A Vision of Flight

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More About This Title A Vision of Flight


Alfred Buckham began his career in photography in 1905 and joined the RNAS to undertake photographic duties in 1917. At this dangerous time, an RNAS crew had a 1 in 5 chance of surviving their first trip, and a 1 in 30 chance on their second. Buckham was involved in 9 crashes, 8 of which saw him relatively unscathed. The 9th resulted in an injury that meant he spent the rest of his life breathing through a small tube inserted in his neck and, at age 40, his doctors said that if he confined his exercise to gentle walks and only did odd jobs, he might continue living. Undaunted, Buckham was determined to continue his aerial work, and after widely covering Britain he was commissioned to make a portfolio on any part of the American continent. There is scant information on Buckham and only one of his pictures was exhibited to the public, ‘The Heart of Empire’, taken over London. The Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh holds the photograph, voted one of the world's greatest photographs by The Sunday Times. This book seeks to tell Buckham’s story and reveal his groundbreaking work for the first time.


Celia Ferguson, a student of art history, became fascinated by Buckham’s work, and decided to write Vision of Flight.