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Cyprus from the air...

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Cyprus from the air...

Postby cannedmoose » Thu May 26, 2005 5:01 pm

Cyprus from the air
By Eleni Antoniou

It’s the island as you’ve never seen it before: a coffee-table book of Cyprus as seen from above

IT HAS never been done before and for those who have come close, all I can say is: Nice try! From beginning to end, the whole procedure of aerial photography is complicated, dangerous and difficult. It’s not something just anyone can do and although it might sound like a piece of cake, just think about it: being in and taking photographs, it’s enough to make your stomach churn. Last year one of the world’s leading aerial photographers, Denny Rowland, moved here. He had been fascinated with Cyprus, but from a different perspective than most: the air.

Denny has specialised in aerial photography and video production for over twenty years. But this guy is not backed up with paper qualifications. “I’m self-taught,” Denny, explained, “I read a lot and have learnt most of what I know through experience.”

It all began when Denny was into racing-car engines; working on them and fixing them. Due to the fact that the races took place all over the UK, Denny had to find a way to get around. Enter the plane. “I bought my first plane in 1972 and used it to fly around,” Denny said, “and because I was always interested in photography, I found that taking pictures from the air was a brilliant idea.” So an aerial photographer was born. But there are more uses a plane can be put to. Banner towing also became a hobby for Denny but soon aerial photography was to take over and become his main job.

Small planes and aerial photography also lend themselves well to coffee table books and Denny is expecting his third to be completed within the next few weeks. Cyprus from the Air follows Sussex From The Air and Home Counties From The Air, both of which were met with huge success in Britain and around the world. However, Denny is confident that Cyprus From The Air will stand out from the crowd. “It has often been written that nowhere else on earth will one find a similar size of land with such a diversity of natural and man-made environments,” he said.

That might be so but military sensitivities on he island make something like taking photos of Cyprus from the air very complicated. “I took previous work I had done to the CTO and explained what I would like to do,” explained Denny, “and they accepted but told me I had to get permission from the Department of Civil Aviation and then take all of my photographs to the army to get checked.” Only a couple of photographs were taken away as a precaution but he has never had any serious problems.

“Flying is expensive and taking pictures while you are flying at many miles an hour is a difficult task that you can only master after many years of experience,” explained Denny, “most people can’t make it 20 minutes in the air, never mind lasting two hours, flying at different levels and having to take a good picture so that expenses and time don’t go down the drain.”

Aerial photography depends on many aspects including good weather. But that’s something we’ve got a lot of in Cyprus isn’t it? “Yes, of course, but when you are up in the air on a summer day, there’s not much to photograph as everything is brown, there’s no water in the damns and rivers and sometimes it might be hazy,” he said “so basically, this makes aerial photography a three-month job, just after winter to be precise.”

“Aerial photography is disorientating and everything just looks completely different and that’s what I love about it,” said Denny showing me a picture of a roundabout in Nicosia. ‘So where’s this?’ I asked, trying to figure it out. “This is the main roundabout just as you are going into Nicosia,” he said. Looking completely gob smacked, I couldn’t believe that was the same roundabout I go by everyday.

Disorientating.

l for more information about Cyprus from the Air contact Denny on dennyrowland@mac.com
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Postby Chrisswirl » Sun May 29, 2005 2:44 am

That sounds really interesting; do you know if they photographed the North out of interest?
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