Asian Aviation Photography

I founded Asian Aviation Photography many years ago when I became a part-time commercial photographer . My professional photography career started when I was asked to produce the photographs for a number of company annual reports whilst working for a company in the Middle East. These assignments led to a number of other assignments and many years later, I retired from the company to pursue a full-time career as a professional photographer.

Whilst always having had a passionate interest in aircraft and photography, it was only in the 1980's that I realized I could combine the two pursuits. Though originally from the UK (and now living there again), I grew up in Singapore. In the early days of my career, it was almost inevitable that I would return to Asia and I eventually ended up spending most of my working life there. Hong Kong was home for twenty-five years, although I also lived and worked in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

I have undertaken work for a number of Asia's leading airlines. My work has also been used on the covers and in the pages of many of the world's aviation and aerospace magazines, including the cover of the prestigious American periodical, Aviation Week & SpaceTechnology. I have always believed in supporting aviation enthusiasts and my photographs have appeared in several aviation books and on a number of aviation related websites. Asian Aviation Photography’s library contains over 150,000 stock images.
aboutdavidtext-2 Assignments have taken me to airports all over the world. Of all the countries in which I have taken photographs, I particularly love Australia, where the air remains relatively clear and the light is excellent for many types of photography. Over the years I have photographed a wide range of subjects, ranging from airline management and crew to lobsters and horses being loaded on the ramp. Like every elegant lady, each aircraft has its best profile and they are usually quite different. My favourite aircraft remains the Lockheed L1011 Tristar, which provided its pilots, and those fortunate enough to enjoy the jump seat - of which I’ve seen many - with undoubtedly the best view in town.

I was amongst the first to embrace the digital age of photography, and now I am as at home in that medium as I am with traditional photography. Like many in the business, I believe that the digital process has passed artistic licence back to the photographer, who now has greater control over his work than ever before. I’ve always been committed to Canon Professional cameras and today use a mixture of EOS 1Ds Mark II digital and EOS 1V film cameras, with a range of L series Canon lenses providing optimum flexibility. I’m delighted with my Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II camera, which gives me all the quality I require, together with the flexibility that goes with digital photography. I also use Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and Mamiya 645 film cameras for set piece location work and in my studio. I use a Mac G5 computer with Epson Pro Stylus 4800, 950 and 2400 printers to produce my photographs and prints. An Epson 3200 scanner and a Nikon 500ED film scanner are used to digitise my admittedly vast collection of transparencies.

Over the years I have worked with many members of the aviation fraternity and have had many interesting insights into this industry. At the end of the day, professional photographers depend upon the support and patience of their clients and I have been very fortunate to work with some truly delightful people. Many of them have transformed from clients into firm friends.

Also, let me not forget the role of the enthusiast in the world of aviation photography. There are many of you out there and the overall knowledge you display is often astounding. I have always found the enthusiasts I have come across to be helpful and supportive. Two in particular stand out, Richard (First Class) Brown, who was instrumental in moving my photographic career into this field and Daryl Chapman in Hong Kong, who first showed me many of the locations from which most of the pictures on this site were taken.

I returned to the UK a few years ago and now run Asian Aviation Photography from here. However, I still travel extensively and never miss the opportunity to point my cameras at aircraft, wherever I go!
All images and content on this website are Copyright David Riley © 2008 and may not be reproduced in whole or in part either in print or electronically without the express written approval of the Copyright Holder.