Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Sometimes a blog post is a few weeks in the making. This is one of those posts.  It started a few weeks ago with a visit to the Cambridge American Cemetery, the final resting place for almost 4,000 American war dead from WWII.  On the grounds there is also a very well done visitors center.  I spent some time looking around the cemetery and took this photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

Actually, it is a very edited version of this photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

ISO 800 50mm f/13 1/160

I cleaned the marker a bit and patched up the grass around it.  I did both of those things using the healing and cloning tools in Photoshop.  I also cropped the image and put an iris blur filter on it.  The filter was mostly to blur the trees in the background just a bit more than they were in the original photo.  I then switched to Lightroom and converted it to black and white, applied a graduated filter, added grain, and a split tone effect.

That’s more effects and editing than I typically do.  As I was working with this photograph I couldn’t help but think of this particular person and was just curious to know a bit about him.  My first thought actually was to wonder if his family in the US has a photo of his grave marker, and if not would they want one?  I went online to see if I could find any information on him. A search of Carlisle H. Reville returned a synopsis of his death. I then found copies of the 1930 and 1940 US Census records that list him.  The 1940 census gives his name as “Carl H. Reville”, but based on the other family members listed, I believe it to be him.  If this is correct, this is where I think the story gets odd. Carlisle would have been 48 if he died in 1943.  His record at the cemetery indicates he was a pilot and 1st Lieutenant.  Census records indicate he was a salesman.  To complicate matters, his son Caulislo H. Reville, is listed as 13 years old in the 1930 census.  I can’t find him in the 1940 census, but he would have been 26 in 1943, a much closer fit for a 1st Lieutenant in WWII.  It just has got me thinking, I’m wondering if it’s possible the names are wrong?  I can’t even tell you exactly why this bothers me, but now I’m on a bit of a quest.  My next stop will be back to the cemetery, to see if I can find out how old Carlisle was at the time of his death.  If he was indeed 48, I’ll think he was a bit of an outlier for his rank, but that does happen.  If the cemetery doesn’t have the information, I’ll be back online to try an find out more.  An interesting note, US Census records from 1950 will not be made public until April 1, 2022.

If you are still reading, what do you think? do you agree Carlisle’s age seems a bit off for the situation?  Have you ever taken a photograph and then found out you had a lot more on your hands than you realized? Do you like the edits?

Cheers!

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46 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

  1. Hi Amy – I wonder why they data is not released until 2022 – privacy?
    I like both photos equally well – maybe the original more so because the green feels a bit cheery and lifts the mood. Your quest sounds fun.. and maybe it could lead into a book – I mean who knows – but sometimes this is the exact kind of project that leads to something like that…. please keep us posted

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  2. Pingback: Quest:  Science | What's (in) the picture?

  3. I do agree that the age seems off. I’m thinking he must have been in his twenties and at 26 he was a little old too. I’ve been where you are. Only, it was in one of those church yard cemeteries. It turned out to be a place of family plots. This was from around the time of the start of America when we were still under colonial rule and the Governors were given large swats of land to come to the Americas. That family owned most of Queens and Long Island. Their house still stands, and the first bank that they started still stands. It’s not a bank anymore though. It was a very interesting dig:) Like minds:) A good post.

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  4. Brilliantly done with the processing. Very seamless, and it looks haunting devoid of the vivid green. Interesting observation there, and 26 does sound more like an age of a first Lieutenant. Or maybe things are just the way they are. Or maybe someone’s trying to hide something. What a mystery and keep us posted 🙂

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  5. The editing of the photo is brilliant Amy. I can see how your curiosity has been raised. My paternal grandfather who I never met fought in WW1. There is so much unknown about his time there. I hope you find the answers to your quest.

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  6. Love both shots; though I slightly prefer the colour version. It is a mystery you have here. I don’t know much about US service records and their availability, but if he were a British or Commonwealth airman I’d look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. I’ve been in exactly the same situation with strangers’ headstones and spent time doing research because I just had to know about the person. I’m so glad I did. I have discovered a couple of fascinating stories.

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  7. I like the photo edit, Amy. What really gets my goat is that we have to wait 100 years for the UK census data to be released! So I’m a tad envious that you have 1940 already! The next issue for our descendants is that for our recent census (Aug ’16), there is pressure to delete all names from the data after it is ‘processed’n PC runs amok 😩

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  8. Love the pic, both of them, although the edited one matches the mood more, in my mind.
    I’m thinking that if you could craft a Facebook posting and send it out to all your American friends to disseminate, you just may come up with a link to the family and the truth, and they may get a wonderful photo and peace knowing their relative was lost but not forgotten.
    I’ll look for a post to spread around!

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  9. The age ranges for each war varies. The average age for the Vietnam War was early 20’s, during WWII the average age of a solider was late 20’s and the deployment force was vast in comparison. The result is you saw more anomalies related to rank, age, and the types of services that were performed. Good luck on your quest to find more information.

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    • I was thinking that WWII would have had more variation, I guess I just found this interesting because the census has his occupation down as something different. Not that he couldn’t have been a pilot and a salesman, it’s just interesting. Thanks!

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  10. On this busy morning, I am sitting here tempted to vanish down the rabbit hole of investigating this because that’s the kind of stuff I do sometimes with people I don’t even know! But I am not going there! I have too much else to do! I like your edits; they create a more somber mood in keeping with the scene. I may have to bookmark this to see if you come back with any news …

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    • Ok, so I can really relate to this comment, thanks for leaving it. I have done some additional research, but am still working on this. When I say working on it though, honestly I have so many other things, that I haven’t had a whole lot of time for it. I will eventually be writing a follow up piece on what I have found; I’m just not sure when that will be.

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  11. I am just a beginner in the photo editing process so I was fascinated to learn what you had done. I like the edited version as it has an atmosphere that suits the story that goes with it. I hope you will keep us updated on any further information you glean on Lt. Reville.

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  12. Pingback: When It All Adds Up | Photography Journal Blog

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