Gettysburg – North Carolina Monument
Surrounded by dogwood trees (the North Carolina state tree), the monument features figures of North Carolina infantrymen advancing during Pickett’s Charge, where fifteen infantry regiments from North Carolina participated and suffered heavy casualties. One man kneels injured on the ground, pointing towards the enemy with his proper left hand while two men wield guns and look forward. A fourth man holds a flag in both hands as he glances forward.
The North Carolina Monument is my favorite in Gettysburg. To me it best depicts the feeling of the Southern soldiers as they faced the onslaught of the Union guns during Pickett’s Charge. It sends shivers through my body every time I visit.
This battle fought 152 years ago just prior to Independence Day, marked the turn of the war that kept our Country united.
Louisiana Memorial – “Peace and Memory”
I have not posted an entry during the whole month of June. I will try to do a little better this month. On a trip to Gettysburg National Battlefield last month I was able to get images of a few memorials and battlefield scenes. I processed them using Nik Silver Efex Pro sepia toning to fit the character of the past.
Donald De Lue named his memorial sculpture “Peace and Memory”. He explained, “It flies over the battlefield blowing the long, shrill clarion call on the trumpet over the long forgotten shallow graves of the Confederate dead. It is taps for the heroic dead at Gettysburg.” De Lue explained the female figure is “Spirit Triumphant”, symbolizing the survival of the spirit and the ideas of these men that they did not die in vain. The eternal flame held in the other hand symbolizes the memory of these gallant men. It is the embodiment of the spirit that went into the Battle of Gettysburg with them.”
Louisiana had approximately 3031 soldiers engaged at the Battle of Gettysburg. 724 of them were casualties for a loss of 23.9%. This percentage placed Louisiana 22nd in rank of all the states that had soldiers at Gettysburg.
Fuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 49mm, f/9, 1/280 sec, ISO 200
This image was taken at the “Garden of Memories” near Newtown, PA. The Gardens memorialize the 9/11 tragedy. Along its spiral walk it memorializes the 2973 people killed, the the 58 Pennsylvania victims, the 42 children from Pennsylvania who lost a parent, and the 18 Bucks County victims. On the inner ring of the spiral, the Bucks County victims are etched in glass. It is a quiet and peaceful place. A place to walk, sit, and reflect. Remember … on this Memorial Day!
Fuji XT-1, XF-18-55mm @ 55mm, f/11, 1/17 sec, ISO 400
Rodin – The Thinker
It was an extremely bright day. Light was blasting through the gaps in the leaf canopy. It was difficult to get a decent exposure. My color images looked terrible. But it was a good day for B&W.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/4.0, 1/1200 sec, ISO 400
I could not let this iconic sculpture in downtown Philly pass by. It was Red, so I shot it of course. To further highlight the red, I converted to B&W with NIK Silver Efex Pro and used selective color.
I am posting this today for my wonderful wife on her birthday!
Fuji XT-1, XF 18-55mm @ 28mm, f/22, 1/17 sec, ISO 200
This image is from the other site of Swann Fountain, depicting the other two rivers: Schuykill and Delaware. My focus for this image was just to come up with a symmetric balance between the sculptures. One lesson learned here is to pay attention to the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO trade offs. I braced the camera on the fountain wall to get a reasonable sharpness at 1/17 second.
Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 50mm, f/11, 1/80 sec, ISO 500
Swann Memorial Fountain (aka The Fountain of the Three Rivers)
Alexander Stirling Calder, 1924
This fountain in Logan Circle depicts the three rivers that converge at Philadelphia: the Schuykill, the Wissahickon, and the Delaware. In this image I was trying to capture the fountain image and the Philadelphia City Hall in the background. I also wanted to capture limited blur in the flowing water.
Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 46mm, f/10, 1/20 sec, ISO 400
Tuscan Girl Fountain
Oskar Stonorov, Jorio Vivarelli, 1965
Philadelphia is full of sculptures. Walking around Center City, sculptures are everywhere you look. The overall sculpture draws my initial attention, but typically does not make an interesting photographic image to me. It is very difficult for me to capture the three dimensional aspects. I then usually just walk around and try to get a detailed aspect and perspective of the sculptures essence. I moved around this sculpture to capture an interesting element and a “nondescript” background to frame the image.
Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/8.0, 1/120 sec, ISO 400
Benjamin Franklin, Craftsman
Joe Brown, 1981
Ben Franklin, “The Printer”, provides the foreground against the Philadelphia skyline. I worked this image from multiple angles before I came up with this perspective. I had to wait patiently as other tourists posed in front of the sculpture. It was worth it.
From the Air Force Memorial we shot down to the Marines Memorial. While I took several images of the overall sculpture, I felt like these two detail photos captured the feeling best for me. The above image reflects the consolidated effort required to win the battle. The expressions on the two soldiers faces shown below seem to project focus and determination.
Shadows from the high noon sun hid the details on the soldiers faces. I used NIK Viveza and Color Efex Pro to brighten their faces while still maintaining the shadows and not blowing out the highlights in the rest of the image. To accentuate the structure details, darken the blue sky, and keep the patina from the bronze, I first converted to black and white using NIK Silver Efex Pro. To finish the photo, I blended the B&W version back into the color image.