Usually, when I think of landscape photography I think of sweeping vistas devoid of people or man-made elements. But not always, so when I saw there was a photography challenge up this week where “landscape” was the theme, I thought I would consider something that had an obvious human footprint. At the moment, I am working on processing photos that I took in Normandy, France. I have a lot of beautiful coastline shots. Normandy is a beautiful area, but obviously, it’s history includes that of WWII. I will be posting a photo in a few days of the coastline of Dieppe, in Normandy, but first I edited these photos from the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery:
This first shot is shot at the widest angle, to show as much of the landscape as possible. It’s been edited to give the colors a bit of a boost and a bit of clarity. This second shot is edited in much the same way:
To take this shot, I brought the stones into more detail by both taking a step closer and by bringing my lens from 10mm, which would have shown more of the scene, to 12mm, which shows less.
With these two shots, I was hoping to convey the reality of what this cemetery looks like. Most of the soldiers buried here are Canadian, the rest are British. The soldiers laid to rest here were killed in the Dieppe Raid of 1942. It was a disaster for the Allied Forces and while not all of their casualties were left behind, a lot were. It is interesting to me that this cemetery was created by the Germans, see the back to back stones of the first rows? that is typical of a German style of burial. Perhaps more interesting is that when the war was over, this cemetery remained here.
What I’d like you to know if you’re Canadian or British and have a family member or countrymen interred here and you aren’t able to visit, the Germans picked a beautiful spot to bury your loved one. I hope that my two pictures convey a sense of the beauty of the landscape here.
Which brings me to my third photo:
This last edit is where I am trying to process what would have been the terror of the raid with the beauty of the land itself. To shoot this idea, I decided to shoot from behind the stones and into the sun. The filter I applied to this had a red tinge to it. The red for the heat of battle, blood itself, confusion, anger and hatred, and the red prominently in the Canadian flag. It’s a lot to try and sum up in one image.
Cemeteries are wonderfully complex places to me. I hope that I have conveyed some of that in these images. What do you think of my edits? Your comments are welcome below.
Added to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Landscapes.
Picfair shot 1.
Picfair shot 2.
Picfair shot 3.