Photographs displaying the “critical contribution” the Royal Air Force plays in operations around the world will go on display in Hendon today.

The images from the RAF’s annual photographic competition reflect everyday life in the force.

Air chief marshal Sir Stephen Dalton said: “These dynamic images reflect the extensive breadth of service life, the critical contribution that our personnel are making to global operations and the unique year of celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as well as the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

More than 800 images were entered in the competition but it was Corporal Mike Jones from RAF Marham who took the 2012 winner’s trophy.

One of his images titled Afghan Elder was taken at an open day in Kandahar where local people were encouraged to visit the RAF in the airfield on New Year's Day. 

Cpl Jones said: “The RAF had provided a Tornado GR4 and the crew were busy talking to a lot of excited kids and local people. I saw the man sitting alone to one side by the hangar door, just watching things going on.

“The conditions were perfect. As the hangar door opened there was a flood of natural light falling on him.

“It is a very natural shot. It is a striking picture that I am proud of.”

Photographs from the competition will be on display at the RAF Museum in Grahame Park Way, Hendon, until April 30. Entry to the exhibition will be free of charge every day from 10am-5.30pm.