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All light aircraft move around, vibrate and suffer the effects of turbulence. Each of these problems presents a challenge to an aerial photographer striving for sharp images. Ground-based techniques, such as using a tripod or monopod are on no use when flying. There is no room to use such items, and the structure of the aircraft is also constantly moving.

The most obvious approach is to select a high shutter speed wherever possible. Remember that depth of field may not be too much of a problem because the subject is typically at infinity or at least a considerable distance from the camera. If necessary, also increase the ISO setting. Image stabilized lenses also improve matters, but much can be done by learning how to hold a camera and lens in the confines of a small aircraft cabin. Direct contact between the camera or lens and the structure of the aircraft is best avoided because vibration will be transmitted to the equipment. However a soft cushion, or bean bag, can form a useful shock-absorber when placed between a window frame and a lens. The photographer's hand can be used as a shock-absorber in a similar manner. Hold the camera with the right hand and the front of the lens with a couple of fingers of the left hand. Use the remaining fingers of the left hand, or even the back of the hand, to stabilize the lens against the aircraft's structure.


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