GENERALS GRANT AND LEE
I have posted images in the past from the battlefield where the Civil War once raged in Fredericksburg, Virginia, an area around which I even created a theme on Trekearth, My Daily Drive to Work. This is such a beautiful area that I sometimes envy myself for having regular access. The scene is in Lees Hill, bordering a golf course, and just down the hill from my house. But this beauty seen on Oct. 31, on a bright sunny day following a heavy rain, was the scene of a tragic fight between a pair of scorpions locked in mortal combat 146 years ago.
It was reported to have been a numbingly cold five days in December 1862 when 115,000 troops of the North (Union Army) engaged 73,000 troops of the South (Confederate Army). Civil War buffs might want to read about the generals who became larger than life figures Burnside, Longstreet, McClellan, Hooker (indeed, whose name is said to give us the word for a prostitute), Stonewall Jackson, an indefatigable warrior whose name is associated with impregnable defense. Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire just six months later in the nearby Battle of Chancellorsville. It is not my purpose to give a detailed narrative of how the Battle of Fredericksburg unfolded in the immense natural amphitheater defined by the terrain, a battle that resulted in a stunning defeat for the North, and provided a false sense of confidence for the South. The North suffered around 13,000 casualties, and the South about 5,000. Eventually, by 1865, after half a million casualties had been inflicted on the two warring sides, the Civil War ground down to a halt, with the South vanquished by the more wealthy and industrial North. The war is regarded as a national disgrace, but it did save the Union. And ultimately it raised President Lincoln to the stratospheric heights occupied by only 2-3 other Presidents, among them Washington and Jefferson, as the greatest in the Nations history. In an unending tragedy, however, Lincoln would become a martyr of the war, assassinated a few months later, when he was shot while attending a theater in Washington, DC.
Among all the names of generals associated with the war, just two Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee are inseparably identified with the two sides, Grant with the North and Lee with the South. Grant and Lee had been classmates at the military institution, West Point, but emblematic of a war that pitted brother against brother, here it was two classmates commanding opposing forces in a fight for survival.
On a personal note, on September 6, 2008, my friends from National Geographic Books had joined us for dinner in Fredericksburg to celebrate the completion of our book, "Leonardos Universe." As I drove the senior editor of the book and her husband around Historic Fredericksburg, I found out that she, Lisa Thomas, was a direct descendant of General Grant, and he, Donald Thomas, a direct descendant of General Lee. What magnificent poetic irony! I dedicate this photograph to them.
Nikon D-200, 28-200 Nikkor lens, ISO-200; Mode: Aperture set on f/22, in order to maximize depth of field; tripod. The image could be sharper, but further post-processing started to produce the characteristic whitening around all the edges. Compositionally, I might have placed the dominant oak tree a little more to one side, but using the method of thirds, I believe, becomes a cliché. If I had been creating a landscape painting instead of a photograph, I would have framed the scene in this manner.
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Critiques | Translate
mesutilgim (89762) 2008-11-16 9:49
Selam sevgili Bülent kardeşim,
Muhteşem bir sonbahar karesi. Bakış açısı, kadraj, renkler herşey dörtdörtlük.
Hikayesi de çok güzel.
Selam ve sevgiler
PS. Yakında herhalde İstanbul gözükmüyor sana. Ama İstanbulda Galatasaraydaki Yapı ve Kredi Bankası sanat galerisinde muhteşem bir Afrodisias sergisi açıldı. Ben katalog fotograflarının büyük kısmını verdim ve damışmanlık yaptım. Segi Ocak sonuna kadar açık kalacak.
AROBN54 (11473) 2008-11-16 9:52
Warm greetings, Bulent,
what a wonderful autumn scene. So many stunning colors and such fine detail. I like the vertical lines of the tree trunks and the contrasts between the greens and those fiery fall colors. Simply beautiful! And as always, a great note! Many thanks and warmest regards,
carper (96) 2008-11-16 9:58
the autumn shot is very good and you captured a historic place here, your note is interesting and good, the autumn photo is in good balance and with a fine atmosphere, good photojob here, thanks for sharing.
omerozden (1259) 2008-11-16 10:05
this is an excellent autumnal shot. colors and composition are super. you have a collection of all autumnal colors together with blue in the sky and green grass and tree. sharpness is also very well. however to my personal preferance this photo needs to be much bigger at least 4 times bigger than presented here.
