Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Random WWII - Color & B/W

One of the initial screening tests given to an aspiring military pilot includes a section of diagrams showing what a pilot might be seeing when looking forward through his windscreen.  The candidate is to determine the plane's attitude from the diagram and mark the proper airplane exterior image.  It's a multiple choice thing.

The picture above is not only a remarkable example of why a pilot needs that capability, it's also a fine example of what combat photographers called a dicing shot.  It's a high-speed, low-level, highly risky pass along Omaha Beach taken just before the invasion on June 6, 1944.  The nose-down, left-banking plane was probably moving along at 300 kts. or thereabout.  The Invasion bloodbath and the beginning of the Band of Brothers was imminent.

The picture at right was taken from inside one of the landing craft as it was approaching the beach.  Think of the opening scenes in Saving Private Ryan.  It's a remarkably clear shot that puts you right in there with to enlarge it.

As our parents' generation fades into history, some of their long stored papers and pictures are just now being brought to public view for the first time in over 60-years.  Only yesterday, news of a new store of COLOR film of the London Blitz came into public view.  It was found in a London attic where it had been stored away for about 70-years.

Some of our parents saw scenes like this in color since many of them were in those places so, their life-long memories were in color.  However, all we saw after the war were the grainy black & white images which became lodged in our personal data bases.  There is quite a difference between a color memory and one in grainy b/w. For me at least, these new color images tend to add life to something that has been somewhat surreal in my mind.  The new color London clip follows below:

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