This Royal Air Force C130 is seen here being tested on NATO's Electronic Warfare range at RAF Spadeadam.
Helicopter firepower and SA
As part of a series of images of the Lynx Mk9A helicopter this photograph focusses directly on the door-gunner, his situational awareness and .50 gun. This shot required the photographer to be level with the helicopter.
Expeditionary Airborne Task force
Defence Photography were tasked by their client to somehow capture what it is like to be an Airborne soldier. This British soldier, from the 3 PARA Battlegroup, is being trained to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice.
French Army sniper team
Army Sniper live-firing training exercise:
Our client asked us to produce a series of images that captured this sniper team in action. Conventional photography would center on the sniper or his weapon but we concentrated on portraying how the team worked together to manage the sniper's choice of target.
Army missile strike simulation
500lb battlefield simulation of an MLRS missile strike:
In this shot we were asked by our client to capture a simulated MLRS missile strike being carried out on an army live-fire training exercise. We had one chance to capture the explosion, so precision planning and communication were key. Defence Photography worked closely with the Army safety team to set-up the cameras at various distances from the battlefield simulation. Then, our photography was goverened by listening into the communications between the RCO and the FOO as the countdown began.
Webbing is one area of technology that has many common interfaces across the land, air, sea and security sectors. Here, a French soldier is wearing the British Army body armour underneath his own webbing system. Our approach and style in the photograph concentrates on the detailed features of the system, and not focus on the soldier's face.
Light Armoured Vehicles:
This project brief was to illustrate an Army live fire training exercise. In this particular photograph we needed a 'mood' shot that would provide a fresh viewpoint to compliment the other project photographs.
Armored Infantry defensive night shoot
Armored Infantry Training Exercise:
It is more usual to shoot live-firing images of one armored vehicle at a time. However, our client requested that we photograph armored firepower at night with the whole Infantry Company included. Keen to capture a unique image from an unusual perspective, we explored various vantage points and used an exposure that allowed the firepower to illuminate the night sky.
The traditional way to photograph illumination ammunition is to show it doing its job - lighting up the night. Our challenge was to show the technology prior to use. To give the photograph a strong narrative, we included the ammunition alongside the British Army soldiers who were organising and preparing their rounds prior to the night shoot live-firing
This French Marine is from 2e RIMa du Mans (Regiment d'Infanterie de Marine - armee de Terre). The mechanised unit is mounted in the Renault VAB 4x4. In this shot we focussed on the Marine's face to emphasise his need for good situational awareness.
Military Helicopter support staff
The importance of support:
Our client was keen to emphasise the importance of Rotorcraft support staff to air crew. Here, Defence Photography captured both air crew and ground crew working together as a team.
Soldier psychology in training
The key feature of this photograph are the soldier's eyes. They reveal a small insight into any soldier's psychological choices, as his next step is to assault into the enemy's compound. This photograph was taken on training where he had not slept for 2 nights, had walked many miles and had already assaulted two other compounds. He was tired and stressed but psycologically ready to go in.
Our client needed us to photograph an army training exercise that gave a sense of the pressures of leadership. We worked alongside this army unit on complex terrain for several days. Here the NCO is conveying his intent and presence to those around him.
Casevac simulation - army training exercise
These French soldiers trained in the UK to gain exceptional experience in real-life conflict situations. Defence Photography were asked to provide an unique viewpoint of the training exercise. By working alongside the Platoons, close to the action, we were able to ensure that we portrayed a very 'real' narrative to the images.
Casevac under fire - army training exercise
Casualty Evacuation (Casevac) training:
This is another of the series of photographs documenting French soldiers training in the UK. After meticulous planning with our client we were able to know what was going to happen in each stage of the army training exercise and capture unique photographic opportunities as they unfolded. Here soldiers are dragging a simulated casualty into cover.
Anglo-French Marine amphibious assault
Landing Craft Utility (LCU):
The story of Anglo-French amphibious co-operation has been captured in this recent photograph with the key elements being the armoured and soft-skin vehicles, both the French and Royal Marines, the 'White Ensign' flag and the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) itself. This Landing Craft Utility (LCU) was launched by the Royal Navy from HMS Bulwark. The importance and complexity of this joint expeditionary warfare training was summed up in an MoD interview by Bulwark's Commanding Officer, Captain Alex Burton. "The opportunity to host French Marines was fantastic. With the current emphasis on combined operations, it's vital we gain as much experience as possible with other nations in a joint environment".
Army combat comradeship
Only soldiers in close combat can truly understand comradeship and very few photographers could ever hope to capture it. Here we have tried to portray an insight into the relationship between two comrades, as the French NCO is touching his comrade's weapon and providing some reassurance albeight in high-intensity live-fire training.
It is usual to photograph small arms live-firing from a medium distance, due to range safety requirements. However, this photograph was taken on field firing, right beside the soldier, at his eye level. We aimed to provide the client with an image that captured the energy, rate of fire and intensity of live-firing. With a great deal of experience in this area of defence and security technology, we were able to work confidently with the client, safety advisors and soldiers throughout.
Marine Corps: US & Sweden
USMC ANGLICO team training with Swedish Army FTAC:
The Paveway™ family of laser guided bombs have revolutionised tactical air-to-ground warfare by converting 'dumb' bombs into precision guided munitions. Paveway™ bombs have been put to the test in every major conflict and are hugely popular with Forward Air Controllers. Whilst the technical process of connecting laser designation to bomb is now well established, the confusion and complexity of co-ordinating CAS is illustrated in this photograph, as the team struggle to find the aircraft in the bright sky.
Our project brief on this occasion was 'to illustrate the tactical challenges set by this demanding exercise'. It took under a minute to land and de-bus in this TALO training exercise so it was essential that Defence Photography were prepared for a quick succesion of action shots. 'We chose a location which allowed us to be close enough to effectively capture British Army's current high-readiness, light, short-duration intervention unit de-bus'.
HMS Bulwark’s role is to deliver Marines ashore by air and sea. We were asked to photograph the ship in action throughout this training exercise. The unusual viewpoint in this photograph was chosen in order to show land, sea, ship and marines, and to illustrate the comparative scale of the ship.
Infantry 'Advance to Contact' live-firing
Live-firing Range Safety:
To overcome the obvious risk and danger associated with live-firing training exercises, Defence Photography works closely with Range Conducting Officers (RCO). This photoshoot aimed to document and photograph Infantry working as a team on a training exercise.