photos of National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Seton, Emmitsburg, Maryland, USA


My photos from a 2003 trip, some shots made with digital camera, Canon G2 and Nikon Coolpix 5700; others with 1950 era medium format camera, 6×9 cm Agfa Record Billy III with Apotar 105mm f4.5 lens using Kodak 400 VC 120 film – extra ordinarily beautiful church.

photos Antietam Battlefield, US CIVIL WAR

Antietam Battlefield from my trip in 2002 some of my shots from that day were made with a Voigtlander Cosina T101 rangefinder film camera and the CV Classic f2.5 35mm ltm lens.

The Battle of Antietam /ænˈttəm/ also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South, fought on Wednesday, September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with 22,717 dead, wounded, and missing on both sides combined.

The bridge is known as Burnside’s Bridge for the Union General who kept sending Union troops to cross it and where many were killed by Confederate sharpshooters who were positioned on the high ground on the west side of the creek.

I stood up there and could judge how effective was the firing angle of their hilltop position.

2147 views US ARMY Rangefinder camera 70mm – Graflex Combat Graphic

In 2002 on a road trip to South Carolina, I stopped off in Fayetteville, NC, to visit the Airborne Museum and took this photograph of this enormous rangefinder camera. It has been viewed over 2100 times in my photostream on Curious what attracts views.

“its a Graflex Combat Graphic – made for the US armed forces and took 70mm film.”

Combat Graflex sometimes referred to as a Combat 70 or Gulliver’s Contax.  Designed by Zeiss Ikon’s Hubert Nerwin. Resembles a Contax II on steroids.  Madfe between 1953 and 1957 and used by the US ARMY SIGNAL CORP up to and including the early years of the Viet Nam War.

Google for more info, but as a start try this: tml

Fort Verde – US Army Post – Apache Wars era in Arizona

taken in 1998 with a Sony Mavica Fd 7 digital camera…. I wonder how far advanced digital cameras will be ten years from today. Note the width of those floorboards. This fort had no wall or palisade, just a collection of small buildings. 1880s era when th US Army fought the Apaches.

Antietam Burnside’s Bridge

Antietam Burnside’s Bridge

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer “Bill” (W.J. Gibson)

Burnside was the Union General who kept ordering his troops to cross this bridge under murderous fire from Confederate troops positioned on the hill in the background. Antietam was one of the bloodiest of Civil War battles.

Cosina Voigtlander Bessa T101 Rangefinder camera and Cosina Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 Classic Leica Thread Mount lens mounted with the LTM-M mount adapter – Fuji NPH

convention coverage

I confess I am an old guy and I remember watching as a youngster almost gavel to gavel coverage of US political conventions not the one hour per night disservice served up by the networks this year. I end up wondering if the punditry ever tire of their wisdom. I am. I read one interesting piece in The New Yorker in which the writer wondered if President Johnson would continue to be treated like a pariah over the Viet Nam War or if his breakthrough civil rights legislation would earn him the mention he deserves as the Democrats nominate Obama.  I guess I will tune in to find out.

hunting Lincoln’s handwritten documents

Fascinating article in the LA Times by P. J. Huffstutter about the historical detective hunt to find handwritten documents of Abraham Lincoln. Huffstutter goes on the road with history detectives as they check leads about new sources of Lincoln’s papers.

They found “an original of the so-called “ghost amendment”, a proposed but never ratified, 13th Amendment, which was an attempt to avoid the Civil War by making slavery permanently legal in the South.” This is only the second of 34 originals sent by Lincoln to governors to be found.
Some 11,000 pieces of paper in Lincoln’s handwriting have been found. The task has been made more difficult because immediately after his death, people went into public records and sought legal documents that Lincoln as a lawyer had filed over the 25 years of his legal career prior to his Presidency. They often clipped the signature from the documents. Members of the project have become experts in Lincoln’s handwriting.

The project began back in 1980. In 2000, the Lincoln Legal Papers were published on DVD, a collection of nearly 100,000 legal documents. The hunt for paper is now expanded beyond legal documents. A fascinating story of history and detective work.

The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson

Finished reading this detailed account of the battles of Sicily and Italy. It was a difficult read, not because of Atkinson’s style but because of the content. The incredible waste and suffering of so many soldiers and civilians. I had prior to reading this book only a sketchy idea of the Italian campaign. Growing up in Toronto, my next door neighbour was a Canadian Combat Engineer Major who I believe had been in Italy during the war. I thought of him often while reading this book. Highly recommended.



Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer (W.J. Gibson).

visited here back in 2002, have only travelled twice since then, maybe it is time for another journey, however without a current passport I may have to limit myself to Canada, which is no bad thing.

this house was designed by Jefferson and is beautiful, thoughtful, and much smaller than I had anticipated….

you can see the two wing buildings on the edges of frame left and right….running underground between the two wings and the central main house are storage, work rooms and servants (slaves) rooms…

the house is situated on the top of a hill and has wonderful views in several directions.

Bob Schieffer’s book

Just finished reading “This Just In: What I Couldn’t Tell You On TV” by CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer (published in 2003). What a great book. He explains a lot about American news television reporting and its evolution and a lot about American politics. Read this book and learn and laugh and appreciate a hard working reporter.

He explains things like the technical struggle pre-video tape and electronic linkage that we take for granted today in the 24 hour news world.  I wished he had written more about his time in Buenos Aires covering the Falklands War. What he does share suprised me and gave me a new if somewhat surreal view of that war.

His chapter on the coverage of the 9/11 attack is very moving.

I confess I stayed up last night and raced to the end, could not put down the book, such a well-written piece of work. Actually as you read it you just accelerate to run with the story, and begin to take the writing for granted, which I imagine would please Schieffer.