Indoor Model Helicopter Flying

Never let it be said that I don’t post a variety of material on this blog.  Some of it is OK stuff, and some of it demonstrates that I am still on a photographic learning curve.  This post falls into the latter category. 😕

Last Monday, members of the Camera Club were invited to take some photos of indoor model aircraft flying at a local Sports Hall.  Thanks go to Mr Jan Bassett for arranging this opportunity.  In the event, only a couple of club members turned up, but this did mean that there was plenty of room for photography.

With the benefit of hindsight, I understand what I did wrong on most of these images.  Even if I had been ‘chimping’ between shots, I’m not sure whether the screen size would have prompted me to sort myself out during the session.

I expected to have to use flash, and this first image of a ‘quadcopter’ was taken using it. The result doesn’t show any major problems.

Model Aircraft 1

This next image was also taken using flash and I think that I ‘got away with it’, apart from the framing and the bright ceiling lights in the background.

Model Aircraft 4

At least I composed the next one better, but a pity about the flash reflections.

Model Aircraft 5

Not enough depth of field on the next one, and it is starting to show some evidence of my biggest crime, though not too badly.

Model Aircraft 6

Another similar one.

Model Aircraft 7

This is where I start to get embarrassed.

Model Aircraft 8

OK, the rotor blades are not turning backwards.  I had my flash synch set incorrectly.  I should have selected Slow Synch 2nd Curtain and the blur would have shown behind the rotor blades.  My only excuse is that I was having enough problems getting the damn things in the frame and focussed, and I didn’t think about it.  We are supposed to learn from our mistakes, so next time perhaps I will get it right.

Here is another one.

Model Aircraft 9

The next one was shot without flash and was poorly exposed, but at least the rotor looks good.

Model Aircraft 11

And another.

Model Aircraft 12

In the next, the flash did fire, but it’s not too obviously incorrectly synched.

Model Aircraft 14

For this tiny quadcopter shot there was no flash, and the rotor speed was so high that I have barely caught the rotor disc blur at all.

Model Aircraft 15

On this last shot in this series the flash did fire, but again, I got away with it, I think!

Model Aircraft 16

Well, I have shared my photographic blunders with you.  If photographing things where there will be motion blur, either don’t use flash or make sure that 2nd Curtain Synch is selected.

I’d like to think that I have learned, but my aged memory is short, so no promises.

I did take some of fixed wing models as well.  I’m not sure whether I will post any of these, but at least they didn’t exhibit this problem.

7 thoughts on “Indoor Model Helicopter Flying

  1. Well good for you, Dave – good first attempt! And as for 2nd curtain synch, that must be somewhere in there with sliderules.

    The two I like best are the 4th down – and blow the depth of field! Nice picture. And the 4th up from the bottom, which is a nice portrait. Adrian


  2. I do think you are often quite hard on yourself with regard to your photographs. I like many of these and think you did a good job. The thing to remember is: there’s no such thing as the perfect photograph – and those which claim to follow all the rules are a little ‘sterile’ to me. Go forth with the flow – and your imagination …….


    • I did get some things wrong M. In fact I was pleasantly surprised that I got any decent images since they were darned difficult to get in frame and focused. The flash issue was just a bit of learning that might just be useful to remember.


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