At Defence Photography we are often employed to produce images for marketing such as office receptions and visitor areas. For this specific project, our client needed photographs to illustrate their capabilities in training technology for the military.
Royal Air Force C17 airbridge to Afghanistan
Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) deploys on operations:
The client requested "a product shot that tells a story". In this shot the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle has been loaded onto a C17. Defence Photography used a higher vantage point to show-off the vehicle, the interior and the loading crew during night time loading.
ASW helicopter technology
Anti-Submarine Warfare engineering:
Our client requested that we highlight 'the complexity, systems integration and man-machine interface' for this project. Again in this environment we had to overcome the challenges of bright lights and deep shadows, masses of minute detail to record, and limited access.
Technology reliability trials
Project Brief: to document the vehicle during reliability trials at the customer's test facility.
This photograph has subsequently been was used to good effect by the client as bid compliance evidence. It shows the vehicle undertaking a battlefield mission at the customer's test facilities. There are many claims made for vehicle maturity and reliability but the most convincing evidence comes from real trials data captured on battlefield missions (BFM) in harsh environments which this photograph shows well.
Army live-firing innovation
A new approach:
For this particular project, the aim was to capture the 'uniqueness' of the CT40 cased telescoped weapon system, fired from the British Army's Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). To capture the unique entry and exit into the breech of the CT ammunition, we chose a less conventional angle and captured the empty case leaving the turret sideways.
The camera was set-up on the boundary of the blast template as approved by the UK MoD. This photograph has already been widely used in the defence and security community by UK MoD, BAE Systems, Nexter and CTA International amongst others.
Infantry defence logistics in action
C17 deployment of Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) to Afghanistan:
Logistics are often portrayed as being rather 'routine'. My client was keen to highlight the role their company played in the logistics chain by asking for their equipment to be perceived in a more 'evocative' style. The resulting photograph has also been used by the UK MoD: www.mod.uk
Military Air Traffic Control (ATC)
Military Air Traffic Management, Surveillance and Communications:
The military domain is often very different to its civilian counterpart and is best illustrated by the use of emergency and temporary Air Traffic Control (ATC). This photograph highlights the 'fit for purpose' approach in a military Air Traffic Control (ATC) training environment.
Defence technology knowledge
A visual 'punch':
In this image, attention to detail and knowledge of the subject matter was essential. Our main challenge was to communicate the sound and energy of the artillery to the viewer. In most artillery photographs you see the gun firing but the sound is not mirrored in the stance or body language of the soldiers around it, as they have become accustomed to the noise. With this in mind we photographed the first round of the day to ensure that it was the soldiers' reactions that provided the narrative for this photograph.
With space and lighting restrictions, engineering design of weapon systems can be incredibly demanding to photograph. Inside the 1.4m turret ring, space is restricted to two 95th percentile crew with body armour, there are bright lights and deep shadows, masses of minute detail to record, and limited access. Similar photographic challenges exist for ship command rooms, aircraft interiors and command centers.
This photogaph shows the CT40 medium calibre (40mm) weapon system inside a development vehicle being offered to the British Army for its original Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) upgrade programme.
Scale of logistics:
The C17 can carry heavy logistic loads but its weight capacity can be challenging to convey in a photograph. Here we focus on the size and complexity of the chains and timber dunnage to convey the weight capacity. The Royal Air Force loadmaster's team give scale to the 40-ton Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and C17 interior.
Defence manufacturing & welding
Aluminium welding of armored plate:
This project was to produce images to be used in marketing materials, to emphasise the clients' capabilities in welding for armoured vehicle survivabilty. The key themes were 'quality, attention to detail and people'. Defence Photography spent a full day photographing the whole fabrication phase from goods-inward through to dispatch for assembly, test and integration (AIT). This photograph shows an aluminum armoured plate being welded at the very start of the manufacturing process that leads to a full Armoured Fighting Vehicle.
Our client had made significant improvements to their armoured vehicle protection systems without degrading its mobility and was keen to capture, for example, the improved Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) ground clearance. The photograph was taken at dawn with the light low down helping to illuminate the detail.
Technology - manned versus unmanned raf helicopter
Helicopter training - Lynx Mark 7:
As the debate rages about the value of manned versus unmanned systems, this photograph clearly shows the incredible situtational awareness that a door-gunner and aircrew can achive with the naked eye. Col Richard Leakey, commander for the MA3/Station Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) Flying Station Aldergrove, told the FIND conference in Bisley in 2011 that an unmanned fleet may be a reality 'one day in the future, but in the near term I see an absolute need for a man in the loop'.
Airforce C17 strategic air transport
Airforce photography on-location:
The client requested something "different, evocative and memorable that show the C17 doing its job". For many types of technology this would require an expensive studio on-location lighting set-up but instead, Defence Photography chose to show the C17 at night, in the rain and mist alongside the airforce crewman, for scale.
The client was keen to give their VIP customer a 'hands-on' opportunity to see evidence of maturity in their product. This photograph provided real evidence of the technology's TRL level, whilst documenting the customer and key engineers discussing the compliance and maturity evidence.
High speed AFV mobility
In many Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) photographs, the size and mass of the AFV can often make it appear rather cumbersome and slow. Our client, a Defence SME, needed photographs to be used in marketing material, that illustrated the 'high speed mobility of this vehicle'. To capture this 40-ton Armoured Fighting Vehicle at true road speed we got close, focussed on the roadwheels/track and used a flash to capture the blur of speed.
Full-motion army training simulator
UK's first full motion training simulator:
The client was keen to show their capability with high technology training equipment. This required the training equipment to be shown in great detail with a trainee to give scale and context. The photograph shows the 1:1 full motion training simulator for the Terrier Combat Engineer Vehicle at the UK's Royal Armoured Corps training centre.
IFV Technology final integration for Afghanistan
Factories and workshops:
Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) requirements are a photographic challenge in modern workshop and factory situations. The main objective of this photograph was to illustrate the size and scope of this Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) project. We shot this particular image from a high vantage point so that we were able to show the interior and exterior of the IFV in the foreground, alongside the rest of the vehicle batch. The people add a human element whilst providing a natural scale to the rest of the photograph.
Army command, control and communications
Technology in context:
This Fire Control Battlefield Information System Application (FC BISA) is an advanced command and control system for indirect fire weapons (full details at www.gduk.com). To capture this challenging subject matter we were keen to not only focus on the technology but to also involve a 'human element' into the photograph. The simple addition of the operator;s hand gives context to the photograph and illustrates the complex subject of 'digitisation' in an understandable and fundamental manner.
The main challenge of this project was how best to show this complex CEV. Our solution was to highlight the STR equipment with an exaggerated foreground.
Marine CAS training exercise
Here US marines are practicing using their sighting systems prior to a CAS serial. The photograph was taken low down to emphasise the technology's use on the client's training range.
These US Marines are using Elbit Systems' PLDR for FAC training, working with the Royal Air Force who were using Paveway LGM. The photograph shows that the electro-optic technology is surprisingly compact and lightweight given its capabilities.
Integrated communications & situational awareness
Mission critical communications:
Our client brief was to capture their latest man-machine interface. We have used a straight-on shot to clearly show the soldier and his integration with this innovative, real-time video/communications downlink system.
UAV / UAS
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle:
'Telemos' is the name given by BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation to the programme that will deliver their joint response for a next generation Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). This photograph focusses on the hallmark innovative shape and design of Telemos.