GHOSTS OF THE FALLEN
A century and a half ago 34 states comprised the United States (there are 50 now). Then in 1861 the Confederate States — the eleven states of the South — launched a desperate war to secede, or to break off from the union. And the Union (or Northern States) fought to stop the Southern secession. Most people who think about the event now — laymen and scholars alike — regard the incident as a national tragedy in which families were divided, “brothers fighting against brothers.” Abraham Lincoln, who hailed from the mid western State of Illinois, was the President of the United States during those war years, and is now recognized as one of the 3-4 greatest Presidents, precisely because the North prevailed in the war, and the union was preserved.
Located right on the border of the Northern and Southern States, Fredericksburg, Virginia changed hands a total of seven times during battles of the Civil War (1861-’65). On a bone-chilling week in December 1862, the Battle of Fredericksburg was fought, pitting over 100,000 Union and Confederate soldiers against each other. The hauntingly beautiful battlefield presents a poignant vision — of an area where thousands of young soldiers died.
My daily drive to work to teach my classes takes me through a 7-km stretch of the battlefield, with the trenches used by the Confederate troops running alongside the narrow meandering roadway. I was on my way to teach an 8:00 am class yesterday morning when I saw the sun piercing the low lying fog and streaming though the trees. I felt compelled to pull over and take a few photographs. I have submitted images from this area before, but it is impossible not to be moved each time by the beauty of the woods, and to want to record it anew each time. There is also the omnipresent feeling of the presence of all those fallen young men!
For this photograph I let one of the trees eclipse the sun, and the shadows of the trees to create a radial pattern. An omnipresent companion has become a new Nikon Coolpix S600. It does not have the capabilities of my bigger camera, a Nikon D200, but it is far more convenient, fits into a belt holster, and it also shoots 10.2 MP images.
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Critiques | Translate
delic (6735) 2008-09-19 5:30
Ah, those 8 o'clock classes... A very successful image in conveying the mood that prevails at the Fredericksburg Battlefield, esp. the contrast created by the long shadows. Best wishes,
Buin (42330) 2008-09-19 5:34
I do say this very seldom - but this is a masterpiece! The effect of this wondeful backlight with the haze over the landscape and these strong and massive trunks - that's an incredible effect. A photo which makes the viewer calm ... also because of the history of this place.
Greetings from sunny but cool Germany!
jemaflor (85476) 2008-09-19 5:40
Nice result with these shadows and trees, well seen and taken, difficult with such a strong backlight.
snunney (84887) 2008-09-19 6:02
A very atmospheric capture of this poignant corner with so much history attached to it. A very calm and tranquil scene beautifully rendered.
belido (19934) 2008-09-19 6:10
Hi Mr. Bulent,
what a pleasant light! I wonder if I will have such a beautiful scene like that in my viewfinder. I like the serenity of the photo. I can listen to the birds singing...thanks for sharing that with us. Well done!
Morac (27665) 2008-09-19 7:18
The sun through the morning fog is superb.
I like shadows on the ground.
It is a beautiful composition of light.
You were right to stop in this historic forest.
emka (79875) 2008-09-19 7:36
Hi Bulent, Magnificent light here, splendid atmosphere. I like the mornng mist very much. Very interesting note. Great shot Warm regards
pticaruh (276) 2008-09-19 7:37
Without the explicit note the photo will be just another forest shot. Bearing this explanation, it reveals much more, and evokes thoughts of the past.
mesutilgim (85420) 2008-09-19 8:11
Selam sevgili Bülent,
Bu kare'n bana artık yazın bitip, sonbaharın geldiğini hatırlatıyor.
Çok güzel bir ters ışık çalışması olmuş. Bakış açısı ile, kadrajı ile, başarılı ışık kontrolu ile "usta işi" bir çalışma.
Flaman ressamların tuvallerinden çıkıp gelmiş gibi.
