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Tailspin45

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About Tailspin45

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  • Birthday 11/07/1945

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    http://justplaneprints.com

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    San Diego California near KCRQ

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  1. The aircraft is relatively simple for the pilot; it is after all only single-engine aircraft with a fixed-pitch prop, the gear is down and welded, and she has no flaps. The study-level complexity is the developer's problem, but his effort means we get the most realistic performance possible from the flight model, engine, lubrication, and electrical system (it has fuses not circuit breakers and, yes, they do blow if, say, you crank the engine too long). The caramel-colored oil will even change color as you put hours on the engine and the carbon turns it black! The big bird is a challenge to fly, though, to be clear. Besides being a taildragger, she has "all the glide potential of a boulder falling off a mountain," as one 1930s pilot reported, and she has limited visibility since the pilot sits alone up between the wing roots. But all that gave her record-breaking performance (the Army Air Corps bought one with a 600hp Hornet engine and it was the fast aircraft they had!). And she has no avionics--remember this was way before VORs and even before low-frequency range navigation--DR and the iron compass was all they had. Eventually, I gather, they'll have a variety of Vegas including one with a Standard (the company) two-position prop that was big deal when it came out, a model with a newer Vega 5C with a Hamilton-Standard constant speed prop, and maybe even a model of the Vega 5B Winnie Mae with an external second stage supercharger and long-range tanks. The developer was interviewed in August and was very excited about the idea of one on floats (the aircraft was favorite in Canada and Alaska because of her long legs and load carrying capability.) They''ll probably have an ADF someday too, but you can always add the free add-on drift sight and sextant for long distance flights now. So far, as you probably can gather, I'm loving it, and it's still an 'early release' version with lots of features yet to be implemented. The sound engine is a work in progress, for example, but I'm using sound files from an R-1340 powered Tri-Motor and it sounds great until he produces "the real deal." Come to think of it, an update is due out any day. Already, if you forget to pull the prop through during preflight it's possible the bend a connecting rod if you have a hydraulic lock and eventually the engine could fail if you (or Jack your mechanic) don't find the metal in the sump and pull the jug. I found out the hard way that bugs can plug your pitot tube. I didn't check it during preflight and discovered I had no airspeed indication at the start of a long cross-country. After the Vega's first flight the test pilot reported, "Boy, she's a dandy!" and I certainly agree. I've always loved old aircraft so this is one really has my attention.
  2. Had some fun making a speed run from Seattle to San Diego with help from the jet stream. Forecast was 100kts right on the tail, and I did compute a ground speed of 260kt just west of the Sierras. After the flight, I shared this picture to a Facebook group of real pilots that I belong to. Thanks to ORBX terrain most assumed it was a real aircraft and a real photo, so I wrote the following:
  3. Wow, tough decision. Many excellent images. At least ten deserve honorable mention! #33 gets my vote.
  4. The stunning new Vega 5C by Vitus at Wing 42 over the Deception Pass Bridge, a lovely feature in the Anacortes package. More delicious ORBX art and this bird here .
  5. Good composition ideas at https://antongorlin.com/blog/seascape-photography-ultimate-guide/#composition
  6. You didn't get much feedback on this, except I thought it looked amazingly real. Let me jump in with some more thoughts, but hopefully others will contribute too. To my eye, the tarmac dominates the image and the horizon line splits it uncomfortably. Maybe crop it like this? I know you were trying to show the details that often aren't shown and you've done that very well. I especially like the chipped paint on the barricade post. But the left side of the image is awfully cluttered. I'm not sure what the grey thing is behind the red cart, they're both very dark. I assume it's an aircraft, but the blue shape doesn't make sense and subconsciously makes me nervous. Is it a canopy cover or tarp or part of a logo or paint design? Further cropping would fix that, but then you loose the detail you want to share, so... The thing hanging in mid air makes me nervous too. It's obviously some kind of support equipment but I'm not sure what. It's a cool element and really adds to the scene. If you cropped it out you aren't left with much. So you obviously had the right elements in there to begin with. Maybe if part of what holds the bucket up was visible, or it was being used so it was clear what it is for? As always in this kind of critique process, we have to assume the best of motives and that the comments are intended to be constructive. Please take these as such. As we've discussed, there's no right or wrong answer here, and my views are obviously only one man's opinion. I hope you all will critique my A-6 pictures as throughly.
  7. For my contest entry I'm tempted to go back reshoot the Spad, or at least the setting using the advice everyone has offered here. Maybe an A-6 instead of the A-1? I like this one, but it's boring. An airplane flying. Big deal. This is better, but only because the boards are out. It would be more interesting in a dive, dropping bombs. (Hmmm, I could do that with TacPac) In any case, they both have an odd color cast. Not sure what that's all about. This one is the best of the three, I think, but it doesn't show any of the lovely ORBX terrain. Beyond that, I definitely blurred the background to give the sense of speed--does that disqualify it, too?
  8. Actually I have P3D4 (and P3D3, for that matter) but went back to FSX because I didn't want to have to buy new versions of many packages I have. I know many are compatible, but after giving P3D a good go, when I had to rebuild my system I went back to FSX. I do find that a bit odd, since I am an early adopter by nature, but.... One of these days I'll try P3D again and perhaps my views will have changed. Thank you for the encouragement! Hmmm, I have it and gave up in frustration. I will try again and make a point of reading the manual thoroughly. Thank you, too, for the encouragement!