Kielia (24073) 2008-11-16 10:09
Good evening from Germany, Bulent, with great admiration and appreciation for an excellent note accompanying this - at first sight - very idyllic autumnal place. This is really a masterwork in the best spirit of TE. My compliments!
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2008-11-16 10:39
Merhaba, Bulent -
A side note to your (as usual) excellent note: Lee was first offered command of the Union army, but when Virginia seceded, he decided he could not fight against his home state, and instead became an adviser to Jefferson Davis, and later commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. If Lee had stayed with the Union, or at least stayed out of the conflict, it is possible the Civil War would never have lasted as long as it did.
That said, this is a lovely scene betraying no hint of the violence that occurred there so many years ago. Nice use of colors, light and shadow. There is a slight roll to the landscape that comes through nicely and is so typical of that part of the country. And as an artist, you know well enough to ignore the rule of thirds and put the tree where you damn well please! ;-)
Best, as always,
alibasarir (15580) 2008-11-16 10:41
merhaba bület bey
mükemmel bir sonbahar manzarası olmuş.özellikle ağaçların keskin görünümü ile renkler ve ışık nefis elinize sağlık.
burGu (4840) 2008-11-16 11:38
Merhaba Sevgili Profesör,
Bu aralar hepimiz sonbahar renklerine vurulmuş haldeyiz. En güzel yaprak dökümleri, en güzel çıplak ağaç dalları, en güzel sonbahar yansımaları nerede acaba gibilerinden bir kovalamaca almış başını gidiyor TE fotoğraflarında.
Hiç şüphe yok, sizinki de akılda kalacak sonbahar karelerinin başında geliyor.
feather (51130) 2008-11-16 11:49
The sunlight is illuminating the stunning autumn colours to perfection. It's your resistance to the thirds rule that has allowed more space for the evergreen tree, which provides wonderful contrast to the golden tones. Excellent note as always. I'm always amazed at the twists and turns of fate.
jafadabret (56501) 2008-11-16 12:02
La beauté de la nature fait oublier les terribles guerres qui se sont déroulées sur son terrain. Ici les couleurs font un feu d'artifice sous une belle lumière. C'est une photo qui rejoint le travail des peintres.
Je ne peux m'empêcher de penser aux terribles images des incendies de la Californie.
TGULUMSER (13252) 2008-11-16 12:03
Bulent Bey merhaba,
Renkler cok cok guzel, sonbahari harika yansitmissiniz,
asajernigan (21427) 2008-11-16 12:07
This is a great autumn colors shot. Your note is very informative and shows what a small world we live in. My mother's family (Lee)are also descendants of Henry Lee (R.E. Lee's father) and have traced their family back to Virgina.
The lighting and colors are great here with excellent sharpness and DOF.
xavshot (69835) 2008-11-16 12:12
très belles couleurs d'automne dans cette image. J'aime bien ces milliers de feuilles qui donnent ce superbe tableau. Bravo.
meltemi (0) 2008-11-16 12:59
very well captured image of a pleasant atmosphere and with fantastic autumnal colours. Well managed light and very good sharpness, capturing the trees in their final dress before winter comes. Fascinating note. The best wishes for your new book.
All the best.
ALIRIZA (16423) 2008-11-16 13:23
Merhaba Bülent Abi,
Sonbaharın renkleri gerçekten göz alıcı. Enfes bir manzara. Ellerinize sağlık...
Selam ve saygılarımla...
amaryllis (36109) 2008-11-16 13:43
une tres belle photo aux couleurs automnales, dorées, un beau tapis de feuilles, une très bonne luminosité
dareco (17134) 2008-11-16 14:35
Beautiful!!! WOW!! The colors are stunning, and I love the detail and lighting. An amazing place, and a very informative note. TFS
windosil (1158) 2008-11-16 15:12
Wonderful colours, Bulent, and nothing wrong with the position of the tree. I wonder, is this 'rule of thirds' an American thing? I had not come across it before joining Trek Earth, but I would hate to be expected to use it as a critiquing tool.
Your note reminds me of a former hotel in my town - called the Battleblent, it was built near the site where casualties in one of the Battles of Dunbar were buried without regard to which side they had fought on.
naznaz567 (344) 2008-11-16 15:16
Good evening Bulent bey!
I also have the same thoughts about the beauty of the place just looking at the woods behind my house in the fall or taking a stroll in the local park in Maryland.
Does it make up for the killer traffic, though?
The essence and colors of the Maryland/Virgina woods are perfectly captured in your photo.
avene (12675) 2008-11-16 15:22
interesting how this sunlit scene creates a mood directly opposit to the somber tone of the story. the shadow in the foreground works well to create a natural frame, I quite like that. minor point though - at least on this screen the photo lacks sharpness a little.
and thanks for the very informative note about the classmates, always happy to learn something :)
adores (41680) 2008-11-16 15:38
Beautiful autumn colours! I like the composition, the tonalities of the leaves and the light.Not easy to take but you did it very well.
zeynepe (0) 2008-11-16 23:33
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
Öncelikle "Leonardos Universe" hayirli olsun, dort gozle yeni kitabinizi okumayi bekliyorum.
Ihtisamli agaclarla ve yine harikla notunuzla sonbahar kareniz mukemmel olmus, tebrikler,iyi haftalar,
azaf1 (15929) 2008-11-17 1:10
Good morning Bulent
A teacher and his techniques! A plain everyday scene in all its beauty of the Fall colors and a detailed note that triggers the imagination and creates dramatic pictures of times past. Really creative in its concept.
pablominto (53746) 2008-11-17 2:03
This is a beautiful painting with light!
The seasonal atmosphere is so well captured, the colour reproduction is outstanding...
Kind of strange thinking back to when the fields were stenched with blood and not fallen leaves..!
tober (8797) 2008-11-17 3:58
Merhaba Sayın hocam, takvimlerin sonbahar yapraklarına konu olacak güzellikte bir fotoğraf. Elinize sağlık, Tolga
GFSSD-1 (3916) 2008-11-17 8:18
ÇOK YALIN BİR BAKIŞ DA OLSA RENKLERİN CAZİBESİ İLE İYİ BİR ESTETİK DOZ YAKALANMIŞ,
GÜZEL BİR S.BAHAR PAYLAŞIMI,
SELAM VE İYİ DİLEKLERLE..
stelli (2993) 2008-11-17 11:25
I am envious! I love fall in the States especially in the North East and it has been too long since I last lived through those colors! Your pictures bring back to life those colors and even smells! Thank you for sharing! Regards Stella
paololg (31448) 2008-11-17 14:58
I believe that if the stones could speak they would tell us so many episodes of places that now we consider suggestive. Beautiful image, with all the colors of the autumn. Compliments!
Tezic (17867) 2008-11-18 4:04
son derece dingin, ahenkli renklerle huzur veren bir sonbahar karesi olmuş... kompozisyon enfes... tebrikler...
anokutan (15097) 2008-11-18 5:43
Bülent bey merhaba,
Bakış açınızla yeşil,sarı,turuncu ve kırmızı renklerden oluşan kompozisyon enfes.Selamlar.
Bluejeans (64251) 2008-11-18 5:58
Ola amigo ,
Linda foto de outono os tons dourados estão magnificos com uma bela mistura entre si, gostei muito da luz a iluminar as folhas , bom enquadramento da foto ,parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
sucaattin (666) 2008-11-18 8:40
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Çok güzel bir sonbahar görüntüsü. Renkler muhteşem. Elinize sağlık.
emka (87538) 2008-11-18 8:41
Hi Bulent, One can only envy you for having such a fantastic drive to work. The autumn colours are wonderful and the trees are in beautiful light.
