I'm Devendra Kulkarni

Photographer . Web Developer . Influencer . Plane Spotter

Monday, July 31, 2017

Capturing the trails
All of us dream of something, we think to create something new out of existing & we should never give up if you think it’s right and you have the courage to chase it down and make it possible. I had clicked mergeshot of about 4hrs captured in Mumbai last year, which was just an idea that how about putting all the planes which are taking off in one picture instead of sharing individual picture of them.

Airplanes has been attraction for lots of people since beginning, they don’t just carry people from one place to another but they also re-united loved ones, connected cultures, expanded minds, opened up markets, saved lives, and allowed people worldwide to dream of a bigger, brighter future and turn it into a reality,  it is the one of the most amazing human invention ever – and in just about a period of 100 years from first airplane of Wright brothers to latest and most advanced aircrafts such as Airbus A350xwb which are capable of flying 16,300 km nonstop. 

As an aviation enthusiast & aviation photographer they always encourage me as well as all of us and reminds that. You may seem all of us are divided but we're one family - aviation family. 

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."   - Eleanor Roosevelt

Which inspired me to capture this picture. These days in India are monsoon season and we receive heavy rainfall which is required for all our water resources and farms. It’s kind of hard to find that sweet spot of weather these days when there is no rain or slight shower. It’s possess a high risk of getting your equipment wet in rain. I was lucky enough to make this shot possible in this un-predictable weather.


On 30th  & 31st July 2017, me and my cousin (Anand Akole) decided to let’s give a try to make a night merger shot of Pune Airport’s departures as the flights takes off with their landing lights on which looks so beautiful as they navigate through the cloud. We were pretty impressed with those new LED lights of Airbus A320Neo which were so bright.

So to capture this kind of shot you require a good location from where you can get the good view of what you are trying to capture. We had to setup our camera on the bedroom window. We made this merge shot from 105 individual night exposure captured during 17hrs in total while we have total of 55 departures & 53 arrivals with total of 108 aircrafts arriving & departing in single picture.



High Resolution : flickr.com

Since last 6-8 months we’ve seen increase in flights to and from Pune and flights now operate almost 24hrs a day connecting Indian cities as well as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt. 
Pune is 10th busiest airport in India with about 46,932 flights a year.



“Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.”           - Roy T. Bennett

As quoted by Roy Bennett we were about to give it a try to merge all the aircrafts landing & departing out of here during 9pm to 5am duration. We knew we are about to attempt something which is not easy but not impossible also. To make this possible you must have some equipment such as tripod, remote release and ofcourse knowledge to capture the photo just the way you wanted to. Also the highest number of flights in single merger i've ever captured.

To capture such shot it takes lots of patience and giving up to sleep and stay awake all night just to ensure you won’t miss any aircraft.  While capturing this photo I got great help of flightradar24 flight tracking app which shows near real-time air traffic hence being one step ahead of what is about to come to you & a digital remote release which found very necessary during exposure shots as I found that it give more control over your exposure than keep pressing the shutter button of the camera for such long duration and it can also shake the camera which is not good.

Camera Settings :

While settings vary as per the distance and duration of the long exposure we required. Aircrafts usually takes about 2mins from the airport which is about 15kms distance, hence it goes out of my frame in 2mins or little more. So accordingly I was taking exposures of 2 min 45 sec to ensure entire flight is captured and we get little bit more margin to ensure we have the right picture (not underexposed nor over-exposed).

Since light pollution is high in cities I had to increase my aperture to F11 to increase the duration of exposure while keeping ISO100 as its minimum.

While it was cloudy also and street lights were making the picture warm tone I had selected White Balance to CLOUDY.

Also you have make sure that you have TURN OFF – AutoFocus & Image Stabilizer. If your camera screen can be turned off, then it’s good for us as it will save battery as we don’t require screen if we are using digital remote which has its own display where we see the exposure time.
If you’re looking something to make similar also go through AstroPhotography tutorials which will give you good idea bout shooting in night. 

Also read my post on lightning capture which has pretty much same technique - Click Here


Special thanks To Anand Akole & To each & everyone who supported me as always to make this shot possible and I hope you all will always be there.  :)

If you require more details kindly mail me at me@devendra.one

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Fashion | Lifestyle | Portrait | Celebrity | Aerial | Wedding Photogrpaher based in Pune

Crazy about planes & flying machines, exploring new things over different domains such as Tech. Space. Aviation. Travel. Adventure. and many more.

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