The Royal Air Force is celebrating the superb achievements of its photographers following the judging of the annual RAF Photographic Competition. The winning entries are to be displayed at a unique exhibition at the RAF Museum in North London which opens on 15th January.
Subject categories range from ‘The Operational Experience’, an image that reflects the Royal Air Force conducting vital work on operations or training in support of operations, through to the ‘Equipment’ category which gives photographers the exciting opportunity to display their skill photographing the Service’s world-class equipment. The 2011 RAF Public Relations Photograph of the year was taken by Sgt Pete Mobbs of RAF Coningsby. His photograph ‘If the Glove Fits’ captured a 3 Squadron Pilot climbing into the cock-pit of a Royal Air Force Typhoon operating from Gioia del Colle in Italy in support of Operation Unified Protector, as part of the NATO-led, UN-mandated coalition to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 calling upon coalition forces to successfully protect the people of Libya from attacks made upon them by the regime of the late Colonel Gadaffi.
Chief of the Air Staff,Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton presented the winners with their awards.
He said ‘The competition entries this year are once again of the highest quality and showcase not only the professional abilities of our Royal Air Force Photographers but also the tremendous diversity and adaptability of our people and equipment. These dynamic images reflect the extensive breadth of Service life and the critical contribution that our personnel have made to global operations, in particular our support to operations in both Libya and Afghanistan.’
For 22 years, the Royal Air Force has held a photographic competition in recognition of the skills and high standard of work of their trained photographers and to highlight that the Royal Air Force remains a global force and is on operations around the world. The Royal Air Force’s successful mission in Libya alongside its continued commitments to operations in Afghanistan, the Falkland Islands, and the continued protection of UK air-space provided significant subject matter for RAF photographers during 2011.
Consequently, a large number of the entries in this year’s competition reflect the broad range of operational and pre-deployment training activities that are undertaken by the Service: such as Chinook and Merlin helicopters that provide essential mobility, moving personnel and equipment and undertaking medical evacuations crewed by RoyalAir Force medical teams; those aircraft necessary for the successful supply of UK forces abroad; and the mission critical protection provided by the RAF Regiment.
Warrant Officer Mick Gladwin, who is responsible for the Photographic Trade Group said:
”Royal Air Force Photographers have superb technical ability and take great pride in their work. As reflected in the entries this year, they strive to achieve the highest standards in areas as diverse as aerial reconnaissance, portraiture and video as well as completing tasks in support of the police, post crash management, engineering, medical and dental branches in their day-to-day duties.”
In excess of 900 images were entered in the competition which made the selection of winners extremely difficult. Judging this year was conducted by Air Cdre (Ret’d) Barry Doggett, Mr Andy Whittle (Retired Warrant Officer Photographer), Mr Colin Inglis Commercial Business Manager for Jacobs Digital.
All were unanimous in their appreciation of the very high standard, quality and diversity of work produced by both Service and civilian photographers.
The photographs will be on display in the RAF Museum, electronically beamed onto glass screens located in the ‘RAF Today’ area of the Milestones of Flight Gallery. The exhibition will be on show at the Museum’s London site until 15th April when it will then transfer to the Museum’s Cosford’s site in Shropshire.
Entry to the Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year Exhibition is free of charge to visitors; as is entry to the Museum. The exhibition will be shown daily from 10am to 6pm until April 15th. For further details please visit www.rafmuseum.org