BzzzzzZZZZZ! A whirring hum of rotors grew louder and louder as both of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s helicopters swooped in across York Racecourse, drowning out the voice of the BBC TV presenter stood next to me as she desperately tried to record a section for the evening news. Then as gracefully as they had arrived, they deftly touched-down on soft green turf facing the County stand like mighty dragon flies set to roost for the night.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance reached ten years of age in October 2010 and they invited me along as freelance photographer to capture images of an exceptional event. It’s an extremely rare sight to see both helicopters together at once, given that they’re based at opposite ends of Yorkshire (Leeds and Sheffield). So it was a unique chance for me to grab them some professional photos for marketing and promotion.
Once both helicopters were secure, the brief was to photograph them up-close, in tandem and in situ. I brought two cameras for the job: one with a super wide angle for panoramic shots and another with mid-range zoom for closer photos.
The light was pretty exceptional that evening. With a setting sun on the horizon and scattered cloud cover overhead, I had a dramatic backdrop to photograph the helicopters against. Spotlights lit up the choppers too so their bright yellow paint sang like canaries in a rich blue sky. Take a look:
The photographs will be used in Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s annual report, newsletter and web site. You can also view a set of photographs I shot of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s new headquarters.