Portfolio

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This page contains all my favourite work, whether that be my favourite subject, opportunity, angle, location or light! Please use the links below to help navigate to something that interests you or simply scroll down to view my personal highlights...


Aircraft

Animals

Railway

Helicopters | Fixed Wing Birds / Cats Steam / Modern Day

Aircraft


Helicopters

Helicopters were my bread and butter for more than a decade. Living next to the UK's busiest military training area, I spent a lot of time working with helicopters and then branching out to other parts of the country then even the world... here are some highlights...


This image is one of my all time favourites. Hiding out on the south coast the crew were tasked with searching the cliffs for us and then simulating the rescue of us with a cliff walk down the Dancing Ledge...


A superb trip to Spain for a base visit at Colmenar Viejo to photograph Spanish Chinooks resulted in a surprise invitation to jump on a Chinook for a 3 hour formation flight around the Mountains on the outskirts of Madrid...


In a bad position with the sun the wrong side of the Chinook, I dropped the exposure and increased the shutter speed and hoped the sun had set enough to salvage a sunset show...only to look at the camera and see my best ever sunset image...


This low level sortie around Salisbury Plain ruined me but i was quite happy with this image of the Crewman admiring the view...




I was fortunate to be recommended to a captain in charge of Judgmental Training for Afghan pre-deployment training which enabled me to be embedded with them over a few exercises to create some rather unique images...


When photographing brownouts, it's incredibly difficult to predict how the dust will react and when the helicopter will disappear into the dust. Luckily this crew made a shallow slow approach stirring lots of dust up and at the last minute lifted the nose giving this superb shot...


With the impending retirement of the Royal Navy's Sea Kings I spent their final year working with 771 NAS down in Cornwall to try and capture some special photographs to remember them by. However, that was easier said than done with the Lizard's infamous low visibility, low cloud and fog plus lots of rescue 'jobs' causing a lot of wasted 7 hour trips! Eventually though, on a Saturday before a family BBQ I was told they would land on Helzephron Headland for a Confined area landing. On arrival I thought there was no way they would be able to fit on the narrow path....how wrong I was! Carefully landing on with just the two main wheels they conducted a pinnacle landing. Despite the sun on the tail it will always be a special shot to me!

Another trip to work with 771NAS and was told they would land on Gurnard's Head which would enable a great shot of the coastline and cliffs. However due to wind they landed facing me, missing the superb coastline out of shot to the left...however the soft light and a sporty nose down departure made for another shot to remember this iconic helicopter...

Yet another trip to Cornwall to see 771 NAS and another call to get to Gurnard's head. Set up for the coast shot the helicopter arrived and started winching behind the rocks, so a scramble up the rocks to find it, i ended up missing them. They landed where I was originally meaning I was on the wrong side of the helicopter against the sun. A quick scramble along the rocks struggling to breathe I managed to get this shot as they began to lift...


Throughout the years I also ran into the Commando Helicopter Force's variant of the Sea King, never failing to put on a good show. Here they're training with 771 NAS on the Cornish cliffs learning to winch. Not a common sight for the HC4...

 



The CHF always supported the Ten Tors event on Dartmoor providing CASEVAC and replenishment options to the army who were running the operations side. A Sunny evening and an Arctic scheme was a great combination:

Here the Sea King HC4's take the opportunity to pose for media at Meldon Reservoir on Dartmoor during Ten Tors:



To prepare for deployment, the CHF used the Cross Country Driving Area (CCDA) on Salisbury Plain for Brown-out landing training...


There were many other opportunities to photograph Sea King over the sea, inculding this German Sea King departing Culdrose Air Day. They kindly made some passes in front of Mullion Island, Cornwall...

Again, departing Culdrose Air Day back home, this Belgian Sea King kindly made some passes at Challaborough in Devon whilst I was staying with my Dad. He was very impressed as was all the ramblers on the coast path!

During the final week of RAF SAR cover, I took a chance and sat on top of Baggy Point near RAF Chivenor after a long 10 hour wait I was rewarded...


