Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 26: FLANDERS FIELDS AERIAL, Battle of Messines - 99 years ago

I've said it before, Aerial Photography is one of my favourite genres of photography and is probably what I would do full time, if I didn't have the Airline job...

A while ago, I was cruising low and slow in my 1954 Piper Super Cub, over Flanders Fields. It was cold, flying with the side door open, but boy did I enjoy the view!

It made me think how almost one century ago, life in the West part of Belgium, was a very different world. WW I, had being going on for 3 years and life was hard back then. Very unlike the peaceful scene I was witnessing today.

I was now flying over the area where exactly 99 years ago, the Battle of Messines took place (7 and 14 June 1917). On June 7 1917, 19 underground mines which had been installed by the British/Canadian and Australian, Engineer Tunnelling company, were detonated simultaneously, killing more than 10.000 people. Rumours have it that the explosions could be heard across the UK! Today one can see the huge craters these explosions left behind. Of the 21 mines laid, two did not explode. One of the two exploded in a thunderstorm in 1955, while the second one is still officially undetected.  In recent years its location is however meant to have been pinpointed. No one has attempted the recovery!

In the image below of the Trench 122 left crater (60m/195ft diameter), I was particularly attracted by the reflection of the trees around it. Please click on the image for a full screen view.

Image details:
Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the XF 18-135 lens
ISO 800, f5.6, 1/500s, 88mm (132mm full frame equivalent)
RAW processing in Lightroom CC
Nik ColorEfex pro 4 with Pro Contrast filter

I've praised the Fujifilm XF18-135 for aerial photography in a previous blogpost a few months ago and still maintain my position. End of this month, I'm  however planning to do some aerial photography in Belgium and France, with the Fujifilm XF90mm f2 prime lens. A razor sharp piece of glass which I reviewed over a year ago (review here), but which I haven't really shot since. 

My Aerial photography work can be found here

Remember: " Birds born in a cage, think flying is an illness" - Alejandro Jodorowsky


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