This month’s adventurer is Paul Biddles, an aviation photographer. Paul’s photography (you can follow him on Instagram here) is full of energy that almost bursts through the pictures - action shots that show aviation at its’ finest.
We asked Paul to tell us a little bit more about his journey to become an aviation photographer as well as his future plans:
1. How did you start specialising in aviation photography ?
It really has been a journey until this point, it all started in my childhood living in Lincolnshire watching in awe as Vulcan Bombers returned to RAF Waddington from my garden.
I was surrounded by a rich history of aviation and living so close to frontline stations such as Waddington and Coningsby.
It soon became a passion, family visits to Airshows, trips to the local bases, I was hooked.
I wanted to turn my passion into more, I wanted to be a pilot but unfortunately my eyesight was not good enough and I fell out of love with aviation for a long period.
It wasn’t until the Vulcan was being restored to flight that my passion was rekindled, I started going to shows again just to take in the sight and sound of that incredible aircraft.
In the years that followed my artistic side came back to me too, I had studied art and design at college in the 90’s, a large part of that course was photography based which I adored, with the rise of the iPhone suddenly everyone was a photographer and with Instagram there was a platform to be creative.
I soon realised that a trusty iPhone was never going to be enough so in 2015 I invested in my first DSLR, a Nikon d3200 which was a great body to learn with and as I found out a huge leap forward from the SLR’s I had been used to previously, soon enough though I outgrew that and stepped up to a Nikon d750 combined with the Sigma 150 – 600mm sports lens which I use still to this day.
It was when I bought my DSLR I focused my Instagram account to being purely aviation related and from just a few followers my account grew to what it is today, I’m now followed by 17.5k people?!
2. Tell us about your most memorable photoshoot ?
My most memorable photoshoot was behind the scenes at the Aircraft Restoration Company.
It was the first time I had met Jack – the editor of Wings Magazine, the first time I had completed any professional work, all of which was quite daunting and then being in the company of such talented people in that environment was quite humbling too.
Getting used to a new environment is a big challenge, I learnt a lot of invaluable lessons through this experience and ultimately the images I captured went on to be published in the first edition of Wings Magazine which was a very proud moment.
3. The most important thing to remember when taking photos on an airplane ?
The most important things to remember are to plan things well as you don’t get many opportunities to get the shot, good planning means having the right kit too, ensure the canopy is a clean as it can be and take a towel or lens hood too.
4. Any tips for starting aviation photographers?
I think the most valuable piece of advice I can give is to learn your camera, the more you understand it the more you will get from it.
Develop your own style, dare to be different, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Finally good glass is an investment it is the most important tool you have, camera bodies come and go but glass is where you should put your money.
5. Any exciting shooting projects coming up you’d like to tell us about ?
I would love to share them but right now they are all under non-disclosure agreements!
Suffice to say it should be a very exciting year with incredible opportunities!
I can say that we are working on Volume II of Wings Magazine and some of the features will be stunningly beautiful.
Aside from projects I plan to see the retirement of the Tornado in RAF service in March, it will be great to capture some fond memories of this superb aircraft.
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