Flying Boat Over Sea
© Courtesy of Richard and John Buckham.

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Flying Boat Over Sea about 1920
This photograph captures the stormy ocean with its swelling crests of the waves illuminated white. Silhouetted against the threatening sky is a flying boat. This specialised form of aircraft was purposely designed to take off from, and land on, water. This feature was exploited during the World Wars but its use rapidly declined thereafter. Buckham was aware of the flying boat from his time in the Royal Naval Air Service and, specifically, his involvement in photographing the alterations required that allowed planes to take off from, and land on, a ship. Regarded as the leading aerial photographer of the day, Buckham felt that the most spectacular cloud formations and theatrical light could be captured on “stormy days, with bursts of sunshine and occasional showers of rain”.

Glossary Open


Images showing an outline with no internal detail set against a contrasting background. It is specifically used for portraits of this type cut from paper.



  • Acc. No. PGP 197.21
  • Medium Silver gelatine print
  • Size 45.50 x 37.60 cm
  • Credit Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund 2008