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Chris Heal & Frontline Aviation


«Never was so much owed by so many to so few»

These words of Churchill summarise the pride of a whole nation towards the pilots of the RAF. That feeling of admiration not only has remained intact until nowadays, but survives in its culture, revives through its air festivals and overtakes the borders from the hand of a photographer such as Chris Heal.

When the army or the navy succumbed in the battlefield, the RAF was both shield and spearhead with which the supremacy of the nation was restored. England built the best planes and was pioneer in the field of reactors, these have been the aspects that have forged such a special bond between the British people and the RAF and that connection is slightly implicit in each one of Chris Heal’s photos.

Chris is the founder of Frontline Aviation, specialised in aeronautic photojournalism. His links with artistic photography are quite remarkable, it could be said that some of his photos besides showing an enviable neatness and cleanliness, also show a composition where the plane is everything and part, maintaining an almost perfect balance between the machine and its environment, I am referring to the vapour trails of Mach Loop, the light rain that surrounds the Tornado or the reflections on the smooth forms of F-22… All of this without neglecting the presentation of his work; where even the signature is subject of a special treatment, imperceptibly visible.

I have had the chance to ask Chris about his beginning and the tight bond that has with the Air Force, because his last reportages required a full collaboration and probably in other countries (like mine for example) would carry on a horrible bureaucracy process, to the extent that we would be exhausted to push the button of the camera.

Chris was born surrounded by airbases, becomes interested in photography and from here nothing can go wrong, it is like a seed that had the fortune to drop in a fertile field instead of a scree. Having studied architecture provides him creativity, contextualisation, knowledge of compositional rules, appreciation for details and a critical approach (if he had been an engineer the signature would have spoiled the photo without a doubt).
The Armed Forces appreciate this type of collaborations, in which both will benefit, the photographer takes photos that would not be able to take otherwise and the army reinforces its public image through the means provided by the photographer (publications, professional or personal websites, social networks…).

The fact that I could not find Chris’ photos in specialised websites like airliners, jetphotos, airteamimages; caught my attention. In his words, he feels very comfortable in concentrating all his work in his own website http://www.frontlineaviation.co.uk/ (that is very good and I suggest to look at it), publications or the common social networks like flickr, fb, twitter

It is the moment to enjoy of a small selection of my favourite photos ….. Thank you Chris and welcome to Airspotters.org.

'The Dark Knight' Protecting Our Country
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | ‘The Dark Knight’ Protecting Our Country | No exif.

All Weather, Tornado GR.4, '004', ZA370
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | All Weather, Tornado GR.4, ‘004’, ZA370 | No exif.

All Weather, Tornado GR.4, '093', ZD745
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | All Weather, Tornado GR.4, ‘093’, ZD745 | No exif.

A New Day, A New Launch
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | A New Day, A New Launch | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/400s, f/5.6 at 700mm ISO 100.

Airbus, A400M Atlas, EC-406
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Airbus, A400M Atlas, EC-406 | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV @ 1/320s, f/7.1 at 500mm. ISO 100.

C-17A 62nd AW, 08-8195
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | C-17A 62nd AW, 08-8195 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/320s, f/9 at 500mm ISO 100.

F-15D Eagle, 84-0044, 493rd FS
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | F-15D Eagle, 84-0044, 493rd FS | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/640s, f/8 at 700mm ISO 100.

F-15E Eagle, Mad Flight, 91-0303, 492nd FS, 48th FW (3)
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | F-15E Eagle, Mad Flight, 91-0303, 492nd FS, 48th FW | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/640s, f/5 at 500mm ISO 100.

F-15E Eagle, Mad Flight, 91-0303, 492nd FS, 48th FW
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | F-15E Eagle, Mad Flight, 91-0303, 492nd FS, 48th FW | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/800s, f/5.6 at 700mm ISO 100.

F-15E Strike Eagle, 494th FS, 48th FW
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | F-15E Strike Eagle, 494th FS, 48th FW | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/400s, f/6.3 at 700mm ISO 160.

F-22A Raptor, 05-4094, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | F-22A Raptor, 05-4094, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB | No exif

F-22A Raptor, 05-4106, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | F-22A Raptor, 05-4106, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB | No exif

LM F-22A Raptor, 05-4084, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | LM F-22A Raptor, 05-4084, 95th FS, Tyndall AFB | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/1000s, f/7.1 at 700mm ISO 100.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, 05-4095, 95th FS
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, 05-4095, 95th FS | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV @ 1/800s, f/7.1 at 105mm. ISO 200.

Nice Curves! C-5M Galaxy
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Nice Curves! C-5M Galaxy | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/250s, f/5.6 at 500mm ISO 160.

Phantom Pilot, 68-0504, Terminator, 111 Filo
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Phantom Pilot, 68-0504, Terminator, 111 Filo | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/500s, f/8 at 220mm ISO 200.

RAF Tutor, G-BYXZ
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | RAF Tutor, G-BYXZ | No exif

Raptor waiting game
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Raptor waiting game | No exif

Sukhoi SU 22M-4 Fitter, Polish Air Force
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Sukhoi SU 22M-4 Fitter, Polish Air Force | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/640s, f/5.6 at 117mm ISO 100.

Sukhoi SU-30MKI-3 Flanker, 2 Sqn 'Winged Arrows', Indian Air Force
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Sukhoi SU-30MKI-3 Flanker, 2 Sqn ‘Winged Arrows’, Indian Air Force | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/500s, f/8 at 500mm ISO 125.

Sukhoi SU-30MKI-3 Flanker, SB309, 2 Sqn 'Winged Arrows', Indian Air Force (2)
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Sukhoi SU-30MKI-3 Flanker, SB309, 2 Sqn ‘Winged Arrows’, Indian Air Force | Canon EOS 5D Mark III @ 1/640s, f/7.1 at 400mm ISO 125.

TuAF F-4E Phantom II (2)
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | TuAF F-4E Phantom II | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV @ 1/1250s, f/8 at 500mm. ISO 400.

Tornado GR.4, 'Goldstars', 31 Sqn, ZA548
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c) | Tornado GR.4, ‘Goldstars’, 31 Sqn, ZA548 | No exif

www.frontlineaviation.co.uk
↑ Chris Heal. Frontline Aviation copyright (c)

See you soon!!!
Keep Calm and Shoot!!


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