Online Catalogue

Main Pages:

Product Sections:



My name is David Riley. Thank you for visiting our website. I founded Asian Aviation Photography about twenty-five years ago in Hong Kong, when I became a part-time commercial photographer. I had done some work previously whilst working for a multinational company in the Middle East, when my employers asked me to provide the photographs for several of their Annual Reports.

I have always shared a passionate interest in photography with an equally deep interest in Aviation. The two came together almost by accident. My job involved me in extensive travel and for many years I was flying in and out of Hong Kong on a nearly weekly basis. Whilst sitting in the airport lounge in Dubai one day with a colleague, he suggested that I should carry my camera and take aircraft photos, to pass the time. I followed his advice and found that it took away some of the drudgery of constant travel.

A few years later, a friend in Hong Kong saw some of my aircraft photographs and put my name forward to an airline looking for someone to undertake some work for them. I did the assignment; they liked my work and further assignments followed. This gradually led to work with other airlines in Asia, and then for various magazines. Asian Aviation Photography was founded and I became a part-time commercial photographer. My work has appeared in corporate annual reports, in airline magazines, in airline advertising, airline timetables, and airline postcards; and on the covers and in the pages of aviation magazines. I have always tried to support aviation enthusiasts who have asked if I have images that they could use for publications, and have provided photographs for a number of aviation books and to aviation related websites. I was fortunate that my employers were very understanding. Their only stipulations, very reasonably, were that any photographic work must not interfere with my daily work, must be done in my own time and that I donate any profits to charity. On this basis, I had ten wonderful years on assignment with a number of airlines in Asia in my spare time.
About Us  Text & Image
AboutUs - Text&Image2 One of the airlines I did work for asked if I would be prepared to sell enlargements of some of my photographs, that had appeared in their internal magazines, to their pilots. This led to requests for other photographs, and not just from that airline’s pilots. I ended up providing a lot of photographs in the years that followed. I set up Aviation Photography International to handle this business.

However, as I progressed in my career, I found that I had less and less time for my photography, so the commercial side had to be put aside.

I spent my last three years in Malaysia in quite a stressful corporate role. After completing my assignment there I decided to leave the stresses of corporate life, so I chose to retire to pursue my photography further.

My family and I returned to the UK, where Asian Aviation Photography and Aviation Photography International have been based for the last fifteen years. We have had a web presence for about ten years now, selling Photographic Prints from our image library. This library now contains well over 150,000 stock images; about half of which are in digital form, with the remainder being in 35mm or 6 X 7 format on transparency or negative film stock.

For the last couple of years I have been reorganising the business. I took the decision to update the format of our Photographic Prints, to give a cleaner, more up-to-date look to them. This involved creating over three thousand Photographic Prints in the new format, which took time. I hope that you like the new look. At the same time, I have kept all the Asian Prints on our Asian Aviation Photography website ( and have moved all the European Prints to our Aviation Photography International website (

I am also now offering Framing services for our Prints. Details of what we can offer can be found in the Print Framing section under Products.

Lastly, a little about my photography background. Like most of my contemporaries, I started my photography in the film age, and did my own developing and enlarging in a darkroom. I have used Canon cameras throughout my photographic career, starting with the Canon FTb QL camera in 1971. I worked through their A1’s, AE-1’s, the magnificent F-1’s and, to end the film phase, the wonderful Eos 1’s and Eos 1V’s. Whilst I dabbled with digital cameras in the late 90’s, my first real digital camera was a Canon D60. I am currently using a Mix of Canon 1Ds Mark II and Canon 5D Mark II cameras. I have a range of Canon L series lenses and love their superb quality.

Since returning to the UK, my photography has taken me in a number of different and exciting directions, with an emphasis on what the industry calls Destination photography, but what you and I would call Travel photography! However, I make regular efforts to take photographs of aircraft and this takes me to many wonderful locations around Europe.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your visit and please do come back and visit us again sometime. We will be making regular updates to the site going forward.

