TimMatthews160 PRO
TimMatthews160

Air Combat



Action Man was my favourite childhood toy and what got me into photography, needing a more family friendly pastime after the children were born. I 'collect...
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Action Man was my favourite childhood toy and what got me into photography, needing a more family friendly pastime after the children were born. I 'collected' initially, but fed up with just looking at them on the shelves, sought to rekindle some of the childhood fun, albeit from an adult's perspective and several decades of military service.

Eight years old at the time of the Falklands war, I had recreated the battles seen on TV on the living room carpet with my action men. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the conflict, I sought to recreate of some of the iconic images through the eyes of that eight year old child, but from an adult perspective and produce a book to raise fund for Help4Heroes and Combat Stress. Sadly, the South Atlantic Medal Association did not appreciate the perspective and had rather a sense of humour failure so the initiative was dropped.
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4 Comments | Report
FredBlundell PRO+
 
FredBlundell November 29, 2016
Absolutely spectacular!
TimMatthews160 PRO
TimMatthews160 November 29, 2016
Thanks Fred, most kind and appreciated. Best wishes, Tim
MikeBoyle PRO+
 
MikeBoyle November 29, 2016
Congratulations on your winning photo. Nice...Very Nice
TimMatthews160 PRO
TimMatthews160 November 30, 2016
Thanks Mike, very much appreciated. Best wishes, Tim
FredBlundell PRO+
 
FredBlundell December 01, 2016
Magnificent capture!
TimMatthews160 PRO
TimMatthews160 September 16, 2018
Thanks Fred
Byronfairphotography PRO+
 
Byronfairphotography September 09, 2018
Awesome capture. / Voted
TimMatthews160 PRO
TimMatthews160 September 16, 2018
Thanks Byron

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in Exmoor National Park as part of a series produced in commemoration of the Falklands Conflict of 1982.
Time
This is one of my favourite images from the series, representing a British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Sea Harrier pursuing an Argentine Skyhawk. My friend and fellow Vintage Action Man Enthusiasts forum member Daren and I travelled to Exmoor to access landscape more in keeping with the bleak and barren terrain of the Falkland Islands, than could be found in North Wiltshire. Having been to the area previously, I had a few possible locations in mind and we drove around to find just the right spot. The shot was taken on 5th October 2013 at 11:09 in the morning.
Lighting
I was seeking a valley background to add to the sense of movement and seeking to show off the aircraft camouflage with just sliver of sky to show the low level nature of the air combat over the Islands. This valley to the West of Dunkery Beacon facing North East lent itself perfectly to the vision behind the shot. The time of day, putting the sun high over my right quarter was also perfect, ensuring the subjects were well exposed, particularly with the smaller (f14) aperture to ensure both subjects were in focus along with as much of the background as possible.
Equipment
This was shot with a Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 15-85mm Lens at 35mm. The aircraft were mounted on fishing rod rests.
Inspiration
Action Man (GI Joe) was my favourite childhood toy and what got me into photography, needing a more family friendly pastime after the children were born. I 'collected' initially, but fed up with just looking at them on the shelves, sought to rekindle some of the childhood fun, albeit from an adult's perspective and several decades of military service. Eight years old at the time of the Falklands War, I had recreated the battles seen on TV on the living room carpet with my Action Men. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the conflict, I sought to recreate of some of the iconic images through the eyes of that eight year old child, but from an adult perspective and produce a book to raise funds for Help4Heroes and Combat Stress. Sadly, the South Atlantic Medal Association did not appreciate the perspective so the initiative was dropped.
Editing
The shot was processed in Canon Digital Photo Professional and left virtually unedited, just having the white balance tweaked from Auto to Daylight and the rod rests crudely cloned out in Paint Shop Pro. I have since re-processed more effectively in Lightroom, enriching the colours for a slightly more dramatic effect and making a much better job of cloning out the rod rests. However, I still think I prefer the more sombre effect of the original shot, more appropriately in keeping with 'commemoration' rather than 'celebration'.
In my camera bag
The 7D is now my backup Camera, succeeded by a Canon EOS 7D II which has been a great step up. The EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-f5.6 IS this shot was taken with remains my main general purpose lens, a role which it performs brilliantly. I also have an EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-f4.5 for wide angle, EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS for low light and portraiture, EF 28-300mm f3.5-f5.6 IS L for my children's sports and recently added the EF 100mm f2.8 IS L for Macro.
Feedback
Seeking to make toys 'come alive', it's vital to get down to their level. Muddy knees, sore elbows and funny reactions from passers-by are therefore a given, so an understanding wife, thick skin and a smile are key :-)

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