Drone photography has become very popular over the last few years – offering a viewpoint on the world that can be transformational. But this ‘view from above’ has a long and eventful history – beginning when the first photograph was taken from a balloon in 1858. By the First World War aerial reconnaissance was proving crucial in directing operations, and by World War II photography formed a key part of an information arms race.
Join us as historian, author, and broadcaster Taylor Downing tells the fascinating story of how a group of highly specialised pilots, technicians and interpreters developed photographic skills and technology that played a vital role in winning the War.
Hear the story of how:
- l specialised unarmed aircraft were flown fast and high to avoid enemy air defences – often at the limits of both man and machine
- l photographs were analysed at a top secret headquarters staffed by an ‘unlikely mix of eccentric scientists and wacky boffins’
- l vital information was fed into key operations like the sinking of the Bismark, and the identification and tracking of Hitler’s V weapons
Taylor Downing graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge with a Double First in History. He worked at the Imperial War Museum, before starting his own TV production company – producing many award-winning historical films. He is also the author of several bestselling books, including ‘Spies in the Sky’ – Abacus, 2011.
You can find out more about Taylor and his work at his website: www.taylordowning.com. Guests are welcome to join his Zoom session for a small fee – book your place now at: