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Photographic Portfolio of 2006
Images and photographic notes of my successes for the year

Each year I like to produce a collection of my best and favourite images. I will try and explain why I like them, and how I came to get the image, with camera settings and technique employed. Some will have been published in books and magazines and possibly in conjunction with features, so you can say those were also chosen by the editor in question. I hope you like my work from 2006. I was using a Canon EOS 20D camera throughout 2006.
Portfolios by Category

Air to air portfolio
- click here for more images and reports.
Tornado F.3 action (ZE758 'DO') of 111 Squadron during exercise 'Wycombe Warrior' in October 2006. 
Shots like this don't come by chance. Working with the tanker crew, the F.3 pilot was asked if he would perform a wing over when he was about to depart. 
It's all over in a few seconds, disappearing into the distance. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (44mm) 1/800 f6.3.

More exercise 'Wycombe Warrior' action. 3(F) Squadron Typhoon F.2 (ZJ917 'QO-G') DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (44mm) 1/500 f8.

40 Years of RAF Service 1966-2006
with VC-10 C.1K (XV104). This special photo shoot was organised specially to get some shots of the 'Red tailed VC-10' before it was repainted a few days later in October 2006. This shot was taken from the cockpit side window shortly before returning in close formation back to Brize Norton. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (35mm) 1/400 f8.

Queen's 80th Birthday Flypast
in June 2006. Our VC-10 escorts for the flypast were two pairs of 6 Squadron Jaguar GR.3s. At 2,000 feet and below the cloud base these air to air shots are a bit special. The sun only shone through the gaps in the cloud for a few seconds at a time during most of the flight. With the Jaguar's loose formation changing positions frequently, I had to pick my moment to get this shot. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (60mm) 1/250 f8.
F-15E Strike Eagle (01-2003 'LN') of 494th FS. This is one of my favourite images from 2006.
DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (38mm) 1/250 f8 

KC-135s 50th Anniversary  RAF Mildenhall April to August 2006. Air to air photography when flying in a KC-135 is a little different to that in a RAF Tristar or VC-10. You are lying on your stomach at the rear of the aircraft just above the refuelling boom, shooting through a very nice large and usually clear window. Talking through the boom operator you can often get the pilots to do a manouevre or two before and as they depart. 
All the F-15E Strike Eagle images can be found here, with a note on the photography, including details on lenses and settings used etc.
Camera settings for above images left to right: 
DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (38mm) 1/320 f8, 
DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (28mm) 1/400 f8, 
DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 17-40mm (24mm) 1/250 f9.
Low level flying portfolio - click here for more images and reports.
Three successive images of Harrier GR.7A (ZD376 '24A') were captured within a two seconds at 16:37 on April 7, 2006. This was during 800 NAS' first week of operation after standing up as a Harrier GR.7/9 Squadron and the first time these markings had been seen at low level. Two images for cover of Book 'Joint Force Harrier' by Commander Ade Orchard.
I was pleased that the editors of the three magazines, Combat Aircraft, Air Forces Monthly and Aircraft Illustrated (above) were just as excited as me with these images, although I don't think any of them selected the best image in the sequence.   (click for more 800 NAS images). DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8L 1/500 f6.3 to f7.1 ISO 200.
UK Air Arms 2006. Tornado GR.4 (ZA459/F) in special 90th Anniversary markings of 15 Squadron, in October 2005. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L + x1.4 extender (420mm) 1/640 f5.6, exposure compensation -1/3, ISO 200.
RAF Magazine
Harrier GR.7 (ZG857) from FJ&W OEU based at Coningsby. Although this image has been cropped (still good at 12x8), I like it because of the very exciting angle, as it approaches and turns away from my position. It was short listed for a major calendar but missed out to a Harrier operating in Afghanistan :( The image was used however for the cover of the book 'Joint Force Harrier' by Commander Ade Orchard (see above).
DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 100-400mm L IS f4-f4.5 (350mm) 1/750 f6.7 ISO 200. 
Flight International - Image for feature entitled 'Battle for Britten'. Northumbrian Police Authority BN-2B-20 Islander (G-NESU) known as the 'North East Air Support Unit' flying at low level in Cumbria.
Air Forces Monthly in April 2006 'Facing a 'Bomber Gap' Typhoon F.2 (ZJ912 'AB') of 17 Squadron in July, 2005.
Tornado GR.4 (ZA462 'AJ-P') callsign 'Vandal' of 617 Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth, inscribed '1943-2003' on the tail in red.
Air International - Images for feature, 'UK Military Low-Flying'.
Harrier GR.7 (ZG857) from FJ&W OEU based at Coningsby.
Tornado F.3 (ZG755 'DL') of 11 Squadron before their disbandment.

