A slightly unusual shoot commissioned for Thwaites brewery as they wished to capture the flight of the remaining two flying Lancaster Bombers passing over Mellor Brook, the site where their new brewery will be built. The details from the brief were a little patchy, I knew when and where they would fly over but not from which direction or the exact location of where the new brewery is due to be built. I arrived nice and early to recce the area. The area around the site near Samelsbury Aerodrome is surrounded by high trees. If I had shot the photographs from there all I would have captured was the belly of the Lancaster Bombers as they flew overhead towards Blackburn.
I took a gamble and headed uphill towards the village of Mellor. My thinking was that I would have a better view of what was going on and would have a chance of capturing some of the landscape around where the new Thwaites brewery is due to be built. As I drove up and down the lanes of the village I couldn’t see anywhere where I would be able to get a clean vantage point. I was just about to head back to Mellor Brook and shoot it from where the new site is when I noticed a right of way through the corner of my eye near the lovely pub The Millstone. I loaded up my equipment and took a look. My luck was in. The landscape opened up to a lovely vista over the site and the aerodrome, the only problem was a sheep had got its head stuck in the stile i needed to cross! Once i’d done my friendly farmer bit and dislodged the sheep’s head and sent her on her way, all I had to do was set my equipment up and wait for the Lancaster Bombers to arrive.
I decided to use two cameras, one with a 70-200mm lens and one fitted with a 300mm lens and a 1.4x converter. Unfortunately the Lancaster Bombers didn’t fly as low as I had hoped for and they ended up looking a little loose in the landscape. It was always going to be a trade-off between this and photographing them nice and tight, which would have resulted in them looking like any stock photograph. As the Lancaster Bombers passed Mellor Brook and Samelsbury Aerodrome I switched cameras and shot a set of photographs much tighter as the flew over Mellor and on their way to Blackburn.
As I made my way back to the car, one of the locals informed me that the lane I used, Stoops Fold, was used as a location for previous Thwaites TV adverts. If this is true then it really is a small world! A picture of the lane is below, if anyone can shed some light on this i’d be very interested.