Interview with Chris Banks, Bolton NEWT's Chair and the man in the sky with a camera.
What was the purpose of the Fly day?
"It was an opportunity for us to photograph the wildlife corridor from Moses Gate to Jumbles."
How did the opportunity come about?
"It came about through Natalie another founder of Bolton NEWT."
Was the weather an important factor?
"A massive factor, there was some slight haze on the distance but we flew above 500 feet and surprisingly this actually feels pretty close even without any telescopic lens."
Which areas were covered?
"We covered all areas of the trail and learned quickly what was needed to take the shots that NEWT had asked."
How did it feel to look from above at our countryside?
"One of the best experiences, if the not best experience of my life. Being able to fly, circle and take aerial photographs of places I’ve known since my childhood is an experience you just don’t stumble across, unless you’re with Newt it seems. It changes your perspective on the landscape and it really hits home just how lucky we are to have such a wonderful corridor full of life on our doorstep."
Were there any special camera techniques needed?
"My special technique involved bringing the wrong lens because I had no idea what to expect. At above 500 feet a telescopic lens was the wrong choice, people want to see the landscape but I attempted to correct as best as I could."
How do you feel about the pictures you managed to take?
"After taking 200 photographs, there’s about 60 I’m happy with. The rest are mostly attempting to counter the movement of the plane or simply too close."
What did you learn?
"A polarizing lens is needed, 10-40mm lens is perfect for a light aircraft. The next chance, with Simon up there, we’ll see some interesting shots. The day, flight and season will dramatically alter any photos."
Simon and Natalie also had a tour of the airport and control tower, where Simon took photographs also. Fascinating stuff!