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Posted: 9/30/2018 6:46:24 PM EDT
I grew up during the creation and development of the space shuttles, and have always been very interested in them. I spent many a detention in fourth grade, being National Geographic articles about the construction of the space shuttle Columbia. I finally have a chance to see a space shuttle. I will be traveling to DC and get to see the space shuttle discovery at Dulles. Looking for suggestions on locations in the museum from those who have been there on the best way to photograph it without a lot of people blocking the shots, or creative angles.
Link Posted: 9/30/2018 7:04:27 PM EDT
Plan on spending more than one day there, it is just too much to see.
Link Posted: 9/30/2018 8:33:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vinny302:

Plan on spending more than one day there, it is just too much to see.
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What's crazy is lots of people think the only air and space is in DC. My kids love going there. We go about 2 times a year.
Link Posted: 9/30/2018 8:39:38 PM EDT
Be patient and let the camera angles work themselves out, it’s a big place with lots of space.

Spend the first two hours just walking around looking. Don’t forget to experience the place instead of just snapping pictures.
Link Posted: 9/30/2018 8:47:50 PM EDT
Don't forget the National Firearms Museum is right down the road too!
Link Posted: 9/30/2018 9:51:01 PM EDT
Admission is free. Parking is not.
Link Posted: 10/1/2018 12:23:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dayv27:
... Looking for suggestions on locations in the museum from those who have been there on the best way to photograph it without a lot of people blocking the shots, or creative angles.
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There is an elevated vantage point on the starboard side of the shuttle (left side of the shot below). This will give you a great view, just keep in mind that the only unobstructed view is a bit toward the rear of the shuttle. You can take a few steps down to the stair landing for an even closer view that puts you just aft of the OMS pods. I recommend a wide angle lens - particularly from that vantage point. There is another elevated point directly off the nose that is farther away and slightly obstructed by the doorway to the space hangar. They let you get just beyond a long arm's reach of the shuttle, so close-up detail shots are easy.

To get the shot I attached, I was on the ground floor of the hangar when they were running everybody out a couple minutes before closing. Remember that tripods and monopods are not allowed, but you can probably get away with a pocket tripod like the Really Right Stuff TFA-01. If you brought a 6- or 10-stop neutral density filter, you might be able to set it up on the floor by one of the seats for a long exposure that would eliminate the other visitors. Of course, this would give you a floor-level view that might be a bit too "unique" for your taste.

Also, they sometimes place a stage in front of the shuttle for special events. Check their site to see if they advertise speakers or presentations for the dates of your visit.

Udvar-Hazy is the one museum in town I never get tired of. Don't be surprised if you find yourself wondering where the day went.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 10/1/2018 12:57:07 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tknogeek:
There is an elevated vantage point on the starboard side of the shuttle (left side of the shot below). This will give you a great view, just keep in mind that the only unobstructed view is a bit toward the rear of the shuttle. You can take a few steps down to the stair landing for an even closer view that puts you just aft of the OMS pods. I recommend a wide angle lens - particularly from that vantage point. There is another elevated point directly off the nose that is farther away and slightly obstructed by the doorway to the space hangar. They let you get just beyond a long arm's reach of the shuttle, so close-up detail shots are easy.

To get the shot I attached, I was on the ground floor of the hangar when they were running everybody out a couple minutes before closing. Remember that tripods and monopods are not allowed, but you can probably get away with a pocket tripod like the Really Right Stuff TFA-01. If you brought a 6- or 10-stop neutral density filter, you might be able to set it up on the floor by one of the seats for a long exposure that would eliminate the other visitors. Of course, this would give you a floor-level view that might be a bit too "unique" for your taste.

Also, they sometimes place a stage in front of the shuttle for special events. Check their site to see if they advertise speakers or presentations for the dates of your visit.

Udvar-Hazy is the one museum in town I never get tired of. Don't be surprised if you find yourself wondering where the day went.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/216762/DSC_5942-688978.JPG
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Thank you! Great tips!
Link Posted: 10/1/2018 1:00:09 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By esa17:
Don’t forget to experience the place instead of just snapping pictures.
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Great advice, and something I’ve been trying to remember for all of my rare location shoots.
Link Posted: 10/1/2018 2:35:55 AM EDT
Explore all the walls, they have an entire exhibit on machine guns with lots of browning 50 cal
Link Posted: 10/1/2018 4:26:41 PM EDT
Might get away with a bean bag instead of a tripod too.
Link Posted: 10/1/2018 8:23:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/1/2018 8:25:12 PM EDT by sseagle]
_DSC5458-Pano by sseagle, on Flickr

Took these last month... I'm not super happy but I did learn that I can do panos in much better ways now that I have tried it in lightroom.

ETA: these were handheld and pano-stitched in lightroom, I only took my 50mm as everything was last minute
Link Posted: 10/5/2018 1:29:01 PM EDT
Get up as high as you can. There is kind of a catwalk that gives you a good straight on shot about 2-ish stories off the ground. It is VERY HARD to get a shot with no people in it. Alternatively, get really low and shoot up. You won't get the whole bird, but you can find some interesting angles.

Also, right in front of it is an SR-71, and not far away is the Enola Gay. It is one of the most awesome museums on the planet.

-shooter
Link Posted: 10/7/2018 12:34:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2018 12:36:22 AM EDT by dayv27]




Was an amazing experience. Thanks for the tips. We spent 5 hours in the museum, and 3 of them were around the shuttle.

Now I just have to go through all of the pictures I took later. This was the first two I was able to touch up.

ETA:


Made sure I represented!
Link Posted: 10/7/2018 12:42:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2018 12:43:33 AM EDT by myxomytosis13]
Wow!!! Great pics man! I am a Centreville resident, and considered chiming in, but saw that the advice dept. was sufficiently covered. Still, great pics, and I'm glad to see you enjoyed the best Air & Space Museum to the greatest extent possible! Cheers! Beers for Brett!
Link Posted: 10/7/2018 7:11:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2018 10:58:33 AM EDT
Turned out great!
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