Some of my favourite low level images of 2006
Left to right: An unexpected surprise, my first swept wing pass at low level. Tornado GR.4A (ZG705) in 13 Squadron markings but flying with 14 Squadron from Lossiemouth and new 'fleet' code '118'. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8L with x1.4 extender 1/640 f5.6 and ISO 200.
The light was stunning on the sunny August day. This was the last movement, an unmarked Tornado GR.4 (ZD745) at 18:14 and ending my best Tornado day (14). DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8L 1/640 f8 and ISO 200.
Hoping I was going to get some jets at low level bound for Fairford, I was rewarded with the unexpected sight of the BAE Systems Hawk 100 demonstrator (ZJ951) in its new paint scheme applied specially for the SBAC show at Farnborough. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8L with a x1.4 extender 1/640 f6.3 -1/3 and ISO 200.
Left to right: We knew that Apache AH.1s (ZJ190) of AAC 662 Squadron 3 Regiment and based at Wattisham were operating out of RAF Valley for the week. What we did not know was which valleys they would be flying down, and so made an good educated guess. I hurried down the hill to get this shot. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L 1/125 f11.
A Pilot's View of the A5 Pass I wanted to try the A5 pass in north Wales for the first time. I spent the day hoping for a Tornado and got one at 16:40, an F.3 bound for RAF Valley. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8L 1/500 f3.5 and ISO 200.
A miserable day in April, gloomy cold weather and just five Hawks in the day. I like this shot because it shows how low the cloud was that day and yet they were still flying. DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 300mm f2.8L 1/500 f4.5 and ISO 200.
Air shows portfolio - I covered a number of fantastic air shows in 2006, click here for more images and reports.
Loop Magazine - The Vimy was at Woburn Abbey as part of the commemoration of Alcock and Brown's transatlantic flight in 1919.
The Moth Magazine - Images for feature on Woburn Abbey de Havilland International Moth club meeting.

Aviation History - Macchi Castoldi MC.72 (MM181) at the Italian Air Force's museum (Museo Storico dell' Aeronautica Militare Italiana) at Vigna di Valle near Rome. For a feature 'MC.72: Way Too Hot To Handle', my image also made the front cover if you look closely!  Sigma 20mm f1.8 lens set at 0.6" and f11 with a Canon flash.
These two shows were the best for me this year. Swiss Air Force Air Power Demonstration at Axalp in Switzerland. This is just a fantastic experience, see Axalp Air Power Demonstration, the Association Jean-Baptiste Salis Air Meeting at La Ferte-Alais in France and Flying Legends at Duxford
On base portfolio - I visited a number of bases in 2006, click here for more images and reports.
The Last Fully Operational Flying Day for the Tomcat - Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) February 21, 2006.
DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (100mm) 1/500 f8 

Given just a few days notice to book four flights around the eastern Mediterranean, the carrier embark was quite a challenge and the most exciting event of the year.
Left to right: 
F-14D Tomcat (164603 'AJ-101')
'Felix 101', everyone loves the Tomcat, the are crew giving some final love and affection to an old friend.
F/A-18C Hornet (164675 'AJ-401') from VFA-87 'Golden Warriors' and published in Maxim magazine.  Sigma 20mm f1.8 1/640 f5.6 
F-14D Tomcat (163902 'AJ-107') from VF-31 'Tomcatters'  Sigma 20mm f1.8 1/640 f5.6 
F/A-18C Hornet (164643 'AJ-302') from VFA-15 'Valions' on the catapult and about to depart on a late evening sortie.  DSLR x1.6 sensor + Canon EF 28-135mm (28mm) 1/25 f3.5 ISO 800. 
Tactical Leadership Program (TLP 2006-4) Florennes, Belgium, June 2006.

Meiringen - Axalp Week  A few days at Meiringen in Switzerland is like no other base visit, October 2006.

'Fighter Town (UK)'  RAF Coningsby, November, 2006.
A week in Romania
A tour around eight Romanian Air Force bases in a week was a major experience of the year. Most of the bases were not active on the day and some were just a shadow of there former life as 'cold war' bases bristling with MiGs. 
Above: An active An-2R which was one of several employed in paratroop training throughout the day at Boboc. (Click for full list of base reports on Romania).
My report published on Official Romanian Air Force Website