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STOP PRESS!! - My first aviation book has been published - 'A Tale of Ten Spitfires' charts the combat history of The Shuttleworth Collection's recently restored Spitfire Vc AR501 plus the next nine Spitfires on the production line namely AR502 to AR510. Available now from Pen & Sword.  ALSO, an unprecedented situation has arisen - I have actually finished all my deep edit updates from 2019 and only have one event to do for 2020 and then I am up to date with this website - probably for the first time in about 10 years! Just got to go and sit down...

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A Tale of Ten Spitfires by Andrew Critchell

Reviews of 'A Tale of Ten Spitfires'

'I can confirm my original impression - it's an outstanding concept (unique as far as I know) and a great, easy read for WWII aviation enthusiasts. An enormous amount of research was required, and a good result was obtained.' - Aviation author and historian Donald Caldwell.

'This is a very interesting and unusual book that, rather than describing an aircraft type, its development or operational use, looks at a number of individual airframes. Obviously the result of a considerable amount of research, A Tale of Ten Spitfires provides an interesting insight in to the air war of 1942-44.' - IPMS Magazine Nov-Dec 18

'The stories of these iconic aircraft are told via fascinating first hand accounts, combat reports, unit diaries and other official documents.' - RAF News 30/11/18

'Highly recommended read. Detailing the specific history of ten Spitfire Vs with RAF numbers AR501-AR510. Each one is different, but strangely interrelated by pilots, squadrons and fates. Clearly AR501 is the only survivor today and currently in flying condition; but the fate of the others are equally as interesting.' - Amazon, January 2019





Welcome to aviationphoto.co.uk

Here you will find over 18 years of airshow photography by my good self, Andrew Critchell, covering events across the UK and even a couple of my forays into Europe.  I have been passionate about aviation and airshow photography for as long as I can remember, and have been an avid airshow attendee since 1983 and my first outing to a Great Warbirds Air Display at West Malling in the UK. It was another year before I was let loose with a camera, a Hanimex 110 slide action job, with which I plied my trade, always dreaming of taking pictures like the ones I saw in the annual Airshow magazine (sadly now no longer published) filled with images by master lensmen Duncan Cubitt and the late Steve Fletcher.

    Finally for Christmas 1988 I had my first SLR, hurray!!, a vivitar v335 with a 35-70mm zoom lens but of course I longed for a more powerful lens so I could take those all important images of aircraft doing their thing in the sky and after much longing was the proud owner of a 70-200mm which of course I found not powerful enough.. (the un-winnable equipment ‘arms race’ began early!!)

    So now here I am, older and wiser, yet still wishing for a new camera body and bigger lens ;) Has anything changed?!

    Well, I made some dreams come true!! I got published and spent several years covering airshows for Flypast magazine and other publications which was a great privilege. Additionally, through the openness and vision of Eric Coeckelberghs and the Belgian photocrew I took my first air to air pictures in May 2010 at the Air to Air Academy and was lucky enough to have 22 aircraft in 7 different sequences come in front of my lens on my first sortie - WOW!!

    I hope you enjoy some of the airshow photographs I have posted here - thanks for looking!

    Andrew Critchell, February 2019

What gear do I use?

    Nothing too fancy..! I upgraded my main body to a Nikon D300s in 2014, keeping one D200 as back up.  Both are a bit long in the tooth but a budget is a budget!  The D300s does have an impressive fps rate and the autofocus is a definite improvement over the D200 so I am happy.  In terms of optics I get the best results from my Sigma 300mm f2.8 coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter. I also have a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 which is a very nice lens and this is used on a second body for formations or larger aircraft.  However, it is very heavy and it can be impractical to lug both lenses around a show if it is a large showground and a long way from the car!  I have found the 120-300mm less tolerant of teleconverters, the images from the prime 300mm being noticeably sharper.  I did try the Sigma x2 TC for the 2014 season but have since given up on this as the amount of sharp images dropped significantly and overall I was not happy with this set up.  Recently, the majority of images have been shot using a Sigma 150-600mm C lens which is ideal in terms of weight and also benefits from a greater focal length.

    For air to air and most static shooting I use a Nikon 18-200mm f3.5/6.3 VRII lens. I have never found the need to use filters for aviation photography (but still use them for landscapes when required).

    In terms of digital work flow I shoot in RAW and use the latest version of Lightroom CC to do pretty much all the editing.  This is a big change in my workflow from last year, as previously everything except the initial 'developing' was completed in Photoshop.  Lightroom CC is simply awesome, with some great tools, and it is the biggest single improvement I have made to my airshow photography since buying my first autofocus camera!

This site was last updated: 29/04/2020