In 1960 I joined the RAF and completed twelve years plus in the photographic trade. Overseas tours included West Germany, Aden and Berlin. The nature of the work varied greatly from presentations to aerial photography and to photographing East German military parades in Berlin and Potsdam.
Following my discharge in 1973 I joined Fisons. Part of the work here involved Fisons Farm Photo Plan. A Cessna 172 aircraft and pilot was hired from Air Anglia and for about two months (5 days a week) I photographed farmland. Two cameras were used, one with 35mm colour infra-red film and the other one with 120 colour negative film. The infra-red film pinpointed any disease in the crop and the prints showed any faults with the fertiliser spreader. The cameras were used together on a bracket.
The farms to be photographed were plotted on an OS 1.50,000 map from directions sent to me by the Fisons Rep. The farm was also marked on an AirMap and the pilot used this map to get the aircraft to the right area.
Having found the farm the seat belt was unbuckled, the window opened and, standing on the seat, the individual fields were photographed. With the breeze from the open window it was essential that a fast shutter speed was used. The height the pictures were taken was 500 feet and 24 pictures were taken on each camera. The whole lot was finished off with a low level picture of the farmhouse. Each farm took about 30 minutes.
I have also taken many aerial pictures of Ipswich over the years. One series of pictures was of the Buttermarket site and the archeological picture on the back page of Issue 207. Among my collection I have pictures of the Greyhound Track, building of the Orwell Bridge, Cardinal Park before the cinemas and RAF Bentwaters just after closure and many more too numerous to mention.
My aerial work finished with the closing of Ipswich airport in 1998.
(See Snippets on page 19.)