The long view
PUBLISHED: 06:39 16 June 2014
The beauty of Norfolk is all around us - but a very special view of the county can be gained from the air. And Norwich-based photographer Martin W Bowman has been lucky enough to enjoy that view so many times in his work as the author of almost 160 books.
Many of his books focus on the county’s wartime and military links, such as the RAF airfields of Norfolk and iconic planes like the Lancaster, Mosquito and B-52. But he also loves the opportunity to showcase his home county with aerial photography – and his latest book, East Anglia From the Air: Norfolk, shows both the vastness of countryside and the fascinating patterns of our busy streets, the changing shape of our coastline and the unchanging grandeur of the grand halls and estates.
“It is from the air that the full majesty of the county unfolds,” says Martin, who lives at Armes Crescent in the city, “whether it is the university city of Norwich with its wonderful cathedral and castle; Elm Hill and the meandering River Wensum; or the outlying towns and villages nestling in the far corners of ‘Nelson’s County’. These stretch to the holiday havens at Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton and Sheringham, and to Cromer where cars can park on the sea wall facing the sea. From the air and the ground they are unique and unrivalled by any other vista in Englan, but then I am biased.”
He took the photographs – using a Canon Eos 60D – over the course of many flights above Norwich and Norfolk, most often with his friend Roy West in a Piper PA 28, Arrow 3 or PA32 Lance, but occasionally in Boeing Stearman, Jet Provost and Yak-52 planes. He also counts himself lucky to have been able to fly in Army Air Corps’ helicopters and even the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster bomber.
“The photographs for this book were shot over a period of time in all weathers and all seasons,” adds Martin. “I have been writing for 36 years now, but I enjoy it so much that it feels wrong to call it a job.”
East Anglia From the Air: Norfolk, by Martin W Bowman (published by Amberley) £17.99.