phenomenon of snow glare. Snow glare is when the sun beats down onto a fresh layer of snow and the snow reflects the light back into the sky allowing for planes to glare to like there is no tomorrow!
Snow glare can either make or break one of your pictures. Here are a couple of tips on how to get the best glare shots.
- Make sure your spot is front lit! : I have shot both front lit and back lit snow glare shots. My back lit snow glares block out the plane's paint scheme. I went for a backlit Lufthansa 747-8i at Newark once and the shot came out black!
- Approach shots only! : If you want the full effect of snow glare, you should only picture them while they are approaching the runway, rather than touching down. The planes are higher on approach, allowing more light to beam towards them. If you shoot touchdowns, it will just come out like an ordinary plane picture.
- Don't use snow mounds! : I REPEAT, DON'T USE THE SNOW MOUNDS! They are left behind by the snow plows! While they may elevate your view and could be useful, they are a lot more dangerous than useful! I've known somebody that climbed up to the top of a snow mound close to 50 ft. high, only to fall down and break his camera in the process. If you are climbing down one and are really clumsy, the snow might avalanche and make you fall down! Standing on top of the snow mounds also alerts the police to make them think you are up to no good. I really can't stress this enough, don't use the snow mounds.
If you follow these 3 important guidelines that I have outlined, you will have effortless award-winning, poster-worthy pictures. I have an example of a good snow glare shot down below! Have fun!
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