In one of the ultimate photography jobs imaginable, skilled RAF aerial photographers would take pictures of the ground from 30,000ft during the Second World War. Now, these fascinating pictures are being displayed at a special exhibition in Edinburgh.
The photographers were often being shot at by anti-aircraft guns while they were in the process of getting their pictures on behalf of the allied war effort. They flew unarmed Spitfire Aircraft and bravely set up their photographs in order to gain essential information about the ground below. If spotted by enemy planes, that could have been the end to these photographers.
The photographs that were taken from these secret missions were then analysed by a special team of experts based at RAF Medmenham in Buckinghamshire, where they would compile intelligence reports from the information in the pictures.
The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives are now to be shown at Edinburgh’s National Collection of Aerial Photography. The collection’s manager, Allan Williams says, “how they could take the photos they did is astonishing. When you remember they were taken in combat, and often being shot at ¯ it’s astounding.”