Any shutterbugs on the website?


Apparently a "terse" writer
Staff member
I have a digital camera where I can set all sorts of camera-geek settings to obtain different images on my camera.

The problem I'm having is that almost 100% of my 'from the cockpit' photos look like a blue-gray scene from the Matrix...All washed-out and drab looking.

Does anyone have any pointers for shooting images thru glass?

A good example:

Picture to big *ack ack*... picture need be shrunkun so we can view minus the scroll eh?! HOSER!
There's a couple of things that could be going on. I dabble with photography so take these with a grain of salt.

First, try setting the "White Balance" - there should be an option that allows you to "balance" out the camera by aiming it at a white piece of paper (usually found in video cameras) or like a 75% gray scale (still photography). The sets the camera up for the light in the shot.

Second, it could be the CCD is just not of a high enough fidelity to "see" through the glass. Doubt it though.

Third, don't use flash (I don't think you are) just open up your exposure times (do they have exposure times on digitals?) and or your aperature to allow more light into the camera. Try to "Overexpose" your shots a little.

Fourth, it could just be a dirty window?

I try to shoot with real film/with an SLR so that's about it for my digital ideas.

Not much help ...
I do two things ... first, cover up the flash with your finger (if you can't turn it off). It's going to add a brightness to the glass which will reduce the contrast in the photograph. Second, depending on the program you are using, you can adjust both the brightness and the contrast to make the picture much better. I use Kodak EasyShare and have easily turned some pretty terrible pictures into good ones with just a couple drags of the mouse.
Not in any way a photography expert here, but I just opened up Ulead Photo Express, and using the SmartEnhance feature, I fixed the Brightness & Contrast and the Hue & Saturation. Is it any better?
You can fix just about any problem in Photoshop (or related programs) but the ideal is to take the shot, correctly, and not have to use an editor in the first place.

Since I learned how to develop my own film I can barely stand to let Walgreens/Walmart/etc do it because SOOOOOO much is lost in development. A good picture should be developed at least five or six times before it's "acceptable."
Not sure if it would work on your digital (depends on what sort you have) but a polarizing filter might bring out some light on the other side of the glass.

Here's another. This time I fixed the Brightness & Contrast two more times, and used the Color Enhancer.
I've got a solution. Stop taking pictures of the outside. Take more pictures of the interior of the plane, the instruments, hot delta flight attendants, and hot delta flight attendants (chicks), etc.
I think that the cause of your problems can be resolved with the answer to one question: What do your 'not-in-the-cockpit' shots look like? If they're also low in color saturation and contrast, it's your camera. If not, it's the glass/plexi/magic-clear-airplane-stuff that you're shooting through.

I'm going to vote for the window-caused problems as I can distinctly see a reflective artifact running along the right-side window edge that matches the contour of the cabin interior and a slightly diagonal reflection in the center of the shot that could easily be mistaken for a sky feature.

You can try to compensate with the white-balance (as mentioned above) and exposure compensation functions. If you have questions on how to use them or what changes might need to be made, feel free to PM me. You might also try the other suggested remedy of a polarizer, though that would only reduce the component from reflection abberations from one source. Your flash wasn't on in that photo, but it could cause similar results with an added bright spot or starburst in the photo. Even if it's getting dark out there, leave the flash off. Not only will it add reflections to your image, but it isn't powerful enough to add light to anything beyond 15 or 20 feet anyway.

(Personal pet peeve: People at sporting events or concerts in HUGE stadiums who take pictures of the event with their flashes on. Do they really think that little flash can throw enough light out there to make any difference? Save your batteries, people!)

I think that what's happening is probably a combination of coatings and transmission qualities of the plexi designed to improve the pilots' view, reflections from inside the cockpit, and something called 'flare.' Flare is caused by light being trapped in glass as it bounces between the two outer surfaces kind of like in a fiber optic element. That causes the camera to act like there's an slightly opaque grey curtain between it and anything on the otherside of the glass.

On your next flight, shoot a photo of the instrument panel with no windows visible and then shoot one of something outside the window. I'll wager the first is clear and well defined, but the second will look like what you posted.

So, if it is your windows, you have Photoshop or PhotoElements running to your rescue! As other posters have mentioned, you can alter the contrast, saturation, and exposure (brightness) with those programs. That will help make up for the short comings of the original photo. However, someone mentioned having used a quick color enhancement three times. Remember that every adjustment you make will result in a slight quality loss. Making the changes all at once rather than in little steps is much better for your image quality. It might take a little more program knowledge, but you'll be much happier with the results.

Again, I don't want to bore anyone with anything more detailed, so feel free to PM me if you have specific technique, software usage, or camera utility questions and I'll do my best to get your shots 'cleared up!'


I wouldn't expect vivid colors on a flat-light, overcast day, but by simply adjusting the image's white and black points through Photoshop's Levels dialog, I was able to compensate for the much of the image's problem.

First, in looking at the image's Levels histogram, note that there's no image data at all at the extreme ends of the spectrum; in other words, there's no true black and no true white, resulting in a compressed color gamut and the flat appearance in the original.


By adjusting the triangle sliders, I can compensate for the compressed gamut, and tweak the image's overall gamma (the middle triangle), like so:


Resulting in the image below. There's still a bit of a blueish cast, but that's to be expected in such weather conditions.

Unfortunately, you didn't save the camara, software, or exposure data with that photo, so it is harder to say exactly what the problem may be.

aloft was pretty close on the easy fix, after the fact. And a little unsharp mask could help a bit too. But you should be able to fix a lot of the problem by how the picture is taken (if your digital allows for some manual changes).

What type of digital is it? It seems to me it is focused on the glass, and not outside. Can you manually focus? Manually set white balance? Those two things would likely improve the picture about 100% in camara. What model cam is it again?

If your not happy with the cam you have, go with a nice reliable model, like a Canon A70 or A80. Enough resolution by far for web use, to allow you to crop out what you need, and not only great auto settings, but just about everything can go manual if you get a picture like above, and need to override what the auto mode does. Also, Canon seems to have the best autofocus system, which may be all that is happening above.

What model is that cam you have again?


I thought this "thread" was gonna be about having an airline data base added to Jetcareers.

And Doug asking us "shutterbugs" to take out our camera and get busy snapping pics.


Matthew O.
I thought this "thread" was gonna be about having an airline data base added to Jetcareers.

And Doug asking us "shutterbugs" to take out our camera and get busy snapping pics.

[/ QUOTE ]
Why? That's just a bandwidth drain; let spend their money on bandwidth.
I thought this "thread" was gonna be about having an airline data base added to Jetcareers.

And Doug asking us "shutterbugs" to take out our camera and get busy snapping pics.

[/ QUOTE ]
Why? That's just a bandwidth drain; let spend their money on bandwidth.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yea,yea so I heard but like Kristie said pics.from Doug's flight posted would be very cool to look at never seen a towering cumulus from the cockpit @ FL33.

What I found works well in photo 7 is the clarify and fade enhancer features. I am in an internet cafe right now so I can not do much - but that usually works a treat!
Cool, thanks a BILLION!

I use Fireworks pretty much almost exclusively, but I've got a dusty copy of photoshop 7 that I haven't tinkered much with. Perhaps I'll have to change that.