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Soldier in the spotlight

By Cpl. Sbastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#107, February 21, 2001

Last name: Saxby. Speciality: military photographer. "Visually speaking, BiH is a very satisfying country. Landscapes are magnificent and people eyes are stamped with a rare intensity." Cpl. Saxby stares at the digital dial of his camera. Some negatives recently taken during a CIMIC operation in the Banja Luka countryside scrolls on it. After more than twelve years in the photographic department of the Royal Air Force, this ex-press photographer is able to find the scene, the point of view and the light which makes the difference.
"I cover all the SFOR operations in the MND-SW. It is a very varied job. I witness the soldiers training as well as the actions towards the local population," he said. Public relations operations often offer occasional interesting encounters. "For some photographers the camera is a kind of barrier that they set up between them and the reality. I am at the opposite of this thought process. The camera is, on the contrary, a tremendous tool for meeting people and sympathizing with them."
This humane approach earned him a prestigious award. He won the RAF Photo of the Year (2000) thanks to a set of black and white portraits of aircraft staff. More technical jobs are also at his professional level. After a training at the Joint School of Photography at Cosford RAF base, this excellent element specialised in aerial and medical pictures. His abilities enabled him to receive last year the Strike Command Photo award.
These two awards in the same year are very precious when you know the competition which often rages between photographers. "There is always a way to make yourself some friends in that environment and to exchange some ideas," said Cpl. Saxby.
"One of the greatest advantages in that kind of job is the possibility of travelling. I visited the Four Corners of Europe and the Four Corners of BiH since I have been here." First name : Paul. Speciality: travelling photographer.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: UK