REMEMBRANCE DAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012: Top photo: Canadian flag and Calgary Highlanders, Juno Beach Centre D-Day Commemoration, June 6th, 2010. Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor 70-300mm lens at 300mm, f20, 1/640 sec. ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.
Bottom two photos: Queen’s Own Rifles House, Juno Beach; D-Day and modern day photos. Click here for an account of the D-Day landing by the Queen’s Own Rifles: http://www.members.shaw.ca/junobeach/juno-4-1.htm
WINDMILL NEAR MONT ST. MICHEL, BEAUVOIR, FRANCE: It’s not easy finding a new perspective from which to photograph Mont St. Michel. It must be one the most photographed sites in all of France. Driving across the countryside, looking for a new angle, I spotted this well-known (to others, not to me until then) windmill perched atop a ridge in a field. Windmills have been in use in the area for hundreds of years. Now, an ambitious wind generation plan is said to be compromising Mont St. Michel, a UNESCO heritage site. The wind farms are part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to generate electricity from alternate sources. UNESCO, along with local authorities preservationists across France, are concerned that the proposed wind turbines will be a blight on the landscape and compromise the spectacular views of Mont St. Michel. I could not agree more. This windmill is located near Beauvoir in the Lower Normandy Region. Nearby are the towns of Saint-Georges-de-Gréhaigne and Tanis.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 lens at 85mm. f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography
MONT ST. MICHEL, FRANCE: This small rocky island on the coast of Normandy is home to a medieval Benedictine Abbey. Legend has it that the archangel Michael appeared before St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708. The archangel told the Bishop to build a church on the site. The Bishop ignored the call, until Michael burned a hole in the Bishop’s skull with his finger. Construction began soon after! The site was dedicated to Michael on October 16, 708. Mont St. Michel has primarily served as a Benedictine Abbey, but during the French revolution it was converted to a prison. Victor Hugo was a vocal proponent of Mont St. Michel and helped to have the prison closed in 1863. The following year it was declared an historic monument. Over a century later, in 1979, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This has to be one of the most photographed sites in the world. Finding a unique perspective is hard to do. This photo was captured travelling the hard to find paths and small country roads. Shot handheld with a Nikon D40X, Nikkor AF-S 70 – 300mm lens at 225mm, 1/500 sec., f16, 800 ISO. P
hoto by John Ecker | pantheon photography
JUNO BEACH, NORMANDY, FRANCE: On Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, soldiers from the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Armoured Brigade stormed the Normandy beach codenamed “Juno” as part of Operation Overlord, the audacious attack on the Nazi occupied and heavily-fortified French Coast. Juno was an eight-kilometre stretch of beach near the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer. That day, 574 men of the 3rd Canadian Division were wounded and 340 were killed. Today, remnants of the German fortifications remain along the Normandy beaches, including Juno. The story of Canada’s role in the Allied invasion is well-told at the Juno Beach Centre. This photo was taken at low tide. The camera position gives a stone’s-view perspective near the Juno Beach Centre, looking out across the English Channel. Shot with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 16-85 mm lens at 16mm, 1/60 sec, f22, ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography