SAC Graham Taylor has been announced as RAF Photographer of the Year during the annual celebrations held at the RAF Club in London. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford presented him with his award. 

SAC Taylor: “It was a massive shock to win this award, but at the same time rewarding, to have your work recognised”.

SAC Taylor has been an RAF photographer for four years. He said “It is my job to identify what is interesting or relevant in a scene and to then find the best way to convey that to an audience.”

His winning portfolio included a shot of a Spitfire taken just after start up, flames erupting from the exhaust stubs, “This is a shot that I have wanted to capture ever since I arrived here. The Spitfire is renowned as a thing of beauty, but I wanted to capture what the name represents, a fire-breathing war machine.”

His image of a Typhoon at night during a deployment to the Middle East. “I wanted to demonstrate that we are a 24 hour force. I used a time-lapse technique to contrast the stillness of the aircraft with the activity behind it. The stars also produced a lovely effect.”

The rules of the competition mean that one non-service photo has to be submitted, “This was a friend’s motorbike. The bike is called a Devil Daytona, so I used the light to produce a piece that had an ominous quality to it.”

SAC Taylor’s final piece is a desert landscape. An obvious but important part of the job of an RAF photographer is to produce imagery that explains the role the RAF undertakes, “This Typhoon was captured against a desert sunset on exercise. This picture is about the aircraft in an environment, rather than just the aircraft itself.”

The RAF Coningsby Photo section entered a number of high quality submissions in addition to SAC Taylor’s winning quartet, a small selection of which are featured here and throughout the magazine.