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HMS Queen Elizabeth: Images win Royal Navy photographic award

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Kyle Heller has been named the Royal Navy's photographer of the year for his portfolio of imagery from HMS Queen Elizabeth's deployment to the east coast of the USA.

image copyrightKyle Heller
image captionAn F-35B Lightning jet sits on HMS Queen Elizabeth's flight deck during the aircraft carrier's deployment to the east coast of the USA, an annual mission known as Westlant 19

Heller was selected from the pool of the Royal Navy's own dedicated photographers, all of them serving sailors or Royal Marines, to be awarded the Peregrine Trophy in the annual competition.

The photographer's images show a behind-the-scenes look at life in the Royal Navy, from emotional homecomings to frontline ops.

"This is a job like no other - it sounds clichéd, but it's true. I'm still trying to get my head round winning the award, in all honesty," said Heller.

"I'm not one for the plaudits at all and for me it's about the opportunities, experience and variation that you get with this job.

"Life is never dull and you're there, part of history in those big moments."

Heller became a Royal Navy photographer in late 2009, having joined the Royal Navy in 1998 aged 17 and serving on HMS Beaver, HMS Sheffield and HMS Cornwall.

Here is a selection of winning photos by Heller.

image copyrightKyle Heller
image captionNorwegian anti-submarine frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl joins the UK's Carrier Strike Group as it sails across the Atlantic
image copyrightKyle Heller
image captionA Royal Marine begins his descent from a Merlin helicopter during exercises on HMS Queen Elizabeth
image copyrightKyle Heller
image caption845 Naval Air Squadron conducts a search-and-rescue training mission from HMS Queen Elizabeth
image copyrightKyle Heller
image captionThe view of HMS Queen Elizabeth's flight deck during operational testing with the UK's F-35B Lightning jets
image copyrightKyle Heller
image captionAn F-35B Lightning jet lands on HMS Queen Elizabeth as she sails closely with tanker RFA Tideforce and Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland
image copyrightKyle Heller
image captionRoyal Navy sailor Phillip Hulbert searches the crowd for his family as HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to Portsmouth

Here are other striking photos entered in this year's competition, including winning images in different categories.

image copyrightBarry Swainsbury
image captionA member of HMS Cattistock's crew returns home to his family after 10 months away on a Nato deployment. Winner of the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity Family and Friends Award
image copyrightMarine James Clarke
image captionTwo Royal Marines from 40 Commando Recce Troop pose for a photograph whilst on a military training exercise in California. This image was part of the winning selection by Amateur Photographer of the Year, Marine James Clarke
image copyrightStevie Burke
image captionA Royal Marines assault engineer prepares a charge during ice demolition training in the Arctic Circle. This image won the Global Operations Prize
image copyrightDan Shepherd
image captionA British F-35B Lightning jet pilot walks across HMS Queen Elizabeth's flight deck with his fighter jet in the background
image copyrightDan Shepherd
image captionHMS Queen Elizabeth as seen through the cockpit of a Merlin helicopter
image copyrightDaniel Shepherd
image captionRoyal Marines board a Merlin helicopter during exercises on the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth

Photos from the Royal Navy photographic awards will be on public display at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire from December 2020 until March 2021.

Related Topics

  • Royal Navy
  • Photography