Plane spotting for beginners

Plane spotting for beginners

Finnair cabin crew member Joona Haltia shares tips on getting that perfect airplane shot.


Getting started

Plane spotting is a great way to spend time outdoors and make new friends around the world. During layovers I usually spend at least one day photographing.

Plane finder

Flightradar 24 is a great app for keeping up with the schedules of arrivals and departures. If you’re looking to take photos at Helsinki Airport, the best time (with the most traffic) would be in the afternoon, starting around 2 pm. After photographing the landings move on to snap some shots of the takeoffs around 4 pm.

Capturing the shot

Depending on the airport, the distance to the plane may vary a lot. At certain airports like in Phuket and the Greek Islands, a cellphone will do nicely whereas at Helsinki Airport you definitely need proper equipment.

Best exposure

The weather and the amount of sunlight play a huge role in how the photos turn out. During winter the duration of daylight is really short, and the sun is low on the horizon. I actually like my winter snapshots as the snow makes light reflect off the plane. During the summer you can go film anytime, there’s pretty much enough light around the clock!

Norra ATR 72-500 taxiing.

British Red Arrows at Kaivopuisto Airshow in Helsinki.


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