RAF News

RAF Photographic Competition 2021

Personnel gathered around staircase.

The six judges selected the winners from over 1500 images and 50 videos submissions, across seven categories.  All photographs were taken within the last year and had no digital enhancements other than cropping and exposure/contrast adjustment.

Images also captured themes to promote our people, the Next Generation, success delivering operations, and growth on the front-line; and when possible showed a positive story that enhances the good reputation of the Services.

Below is the full list of the winner and runners-up, with some of their spectacular images.

Personnel

Personnel stands over vaccines.
1st - Senior Aircraftman Craig Williams, RAF Marham.  'Pandemic' shows a member of the RAF conducting COVID-19 testing.
Four soldiers during a skydiver.
2nd - Corporal Ben Tritta, RAF Brize Norton.  'Follow Me' shows a soldier during a tandem jump in California, closely watched by two instructors.
Side shot of four RAF Musicians playing brass instruments.
3rd - Corporal Beth Roberts, RAF Valley.  'Motley' shows RAF Musicians playing their tubas and french horns.

The Mallett Student Trophy

  • 1st - Senior Aircraftwoman Amelia Turnbull, RAF Waddington

Her submissions include the snowy Winter Wonderland of RAF Leeming; the Humber Bridge during sunset; and The Deep, a public aquarium at Sammy's Point, which is home to 3500 species and is a landmark centre for marine research.

Man kneels down amid a snowy street and trees.
'Winter Wonderland' shows a snowy scene at RAF Leeming.
  • 2nd - Senior Aircraftman Tom Barnard, RAF Cosford

His images explored a theme around light and shadows, with a World War II Hawker Hurricane R4118 looping round and another landing on the runway; ice dropping into a glass of whiskey whilst working from home during the COVID-19 Pandemic; and personnel during exercise.

World War II Hawker Hurricane R4118 and pilot on the airfield.
'Where to Next?' shows a World War II Hawker Hurricane R4118 after landing back on the runway.
  • 3rd - Senior Aircraftman Craig Williams, RAF Marham. 

His submission feature Aircraftman Kirwan-Taylor about to take a basketball shot; the actor Matthew Richardson outside the Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum; and a Hawker Hurricane World War II fighter aircraft doing a flypast, and another landing. 

Basketball player under the hoop.
'One Shot' shows Aircraftman Kirwan-Taylor about to take a basketball shot.

Section Portfolio

  • 1st - Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit Photo Section, RAF Brize Norton

The teams images include an aerial shot of 84 Squadron Griffin Helicopter on Operation SHADER; a Voyager in flight; two Typhoons and a Hercules departing the runway of RAF Akrotiri; a refuelling sortie conducting at night to refuel a pair of Typhoons over the Middle East; a pair of modified British Army Wildcats AH Mk1s used in test and trial work; personnel on various roping tasks and abseils; and a Parachutist hanging out of an aircraft door just before jumping out over Elsinore.

'Just Hanging' shows a Parachutist hanging out of an aircraft door just before jumping out over Elsinore.
  • 2nd - RAF Odiham

Their portfolio includes the Ground Extraction Force practicing their skills during a Joint Personnel Recovery with the Joint Helicopter Force; a Chinook painted with the new commemorative colour scheme, in celebration of 40 years since the helicopter entered RAF service; additional Chinook's departing from RAF Odiham to conduct dust landings training. 

Chinook with union jack painting.
'Forty Something' shows a Chinook painted with the new commemorative colour scheme.
  • 3rd - RAF Akrotiri

The portfolio depicted a swimmer racing in the Commander British Forces sports cup swimming event; an Aircraft Mechanic walking past a Typhoon; British Army soldiers working with 84 Squadron on Search and Rescue in Cyprus; RAF Police Military Working Dogs; personnel securing the drop zone for a medical evacuation, with a Griffin HAR2 helicopter; looking into the fan of an aircraft; and a Major Accident Crash Rescue drill.

Crewman wearing specialist head gear.
'Back to the Office' shows a 84 Squadron Crewman conducting a Major Accident Crash Rescue drill.

Peoples’ Choice

Typhoon with Union Jack painting flies over the sea and white cliffs of Dover.
1st - Senior Aircraftman Dafydd Lewis, RAF Coningsby.  'Flying Home' shows BLACKJACK from the RAF Typhoon Display Team flying over the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.
Aerial view of a C-130J as it flies upwards.
2nd - Corporal Lee Matthews, RAF Brize Norton.  'Griffin' shows a RAF C-130J flies in support of Operation FORTIS, conducting a nose-up break into the flying circuit over the runway at RAF Akrotiri.
A Chinook hovering over the desert as it comes in to land.
3rd - Corporal Tim Laurence, RAF Odiham.  'Noctem Warrior' shows an RAF Chinook conducting dust landings during Exercise NOCTEM WARRIOR, in California.
Pilots in the cockpit with bright lights.
4th - Corporal Lee Matthews, RAF Brize Norton.  'Mind over Matter' shows pilots working from the cockpit of a Voyager, to refuel a pair of RAF Typhoons over the Middle East.
RAF Regiment in the Brecon Beacons. Missile fires from GMPG.
5th - Leading Aircraftman Jake Hobbs, RAF Cosford.  'Rocket Man' shows a Javelin Operator from 1 Squadron RAF Regiment fire a ENLAW Missiles, GMPG(SF), whilst training in the Brecon Beacons.
Personnel hand young child a toy unicorn.
6th - Corporal Will Drummee, RAF Halton.  'Warm Welcome' shows personnel handing out food, drink, toys, and blankets to evacuated Afghans, during Operation PITTING.
Rivet Joint carrier aircraft on the runway at night, with lights on.
7th - Sergeant Nick Howe, RAF Waddington.  'Blinding Lights' shows an RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft from 51 Squadron about to takes off for its Joint Exercise with NATO Allies.
Four Typhoons in the hangars at night.
8th - Corporal Babbs Robinson, RAF Marham.  'Goodnight' shows the Typhoons of the newly reformed Joint RAF-Qatari Squadron from the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
Personnel stands over vaccines.
9th - Senior Aircraftman Craig Williams, RAF Marham.  'Pandemic' shows a member of the RAF conducting COVID-19 testing.

