Man and Machine

26th June 2010
That's the theme for this months update as I've done very little in the way of nature photography lately. The problem I'm having is the low fly area in Wales has a very strong pull to it and I can't seem to get it out of my system at the moment. I've had several trips in the last month and they have been very productive. The first visit I made I ended up on Cad West,arriving mid morning I looked up and could see the hill was pretty busy with around 30 to 40 other photographers. I made the climb to the top and had a quick chat with a few of the other photographers, I was told all was quiet and there hadn't been a single plane through. This is the problem with the low fly area, there's no guarantee of anything happening and it's not uncommon to spend the whole day up in the hills for nothing...

I settled in for a long day but prayed I hadn't made the trip for nothing, I'd needn't of worried though as a few minutes later a cry went out of incoming. I looked over to the direction in which they normally come in from and I could see two Tornado's making their way towards us. I grabbed the camera and set myself as they thundered in, you only get one chance at this and when something is travelling at 450mph it's all over before you know it..



The light isn't the best on Cad west until late afternoon but it was a good start to the day and we had the added bonus of the Tornado's wings swept back which is very rare.
Next up were the local Valley Hawk trainer jets, the instructors in the back seats of the Hawks all must have been in a good moods because we got plenty of waves from them as they went past..





Then we had another Tornado with it's wings swept back, this was turning out to be a good day.. The light was slightly better for this one but still not ideal...





After the Tornado pass things went quiet with only a few Hawks coming past and it wasn't until the end of the day before we got the next frontliners.
This was in the shape of two Eurofighter Typhoons and the light was much better by now.







What a great day of which the highlight was both the Tornado's in the wing swept position.
My next visit was to try and capture some of the French Air Force Alpha Jets that had made their way over for a weeks training in Wales. I think this happens once a year but I'm not 100% sure. Things were extremely quiet in the loop with no signs of any aircraft, I'd arrived at seven and it was now twelve, five hours with nothing happening. I thought I was going to get my first ever blank when from around the corner a FAF Alpha came into view..







A few hours later with only a few Hawk passes we got our next frontline aircraft in the shape of a Harrier GR9.





Both visits had been productive and I was pleased with the images I'd come away with, it was now onto Silverstone for the Moto GP. Silverstone has had a major revamp and it was suppose to be spectator friendly, closer to the circuit,see the riders and bikes like never before they said. It's never been one of my favourites but I was curious to see the new changes and if there was any new photographic opportunities. I brought a 3 day pass so I could take pictures in a few different areas, Silverstone is a huge circuit and it takes too long to move to different corners during the short time in which the GP bikes are out. I arrived on friday for the practice session and within a few minutes of being in the circuit I knew it was going to be a waste of time, the place was worse than ever. Closer to the track my a%$e! to say I was disappointed was an understatment, still I was here now so I made my way over to the Woodcote corner.

Nicky Hayden


Dani Pedrosa


I stayed here for most of the day and as soon as the GP bikes had finished I went home. On Saturday I made my way round to the Vale/Club corners but I was greeted by 20 foot high fences, by now I'd lost all enthusiasm.

Jorge Lorenzo


Young Brit Bradley Smith who came third on race day.


With all my enthusiasm gone I started to make my way out of the circuit stopping off to have a quick look at the motocross event that was going on, I wish I'd made my way over to this sooner.It never had stupid great fences and you could get really close to the action.







I didn't bother going to Silverstone on race day, instead I went to the Cotswold Airshow in Kemble and I'm so glad I did. It was my third airshow of the year and by far the best I've been to for a very long time. The weather was great and they put on a really good show, it was also the first display for the Red Arrows after their training accident at the begining of the year,good to see the Arrows back in the air.





Eurofighter Typhoon making plenty of noise.





Well that's about it for now but I should have some wildlife stuff for my next upload and I'll sort out some galleries for the bikes and airshows.
Thanks for looking.