Could give me some ad­vice on pho­tograph­ing pro­peller­driven air­craft? I have a Nikon D5100 with a 55-80mm lens. Chris Chap­man, via email

NPhoto - - Nikopedia -

Rod says… Chris, it is pos­si­ble to freeze the mo­tion of a pro­pel­ler if you set a very high shut­ter speed, but this can re­sult in the blades, and there­fore your im­age, look­ing quite static. The best path is to opt for a shut­ter speed of around 1/125 to 1/250 sec, which will pro­vide a de­gree of mo­tion blur to the pro­pel­lers with­out sac­ri­fic­ing sharp­ness. Then it’s just a ques­tion of opt­ing for the best aper­ture to main­tain a bright, bal­anced ex­po­sure. If you’re not quite au­fait with man­ual mode on your D-SLR yet, the best path is to use shut­ter-pri­or­ity mode and let the cam­era work out the aper­ture. It may also be worth switch­ing to fewer fo­cus points, such as just the cen­tre one, so a pass­ing ob­struc­tion won’t cause the aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem to be­come con­fused.

A pro­pel­ler-driven air­craft can make an eye-catch­ing sub­ject

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