Posts tagged ‘iPhone’

Fleury-devant-Douaumont, France

Although I’ve been to Verdun four times, it was a first time for me when I stopped at Fleury last month. It lays right next to the Verdun Memorial and just two kilometers away from the Douaumont Ossuary. When the Battle of Verdun began, the population of roughly 400 evacuated the village in a hurry. It is said that soldiers found half-eaten meals on the kitchen tables.

After 300 days of hell and after up to 60 million shells were fired, there was nothing left of the little village. Today, only signs show the visitors which buildings had to make room for destruction and the craters that are left. Fleury-devant-Douaumont and other eight villages in the region that suffered the same fate are called “villages detruit”, destroyed villages.


The road leading to the Verdun Memorial


A wooden sculpture of a ‘Poilu’, a French infantryman


Fleury is still a commune, although its population is ‘0’. The only building is the chapel which was built in 1979.


Signs like the one in the bottom left corner show what was there before. In this case, you’re looking at a cafe.


The memorial for the fallen of the village


Nikon D5300
Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
iPhone 6s


Adobe Lightroom CC

Ossuaire de Douaumont, France

During my little military history trip, I spent the night in Verdun, France. Verdun is a well-known name in the history of World War One in Germany and France. It was a long battle which began on February 21st and ended on December 19th, 1916. A lot of the fighting happened on the Douaumont hill. Around 250,000 German and French soldiers died and much more suffered injuries or are missing.

In 1932, French President Lebrun inaugurated the Douaumont Ossuary. 130,000 unknown fallen soldiers from both nations lay here. Through little windows, people can look at the bones and skulls.

I arrived in the afternoon when it was about to get dark. With some spare time after driving to a nearby German War Cemetery, I decided to visit the ossuary and call it a day. I was glad I made that decision. Upon arriving, French servicemen faced the cemetery in front of the ossuary and sung a song. Unluckily, I wasn’t able to identify it.

dsc_0822-a-2dsc_0826-aI love the photos above. Lightroom CC did most of the work. Played with the highlights and clarity, but the result is astonishing.

This is from the top of the ossuary. With 16,142 graves, it’s the largest French cemetery of World War One.

This one is from my iPhone 6s with a quick edit using the Lightroom mobile app. It’s hard to see, but one section of the cemetery looks slightly different. These are fallen Muslims, facing East. The building visible in the middle of the photo is the memorial for the Muslim soldiers. A memorial for the Jewish dead is on the Western side of the cemetery.

These two photos are from the next morning. I visited Fleury, a destroyed village, and the Verdun Memorial.

Nikon D5300
Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
iPhone 6s

Adobe Lightroom CC
Adobe Lightroom iPhone

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain


In December 2015, we went to Barcelona, and I had the chance to visit the Sagrada Familia. Although the cathedral is still under construction, the inside is something special. Colorful windows fill the inside with magic. The inside is colorful, and the outside of the cathedral is very unusual, but I caught myself looking at the facade for about five minutes.
I will come back again to see the finished masterpiece by Antonio Gaudi. And I will bring my camera with me. The iPhone 6 reached its limits with the Sagrada Familia. Snapseed, TinType, and Darkroom improved the photos a lot, but it takes more to capture the amazingness. Again, I edited the photos with the Nik Collection (Color Efex Pro 4 and HDR Efex Pro 2).

Ysselsteyn, Netherlands – III

The last photos I thought are worth uploading. I took the vast panorama in the middle of the gallery while standing midst of the cemetery. The big cross you saw in the previous post is right behind me in that one.
Again, all photos come from the iPhone 6 camera. I did the editing with Google’s Nik Collection.

Originally, I wanted to add a short clip I found on YouTube, but then I found this long video from user “Longa Via Est” with a version of “Nothing Else Matters” in the background. You’ll see everything of the cemetery. At around three minutes, you’ll also see the monument and the graves of the fallen from WW1.

Ysselsteyn, Netherlands – II

Four more photos from Ysselsteyn. A huge cross stands in the middle of the cemetery. Might be the only point where you can overview the whole cemetery.

The only German War Cemetery in the Netherlands has graves for the fallen of WW1, too (the two photos on the left). Graves of 85 Navy men surround a monument.


Ysselsteyn, Netherlands – I

In September 2015, my wife I and came back from a trip to The Hague. On the way, we stopped at the Ysselsteyn German War Cemetery. According to the War Graves Commission; it is the (physically) largest German War Cemetery on the planet. 31,598 graves, most of them single graves, make it a huge and sad place. When entering the cemetery, it’s not possible to see the other side.
Graves for one serviceman only are not very common for German War Cemeteries. The first GWC I visited was in Sandweiler, Luxembourg. Many graves have six names engraved. Before Ysselsteyn, Andilly in France was the largest I visited. Here, 33,123 fallen rest in peace.

American and British readers will be surprised seeing that these cemeteries are nothing like theirs. What I like about the German sites is that they are unique. Ysselsteyn caught me off guard when I noticed the enormous amount of crosses. Sometimes you don’t have crosses (see Langemark), at times there are mass graves (especially the WW1 cemeteries), and for some cemeteries, you have to drive out into the wilderness to find the hidden sites. Nothing fancy, no golden gates. To me, they teach that war isn’t pretty. As a serviceman, I look at those locations differently than the regular tourist.

I found the photos on an iPhone 6 backup and edited them with the Nik Collection. I will upload more photos after the weekend. In around two weeks, I will visit some other military cemeteries in Europe, including Andilly and Sandweiler, where I will take some more photos. Hopefully, with my new camera.

Portland, Maine, USA

These photos are from a walk in Portland, ME, one day before we took the ferry to Peaks Island. While watching the boats and ships, we noticed crazy fog hovering towards the beach, and we waited until we were in it. All photos came from the iPhone 6s with editing from the Blackie and Snapseed app.
When it comes to black and white photos, these two apps are all I need. If I know I want a motive in black in white, I’ll take the photo with Blackie. Otherwise, I use the native camera function and edit the photo with Snapseed. If I can’t get it done with Snapseed, I switch to Blackie and play around with the filters. The downside is that I have to play around with Blackie.