Rehearsal not to forget

2012, Photography

There are not many things I like to rehearse or repeat, but the annual Market Garden commemoration near my hometown is one of those events that keeps reappearing on my calender. First of it is in my opinion absolutely important to never forget the sacrifices that were made by young men from abroad for the sake of freedom. Additionally I don’t consider myself an event photographer, yet like to make an exception for this airborne dropping.

This year’s event was combined with celebrating 2,000 years armies in the Dutch province I come from.

See previous photographs I made here.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Market Garden commemoration (again)

2011, Photography

Between my weekly post from my 365 project I wanted to publish another series of photographs from last Saturday’s 67th commemoration of operation Market Garden. Now, this isn’t exactly the first time I published photographs from this event. I did so in 2008 and 2009. It was however the first time I didn’t use one of my compact cameras, but a Leica M8 with a Leica 35mm Summilux and a Zeiss 50mm Sonnar. And unlike before this time the weather wasn’t as pretty, so the fast lens came in handy.

(Those little blobs to the left are not dust speckles, but parachutes. This is what you get when you shoot at f/1.4)
In 1994 when they commemorated this operation, both the organizers and many of the still living veterans from the UK and Canada actually thought the 50th was about the last time to commemorate this. But 17 years later and the event still takes place. It is interesting and wonderful to realize that current generations who only learned about World War II from their grand parents, history books, documentaries, and movies, still remember those days, the effort of young men bringing peace and freedom, the liberation, and the privileged and fortunate era after the war.

We met some great people that day. Some where great models and asking people from the re-enactment group to be photographed was no problem at all.

And apparently so, nostalgia is not only something we appreciate in photography nowadays. Most of the vehicles are from the 1940’s and and the clothes these guys wear are just as old too.

Getting out with a rangefinder camera, manual exposing and focusing made things even more nostalgic. And I couldn’t resist to add the bleach bypass effect to my photographs for more drama. Even though a lot of the exposures ended up deleted.

And I really liked the subjective story in the last photograph, although I wasn’t really sure I saw the shoe strings being tied in the truck through the rangefinder.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma