By Alex Jones
A HIGH-FLYING British pilot has combined his love of aviation and photography by taking a huge array of stunning snaps across the world.
The incredible images include staggering aerial shots of the metropolis of Hong Kong, exquisite captures of Sri Lanka’s iconic Nine Arch Bridge, and a sun-dappled Lombard Street in San Francisco.
The remarkable photos were all captured by long haul pilot, Lee Mumford (32) from Berkshire, UK, who has spent much of the last five years flying to every corner of the globe, working as well as chasing the perfect photo.
Lee, who followed his father’s footsteps as an airline pilot, always had a keen interest in photography but dropped the hobby after working for several years in the UK in finance.
After gaining his wings, the multi-talented 32-year-old recaptured his love for his camera after his job took him to some of the most picturesque locations in the world. His eye-catching shots have not only impressed his friends, family and thousands of followers, but Lee has also wowed photography judges and won numerous awards for his thought provoking shots.
“I’ve travelled to 45 countries and I always make sure I have my kit with me,” said Lee, who uses the Instagram handle @leemumford8.
“I usually take cityscapes because a lot of the destinations I fly to are major cities, all over the world. It can be Rome, Singapore, London… Almost anywhere. My longest flight is 16 hours between Hong Kong and London. When I’m not flying the plane, I have been known to use the opportunity to grab some shots from the cockpit – particularly when the Northern Lights are on display.
“I really enjoy showing off just how beautiful the world is, and hopefully my photos can inspire people to get out there and see as much of it as possible. I love taking landscape photographs but my schedule doesn’t often allow for that. I usually focus on architecture which Asia has more than its fair share of – it’s like every architect is in competition with everyone to make the most outstanding building, there’s some incredible infrastructure on display.”
Mumford, who typically travels with his partner Louise Pattison unless he is expressly going somewhere to take photos, is particularly proud of two of his images, although his collection is rapidly expanding.
“There are two images that are particularly special to me,” he admitted.
“There’s an aerial shot of Hong Kong which really shows just how populated and crazy the city is – I call it Organised Chaos and the road which forks through it really draw the viewer in. I was just playing around with my drone when I got that that shot, it was a spot of luck really.
“The other one I’m equally proud of is my Nine Arch Bridge photo in Sri Lanka. It’s a pretty famous bridge and lots of people have taken pictures of it but I wanted something special. Louise and I spent three mornings getting up before sunrise and trekking up a mountain to get to the perfect spot – the first two days were a wash out but on the third, the sky lit up and I got the shot I had in my head. It’s a rare but beautiful thing when that happens. Especially as it happened in my favourite travel destination – Sri Lanka has it all – amazing scenery, friendly people and world class food. I’d recommend it to anybody.”
Mumford has no plans to slow down and is always looking for his next photo opportunity.
“Research is key, I always spend ages researching a spot before I travel there,” He added.
“I try and take all my photos within an hour of sunrise or sunset as that’s usually when you get the best light.
“I know being an airline pilot isn’t the greenest job in the world but I do whatever I can to reduce my carbon footprint, we’ve cut out plastic and are eating far less meat. I’m hoping these photos can help show people that there is beauty wherever we look, and that the planet is worth protecting.”