This book is a collection of some stunning full colour photographs of a selection of military aircraft using Low Fly Areas in the British Isles. The author has selected some of his own photographs and added material from other photographers.
NAME: Military Low Flying in the UK
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
EDITORS: Michael Leek
PUBLISHER: Pen& Sword
BINDING: Hard back
SUBJECT: Photography, low-flying, low fly zones, LFA, military aircraft
DESCRIPTION: Photographing aircraft can always be challenging. With static displays in museums, or at airshows, perhaps the least challenging in many respects, but getting the best angle, missing out unwanted objects in the foregrounds and framing the aircraft or part of it, can be difficult. Photographing from a crowd line of take-off and landing requires skill, particularly where the crowd line faces into the sun. Photographing fly-bys is the next level of complexity and requires experience in selecting lenses. Even so, these types of photography are within the capability of most photographers and a very wide range of equipment. Amateurs, using cameras in automated mode, can produce some impressive results. Developing knowledge of how the subject will react relative to the photographer’s position is more important than technical knowledge of equipment and buying very expensive cameras and accessories. This is even more true with digital cameras, because some models have a single lens with up to x32 optical zoom, are light-weight and handle a wide range of lighting levels quickly and accurately without the photographer having to control the equipment manually. What remains supremely challenging is photographing low-flying aircraft, particularly fast military jet aircraft. This book is a collection of some stunning full colour photographs of a selection of military aircraft using Low Fly Areas in the British Isles. The author has selected some of his own photographs and added material from other photographers. The UK is the only country where it is possible to photograph low-flying military aircraft on exercise. The photographer selects a position that will be above the aircraft so that it is captured against the ground as a background. The UK provides a range of terrain and some backgrounds make for staggering shots where the background itself is dramatic. The author has provided information that explains the techniques, challenges, areas where military aircraft fly very low, and covers the forms of training undertaken by aircrew. Some readers may not like the captions being separated from the photographs and placed in the final chapters, but this is only a very minor inconvenience. The publisher had to make some production decisions and the book format provides maximum space on each photo page for the photograph. Many pages have a single photograph without margin space and most of the remaining pages only see two photographs sharing a page. Naturally the majority of jets, fixed-wing prop aircraft and rotorcraft are in British service, but there are representative photographs of aircraft from other NATO air forces taking advantage of the British low fly zones. The result is a high quality reproduction of the photographs with information at the start of the book, including a small number of embedded images, followed by the colour photoplates and ending with the captions and reference information. This book may inspire photographers to develop into this photo niche, but it will also be appreciated by aviation enthusiasts and professionals.