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  • Writer's pictureMark ONeill


it has been an absolute honour to have been invited onto the judging panel of the Royal Air Force photographic competition for 2017. Being a long-term aviation geek I've been in awe of the force's photographers for most of my life, so the chance to pick through their work with a fine-tooth comb and then meet the team behind their exemplary imagery was not to be missed.

The judging was to take place at Hendon, home of the RAF Museum in London. I was quite looking forward to diving into the exhibits once the day was done, but we had a few hundred images to assess before that would be possible. The Judging panel consisted of Creative Director and owner of Studio MM, Madeline Penny; former Picture Editor for Barcroft Media, Morgan Coates who currently works for LBC News London and myself. We were tasked with choosing the winning images from each category and compiling a selection for the people's choice category which goes to public vote shortly.

We later met in high spirits at the grand RAF Bentley Priory, the headquarters of Fighter command during the Battle of Britain; for the day of the formal awards ceremony and then a good debrief in the pub.

Amongst some jaw-dropping photographs, my stars of the show were from SAC Nicholas Egan, Cpl Lee Matthews and Cpl Tim Lawrence. All highly skilled photographers whose work oozes impact.

I picked out a few of my favourite images from the day which I'll post below. Plenty more stunners can be seen in the Telegraph, BBC, Metro and elsewhere.

Be sure to look out for the winners in the coming weeks!

Blowin' in the Wind, SAC Nicholas Egan

Mojave Mayhem, SAC Nicholas Egan

Selfie, Cpl Tim Lawrence

Flaring Up, Cpl Lee Matthews

Remembrance, CPL Tim Lawrence

KL City Wrap, Cpl Steve Buckley

Parallels, SAC Hannah Smoker


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