Thunder Through the Valleys...

...Low Level Flying - Low Level Photography, from Fonthill Media

Title: Thunder Through the Valleys
Author: Philip Stevens

Publisher: Fonthill Media
ISBN: 978-1-78155-737-2


This new softcover 128-page book hits the mark on a number of counts.  Photographer Philip Stevens presents a selection of his first class photos of fast jets flying at low level.  For those who have been in places like the Lake District and when walking in the hills had the spectacle of seeing fast jets fly past below them in the valleys.  Of course there are particular spots where regular photographers know where to go to sit and await the arrival of the aircraft.  What they rarely know is just what types may appear, that generally remains open to chance.  That is illustrated in a chapter where Tornadoes are captured and then the added extra of not only some Belgian Air Force F16s but also the USAF F-22A Raptor while on deployment to RAF Lakenheath.

Another element to this, across the 17 chapters. is the mix of aircraft types we get to see.  In addition to the three mentioned above, there are also USAF B-1B Lancers, F/A-18, A-7E Corsair II, Tucano, Mirage 2000C, F-4E Phantom II and more.  In addition to the low level flying shots there are others with the aircraft on the ground, as the author has also been able to work with the authorities to get to speak to the pilots and visit some of the airfields, so we get to hear just how the pilots make the best of the low flying experience, as well as the dangers they face from masts, wires etc.. So, we get some superb photos, comments from the aircrews and, outside the UK in particular, the importance of working through the right channels to get the necessary permissions and cooperation to get the shots rather than find yourself getting arrested in some places.  Philip tells us how he works with local aviation enthusiasts in other countries to help find good vantage points, and how working with the appropriate authorities also helps get even better opportunities to get some great photos.  This works well in countries such as the USA, France, Turkey, Greece and Sweden.

If all this isn't enough, the author not only provides tips about locations, he also gives us the details of the cameras, lenses and settings he used to capture these clear, sharp images of fast moving jets in flight.  A super book for the aviation enthusiast.

Thanks to Fonthill Media for our review copy.