Tebrikler, iyi hafta sonları
Selam vs sevgiler
fulvio52 (8314) 2008-09-19 9:18
outstanding shadowplay, your light management and definition in this one are simply superb.
A real pleasure to look at!
Have a great weekend, my friend. I'll see you around.
evanrizo (456) 2008-09-19 10:45
Hi Bullent, the sun rays and all the lightness make it dreamy with the shadows of the trees.
ahmetgedikli (25482) 2008-09-19 13:48
Yine muhteşem bir ters ışık çalışması... Mesut Ağbimizin belirttiği gibi "usta işi" Hocam...
stego (24030) 2008-09-19 17:20
These early morning drives of yours to classes already gave you a couple of very fine photos which I am glad you offered us. It seems a very challenging light situation, but it's admirably tamed, resulting in a stunning image, evocative of poetry and heroic deeds.
BWJ (3064) 2008-09-19 20:08
Mist of early morning fog softened the background beautifully against the tree trunks and the fresh greenery. The surging perspective of the trees powerfully describes their dimensions and grandeur. Excellent depth gives a feeling of being able to step into this majestic forest. It is magnificent!
berek (39521) 2008-09-19 22:46
Merhaba Bülent bey,
çok güzel ışık ormanın içine süzülen.ağaç gölgeleriyle dinlendirici bir tamosfer. güzel composizyon. elinize sağlık. iyi hafta sonları eşinize selamlar.
ysabaner (1069) 2008-09-20 0:17
Merhabalr Bülent Hocam,
Işığı harika kullanmışsınız, ağaçların gölgeleri ve renkler harika görünüyor, elinize sağlık.
jonathan_hart (21274) 2008-09-20 1:43
good play of light, you did well to include the part of sky on the right, fantastic mood, a classic, very successful composition
kristina (256) 2008-09-20 3:15
This is the perfect picture! I'm a lark too:") Always get up near 5 o'clock in the morning and my way to work or to the University is the best begining of a day...any day:)
Really mystical and enigmatic scene you captured here:)
Greetings and goog wishes:")
You can see my morning impressions here:http://www.treklens.com/viewphotos.php?l=3&p=447496
Look forward to seeing your new pictures:)
setenay (7682) 2008-09-20 4:18
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Tablo gibi çok güzel etkileyici ve gizemli bir kompozisyon.Ağaçların gölgelerinin aydınlık alanı bölmeleri de çok isabetli olmuş. Tebrikler, elinize sağlık,iyi hafta sonu dileklerimle selamlar sevgiler
AROBN54 (11473) 2008-09-20 9:54
Warm greetings, Bulent!
this truly is a hauntingly beautiful photo. I am wowed by the light and shadow and I love the mist in the BG. I am a huge fan of backlighting and you did a marvelous job with it here. And as always, a terrific note. Many thanks and warmest regards,
erel (11888) 2008-09-20 13:18
ışığı, sisi ,gölgesi ve bakış açısıyla enfes bir kare olmuş, ellerinize sağlık.. tebrikler. EREL
papagolf21 (86746) 2008-09-20 14:45
Bonsoir, mon bon ami Bulent,
Voilà le genre de photographie qui me plaît (à tel point que je suis toujours à la recherche de ce phénomène) car il y a de la beauté, de la poésie et surtout de la maîtrise technique indéniable dans cette composition.
Ces rais de lumières sont de réelles beautés.
salvator (19102) 2008-09-20 15:15
Hello Bulent Bey,
Absolutely superb. The use of the light, the dreamy atmosphere, the colors and long shados look wonderful.
Best personal regards. Salvator.
PS. I used the flash to trick the machine to use a little bit shorter exposure, ans warm the colors.
windosil (1158) 2008-09-20 15:23
Even the thumbnail was haunting, Bulent, and the full size scene is achingly beautiful.
yedirenk (11244) 2008-09-20 16:20
Bülent hocam merhaba,
harika bir ters ışık kullanımı ve bakış açısı.derinlik,detaylar ve ışık gölge dengesi çok etkileyici.esrarengizlik hissi ve sisli atmosfer muhteşem.emeğinize sağlık.selamlar,saygılar
Bugraa (933) 2008-09-20 16:20
Selamlar Bülent Bey;
Işık dengesi, renkler, konu, kadraj vs vs. Hepsi muhteşem ve kusursuz. Tebrik ediyorum.
kensimage (8561) 2008-09-20 22:12
Nice use of the light here, Bulent. I like the fact you kept some dark shadows on the far right for contrast--some kind of metaphor for life, suitable for a battlefield site. The subdued colors fit the scene well, too. Regards, Ken.
jhm (140054) 2008-09-21 0:29
Exactly a morning view here at the edge of the forest in my village, almost the same images.
You play very nice with long shadows of the trees, this care for good depth, also the light in background make this picture so nice of atmospher, also through the misty background get we a very attractive photograph.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice day,
Floydian (30970) 2008-09-21 3:25
These are not easy pictures to make with this harsh backlight. But still you managed to produce high detail on the grass with a softer contrast to the far right which i like to see in such an image.
Real good exposure here...not bad for such a Coolpix.
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2008-09-21 9:07
Hi, Bulent -
"Fits into a belt holster?" What is this, camera fight at the OK Corral? :-)
Now, half the attraction of this scene is, as you say, the poignancy of its history, but it has a beauty in its own right. I like the way the tree shadows fan out, and also the bit of mist caught in the sunlight in the upper center. Not bad for a Coolpix!
dokadak (11518) 2008-09-21 11:05
Harika atmosfer...isik huzmeleri, golgeler cok etkileyici gorunuyor.. ellerinize emeginize saglik...
paololg (31448) 2008-09-21 12:28
Ciao dear Bulent,
stupendous demonstration of good management of the light in a photo difficult to do. This is apparently a simple image, but can do it, with this excellent result, only a good photographer as you. Compliments!
Ciao, happy week
Tezic (17867) 2008-09-21 12:46
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Işık ve gölgeleri enfes bir kompozisyon olmuş... tebrikler...
omerozden (1259) 2008-09-21 14:12
wonderful light with extraordinary composition. the tiny detail on the ground makes this photo mind blowing.
gracious (20025) 2008-09-21 15:51
How are you! and thank you for this wonderful shot of morning at it's best!
An image with good quality in the best displayed of light and shadows over the trees and fog! simply beautiful!
I thank you for the useful and informative notes as well!
take care and my sincere regards from NZ
MLINES (12516) 2008-09-21 17:25
Hi Bulent, This is very effective with the shadows coming towards the viewer. The notes are interesting putting the site into context. I particularly like the green hues which dominate. TFS. Murray.
PS Interesting to see the Nikon Coolpix S600 in action. Agree that convenience is a big factor in being ready anytime, anywhere.
gunbud (34066) 2008-09-21 18:08
You caught this peaceful scene in wonderful light that renders soothing shadows and striking sunbeams over this peaceful field that ironicly saw so much blood shed during the war.
Love your compelling title and interesting thought provoking note.
anokutan (15097) 2008-09-22 0:26
Bülent bey merhaba,
Işığa karşı nefis bir çekim. Ağaçlar,renkler ve gölgeler birlikte süper bir kompozisyon oluşturmuşlar.Selam ve saygı.
gildasjan (41628) 2008-09-22 0:30
Une très belle atmosphère rendue par cette brume et l'ombre des troncs d'arbres.Du bon job ici,j'apprécie.
ALIRIZA (16423) 2008-09-22 0:33
Merhaba Bülent Abi,
İnsanın tüylerini ürperten bir atmosfer, ışık ve gölgelerle etkileyici bir manzara. Ellerine sağlık...
jrj (34841) 2008-09-22 1:50
Creative, artistic use of the simple motif here Bulent. Very effectful - painted mood in this well disposed compo.
