Air To Air Fast Jet Photography

posted by Anon. in Club Meetings

Probably the most unusual talk ever given to our club, Geoffrey Lee enthralled us all with his descriptions of how air-to-air military jet photography is achieved, together with stunning images of the results, including some rather scary videos!

Geoffrey is one of only three people in the UK and about ten worldwide who do this fascinating and thrilling job. He spends most of his flying time in the back seat of RAF Hawks, including the Red Arrows display team. He is also the official photographer for the Eurofighter Typhoon; one of the world's most advanced combat aircraft.

He has travelled all over the world for numerous air forces and his work has been published in a large number of military aircraft magazines, including several front covers. Being freelance, he can be called upon at a moment's notice to fly anywhere in the world. He must pass frequent medical checks to ensure he is fit enough to withstand the rigours of fast jet flight, including withstanding six or more times the force of gravity, when it's impossible to even lift the camera up. His "office", a military jet's cockpit, is an incredibly cramped area. He is able to move only a few inches and an average sortie is about an hour and twenty minutes. Also, just like a pilot, if he fails his medical, his job is over. In spite of the rigours, however, he obviously loves his job and called his other, more normal, photography a bit boring!

Every photograph or video has to be planned to the last tiniest detail - this is one area where the dreaded Health and Safety really is absolutely vital. He sometimes has to arrange flights for VIPs, journalists or the very rich (e.g. footballers), not all of whom could stand up to the rigours of such flying!

A fascinating and rare glimpse of another world that few have an opportunity to experience. Alan threatened to have air-to-air photography as one of our set competition subjects, with Geoffrey as the judge!

Geoff Sorey

 

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