The Pixelsnipers Team
Mark’s interest in aviation came about by living under the approach to RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk. The photography came after with the purchase of a Zenith 12S with 300 mm lens.
Mark joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1997, serving with 800 NAS in the Persian Gulf and Kosovo as a Sea Harrier plane captain. During this time he updated his camera gear with the purchase of a Minolta SLR in Dubai. After leaving the Royal Navy on ill health his passion for aviation photography grew and he entered the digital revolution with relish.
Mark has had numerous photographs published in publications including Air Forces Monthly and Combat Aircraft, as well as local and national media which include the Daily Mail and the BBC. Mark is currently the European Correspondent for the Illustrated Guide to Weapons and Tactics, which is a magazine in circulation in Taiwan.
CHRIS W. BALMER
Chris has been an aviation enthusiast since he was a kid, and has only really taken up photography in the last 10 years or so. Growing up near RAF Leuchars, he grew up with the Lightnings, Phantoms, and Tornadoes of the RAF, as well as plenty of overseas visitors, but photo opportunities were rare due to the lack of a camera in those days!!
Over the last several years, he has taken to travelling around Europe to see airshows and visit aviation related museums and sites, taking opportunities to see the variety of airframes dotted about everywhere.
Working in IT as a profession now, he also spent a few years creating digital art utilising Photoshop, Lightwave, and many other graphics packages, with some of his artwork being displayed in various exhibitions around the UK, including the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
Graham’s interest in aviation began at an early age embedded in the exploits of the RAF during World War 2, he joined the Air Training Corps where he gained first hand (but limited) experience with gliding, powered flying and life in the RAF. He joined the RAF in 1974 and it was working in the control tower at RAF Wattisham that focused a general interest into limited photography and an expansion of a career into a hobby.
8 years in the Air Force took him around Europe with a posting to II(AC) Sqn at Laarbruch between 1978-1980 as the highlight, at that time they operated the Jaguar GR.1, and this aircraft remains a firm favourite.
While aviation related subjects remains the main focus of his photography he also enjoys travel and combines the two on regular trips to shows and museums in the UK, Europe and North America. Graham is also a fan of anything Cold War, particularly East European and Russian, so visits to the former Warsaw pact countries are always relished.
Carl’s interest in aviation began at an early age, with RAF Wattisham, Bentwaters, & Woodbridge on his doorstep, he would frequently visit the bases with his father. Growing up he also regularly attended the airshows at RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath – even today Carl will visit both Mildenhall and Lakenheath to photograph the based F-15 Eagles and KC-135 tankers as well as the odd visitor or two.
Over the last few years he has travelled around Europe to see numerous airshows, military exercises and visit aviation related museums. When not working at the Port of Felixstowe, Carl is a staff member at the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, assisting there and also working on the restoration processes involved for the museum’s various aircraft and vehicles.
When RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge were both active bases, Carl would watch the aircraft with a passion with just his eyes, whilst these days he can mostly be found capturing them through a camera lens. His passion for photography is evident in his work, and he is always on the hunt to get that ” perfect shot”
Contributors to the Pixelsnipers Website
Being introduced into the aviation world by fellow Pixelsniper and Uncle, Mark Rourke, the duo visit mostly local military airfields such as Mildenhall and Lakenheath in Suffolk. However Ben’s interest in aviation now lays more in the civilian side.
Equipped with a small point and shoot camera, Ben gained experience and skills leading to him obtain a Canon 600d from Mark as a Christmas gift. Shooting away, Ben’s interest in writing developed from him starting his blog about his aviation experiences to assist his photographs.
Obsessed by aircraft Ben has began training for his private pilot’s licence with long term plans to become an airline pilot. Ben is also now a volunteer at Aerobility, a charity involving the disabled with aviation.
My fascination with military aviation began with Commando comics and various other small publications that I read when I was a kid. I would feverishly read about the exploits of the Luftwaffe and allied aces – Blitzkrieg, Battle of Britain, North Africa, Middle East, bombing campaigns, night fighters and more. As I got older, I would scour old paper shops in search of international magazines like Aviation Week & Space Tech, Flight International, etc.The photography part of it would not be discovered by me till around 2002 – after my job made me land in the Bay area of San Jose, California – and the first air show was just next door at Moffett Federal Airfield.
Starting with Minolta film cameras to shooting slides, I entered the digital revolution with Nikon and have stayed with Nikon ever since. I started initially to go around the US attending different airshows on the East and West coasts which had something unique to offer and slowly explored international destinations like Canada, and Belgium. I enjoy shooting warbirds and have done air-to-air sorties with B-29 ‘Doc’, B-17, P-47, Fw190, Mustang, B-25s, P-40s as well as current generation aircraft like the Typhoon, Viper, Hornets and Lightning IIs. These days with work taking me to different countries I combine that opportunity to enjoy some extra days off for airshows and air-to-air shoots whenever I can. I continue to contribute articles and photographs to magazines like Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and regional publications as well as several online news sites.