Wednesday, August 22, 2012

D-Day Conneaut - Part 3 - Operation Overlord

To finish off the day in Conneaut was the reenactment of the Normandy Invasion.  I had seen photos of the event from years past and even some video, so I was very excited to see it in person.  And to take pictures of it, of course.  I headed down to the beach early, but not early enough to secure a spot to be able to see the troops being off-loaded from the landing craft.  But, I was happy in the end with the results of the photos.
I have to give a lot of respect to these reenactors.  Really, any reeanactor.  These folks aren't trying to glorify war.  Rather, they are making sure that the history of what had happened and the sacrifices made by those are not forgotten.  They give our modern world a view of what life was like back in these times.
Between the B-25, T-51's, amount of participants and all the sounds of the automatic weapons fire, this truly was the finest reenactment that I have ever witnessed.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

D-Day Conneaut - Part 2 - Lessons learned at the bridge

One thing I did not do ahead of time is get an idea for the layout of how the reenactment runs. At Zoar and Dennison, it's easy. This reenactment was very different. A lot more people brings a lot less opportunity to get in to a position I wanted to to get the best shots possible of the action. For instance, the battle for the bridge. The scenario was that the French Resistance was going to attack a bridge held by German soldiers and after being driven off, US Army Airborne troops would come in a save the day. Great setup for catching action. However, where I was located was too far off to catch any of it. I did snap a few of the Airborne staging their entrance, but that's really about it. Next year, I will be more prepared. On top of that, I didn't realize that the German camps were on the other side of that bridge. Again, something I will have to plan for next year. After the battle, we headed up to the main vendor area to enjoy some lunch and some of the local color and soon after I was off to scout a position for the invasion.

Monday, August 20, 2012

D-Day Conneaut - Part 1

This past Saturday, my wife and I headed up the road to Conneaut, OH to attend the annual D-Day event.  The reenactment is inspired by the events surrounding the Normandy invasion of 1944.  While just a reenactment, the intensity of the event is like one I've never seen before.  With the use of actual landing craft, men portraying American soliders are brought on-shore to attack the hillside manned with German soldiers.  To add to the chaos going on around you, a B-25 bomber as well as 2 P-51 Mustang replicas, (officially called T-51), are added to the mix doing low flybys and with the help of flash-pots dug into the beach, simulate bombing runs.  But the real awe striking moment of the day was hearing a WWII veteran give his personal accounts of being in France after the invasion.  As my wife put it, he is the true definition of swagger.  He enjoyed being with the men sharing his experiences so that they can add that to their memories and continue his story and the stories of his comrades.  As you could expect, I shot a lot of images there.  Here is the first set of those.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebrate with fire - The 2012 edition!

Just like we did last year, this past weekend was time to once again celebrate the anniversary of our dear friends Joel and Shannon.  And like last year, it was a night of fireworks and sky lanterns.  Always a good time to play with time exposures.  I especially liked how in some of them you can make out stars along with the brightness of the explosions.  A happy and unplanned result!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Number One House in Zoar, OH

The crowning gem of Zoar is the Number One House. It served many purposes over the years and stands like a regal king near the center of the town. When I normally go to Zoar to take pictures it's usually outside. But since it was a Friday vacation day and my chores were done, I thought I would roll the dice and head down to see if it was busy there. The buildings in Zoar are open during the day for tours and with the heavy rain this afternoon, I got lucky. I had full access to the inside of the house to set up my tripod and shot images with my shutter release without people tripping over me. Today was just a study of using available light and no flash. While some didn't come out the way I had in mind, I'm still pretty happy with the results. This is just another example of why this town needs to be saved.