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nickatkins_8892
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Forrest_Imagery February 01, 2016
Excellent Photo. This is a perfectly captured glimpse of the past. The ominous clouds speak of what must going through this young man's mind heading to war. Images like this need to be seen, felt and heard, if not, travesties of past shall come to be again and again.
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nickatkins_8892 February 01, 2016
Thanks for your kind comments. I was lucky with the clouds - I saw the tank rolling under them and framed it in my mind. I was able to get quite close to the tank and got the background just as I'd envisaged. One of those rare moments where everything fell into place. Couldn't agree more with your comment regarding raising awareness.
 
brandonbowman August 02, 2016
Awesome shot! You captured the mood and feel perfectly! Well done!
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Byronfairphotography December 02, 2017
Very cool, Outstanding capture / Voted

Rolling Sherman



A Sherman Tank makes its way to battle field at the Victory Show - the UK's largest World War 2 re-enactment event. Converted to Black and White with Macph...
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A Sherman Tank makes its way to battle field at the Victory Show - the UK's largest World War 2 re-enactment event. Converted to Black and White with Macphun Tonality 2
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Contest Finalist in Photojournalism Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Grit And Glory Photo Contest
Peer Award
+85
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+29
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+28
Absolute Masterpiece
+15
Love it
+7
Outstanding Creativity
+6
All Star
+3
Magnificent Capture
Superior Skill
Genius

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the Victory Show in Cosby, England. This annual event is the largest World War 2 re-enactment show in the UK. I'm very lucky as the event is held only one mile from where I live. So every year I wander down with my kit and spend the day looking for opportunities to take photos. What's great about a show like this is that you can test yourself as a photographer in many different ways. There are numerous planes that fly past, all of world war 2 vintage - so you can get some great shots of them against the sky with the right lens and good technique. Similarly, there are plenty of vehicles, like this Sherman Tank that was rolling up to the staged battle that is the highlight of the show.
Time
The shot was taken at 13.20 on 5th September 2015. There is an assembly area in a field where all the vehicles that are taking part in the staged battle line up before moving into position. It's a tremendous scence - vintage tanks, personnel carriers, half tracks, artillery - all firing up their engines. I was very lucky as right at this time, cloud cover came over the area. At first, I thought, oh dear, that's going to be a problem for me. But then it occured to me that I could use the conditions to my advantage. Thinking about the context, I had an idea about using the clouds to add to the atmosphere of the image. I had in my mind a black and white image that conveyed the evocative nature of men about to go into combat. I wanted to express the dark and foreboding reality of war.
Lighting
The cloud cover had some light shining through. My intention was to use the light in a way that illuminated the subject clearly with good detail, but at the same time, surround the image with the darkness and ominous clouds. I watied for the right opportunity after positioning myself in the right place. Just as the Sherman went past me, it was lit up by a shaft of light and I knew that was the right time to take the picture. When I saw the picture after it was taken, I was really pleased as the light seemed to be perfect, You can see the detail on the machine gun, the men in the tank, and also the wooden boxes strapped to the side of the tank. And, at the same time, I had picked up the clouds in the background.
Equipment
The shot was taken with a Leica M Rangefinder and the 35mm Leica Summicron F2 lens, F8 @ 1/1000th and ISO 400.
Inspiration
I wanted to produce a photo that looked like it was taken from the war period. I think it is really important that we remember the debt of gratitude that we owe the men and women that fought for us. I wanted my picture to convey in some small way how it would feel to be in their shoes. Darkness, fear and trepidation were emotions I was hoping to convey as a means of reminding us all of the magnitude of the sacrifes that were made on our behalf.
Editing
First of all, I converted the photograph to black and white in MacPhun Tonality 2. Then, when back in Lightroom, I adjusted the white and black points to emphasise the darkness of the clouds surrounding the tank. This also had a vignetting effect that I liked as it centred attention on the subject.
In my camera bag
I use the Leica M with the Summicron F2 35m and Summilux 1.4 50m for social and documentary photos like this one. For more general work, I have use a Canon 5d III with 3 main lenses - 24-105 F4 L as my walkaround; 15-35 F4 L for landscapes; and the 100 - 400 F4.5-5.6 L II for sport and wildlife. I also use the Lee Filter system for long exposures on landscape work.
Feedback
For me, a photograph has to say something. My favourite genre is social and documentary photography and that is all about the message you are looking to convey. The context of the photo is crucial. In this example, the context is war and how it would feel to be part of that. Use the conditions to your advantage to add realism to the message. Think about what you want to say, and then shape your composition and post-processing around your objective. I also think it's very important to look at a wide variety of photographers within the genre you are interested in. Look for inspiration. When I first saw the photography of Robert Capa, I was motivated greatly to create images that sent a message.

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