65th commemoration Operation Market Garden

2009, Photography

Just like last year, I went to the commemoration of Operation Market Garden near my hometown Ede in central Netherlands. For those interested in the story of Operation Market Garden read my last year’s post. This time I went there with Björn Utpott, fellow contributor for seriouscompacts.com with whom I had photographed recently in Amsterdam.

This was the largest commemoration to date in Ede with 1,000 paratroopers and more than 10,000 spectators. We had a great time and I was able to put the Ricoh GR Digital III really to test.

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

28 thoughts on “65th commemoration Operation Market Garden

  1. I know this might sound completely deranged considering the sorts of photographs you publish here, but I was captivated by the shadows in many of these images. There is something different here….something about the quality of light and shadow that seems different from the norm.

    Maybe it’s simply the time of the year and the way the sunlight works.

    I don’t know…

    1. It is an awesome camera. And believe me, these photographs are the original B&W jpegs with some minor editing. I was surprised by tonality. At base ISO, and ISO 100 and 200 this camera rocks with that stellar lens. Even at f/1.9 it is so good and it can really produce some shallow depth of field. I find it the most creative small sensor camera I have used.

      You have a great camera!

  2. Wow Wouter these are really good shots. I love the way they turned out. I wish that they celebrated historically significant events such as this more often here in the States. I am sure on some levels they do happen but not to what I understand the dedication and attention to detail that happens in Europe. I could be wrong but it just seems that way. I hope you show more from this series. John p.s. that camera seems to like you 😉

    1. I am not sure about the attention and detail, but most of these guys are members of an organization called “Keep them rolling”. There aim is to maintain old WWII military vehicles on the road to keep the memories of our liberation alive. They don’t play soldiers, but just make sure they do look like WWII soldiers.

      And it is usually not normal in Western society to commemorate a military operation that actually failed and resulted in more than 17,000 casualties (3,000 died and others were wounded, became POW’s, or were missed).

      1. Ok that makes sense, but I still think it is cool. It is in many respects honoring those who attempted Market Garden and those who fell even though these guys bond over the hardware and period clothing. I think it is a great thing. I am glad you got to go this year. These photos are fantastic and I love the angles you chose, nice job Wouter.

  3. Great photos Wouter…I’ve been trying to find WW II reenactments to shoot at but I have not been as successful. Civil War ones, I could easily find 🙂

    1. Like I said to John this event is a commemoration. It is not a reenactment like you can see in the UK or US. And the paratroopers, most from the UK and the Netherlands and some American rangers stationed in Germany, see this jump as an exercise. It was even more interesting, because now also a couple of German privates participated in the dropping.

      You can always come to Europe. Next year in the beginning of May Europe will celebrate the end of WWII 😉

  4. Many thanks Wouter for inviting me to join you for this event.

    Although many of your photos are inspiring, I have two favorites. First, the 4th one with the abstract textures of battle gear covering 2/3 of the foreground with a hint of parachutes and planes in the background of the remaining 1/3 of the frame. But then you knew this was a good photo as soon as you took it.

    Secondly, I really like the 9th one. The composition is structured by a framework of diagonals which are inhabited by various elements that tell the story. Excellent work!

    I also have to say I was enamored with the Ricoh GRD III. Its beautifully crafted all metal body just makes you want to pick it up (and steal it, hehe). While that’s maybe not as important as its qualities as a photographic tool, it’s nonetheless important as it means that you’re more likely to pick up the camera and take it with you.

    1. I enjoyed photographing with you Björn. It reminded of all the wonderful days I had the last two years photographing with friends like Ronald in Appeltern last year and Eindhoven this year, spending the time with Rui and you in Amsterdam the previous month. I hope of more of these days will follow.

      Even though you’ve ordered the GF1 with the 20mm lens, you would like to have the GRDIII too 😀 That solid light weight magnesium body gives confidence and makes you realize it is a quality camera.

      And people make sure to check Björn’s photographs!

  5. Hi Wouter. I just happened on your flickr slideshow of black and white photos and loved ever one of them. I am fairly new to digital photography, and purchased a 40D a little while ago and love it. I was surprised at the quality of your images with a small sensor camera! Very very nice! I must get to Holland some time as all my relatives are there, and I am sort of stuck here in Canada, which is pretty good as well! Take care, and keep up the great work. You inspire me to do more black and white photography.


    1. Hi Paul, I feel sorry for you being stuck in my most favorite place on earth. When you use a small sensor camera with different expectations it can really start working for you. Most however will constantly compare it their images from dSLR cameras. They say the 40D is a good camera and you might want to get a prime lens, like the Canon 28mm f/1.8 (maybe not the best, but certainly affordable) to work on compositions. Most get dSLR’s with kit lenses and are overwhelmed with the zoom option of their lenses. Not bad, but it can create some laziness. I think that working with a prime lens will improve everyone’s photography.

      Have fun, good luck with your B&W photography, and maybe see you on flickr.


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