But it is the note that is really interesting. At first, when reading a title I expected to see sequoias - they have such names. Usually history is about battles and wars, conquers and casualties and it is maybe the reason I am not so fond of it. But such a coincidence that your guests were direct descendents of fighting generals - is is incredible!
nivaldo (15415) 2008-11-18 20:49
Hello my friend Bulent Atalay
That´s really an amazing feeling to watch such Autumn colours! We can´t feel that Season here in Recife ... So, thank you for sharing that beautiful picture!
macondo (18697) 2008-11-18 22:38
I read your fascinating note before I had a really good look at the photo. If not for your comment about the rule of thirds, I probably wouldn't have noticed that the oak was in the 'wrong' place! There are plenty of verticals there to take the emphasis off that one.
Your comments about the civil war made me think of that fantastic documentary of about 16 years ago, the one by Ken Burns. I watched it through twice. The coincidence of your guests' ancestry makes an incredible note in its own right.
The photo depends very much on the array of colours and the slightly leaning array of tree trunks. Also, the shadows and, despite the apparent crowding of the scene with forest trees, a sense of space, which you suggest strongly with the inclusion of the lawn in the foreground.
Very nice work and good reading matter; thanks.
PS sharpening of massed foliage does not really work well, I have found.
polpo56 (15136) 2008-11-19 13:16
I see only young trees, perhaps this hill, at the time of Civil War, was only a glassy glade...
A beautiful view, full of warm autumnal colours, with a good composition and a great depht.
Thanks for the interesting note.
Have a nice day.
setenay (7694) 2008-11-20 7:20
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Dün en son armağan fotoğrafım İzzet bey içindi.Bir aydır sizlerin karelerine hep karşıdan baktım yazamadım bugün son bir kez hepinize yazmak istedim.Sizin bu sonbahar karenizdeki renkler muhteşem görünüyor.Sıcak renklerin her tonu mevcut.İnsana huzur veren güzellikte.Tebrik ederim elinize sağlık, selam, sevgi ve saygılarımla.Eşinizede çok selamlar.Gülseren hanımdan ara ara maille çok hoş resimler yazılar alıyor ve mutlu oluyorum
danyy (0) 2008-11-20 9:24
décidément, j'en aurai cririquées des photos de l'autome ce jour. En voici une de plus qui me plait beaucoup pour ces couleurs tant vives que naturelles. Une excellente capture des lumières de sous-bois, souvent très difficiles.
Emile (20352) 2008-11-20 13:06
One of the best autumn scene posted in TE this year, there are many different fall colors on the leaves, this produces a wonderful contrast. Good POV, light and frame, also your composition is excellent. As always your note is very instructive. Thank you.
Best regards and wish you a nice weekend.
papagolf21 (91480) 2008-11-20 14:43
Bonsoir, mon ami Bulent,
Saison des couleurs chatoyantes, du crépitement des feuilles qui tombent, de la cueillette des champignons ou des mûres... L'été est fini, mais l'automne est si beau ! Au royaume du symbolisme, la saison est rayonnante...tout comme cette superbe réalisation.
stego (24126) 2008-11-20 16:00
Your route to work is an inexhaustible source for great photos. It's a wonderful Autumn view, a beautiful play of colors and light. Saying this to you is like preaching to a priest, but I agree much that rules are good as guides, but we have to take the freedom to break them sometimes - the compo looks perfect to me, I don't see how it could be improved, so I wouldn't even think about the rules of thirds here.
As usual, you arranged a fine way to tell us about another History episode mingled with a personal event with a post.
Warm regards, José.
Didi (59184) 2008-11-20 16:07
Salam dear friend
Very nice autumnal composition with interesting difference between gold yellow and orange with a touch of green, we had a good season this year for the trees.
Just one question : did you try the RAW here ?
saylan-cb (12738) 2008-11-21 0:47
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Sonbaharda doğanın bambaşka bir tadı ve rengi oluyor.Doğada biz insanlar gibi kendini yeniliyor...Fotoğrafta renkler,ışık ve gölge ile çok güzel yansıtılmış.
jhm (145204) 2008-11-21 3:49
Hello friend Bulent,
I find the autumn period one of the most beautiful periods of the year for photographers.
Colour and composition are very nice, attractive and pleasant for look it.
Also as usual a perfect note, I reads something better English and understand your note very well.
