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Photos by Bill Wright Page last updated: 2012-11-10

Bill Wright's visit in July 2010

Bill employed a novel method to capture these contributions, he takes up the story:-

The transmission site was on the roof of a tall dockyard ice factory. There seemed to be no way of getting a close-up shot for MB21. I was distraught.

Aimlessly wondering about the town, desperate to find a way to get the essential shots for MB21, I was surprised see a large collection of balloons drifting down the street.

As I looked longingly at the transmission site the balloons loomed over me. Suddenly, without even thinking about it, I knew what I had to do! I jumped up and grabbed hold of the balloon strings, and before I knew what was happening I was whisked aloft! I was breathless with excitement, but I thought of Queen and Country and MB21, so I kept my camera ready!

Amazingly the wind took the balloons, with me hanging below, towards the transmission site, and although it looked as if I would be dashed against the side of the huge ice making machine I continued to press the shutter for MB21!

Luckily a sudden updraft carried me towards the roof of the giant ice making machine and I was able to get a closer shot for MB21.

There was a tricky moment when the balloons suddenly encountered the airflow over the giant ice making machine and were thrown sideways (and were therefore out of shot). I was almost directly below the transmission site at that moment. Despite being dragged violently upwards and sideways I had the presence of mind to use flash, since otherwise the shot would have been little more than a silhouette.

As I was dragged rapidly across the roof past the transmission site (at one point grazing my shin on a dangerously located Health and Safety notice) I was able to snatch a few shots of the aerials. I used a fast shutter speed because of my rapid movement, which necessitated a large aperture. This is why the depth of field is restricted, slightly blurring the background, and I apologise for this shortcoming. Photographically and physically it was a challenging assignment. After the close-up shots of the site it was all downhill, really. A big thanks to the Lochinver Rifle Association for helping me lose altitude so rapidly (you were a bit too efficient there guys, to be honest). Thanks also to the RAF Air-Sea Rescue (cheers you guys, I know you didnít mean what you said!) and another big thanks to the Lochinver Snorkel Club for retrieving the camera! The card was intact, and of course MB21 will replace the camera, maybe with a better one. And special thanks to Inverness Royal Infirmary, which strapped up my ribs and splinted my legs with scarcely any acidic comments about the rashness of my behaviour. So, all things considered, a successful MB21 mission.

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