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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Seventeen: Memories in Metal and Stone: How monuments, sculpture, and tombs express ideas. > German Field Gun, St. Peters Port, Guernsey, UK, 2004
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German Field Gun, St. Peters Port, Guernsey, UK, 2004
29-AUG-2004

German Field Gun, St. Peters Port, Guernsey, UK, 2004

Guernsey is an island in the English Channel, not far from the French Coast. St.Peters Port is its capital city. During World War II, Guernsey was the only part of England occupied by the German army. German field guns still stand on display in a plaza atop a St. Peters Port hill. Long silent, they speak of war, occupation, and the ultimate British victory. I used a portion of one of those guns to express the cruel and unforgiving nature of war. I abstract the subject by moving in on it, including only a portion of the gun barrel and the mechanism hanging below it. By exposing with my spot meter on the brightest part of the picture, the background gets much darker the flavor of war itself. The Leica Digilux 2 camera I used for this shot resolves detail brilliantly, revealing the ravages of weather and time on the gun. There is a silent beauty to this image. It is hard, in fact, to believe we are looking at a killing machine. This gun is an eloquent reminder of the nature of war itself -- deceptive, brutal, and uncompromising. It speaks more profoundly, in fact, than a war memorial or statue, because this gun is real.

Leica Digilux 2
1/200s f/4.8 at 22.5mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Phil Douglis29-Sep-2004 04:03
The spot meter is an essential tool, Bruce. Use it and use it well.
bruce berrien29-Sep-2004 00:21
I will henceforth pay much closer attention to my camera's capabilities. Thanks to you, I am taking the time to learn how to properly use the spot meter.
Phil Douglis26-Sep-2004 01:41
Thanks, Bruce. Actually it's not the lighting that makes this picture work. I never use flash of any kind in my photography. And our day in St. Peter's Port was flat and gray, so the sun had nothing to do with this shot, either. I owe the look of this picture to the quality of the Summicron lens on my Leica Digilux 2 digicam, as well as its exquisitely sensitive spot meter. Then add the oversized five megapixel CCD sensor, and the result is a spectacular example of fine detail, contrast and pin point exposure control. That's what you see here, Bruce.
bruce berrien25-Sep-2004 20:02
Again - exquisite lighting.
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