During a 30 day road trip across the West Coast of America I visited Las Vegas. Leaving Walmart for lunch I was stunned to see this pair of special forces Blackhawks belonging to 160th SOAR landing in the car park across the road!


Dutch NH90 crews regularly train in Cornwall whilst on detachment to Culdrose. Seen here hovering in front of Mullion Island, Cornwall.


Fixed Wing


ROAR 51 flown by Capt. Gardner of the 494th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath seen flying through a misty North Wales creating an insane condensation cloud... 


Commanding officer Mattias Ottis and Commander Olof Stenbergh of the 71 Transportflygdivisionen, Swedish Air Force take off from a field on Salisbury Plain at sunset back in 2009...l

The Swedes returned to Salisbury Plain in 2011 with another detachment to RAF Lyneham using the field for natural surface landings conveniently in front of a rainbow!


The highlight of a 30 day road trip across the US in 2015 was the 144th FW's CO jet that had still not been repainted grey after being obtained from Nellis AFB's retired aggressor fleet. What a great looking jet! Taken at Death Valley, Nevada.


In 2010 sat on top of the hill over looking Dawlish airshow I decided to take a walk along field to try and get a head on shot...I didn't think it would work so well!


A visit to the 'Top Gun' US Navy weopon school at NAWDC Fallon in 2015 saw some stunning aggressor jets in front of an unexpected snowy mountain back drop...


Animals


Birds


Kingfishers

Kingfishers fascinate me more than anything else. There are so much to these tiny but feisty birds whether it be their hunting techniques or they're intense territory defence or just they're beautiful colours...


In Africa I was able to find some other Kingfishers. Firstly the Grey headed Kingfisher....next to my Tent in Kenya!

During a boat trip on Lake Navaisha, Kenya we found a very calm Giant Kingfisher, happily sat there watching us come closer...

This Malachite Kingfisher was the first Kingfisher I saw in Africa, in the Nairobi reserve and found it by chance. It was absolutely tiny, not much bigger than my middle finger so it took all my camera had to get anywhere near it...

There were plenty of Pied Kingfishers around during my week in Kenya, though it was hard to get anywhere near as they were always flying about looking for fish. This one quickly perched before flying off...


A trip to Rotterdam was in order to find the Blue Breasted Kingfisher which are very rare in zoos...

This Collared kingfisher lived at Cotswold Wildlife Park for a good while, sadly not long after I had a brief glimpse of it in the tropical house it died...bringing an end to captive Kingfishers in UK Zoos...

An ugly shot but yet another rare type to snap in europe...a Brown Hooded Kingfisher taken at Pairi Daiza Zoo, Belgium...


Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers interest me as much as Kingfishers, though Woodpeckers tend to spend much of their time out of reach up in the trees.


I have been blessed with a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers spending a lot of time in my garden. I assembled a large perch and created a hide view-point at my bedroom window...

 

...and an honorable mention to the local Green Woodpecker which let me take a few images before flying off.


It would take a long time to describe all my wildlife highlights but here are the best of the rest of my personal highlights...


Cats

Cats are fascinating animals, varying in size, colour and characteristics...and usually very photogenic!


Kanika is an Amur Leopard I visited three times as she grew up at Marwell Zoo. Her placid personality made her a great subject to snap. She moved to Santa Barbara zoo in 2016 and renamed Ajax for some reason! In 2017 she narrowly escaped a huge wildfire which meant the zoo was evacuated! The first image a couple months old, the second 1 year later...



Photographically speaking this is a poor image. However I had to make a gamble and drive the 8 hour round trip when I heard some Clouded Leopard cubs had recently been born at Howletts Zoo. They were so young they weren't venturing out and may even not survive. When somebody got a quick glimpse the day before I just had to take the chance....after waiting 6 hours a 3 second opportunity presented itself when one of them jumped out of their den and up a branch....nailed it!


A Sri-Lankan Leopard, which are uncommon in European Zoos seen in a very natural setting in Valencia Bio Parc...


This magnificent Tiger was snapped at Madrid Zoo....a Golden Tiger, which is the result of a recessive jean. I went all the way to Belgium to see one which had sadly died, little did I know that I had already snapped this one!