I like the simplicity of this image, this gives a very good feeling.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
danos (91150) 2008-11-21 5:50
never I could imagine that in a so beautiful place became a big and decisive battle with the generals of Notherners and Southerners.I like the colorful leafs and the splendid environment of the scene.Informative your note too.Well done.
Have a nice day,danos
gracious (20025) 2008-11-21 9:17
I always enjoy the good and useful informative notes which comes with a good image related to it! sincer thanks!
I envy you to have such a lovely autumn scenery when drive to work daily with all those beautiful colouration of the fall!
the image comes with good sharpness, lighting and details
thank you once again
greeting from far distance downunder!
vascao (192) 2008-11-21 15:16
A+ for your note.
The image is graceful, well composed and extremely eye-catching for an individual living in the tropics like me, very distant from temperate lattitudes.
War is over, fortunately, and let's hope Mr. Obama helps to avoid American tragedies of other kind.
ahmetgedikli (25593) 2008-11-21 16:25
Güzel bir sonbahar kompozisyonu... Yedigöllerde de böyle manzaralar vardı. Fotoğraf çekmek bir yana o güzellikleri görmek harikaydı. Her yer rengarenk yapraklarla kaplıydı ve sürekli rüzgarla beraber yapraklar havada uçuşuyordu. Saygılarımı sunuyor ve iyi bir haftasonu diliyorum hocam.
gunbud (34066) 2008-11-21 20:30
Beautiful autumn scene of these old Virgina woods with the stone fence telling us this was once farm land that has been reclaimed by nature.
Hard to believe that such a tranquil setting was once the location of such horrible carnage.
It is good to remember these battles in the hopes that some day man will realize war is the biggest of human failures.
Graal (100548) 2008-11-21 23:26
an interesting place and informations in note. Nice autumnal image. Good, solid photojob. I like it.
Dyerco (10185) 2008-11-22 7:03
A beautiful scene that does not make one think of a battle with so many lives lost. The composition is superb and breaking the "Rule of Thirds" needs to be done once in a while.
jrj (34843) 2008-11-22 8:08
Always a good idea I think to have in mind the photo as a painting as well as other techs concerned for taking the photo. The idyllic setting dressed in the colors of the fall sure makes some contrast to your informative note Bulent.
kermit350 (9016) 2008-11-22 13:06
Merhaba Bulent, this country, this continent, history of the gold digger, the trappers, the colonist vis-a-vis the Indians, and those wrongfully massacred by the tunic blue, plus this fratricidal war always subjugated me, I read much beautiful novel on the American history and this country always fascinated me, I have historical escapade at the head as the massacre of Little Bigorne and the heavy defeat of the Custer general, with Ulysses S. Grant, Philip Sheridan, William T. Schermann, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, they are all best the generals who entretué themselves and who however, like you write it in your note, was all in West Point and for some it was even comrade there, I learned the origin from the word l' origin of the word OK (Okay) which goes back to the American Civil War, each evening the report/ratio mentioned the number of killed of the day; s' it n' there did not have, one wrote O K. (either 0 Killed: zero killed), this photograph are a comfort for those which read, and an image of prosperity and peace for LISA Thomas which with a historical last rich person through his ancestor, arkadasça selamlar ................Merhaba Bulent, ce pays, ce continent, lhistoire des chercheur dor, des trappeurs, des colon face aux indiens, et ceux-ci injustement massacré par les tunique bleu, plus cette guerre fratricide ma toujours subjugué, jai lu beaucoup de beau roman sur lhistoire Américaine et ce pays ma toujours fasciné, jai en tête des frasque historique comme le massacre de Little Bigorne et la lourde défaite du général Custer, avec Ulysse S. Grant, Philip Sheridan, William T. Schermann, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, ce sont tout les meilleur généraux qui se sont entretué et qui pourtant, comme tu lécris dans ta note, était tous à West Point et pour certain il y était même camarade, jai appris lorigine du mot l'origine du mot OK (Okay) qui remonte à la Guerre de Sécession, chaque soir le rapport mentionnait le nombre de tués de la journée ; s'il n'y en avait pas, on écrivait O K. (soit 0 Killed : zéro tués), cette photo est un réconfort pour ceux qui ont lu, et une image de prospérité et de paix pour Lisa Thomas qui à un riche passé historique au travers de ses ancêtre, arkadasça selamlar
jaywalker (16101) 2008-11-22 15:49
Hi Bulent, Gorgeous autumn colours & although the light is a little strong for my liking it still draws out the sharp quality of the photo, kind regards Wilson.
