Viewing facilities at Airports in a number of Mainland European Countries are far superior to what we have here in the UK (with the exception of the superb views at Manchester) and as a number of the German Airports have Spectators Terraces it is worthwhile packing a Tripod if visiting there during the winter months when there are some oppertunities for night time shots before closing time.

Since buying my Digital SLR in February 2003 I have paid two visits to Dusseldorf and one to Frankfurt and have taken my biggest Tripod with me for use on the Terraces at these two Airports, you need a Tripod with long legs to clear the front of the Terraces or one that can extend upwards when set up.

When I visited Hamburg Airport and Finkenwerder at the end of September 2003 I arranged my travel on the return leg to fly from Hamburg to Cologne so that I could take the train to the Dusseldorf Hauptbanhof and then onto Dusseldorf Airport arriving at 6pm allowing me a couple of hours on the Terrace at night before it closed at 8pm.

Having already had a couple of night time visits on the Terrace in January 2003 I knew what to expect this time so now shooting Digital rather than Slides I took all of my photos in RAW Mode as it allows more oppertunities to improve the scans in Photoshop however you are limited to only certain Stands where the angles and lighting conditions are suitable.

The variety of aircraft to shoot is naturally reduced outside of the summer season so in particular there was a lack of the numerous Turkish Charter Airlines that photographers look out for at DUS so you have to stick at it to catch some of the better ones.

Austrian Airlines
(Dusseldorf 2-10-03).

OK-YGU 737
(Dusseldorf 2-10-03).

(Dusseldorf 2-10-03).

(Dusseldorf 2-10-03).

8)OE-LBT A320 Austrian Airlines (Dusseldorf 2-10-03) (80mm 2 seconds @ F6.7)
9)OK-YGU 737 CSA (Dusseldorf 2-10-03) (120mm 4 seconds & F8)
10)HB-JAF EMB145 Crossair (Dusseldorf 2-10-03) (300mm 3 seconds & F8)
11)EC-FHK MD87 Iberia (Dusseldorf 2-10-03) (70mm 4 seconds & F6.7)

My first trip of 2004 was to Frankfurt with a view to taking some night photos from the Terrace so we booked our flights and accomodation for the end of the first week in March as they change to Summer hours on the 1st of March so this means the Terrace stays open until 8pm giving us a couple of hours of darkness.

I had seen a number of night shots on taken at Frankfurt Airport and knew the lighting around the Terrace was very good for photos so was pleased to find it well up to my expectations, excellent conditions to spend a couple of hours well wrapped up against the chilly weather.

As with Dusseldorf some of the Stands are not suitable for photos being very backlit or obstructed by Airbridges but you can stakeout a few that give good views and keep on the move checking for impending pushbacks, a good idea is to listen out for the alarm sound of the Airbridges retracting off of the aircraft and you can usually pick out this sound over the din of aircraft noise.

During the two hours of darkness the best policy is to keep on the move because you get little time to take your photos after one pushes back so being slightly late to set up often means you miss them and as about half of the Stands around the Terrace are not suitable for one reason or another you don't want to do that.

(Frankfurt 7-3-04).

D-ABUA 767
(Frankfurt 7-3-04).

OK-CGH 737
(Frankfurt 7-3-04).

D-ABVZ 747-400
(Frankfurt 8-3-04).

12)SE-DMH MD90 SAS (Frankfurt 7-3-04) (60mm 3 seconds @ F8)
13)D-ABUA 767 Condor (Frankfurt 7-3-04) (65mm 3 seconds & F8)
14)OK-CGH 737 CSA (Frankfurt 7-3-04) (65mm 4 seconds & F6.7)
15)D-ABVZ 747 Lufthansa (Frankfurt 8-3-04) (28mm 2 seconds & F6.7)

Well that's all of the night shots I have to add from my travels abroad so far to this page but with other trips coming up soon my Tripod will be coming along with me in case I find some handy spots to set it up so I'm sure that I will be adding a few more here in the months to come.

Fred (24 -4-04).

Page 1 My First Night Shots.

Page 2 Night shots using Digital.
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