David Riley
March 2016

AboutUs - Text&Image3

We have updated the layout and styling of our Prints, to make them slightly cleaner, with a more modern look. We have removed a couple of the elements that appeared on our previous prints. Taste is very personal, but I think that the prints now have a more classic look. Some of the design changes should make the prints more suitable for framing.

The new format looks like this:

I have also decided to do away with the A3 Prints and I have now standardised on our two most popular sizes, A4 and 5” X 7”. These are both internationally recognized sizes and lend themselves to framing. Why the emphasis on Framing? Well, over the years I have had an increasing number of people asking me if we can arrange to have our Prints framed for them; usually because they want to give them as gifts. Because of the difficulties of mailing pictures containing glass, I have tended to resist these requests. However, I have now identified some high quality “plastic glass” and a couple of tests show that mailing prints using this medium is feasible. The framed Prints are also lighter, saving on shipping costs. I have been framing artwork for family and friends for many years and so I have decided that we will offer this option on a trial basis, and see how we get on. Details of our Framing services are contained in the section titled PRINT FRAMING in Products.
Standardised Layouts

The layout of our Prints are standardised by Print size, to ensure consistency across a collection. In addition, from time to time, we may offer a small number of specialised Prints in a variety of sizes. The layout of any such Prints will follow the general style of the rest of our Prints.

What is Lightfastness? Simply put, it is how long the print will last, before fading. Things have come a long way since the early days of digital printing, with good quality digital prints now likely to last as long, if not longer, than traditional photographic prints. Our prints are printed on Epson Pro 4800 and 2400 printers using original Epson UltraChrome K3 ink technology, which delivers high quality prints that look superb in any lighting condition, every time. And with excellent colour stability and outstanding durability, results look great for years to come. Epson claim a Lightfastness of about 75 years for colour prints on these printers. For further details, please see Epson's website.
Subject Details

Each Print gives details of the aircraft featured, including the aircraft make and type, the airline, the Manufacturers Serial Number (Msn) and, where appropriate, any Line Number (Ln). Details are given of where and when the photograph was taken.

We are sometimes asked why Msn and Ln numbers are important. Every aircraft airframe is allocated an Msn at production and, whereas a national registration number may change, the Msn will always remain the same. To those interested in tracing the history of a particular airframe, this is important, as that aircraft may move between airlines and countries many times during itr’s lifetime. Different manufacturers handle the numbering differently.

Boeing allocates a single Msn series to cover all aircraft types, whereas Airbus issues a separate Msn series to each main aircraft family. Some manufacturers, including Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, then issue a separate Ln series for each aircraft family or type. The Ln indicates the production number of an airframe within a particular type or family.

Clear as mud?

Perhaps an illustration will help: Lets use Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-412 registered 9V-SMU as our example. The Msn for 9V-MSU is 27028, whereas the Ln is 1000, indicating that this aircraft is the 27,068th Boeing commercial aircraft produced, and is al so the 1000th Boeing 747 produced. Using manufacturers Serial Numbers and line Numbers you came trace the history of any aircraft from production to demise.
Copyright Protection

Each print bears a Copyright Notice, together with the AAP website address. David Riley retains the copyright on all prints sold and both the print itself and the images contained therein may not be reproduced in part or in whole either in print or digitally, without the express written consent of the copyright holder. David strongly supports the protection of intellectual property rights and is committed to pursuing all cases of copyright infringement.

If you are a writer or author looking for photographs of commercial aircraft for a project, please contact me to see if I can assist with images. I have assisted several authors with images in the past. Asian Aviation Photography’s library contains over 150,000 stock images. You can contact me at the following e-Mail address:
Website Image Watermarking

Unfortunately, theft of intellectual property rights is rife on the Internet and so all images of Prints on the website bear an AAP watermark, which does not, of course, appear on the actual Prints.

If you have any further queries about our Prints, please contact us.

March 2016

All images and content on this website are Copyright David Riley © 2018 and may not be reproduced in whole or in part either in print or electronically without the express written approval of the Copyright Holder.