One of my most anticipated uses for my new Canon 100-400L was to get some really tight front-lit sunset shots of airliners approaching runway 24R at LAX. Those of you who are familiar with LAX will know that 24R arrivals fly right over the famous In-n-Out burger spot on Sepulveda Blvd, and it’s probably the most popular location for photography at LAX during the summer months. I was never quite satisfied with the photos that I had shot from this spot before, as I felt like I didn’t have enough zoom range on my camera to get that tight “in-your-face” crop that I had seen other photographers achieve. So yeah…this opportunity had been a long time coming.
So was it worth the wait? I’m not so sure. I spent at least a few hours there taking pics yesterday afternoon, and at the end of it, I realized that I didn’t really like the angle of the photos I was getting. All of them were too centered on the underbelly of the aircraft, which really bummed me out because I actually managed to capture a handful of rare airliners and liveries that I had never shot before (most notably, the Philippine Airlines 747-400).
I’m so dissatisfied with these photos that I may not return to that spot for more pictures. The truth is that I’d much rather not take photos than to have to shoot at that location. Yes, it’s a great spot to have a burger and watch some airplanes – but I don’t consider it a really good spot for photos. The fact that some photographers swear by this spot as being “one of the best” is interesting to me. I guess that just goes to show that we all have different tastes.