Navy Photographers

in the recent announced cuts, the Photography branches of the Royal navy and RAF have been hid badly... anyone know if they plan to scrap the Phot branch altogether?
I can see this happening, in this day of digital photography much of the expertise required from the Phot branch is now not needed.
Most ships will have personnel who are proficient amateur photographers and I'm sure an Adqual will be offered if needed.
As an aspiring RN photog i would like to think that specialised expertise is always required and would hope the branch stays intact. But as slim says, most ships will no doubt have a few people who know there way around a proper camera (and the rest) and they can pick up the slack. If the branch does close though i will still be looking forward to maybe having the chance to take photographs for the RN!
on my last ship i often filled in for the phot, i have done the 'intelligence camera operators' course... i have thought about a transfer to phot on a number of occasions.. it would be a shame to lose them, as i know how hard there job can be sometimes..
As an aspiring RN Phot you should at least know that the job isn't just, although it is mainly, taking pictures for magazines etc, there is image analysis involved along with some other bits and bobs. :wink:
Yeah i know its a varied role. It sounds great. Gotta get into the RN first though before i can start thinking about that!


Lantern Swinger
I can see this happening, in this day of digital photography much of the expertise required from the Phot branch is now not needed.
Most ships will have personnel who are proficient amateur photographers and I'm sure an Adqual will be offered if needed.
Couldn't disagree more. I probably see the output of RN photographers more than anyone else outside the branch. The PR side of the job is miniscule, even among the dedicated phot phots, rather than the IAs.

I also see a lot of images taken by non-phots, enthusiastic amateurs. There is no comparison. A ship's phot/keen snapper is not a patch on a professional, however good they are. There is no substitute for a professionally-qualified, trained photographer in the RN.

I think a lot of the rest of the RN look at the phots and think: easy life. Turn up, click a few times, foxtrot oscar. What you don't see is the hours they spend doing all the boring admin, the captions, the image adjustment, trying to get images back to the UK from ships at sea etc.

I count a lot of the branch, particularly the non-IAers as I don't have too many dealings with that side of the branch, among my friends. They're a good, hard-working bunching, they're already short-staffed. Some of them are as good as any Fleet Street or National Geographic photographer. Navy phots don't always possess the imagination of their civvy counterparts but they're afforded opportunities which few other cameramen are permitted. Look at the Beeb when it's reporting on Afghanistan - how often does it flash up that 'fix bayonets' picture of the marines? Taken by an RN phot - as are many of the other iconic images of Afghanistan... I do hope in a year's time we'll still have some phots left to take such images...
Totally agree with Asst Ed on the extremely high standard of photography achieved by RN Phots. When I was at the Peregrine Awards last year, I was struck by just how many top quality photographs were being exhibited. Actually, on entering the room at Trinity House in which the winning photographs were being displayed, the first picture visitors saw as soon as they walked in through the door was one which had been taken by a Rum Rationer. I have some shots of the Award exhibition which show how the photographs were all displayed which I will try to post when things are back to normal.

I get to see a fair few exhibitions of photographs and the Peregrine Awards one is as good as any of the professional ones I have seen. I had the chance at Trinity House to talk to some of the Phots and was amazed by their technical knowledge - I heard all about shutter speeds and so on - they really are the real deal.

You can see a few of last years pics here:

Ministry of Defence | Picture Viewers | GALLERY: Royal Navy Photographic Competition 2011
I can see them taking a big hit. More 'ships phots', those ships with aircraft the crewie or other aircrew member, if there is one usually doubles as the ships phot, he does the Int side too. Pics are sent ashore for analysis and reports any way. Ashore is where the majority of Phots may be employed, there again, maybe a civvie could or would end up doing that job too!!!

Who really knows?
Just as an add on to the praise for NA(PHOT) the RM Unit Phots get hammered on deployments not only by way of carrying the tools of their trade as well as the same kit as everyone else, but everyone (Coy Cdr's) likes phots of their op/ops enevitably meaning a quick turn around for the Unit Phot! Unless he can wangle a respite and join via a flight later of course.

BZ to them
If i could join right the branch right from the start i would but i hear you have to transfer after a certain number of years spent in your primary branch? If they let you go of course and if you are needed.
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