For my trip to the Faroe Island in the Atlantic, I´ll leave from Oslo to crosss the mountains to the west coast and Bergen at Saturday. The ferry leaves Bergen Sunday morning and will arrive Monday morning in Torshavn. As you will know this season of the year can be a bit "adventures" in the Norwegian sea but so far there is only report of moderate wind (hope that will continue)...
fkokol (1636) 2008-09-22 8:19
Sisler icinde harika gozukuyor golgeler. renkler ve detaylari ile cok hos bir kare olmus. ellerinize saglik,
Colombiana (2955) 2008-09-22 16:02
A very evoking scene with a very enlightening note
to appreciate what are we observing. The atmosphere
here is very inducing. Under harsh conditions,
you managed the light very well creating excellent
contrasts of highlights and shadows without missing the
green tonalities and the warm ambiance.
Docarmo (9639) 2008-09-22 20:46
Fantastic management of the light! It is very beautiful with these rays. Thanks for sharing,
Graal (97857) 2008-09-23 0:54
very nice composition and impression on the begin of autumn. I like the mood in this image. Good note about this historical place.
pablominto (53744) 2008-09-23 5:27
One of my favourite motifs, that is in my dreams!
I haven't yet been able to get a good backlight capture in the woods, even if it seems like anyone else does...
This is a beautiful composition, and the work all together is so well executed...!
mursaloglu (8656) 2008-09-23 6:43
Hello again after a long summer period. iltifatlarınıza teşekkürler. Karsı ısıkın verdiği ve gölgelerin mükemmellestigi harika bir fotograf olmus. Enfes tek kelimeyle ellerinize saglik ihsan
Silvio1953 (123561) 2008-09-23 9:51
Hi Bulent, fantastic light in a splendid composition with wonderful forest, very well done, ciao Silvio
alvaraalto (6177) 2008-09-23 10:36
A really beautiful moody picture that suits perfectly the interesting story you teach us in your info.
There is, in a certain way a kind of sadness in the image that tells the story.
paura (47166) 2008-09-23 12:03
Bullent, ilustre amigo,
A paisagem é linda e tem algo de mágica. Muito bonita a imagem, com as sombras em plena harmonia.
edal (6804) 2008-09-23 14:22
Merhaba Bulent Bey!
Your photo looka very artistic - the counter-light pov makes it seem like a painting. Excellent composition!
Uhu (8475) 2008-09-24 13:39
Oh the Battle of Fredericksburg, I read about it. Very interesting shot, people like to kill each other, and this nice habit did not disappear in XXI century. And never will, I'm afraid.
Very good photo with a brilliant note!
Cretense (68691) 2008-09-25 2:35
Hello, dear Bulent!
Beautiful nature photography, excellent bakclit photo (you have proven more that one time, how well you manage the light in similar conditions), excellent framing and composition! The sunrays and the shadows create a beautiful, almost graphical pattern! Congratulations!
macondo (18623) 2008-09-25 5:28
I realised I had not looked at your gallery for a long time when I saw your name among some critiques.
When I clicked on this I found myself reading your very interesting and powerful note before I'd even had a good look at the photo!
8:00am is certainly an early start for teaching a class. But on the other hand it enabled you to be at this spot to catch the early morning light.
It certainly shows you can take a good photo with a compact camera. You positioned yourself carefully to block the sun, yet catch the sun's rays and the haze they created, as well as the long shadows. So, a very fine photo. I hope you weren't late for your class.
zeca (19762) 2008-09-26 7:30
Nice measure! The lights coming from behind the trees are very nice and the shadows are really a great subject. Well taken, my friend!
giandom (822) 2008-09-26 13:15
glad to meet you.I have seen your photos, all artistically beautiful and good technique.
I am also interested on the "A-subjects" and very little to "B-subjects".
I like this photo for the backlight and the magic atmosphere.
jaywalker (16101) 2008-09-27 5:30
Hi Bulent, Excellent light casting great long shadows, all making for a superb atmosphere, you POV was perfect, kind regards Wilson.
