October 30, 2019
Tom Dalton is a first officer on our Airbus fleet. He’s also an extraordinary photographer. Combine the two passions and you get the astonishing images we see below. But which came first, the pilot or the photos?
Tom always knew he wanted to fly planes, but like many before him his first application was unsuccessful. That’s just how it goes. Disappointed, he took a year off to become a snowboard instructor in New Zealand (as you do) which is where the photography bug first took hold.
After returning from New Zealand he successfully applied for our cadet scheme and now takes his camera to work, capturing some incredible views from the flight deck window (though he’s keen to point out he only ever takes the photos in cruise or when operating as third pilot and never when he’s actually flying).
According to Tom, one of the great things about being a pilot is that away from the aircraft, for the most part, time is very much his own. “The nature of the job can be very procedural,” he says. “It has to be like that in order to maintain our very high safety standards. I therefore really enjoy being able to add some creativity back into my free time, perhaps editing some of the photos I’ve managed to take while exploring one of our destinations on the previous trip.”
“During the cruise, where our workload is much lower, there’s a great opportunity to admire the panoramic views from the flight deck and I enjoy being able to capture some of these. By sharing my images I hope to inspire others to think seriously about a career path to the flight deck, as well as giving people a rare view of some of the world’s natural wonders from seven miles high. It really is a job like no other.”
Tom uses a Sony A7RII for photography, Sony FS5II for video and edits photos using Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop for more technical edits.