  9. @CBPilot Totally agree, Rupert; this isn't a discussion that will end with us all agreeing on an answer. I'm enjoying the feedback, though, and hope everyone else comes away with something useful, too. You suggest that a screenshot that's been processed is no longer a screen shot. I tend to agree, but don't know where to draw the line. If I just crop a screenshot is it now something else? If I adjust the contrast or saturation or add some vignette? Seems to me that's all OK, but if I add content (other aircraft, runway spray, etc), or if I remove a tree or person then I think I've wandered away from something that is a screenshot. I'm especially frustrated that the sim always puts the aircraft smack in the center of the image, and there isn't an easy way to move it. I've played with some of the camera add-ons like EzDoc, but have found them awkward beyond their usefulness. I really like your idea of including info on what was done to an image when it's posted; I'll do that from now on. How do the rest of you 1) feel about this screenshot/not screenshot issue and 2) have you found a good camera solution? @TedRuby Hey! I see you're on Whidbey Island. Lived there for three years in the early '70s. Flew all over there area in both military and civilian aircraft so PNW and Anacortes airport are my favorite ORBX packages. Finally got to fly under the Deception Pass Bridge! But SoCal and KSAN are a close second now that I live near San Diego. That's said, I'm currently doing a tour of the South Pacific in a DC-3 and love the AYPY, NSTU, and TAP scenery. Had to use a Cessna 185 to get in and out of some of those tiny mountainside strips, but loved the challenge. Haven't flown since the holidays because I decided to tidy up my USB cables and now my systems is a mess and I've resisted spending the time to tweak everything. But I will. My graphics card is a GTX-970 at native screen resolution (1920x1080) and I use Steve's DX-10 Fixer in FSX. I use Active Sky 2016 for realtime weather and REX textures for water, runways and clouds. Played with TOGA-ENVTEX but find myself going back to REX.
  10. Wow! That didn't take long! We already have some very helpful and interesting opinions. Comments on my image seems to cluster around the bland background and the fact that its an over-all boring shot. Clouds, haze, or morning fog would indeed have made it more interesting. I did think the blurry background added an impression of speed as Fred suggests, but it was a so-called blurry produced by my old system not keeping up and not the result of post processing. (*Which raises a question, see below.) In introspect what I was creating was a situation that meant a lot to me in a "been there, done that sense" but forgot that the meaning evaporates if you don't share that experience. Many works of art hold meaning and value, after all, because of the story behind the work. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is based on the view from the window of an asylum where he admitted himself after cutting off his own ear. I can appreciate the painting without knowing that, but it's much more interesting when I do know the history. But knowing the history doesn't fundamentally make it a better painting, in my view. A blank canvas or an all-white screenshot no matter how astounding the story behind it wouldn't make it good art. So that raises the question, what is a good screenshot? And for that matter, are we even talking about art here? As Ted accurately points out, a good image is often in the eye of the beholder. And I agree, but if we go down that path, arguably any image is a good one simply if the artist thought it was. I've pondered that issue with respect to photography and wondered if there weren't certain basic characteristics that most people would agree makes a good image or screenshot. And it turns out there are. A few months ago I posted the results here of research conducted by Microsoft and Case Western University . Essentially, they report, a good image people agree is one that's 1) technical accurate (in focus, properly exposed, etc), 2) unusual even surreal because of the topic, angle, colors etc, and 3) simple without distracting elements. The post is here, if you want more details. But since then I've wondered if what they learned applies to screenshots. I've often found myself looking at screenshots both in the contest and the screenshot forum and liked some because they looked real, not surreal. Surprisingly, "realistic" is precisely what the researchers found was not appealing—what they characterized as a snapshot of reality at some point in time and place. In fact, the screenshot I submitted to the October contest was one I liked because the SoCal waves looked so real. The ramp scene above is a great example, too; it shows the amazing details that ORBX has provided us right down to chipped paint on the pipe barricade. It is a very attractive shot that makes me want to say, "Wow, that's a screenshot? From a simulator? It looks real!" Jack's Innsbruck British Airways ramp shot in the February contest is another great example specifically because it looks so real. Which takes us back to the conundrum, is it art? And does it matter? What do you think? *A question occurred to me earlier: is post-processing acceptable? And if so, when does screenshot art end and digital art begin? In the photojournalism world cropping is acceptable, to improve the composition, but any other manipulation is not. In many screenshot and photo contests a different category exists for post-processed shots. Thoughts? Iain?
  11. No apologies required here! Say what you think. Thanks for your views! Helpful!
  12. Beauty is one of the attractions of real flying, and that's true of simulations, too. The popularity of the Community Screenshot forum proves the point with almost a half a million posts. Every community has experts and beginners, winners and losers, people that are talented and people that struggle, those that want to improve and those that are self-satisfied. I'm one of those people that wants to improve, and I'm always eager to learn. And I know there are some very talented people who post screenshots here--some are even professional artists. With that it mind it occurred to me that I could benefit from the observations of others, that we could all "up our game," if we had a thread where we could share our images and invite critique. There are a number of websites where you can do that for photographs, in fact. To that end, I'll start the thread and ask for comments, suggestions, opinions, etc. from anyone that wants to contribute. I hope others will post their screenshots here for critique, too, so we can all learn from each other. Feel free to copy any image in this tread, tweak it however you think would improve it, then repost it in this tread but nowhere else with your comments. If you want to simply post tips, rules of thumb, general observations on screenshots in general, etc.,this would be a great place to do it. What would you do differently with this image? I posted it in the January contest as my ticket to vote more than as a possible winner, to be frank. The whole thing is muddy and the aircraft is probably too small, although I was trying to convey the loneliness and isolation of a single-ship, low-level strike. What would you do to it to make it a winner? If you think it's hopeless, don't be afraid to say so.
  13. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil...because I'm the meanest muther in the valley.
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