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RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

RAF Upper Heyford , "QRA" Quick Reaction Alert Facility "HAS" Ha

“Whispering Death” was the nick name for the F-111 fighter-bomber that were housed inside these Hardened Aircraft Shelters during the cold war in the RAF Upper Heyford, Quick Reaction Alert Facility, UK. I thought the moniker was also an apt title for this series of photographs of the military paranoia of the era. Crews sat for four hour shifts in nuclear-armed F-111 bombers, engines running in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside ready to respond to any Soviet threat at a moments notice. The facility is the best preserved Cold War Airfield in Europe.

The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014 The Great Pavilion by De Boer. RHS Chelsea Flower Show,  2014

An assignment for De Boer structures and & Twelve PR to provide architectural photography of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Great Pavilion 2014. I think I was the only one not primarily pointing their camera at the beautiful plants on display!

The wide angle interiors were taken with a wide angle (17mm) tilt shift lens. and the details with a 70-200mm telephoto lens. All were tripod mounted. A gentle gradient filter was applied to balance the tone of bright roof structure with the darker displays when they both appeared in the same frame.

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Mahmood & Khaled rest after trekking amongst El-Khiyam "The Tent

Mahmood & Khaled rest after trekking amongst The Tents, White Desert, Egypt

This post is written for British Exploring Society’s expedition to Namibia summer 2014 but will be of interest for anyone taking a camera into a desert for a prolonged period of time. For some examples of my desert photography see these posts from Western Desert, Egypt & Wadi Rum, Jordan

CAMERA SUGGESTIONS 

Most cameras and most lenses are
better than most photographers

If you have a camera you are happy with just bring it. You don’t need a fancy camera to take great pictures. Much more important are visual thinking and composition. Film, Lomo & disposable are all fine: just bring what you enjoy using.

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If you want a Point & Shoot (type of camera shown above) you can’t go wrong with the offerings from Sony, Canon, Nikon or Panasonic. Look for manual control options if you want to get creative. £70-200.

If you want to freeze action and or have good low light performance you need a SLR or Micro Four Thirds Camera. A telephoto (long) lens helps you get closer to wildlife and the landscape. Suggested budget interchangeable lens cameras:

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Canon EOS 1100D with 18-55 mm lens £249.98  amazon link
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Lens £105.59 amazon link

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Panasonic G5, 14-42 lens £288.99 amazon link
45-150 Lens £177.99  amazon link

Recommended 2nd hand retailer (with six warranty) mpbphotographic.co.uk

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A camera is no use unless its accessible when the light suddenly changes, or wildlife suddenly appears. Keeping the camera accessible is more important than the type of camera you carry. Think about how you get to the camera when wearing a backpack. For most of you a Point and Shoot camera with a pouch on your backpack shoulder strap is the best option.

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If you place a camera on the ground in the desert, sand and dust will enter the lens mechanism and break it. Most desert expeditions have a number of breakages in the first few days when people ignore this advice. Always put the camera back in its case when you finish actively shooting with in.

Clean the camera regularly helps prevent dust working its way into the camera. Wrap the camera in zip-lock or sandwich bag, then place in its case during dust storms.

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Some means of keeping the camera steady is useful for night photography, astro photography, video, special effects and when using long lenses – and of course being in your own photos.

KEEPING IT RUNNING

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Bring enough memory cards for a few hundred shots/ week more if you want to take video.

There are no charging facilities. Bring enough batteries. Get to know you camera but one or two per week should do.

A handful of 3rd party batteries are cheaper, easier and lighter than a solar charger.

If you want to try Solar look at Powermonkey Extreme amazon link but check eth voltage of your camera and if it can charge from usb or this won’t help you.

ANY QUESTIONS?

Any photography questions regarding desert photography/BES Namibia 2014 ask them below in the comments and I’ll answer them here so everybody can benefit.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wadi Rum, Jordan

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48 hours in Valletta, Malta

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

Spun Candy, Covent Garden

An assignment for architects Data Nature Associates to photograph their design for Spun Candy in Covent Garden, London.

My 20 favourite photographs from 2013 –  happy travels for 2014!

1/ Western Desert Journey, Egypt more>>

Sam McConnell prepares for a night under the stars, White Desert

2/ Landscape Magazine Cover Feature more>>

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3/ Copper Staircase, Villa Mallorca by Arup & Studio Mishin more>>

4/ Sahara Sands more>>

Sahara Sands I (Western Desert, Egypt)

5/ Manolo Blahnik, Harrods by Data Nature Associates more>>

Manolo Blahnik, Harrods by Data Nature Associates

6/ Apartment T by Krause Architects and Upton-Hansen Architects more>>

Barrett Street Residence, London. Krause Architects

7/ AnalogFolk photoshoot cover feature in Conde Magazine more>>

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8/ Pyramids more>>
Great Pyramid of Giza in front of modern skyline of Cairo

9/ Infinite Forest more>>

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10/ RAF Bicester Unlocked more>>

Operations Block. Building 146

11/ Cancer Centre Naestved by Effekt & Søren Jensen more>>

Cancer Centre (Livsrum) Naestved, Denmark. Architect: Effekt.  E

12/ Invisible Gods more>>

Demeter

13/ Bundeswehr Military History Museum, Dresden more>>

Bundeswehr Military History Museum, Dresden

14/ Ridgeway: Momently Clinging more>>

Ridgeway II, Wiltshire

15/ Saxo Bank HQ by 3XN, Copenhagen more>>

Saxo Bank Headquarters by 3XN

16/ Norfolk Horizon (Homage to Gursky) more>>

17/ Walk On catalogue cover more>>

 

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18/ Canterbury Cathedral more>>

Canterbury Cathedral. The western crossing, with a view of the fan vaulting in the “Angel Steeple.”

19/ Wadi Rum Journey more>>

Wadi Rum, Jordan

20/ From Greenland to the Sahara: Interview  more>>

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On_landscape_emag_64Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 01.21.12

Read the 15 page interview by Tim Parkin in On Landscape magazine here  (PDF 3.7MB) where I talk about the practicalities and artistic considerations when photographing in the arctic and desert environments.

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