Thunder Through the Valleys: Low Level Flying—Low Level Photography

Author(s): Philip Stevens 

ISBN: 9781781557372
£17.50 £25.00
Military low flying: the skills, procedures and dangers from a pilot’s perspective, plus how and where to photograph the aircraft.
Trust Badge
  • Military pilots from squadrons across Europe and the US discuss the skills and dangers of flying at low level over diverse terrain day and night

  • Stunning images of low-flying military aircraft – from A-7 Corsairs and F-4 Phantoms to Tucanos, Tornados, the Sk60, B-1B Lancer and F/A-18 Super Hornet – shot from a mountainside or air to air 

  • The photographer explains how the projects were planned and executed, and reveals where many of his images were taken 

Low-level flying in military aircraft at speeds of up to 500 mph and as low as 100 feet above the ground is as challenging for the pilot as it is for the photographer wishing to capture the action.

Thunder Through the Valleys: Low Level Flying—Low Level Photography is two books in one. The main subject is about military low-flying – the skills, reasons and dangers from a pilot’s perspective.

The author also discusses the challenges faced, revealing how and where the images were taken from mountainsides and desert canyons to cockpits for air to air. Pilots describe their training, mission planning, systems and the aircraft they love to fly from A-7 Corsairs, F-4 Phantoms, Tucanos, Tornados, Sk60, B-1B Lancer, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Super Hornet.

They fly low to deliver weapons or gather data and evade radar. Pilots from air forces across Europe and the United States talk about the skills they need to be effective in very dangerous flying environments, discussing the challenging conditions they face when flying fast and low over snow, sea or through mountain ranges at night.

Commanders with years of low-level flying give a fascinating insight in to their most memorable sorties.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557372
FORMAT 225 x 248 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 192 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 2 November 2018
ILLUSTRATIONS 189 colour photographs



Philip Stevens is a photo-journalist and for 40 years has travelled around the world in pursuit of the perfect image, which captures an aircraft in its natural surroundings combining action with the best light and background. This is what low-level flying photography from a mountainside is about. He has been commissioned to write articles on military aircraft and pilot training for major aviation magazines. Stevens has been a guest speaker at camera clubs and aviation societies. His fees and many images are donated to the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity.