dcaviation
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Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:03 pm

Hi All,

I'm running out of ideas on where to go for my spotting vacations. Preferably I would go to some place with observation deck or to location where you can shoot from the hotel.
Out of the question are Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Singapore and all airports in China (need visa).
Are there any airports in Asia that would meet my criteria? KUL terminal 1 has behind the glass observation deck. I'll go there if I can't find any other locations.
Any help or suggestions appreciated.
 
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airkas1
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:11 pm

Osaka for night photography (see Keiichi's photos), Sapporo in wintertime (those recently uploaded snow photos are great!). No idea if they have an observation deck or hotel-spotting facilities, but wouldn't it be nicer to be at the perimeter rather than inside a hotel or stay on a deck only?
 
JakTrax
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:16 pm

KUL can be hazy and humid (just like HKG, BKK, SGN, CGK and SIN) and subjects distant, so I wouldn't recommend it particularly. Japan and China are your best bet (although the hobby still isn't entirely understood in China so confrontation with police should be expected) but you've ruled out the two best places? Even if you've done Japan before, move around to some of the smaller (and often equally interesting) airports. I've not been to the Philippines but I've heard no horror stories about plane photographers getting arrested, and although warm it tends not to suffer from the same poor air quality as other places in the region. I've seen some very close-up shots from smaller airports in the Philippines, and there is a good variety out there (particularly the local traffic).

The problem with Asian airports is that they move an awful lot of people, and so traffic at the main hubs tends to be pretty standard and predictable. Half of what goes into the two Tokyo airports can be seen just as easily in Europe, for example. If you want the real variety, you have to be prepared to go to less busy, more regional airports.

***Edit***

Agree somewhat with Kas, although Sapporo suffers from a lot of cloudy weather and you have to be pretty lucky to get a clear break! Kansai is rubbish - I was there two weeks ago and the traffic is nothing you can't see at closer quarters elsewhere in Japan. It's also a place where the 'wrong' runway use will invariably spoil a visit. Luckily I was only passing through this time! Itami is more interesting but, again, there's not a great deal that can't be seen just as easily elsewhere.

NGO can be interesting, and if combined with an afternoon visit to Komaki (Chubu dies at around 1030), it can make for a rewarding daytrip.
 
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airkas1
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:13 pm

Or perhaps Seoul?
 
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Miguel1982
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:38 pm

I would absolutely recommend Kuala Lumpur and Seoul, but only if one is willing to either rent a car (KUL) or use the public transport to move around the airport (ICN). As the OP asked about viewing decks and hotels, one cannot go wrong with Japan, even though it is also true that traffic at the smaller airports tends to be repetitive.
 
JakTrax
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:45 pm

We looked into Seoul (Incheon) as a daytrip from Tokyo in 2016, but the photo locations around the perimeter are all quite distant. I suppose it depends on your preferences but heat-haze can be a problem over distance in South Korea and Japan, even in winter. We came to the conclusion that staying in the terminal would be best for photos (there's a big window at the end of one of the piers, with most traffic passing at close quarters), however the light would only be good for 3-4 hours. Following diligent research we abandoned the plan and did NGO on the Shinkansen instead. Perhaps the smaller airports in South Korea offer better prospects? Or Gimpo, Seoul's regional gateway?

If you are doing the Far East, winter is definitely the best time, except for China where the smog usually settles Oct/Nov and Mar/Apr.
 
dcaviation
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:13 pm

I forgot to omit that I'll be based in Bangkok for 2 weeks. On the way out I'm flying via NRT and going there 6+ hours each way takes away my two days of spotting. So I'll pass Japanese airports (I know how good the spotting there is).
I've asked about airports with decks or shooting from the hotel's roof, because as you know, April is one of the hottest months in SE Asia.
While I do more and more research, I think that maybe 1 day at Subang airport and 2 days at KUL.
It seems like spotting around Subang is tolerated and they have some nice spots. Also the traffic there is mix of mil, pax and mx flights.
Then two days around KUL to catch up MS birds.

Was looking at Gimpo too. Do any of you know if observation deck is still open? With the N. Korea situation I suspect that they are on heightened alert.
 
dcaviation
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:09 am

Thanks all for the suggestions. After doing some research I've ended up booking Bali. You can't photograph from the hotel, but they have nice beach location. I'll do 2 days of spotting and 2 days of sight seeing :)
 
LeeYangzao
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:25 am

observation deck? I recommand Hong Kong. One of the busiest airports in Aisa. But you'd better take a 400mm lens (in full frame) at least.
 
dcaviation
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:21 pm

LeeYangzao wrote:
observation deck? I recommand Hong Kong. One of the busiest airports in Aisa. But you'd better take a 400mm lens (in full frame) at least.


Been to most of the major airports in Asia for spotting already. Love the deck at HKG airport. I was looking for something out of the beaten path.
So Bali it is :)
 
LeeYangzao
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Re: Where to go for photography in Asia?

Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:18 am

dcaviation wrote:
LeeYangzao wrote:
observation deck? I recommand Hong Kong. One of the busiest airports in Aisa. But you'd better take a 400mm lens (in full frame) at least.


Been to most of the major airports in Asia for spotting already. Love the deck at HKG airport. I was looking for something out of the beaten path.
So Bali it is :)

haha sorry, I ignored that you have been to HK :D

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