Saturday, April 14, 2012
Pic(k) of the week 15: Plane spotting paradise
Earlier this week I was in Dusseldorf, Germany; probably one of top ten places in Europe for "plane spotting". Let's first define what this is: Wikepedia says an airplane spotter is: " A person observing and logging aircraft registration numbers". We must however go back in time to find the origin of plane spotting. During WWII the Royal Air Force used a large number of volunteers to observe incoming aircraft. Due to the lack of radar at that time, the information gathered by these volunteers was critical in planning and executing defensive counter measures.
Today aircraft spotting is however a peaceful hobby which can be practiced in many different ways; some are only interested in military aircraft others in airliners, general aviation aircraft or even disused airplane wrecks. Among all of these, we find again a few different categories; photographers, people who are only writing down registrations, people listening in on the air band frequencies and a combination of the above.
Even though I do not call myself a "spotter" by any stretch of the imagination, I do admit that I'm a die hard aviation enthusiast and of course a hardcore aviation photographer.
Dusseldorf airport has a great opportunity for all of the above. They actually have two dedicated spots where one can, for a very reasonable 2 Euros, watch the daily flow of aircraft pass by. Even though the day I was there was fairly grey and rainy, there were still a fair amount of people, all the way from 2 year old kids to +80 grand-dads.
It's however a real shame that since 9/11, the hobby has lost worldwide so many of its great spotting places. I sincerely believe that these observation places often have started the aviation bug with so many young people.
NIKON D700 with 70-200 VR2 2.8
ISO 200, 90mm, f11. 1/160s
RAW development in Lightroom 4
ColorEfex 4 for detail enhancement
Please also check out my airliner gallery.
Where ever you are, have a great weekend!