During a holiday in Tenerife we visited Jungle Park. Less said about the enclosures the better but at least it was easy to get close to this Black Jaguar, taking shelter from the sun in the shadows giving this dramatic portrait...


A day before the above, we had a great visit to Loro Parque...the #1 Zoo of the world. This white tiger bathing in a waterfall looked incredible! When visiting zoos Im always after as natural a setting as possible and this hit the spot...


A trip of a life time to Africa gave this amazing close up of a young male wild African Lion. Incredibly lucky to have this amongst all my zoo shots! 

A jaw-dropping surprise whilst out driving across Kenya was this Serval which crossed the road ahead, stopping briefly to acknowledge us...


When working with cats, 99% of the time is spent sat waiting...on this occasion this Leopard Cat came running up staring at me...even allowing me up close for this macro shot.


Snow Leopards live up high in the rocky Himalayan Mountains yet only a few zoos really replicate their habitat so well. The first image is Marwell Zoo and the second is Pairi Daiza in Belgium...



The liger is a hybrid offspring of a male Lion and a female Tiger, resulting in this remarkable cat...


Railway


Steam

A small selection of my favourite steam locomotive images...




'Union Of South Africa' sums up why I do what I do. It's owner is just about to put this great looking loco into a private museum in Scotland, so it's days are numbered. Therefore when she powers up the Avon Valley on the outskirts of Bath on a bright sunny evening, there was nothing that was going to stop me capturing it! 

This shot of 'Galatea' was the result of a lot of luck and a drone. The advantages of my drone was that it could create different shots not usually possible...in this case hovering 100 foot above the river Avon in Chippenham and with a 1/2 second delay on the wifi signal. When I pressed the shutter button on my tablet the train was just coming on to the bridge. When it captured the photo, as can be seen, the loco is millimetres from disappearing behind the tree to the left...very lucky!

There is nothing better than an ice cold, bright sunny winters day. The problem around Avoncliff is the sun barely reaches into the Avon valley, however in this case it's just enough to expose 'Tornado' to the sunlight. The cold shadows still preserving the harsh frost at the bottom of the shot.

There isn't anything noteworthy about this image other than the superb late evening sunlight, illuminating the Brown's Folly tower on top of the hill in the background at Monkton Farleigh...

Taken when I first started going out for railway movements. Taken on the slope up to Dilton Marsh station near Westbury, showing how adding a steam engine to a dull white overcast sky can make it much more dramatic...


Modern Day Railway

I was always frustrated at how late to the aircraft side of the hobby I was and the stuff I missed. The modernisation of the skies had pretty much finished by the time I had some good camera gear. With the railway, they're is still time to capture some of the classic traction still on the mainline before all the loco's look the same, as airliners now do!


I'd struggle to call the Class 37 modern, a 1960's locomotive...but they still do good work on the mainline for many companies and is always a highlight when passing through the area. The first image was taken in Bristol after an open day at St Philips Marsh Depot, the second was a great scheme that evoked great memories of the Intercity scheme at Bristol Temple Meads as a child. The third is a recent snap from Melksham of a Network Rail test train using this hired-in classic.




In it's final weeks/months of operations, it was important to get some snaps of the Class 86 being a classic icon of British locomotives. The first image shows the leading loco with the Freightliner 'Powerhaul' livery which was applied to two 86's. The second image was a result of a 5 hour round trip to Camden Town in London, leaving a cloudy Wiltshire and hoping London was forecast better than predicted... Using my home made camera pole after many unsuccessful attempts and a gamble there would be any 86's on this let alone 4! Very pleased to have made the effort...


Class 20's are very rare down this end of the country...infact there are only a handful still in operation today. The task of moving all the old GWR HST Carriages to Newport for scrapping was so large 2 pairs of 20's were hired-in giving us a real treat in Wiltshire. The first image taken having climbed up a tree! 


The Class 73 works around the London area making use of it's ability to use the third-rail system and therefore is barely ever seen in the West. Here, this pair makes it's way to Eastleigh for some urgent repairs in the middle of a rail tour. They ran down the Avon Valley past Bath towards Bradford-On-Avon allowing this great late evening picture...