Current RAF Equipment

Aerial shot of a C-130J flying upwards.
1st - Corporal Lee Matthews, RAF Brize Norton.  'Griffin' shows a RAF C-130J flies in support of Operation FORTIS, conducting a nose-up break into the flying circuit over the runway at RAF Akrotiri. 
F-35B Lightning on the airfield.
2nd - Senior Aircraftman Ben Mayfield, RAF Marham.  '0 Mach 1.6' shows a RAF F-35B Lightning, BK19, sits on the airfield during sunset.
BLACKJACK Typhoon over the white cliffs of Dover.
3rd - Senior Aircraftman Dafydd Lewis, RAF Coningsby.  'Flying Home' shows BLACKJACK from the RAF Typhoon Display Team flying over the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

RAF Operations & Exercises

Pilots in the cockpit with bright lights.
1st - Corporal Lee Matthews, RAF Brize Norton.  'Mind over Matter' shows pilots working from the cockpit of a Voyager, to refuel a pair of RAF Typhoons over the Middle East.
Personnel hand young child a toy unicorn.
2nd - Corporal Will Drummee, RAF Halton.  'Warm Welcome' shows personnel handing out food, drink, toys, and blankets to evacuated Afghans, during Operation PITTING.
Regiment on the ground with Chinook helicopter in the background.
3rd - Senior Aircraftman Jason Russell, RAF Odiham.  'Recovery' shows RAF Regiment and RAF Chinook Force work together to demonstrate a Joint Personnel Recovery exercise.

Video

  • 1st - Corporal Lee Matthews, RAF Brize Norton

'To Infinity and Beyond' features a Flight Lieutenant ‘Bobby’ Manson discussing his experiences as a pilot on the iconic Lockheed Martin, C-130J Hercules.

  • 2nd - Corporal Will Drummee and Corporal Amy Lupton, RAF Halton

'Fuel your Fire' features the RAF Motor Sports Association on the racing track at Brands Hatch.

  • 3rd - Corporal Lee Matthew, RAF Brize Norton

'Go Ahead Make My Day' features Wing Commander Baker, Officer Commanding Number 1 Fighter Squadron, talking about his time as the Typhoon Commander during Operation SHADER.

The Competition was kindly sponsored by the RAF Association, Fujifilm, Canon UK, WEX Photo/Video, and Colour Confidence, who funded and provided awards.

Personnel hold trophy and shake hands.
Senior Aircraftman Ben Mayfield received the trophy on behalf of Senior Aircraftman Craig Williams; winner of the personal category with 'Pandemic.'

The first three categories focussed on our personnel within a working, sporting, recreational or social environment.  While the ‘Mallett Student Trophy,’ was awarded for images taken by Phase 2 students during training at RAF Cosford, Defence School of Photography.

Personnel hold trophy and shake hands.
Senior Aircraftwoman Amelia Turnbull; winner of the The Mallett Student Trophy for her Portfolio. 

The general public were invited to vote for the winner of the Peoples’ Choice, from nine of the best images on the RAF’s official Facebook page.  An Awards Ceremony was held at Bentley Priory Museum to announce the winner for the category, with Air Commodore Males as the Presenting Officer. 

Personnel hold trophy and shake hands.
Senior Aircrafman Nath Edwards received the trophy on behalf of the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit Photo Section; winners of the Section Portfolio category.

Other categories focussed on building our Next Generation of RAF, with images featuring specialist RAF equipment such as aircraft, vehicles, weaponry, uniforms and accessories.

Personnel hold trophy and shake hands.
Senior Aircraftman Dafydd Lewis; winner of the Peoples' Choice category with 'Flying Home.'

The final two categories spotlighted success on Operations and could only be entered by professional Photographers.  One explored the diverse capabilities of the RAF on exercises and training to public duties and military assistance to civilians; while the other judged submissions in a video format for social media channels and could be no longer than two minutes.

Personnel hold trophy and shake hands.
Corporal Lee Matthews saw great success, winning three categories; Current RAF Equipment with 'Griffin, Operations and Exercises with 'Mind over Matter,' and Video with 'To Infinity and Beyond.'

The RAF congratulate all winners and submissions