Michael E Leek MA MPhil(RCA) FRSA AFRHistS
Michael trained as a technical Illustrator at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design (which included film-based photography). He later completed an MA at Middlesex University (Visual Arts Practice, Education and Management), a history-based MPhil at the Royal College of Art (the only entirely postgraduate arts university in the world), and HE/FE teacher training CertEd at Bournemouth University.

He's a member of the Society for Nautical Research (joined in 1968). He is currently a member of the Society's Maritime Heritage Committee. The Society is the world's premier maritime history society!

He is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (AFRHistS). He was elected primarily for the design, research and studio direction of maritime heritage projects in the UK, Åland, Sicily and Sweden, and for the design and management of similar projects for the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Science Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

Other associations include Life-Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), member of the Royal United Services Institute, the Navy Records Society and the United States Naval Institute.

After a period in professional practice in Britain, The Netherlands and Germany, he entered design education at the Arts University Bournemouth, becoming the Head of the School of Illustration. After Bournemouth he was appointed Director of Studies at the internationally renowned Cordwainers College. He has held other senior posts in visual arts and design education, including five years as a visiting lecturer at Mälardalen University, Sweden.

From a photography perspective, he has been twice Featured Photographer with Flight Global and was a runner-up in Practical Photography's Action category of the Photographer of the Year competition.

Michael is also the author of eight books, five of which are based on his digital photography (see the section 'book news' for further details). He was the Assistant Editor of the international quarterly journal Model Shipwright and the annual Shipwright. He has also written extensively for The Mariner's Mirror, the international journal of the Society for Nautical Research (The Mariner's Mirror is ranked as an ERIH Plus journal by the European Reference Index for the Humanities).

A former civilian sea-going member of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS), he served on Fleet Tenders, former Ham-class inshore minesweepers and Archer-class P2000 patrol boats. (The RNXS was disbanded following the end of the Cold War.)

He now lives in Scotland, with his wife Kristan.

Michael's drawings, paintings and/or illustrations have been exhibited at, or published by;

Airbus, Hamburg, Germany (via Multiplex Designs Ltd)
BAC (British Aircraft Corporation)
Cordwainer's College, London
Link House Magazines Ltd, Croydon
The Mariner's Mirror, international journal of the Society for Nautical Research
Ministry of Defence (via Multiplex Designs Ltd)
Musée national de la Marine, Paris
The Pastel Society, London
Punic Ship Museum, Marsala, Italy (preparatory work is now archived at the University of Southampton)
Reader's Digest books
RCA Secret, Royal College of Art, London
Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), London
The Science Museum, London
Ships Monthly
The Smithsonian Institute, USA
Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden
Technology & Culture, University of Chicago, USA
Onboard HMS Victory, Portsmouth
VFW (Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke), Bremen, Germany

In terms of digital photography, his first camera was a 4 megapixel point-and-shoot Olympus. This was in 2004. Since then he has acquired a comprehensive kit of professional photographic equipment. His photographs have been published in or with;

Aircraft Illustrated
Air Forces Monthly
Amateur Photographer
Aviation in Action (2010 calendar)
BBC websites: News; Scotland; Weather and BBC Scotland HQ in Edinburgh
The Daily Mail
Scottish Daily Record (used illegally - without permission!)
DPReview (website)
Dunoon Observer
Fishing News
Flight Global (website)
Flight International
Knock News
Luftled - Norwegian Air Power Journal
Marine Traffic (website - see Links)
Model Shipwright
The Northern Scot
Photography Monthly
Practical Photography
Press & Journal
RAF News
USN Air Station Jacksonville, USA
Valley Wings (official magazine of RAF Valley)
Water Under The Keel (by Capt David Beveridge)
World Naval Review 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023 & 2024