Cricri (112089) 2008-11-23 4:26
Des couleurs chaudes dorées de ce bois qui s'ajoute a merveille a votre série prise a toutes les saisons, belle scéne et couleurs automnale
Good sunday for you
JCG (35129) 2008-11-24 10:57
General Grant and General Lee, we can easily have the portrait of these two men from now on Google Life We do not notice any more the traces of these battles on this photograph but of marvellous autumnal colors and a pleasant light in this composition. Well done and thank you for the interesting note Bülent.
With all my friendships and with soon,
gildasjan (42724) 2008-11-24 11:19
Très agréable ce bois et ses jaunes d'automne,les troncs blancs des arbres donnent une jolie note à ce tableau coloré.
jemaflor (90107) 2008-11-25 10:52
Well seen and taken, beautiful colours of autumn with these leaves, good result.
COSTANTINO (60621) 2008-11-28 23:34
What a lovely autumn scene..
A scene dedicated to the romantic people,
a fine photo artistic with an important detail..
I like the lines of the tree tunks..they give something
special to the whole presentation
lightness and brightness are the best
have a nice week end
erel (11890) 2008-11-29 0:34
Renk cümbüşü keskinliği, ve kadrajı çok çok şık.... EREL
kdialyna (3148) 2008-11-30 2:43
Full of autumn's smells and colors your photo Bulent.
I love to make photo this season of the year because of the very special light and the warm, earthy colors and your photo is a hymn to these.
Angshu (56676) 2008-12-04 19:49
Hello Professor 'A'
A very fine autumn shot from the place, which I'd earlier said was your stomping ground. The sunlight illuminates the stunning autumn colours so well! The 'green tree', which I presume is evergreen provides wonderful contrast to the golden tones. Your note as always is excellent, with that irony or rather the twist of fate about Lisa & Donald...amazing!
With Warmest Regards
PS : My next post (probably Saturday) would be a close up of the singer, whose picture you'd seen in my earlier post 'Morning Raga'. You had asked 'Did you get any close-up shots him, or any with his face illuminated?'...That's what I'll post
AiresSantos (56155) 2008-12-12 5:23
Beautiful autumn composition with lovely colours. Fine light and POV. I like your extensive note.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekend
Tue (29948) 2008-12-19 4:55
A wonderful photo from this forest with these gorgeous autumn colours, brought out so wonderfully in this lovely sunlight. Thanks a lot for sharing!
didemay (2945) 2009-03-10 0:33
Minikken iki yil bulundugum Virginia ile ilgili anilarimi hatirladigimda aklima sonbahar ve ilkbaharinin guzelligi geliyor. Sari, turuncu, kirmizi tonsurton ve hemen hemen her yerde, her evin bahcesinde...ya da -su anda ismini hatirlayamadigim- lale gibi agaclarda acan o guzelim cicekler. Harika renkleri barindiran bir sonbahar karesi olmus.
KemaLMerT (12048) 2009-04-12 18:42
Çok güzel bir doğa çalışması.selamlar, sevgiler
kato (11630) 2011-07-20 20:54
You're capturing well this autumnal nature by excellent tone, so it's always impressive to see leaf dyed to autumnal tints of red and yellow colors. And, a lot of thin trees that grow straight draw out a good effect as well as fallen leaf that has fallen on ground in hill.
serp2000 (42220) 2013-11-17 10:03
Two days ago I've read an article about the Civil War, the prisoners, and the generals Grant and Lee, of course.
It looks very familiar for me, I think you showed me this forest and this line of fire. Excellent autumn photo, very nice October colors. And we have a snow covered ground today.
Best wishes and have a nice week!
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (37205)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-10-31
- Categories: Nature, Event
- Camera: Nikon D200, 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED AF Zoom Nikkor
- Exposure: f/22
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Daily Drive to Work... [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-11-16 9:46