Hatfield has been a subject for photographers going back to the beginning of the 20th Century (and probably earlier). Definite connections can be made to two very different photographers of international repute.
Emil Otto Hoppe – famous Edwardian photographer born in Munich in 1878. Became a member of the Royal Photographic Society in 1903. Known to have visited Hatfield for his book Picturesque Great Britain, published in 1926.
Charles E Brown – considered by many to be the master of aerial photography, visited Hatfield on several occasions. Responsible for many of the iconic photographs of WWII aircraft – including the DH.98 Mosquito.
Jim Meads – trying to take a picture of his two sons near their Hatfield home on 13 September 1962, he captured one of the iconic images of British aviation in the 20th Century – a farmer on a tractor looking over his shoulder as English Electric Lightning P.1B XG332, with its landing gear down, nose pointing straight at the ground and test pilot George P Aird's ejection seat parachute beginning to stream open slightly below, seconds before the crash. He handed the film over to the Ministry of Aviation to help in their crash investigation. After they released it back to him, the image was published as a centrespread in the Daily Mirror on 9 October 1962, and it was later widely used by Martin Baker to advertise their ejection seats.