JCG (35129) 2008-09-29 11:39
I remember your preceding photograph on this places where I liked this same light much through the trees. Here a point of view different from the place but always this splendid light creating an interesting back-light. A beautiful atmosphere emanates from the image, it is very pleasant, thank you Bülent.
With all my friendships and with soon,
Didi (57256) 2008-09-30 11:09
Salam dear friend
Very great job
Nice game with lights and very good exposure management.
I appreciate well your composition.
avene (12675) 2008-10-06 19:35
the compact camera in able hands has done wonders here, you have captured the difficult light very well. interesting how the strong rays of sun through the fog create a feeling that is both melancholic and uplifting at the same time, and together with the story about the place it certainly adds to the power of this image. the shadows of the trees create a strong 3D feel, this is very well seen and presented.
Emile (20350) 2008-10-12 7:25
Very difficult to manage the light situation in your shot but you did very well here, the direct sunlight covered by the trees was a very good move and the foggy morning and long shadows produces a nice mysterious atmosphere that goes very well with your excellent note.
Well done my friend.
Wish you a nice Sunday.
axiotea (21649) 2008-10-12 8:24
The title and note are well illustrated by the picture and I don't dare to think of how many people have suffered or perished for this civil war :((
Nice play with the light/shade making for an interesting contrast between the sunrays and tree shadows.
Greeting from Thailand
jusninasirun (17160) 2008-10-12 17:38
The light falling from the front gives interesting view with such a dreamy effect. Interesting how you have brought out the clarity under the shade. Stunning work and well done. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day.
Kodiang: Oct 13, 2008.
marietom (34607) 2008-10-13 1:16
belle atmopshère, dans cette image de forêt, belles couleurs aussi.
vmukherjee (612) 2008-10-19 18:52
Great shot! The mist in the air, and the light and shadows look beautiful.
Angshu (55914) 2008-10-20 0:54
Hello Professor 'A'
The battlegrounds seem to be one of your favourite prowling grounds for photographs. Like how the play of light & shadows of the trees liven up the FG with the shadows radiating out from roughly the centre. The rays of light streaming through the trees in a diagonal is also another aspect with enhances the beauty of the shot. Not a very easy shot, but well taken!
With Warmest Regards
dareco (17134) 2008-10-26 0:46
Very beautiful lighting and shadows and a picture with a wonderful quiet mood. Very nice work! TFS
yso (4146) 2008-10-26 12:54
Tree shadows and ray of lights are perfect to create this mysterious atmosphere, the difficult light is perfectly managed !
sagar (2410) 2008-11-10 9:01
Magical shot...apart from my appreciation for the rich techs., this one holds a very high place in portraying the beauty of nature.
Wonderful light and shade,
jmcl (14535) 2008-11-16 18:54
thank goodness that class made you pass by this place at such a wonderful moment .. beautiful light .. thoughtful shadows and miss .. well seen and wonderfully done. take care,
sunamoon (10) 2008-11-28 9:55
Wowww que fotos tan impresionantes tienes en tu galeria,
esta me encanto esa luz entre arboles,
que buena perspectiva, y juego de sombras y luces!
Muy buen trabajo!
BurhanettinMasa (641) 2009-04-14 0:06
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Enfes bir fotoğraf olmuş, hem ters ışık, hem manzara, ellerinize sağlık ...
Jakab (3867) 2009-09-24 6:02
a very nice landscape which is also emotionally strong thanks to your note. I especially like the radial pattern of the shadows as if the sun were not in the sky but directly in the clearing.
Urs (14082) 2010-06-01 7:47
I like that sun-shadow play a lot, it looks very lovely even the occasion is not so lovely at all. Your note reveals all. Nonetheless your shot is so warm. I like it. Well done
Thanks for your critique of my extended family shot from Kuala Kedah. Thais would smile a lot, Malays are a bit more reserved.