Monday, November 15, 2010

Gettysburg Battlefield in Autumn: Part 6-Fences

Part 1 "Fog" is here.
Part 2 "Nature" is here.
Part 3 "Roads & Paths and Self Portraits" is here.
Part 4 "Monuments and Graphic Design" is here.
Part 5 "The Power of the Monuments" is here.

This is the last of the themed posts. After this, all that is left is the best of the photos taken with my trusty blackberry and some miscellaneous images. I don't usually have many themes in mind when I set out to create images. This shoot was a little different in that I intended to try to capture the fog. Beyond that, I simply look for things that catch my eye. I enjoy looking back through the images and seeing what I didn't necessarily see at the time, themes that I might have been working on unawares. 

Most of the Gettysburg Battlefield is a patchwork of fences. The notable exception would be Little Roundtop. Otherwise, this land was family farms. Many of the fences were simply to mark boundaries between one farm and the next. Some, to keep livestock from wandering. Those, would primarily be the straight picket fences. Some of the stone walls were created when farmers cleared the land, piling the stones turned over by the plows along the edges of the fields. Some of the stone walls and the zig-zagging sharp picket fences were hastily built by the armies to use as cover.  All of them, wood and stone alike, give the landscape a geometry. Individually, they have the ability to create a frame for the somber beauty and draw your eye in to the scene. I wonder as I look at them, touch them, steady myself on them, and photograph them, Did a soldier steady his weapon on the same plank that I now use to steady my camera? How many men died where I stand today? 

I find them to be simple, yet elegant; functional and beautiful at the same time.  Like the trees and the rocks that have been here since before the battle began, they were witnesses. If only they could talk...

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