Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed to view the photos in this blog post.
Another delay in my posts…I had planned something costume-related for Halloween, but as going out in costume isn’t really advisable right now, I wasn’t really enjoying the writing. I gave up on the post half way through. Besides, Stabby Joe is on sabbatical after some ‘unpleasantness’, and wasn’t here to model my photoshoot. He says he’ll be back once he ‘finds a new face’, whatever that means. It sounded like a threat?
So, are there any other big events going on to attach a post to? I mean, daylight savings time is over, and that would be an awful photography blog post anyways. Although actually… I have an idea for spring, but it might take a while(Maybe until spring?). I missed making a special for the election…no, not that election, the one in Canada. British Columbia, specifically. To contrast with the American election, the spirit of the 2020 BC election can be summed up as “Wait; there’s an election? Here?”
Honestly, I would go several days through the campaign forgetting that there was anything political. From the turnout, I think I wasn’t alone. I voted, of course. As they say, “If you don’t vote, you can’t join the great purging”. I’m not going to say who I voted for; I’d rather avoid politics here, and also the person(?) I voted for has a name that cannot be replicated in human language, and to hear it is to invite only madness. I liked their stance on rural infrastructure.
I guess there’s no choice. If I want to remain topical, it has to be something connected to the US election.
And…no. It ain’t worth it. As a Canadian, I’m already sick of hearing about it in the news, and I don’t even get to vote in it. I’m pretty sure my preferred party, The Acolytes of the Elder Ones, stretch across all human boundaries, but voting eligibility doesn’t.
So, lets do an Antielection special instead! For this, I’m going back to my big road trip last year, where I visited the mighty Fort Necessity. Back in the 17th century, this was the symbol of American Power(well, America was a British colony then), a bulwark against French aggression(except it was built out of desperation at the last moment), and the first great victory of a young George Washington(hahaha… no).
To go back a bit, in the 1700s, the British and French had been is a bit of an argument about who owned what part of North America(Yes, the first nations might argue it didn’t belong to either of them… but they weren’t British or French, so they WOULD say that). It wasn’t really a war at this point… more of a geopolitical pissing contest. After the British built a small fort in what is present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a much larger french force ‘politely suggested’ that the English were on the wrong side of the border, and they might want to vacate the premises… right NOW would be good! To be fair, the French built a much better fort in its place. Plus, the destruction of the British Fort Prince George meant that my region of BC could use the names Fort George and Prince George freely!
Needless to say, tensions were running a little high. Enter one young Lieutenant George Washington in 1754. Hearing about a French force nearby, Washington and his troops surrounded the encampment.
It’s not quite sure what happened; the french claimed the British ambushed a peaceful expedition without provocation, while Washington claimed that the force was trying to infiltrate British land. Either way, a conflict broke out, and the leader of the french force, Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, was killed in the attack.
This was a bit of a tactical mistake, and Washington knew it. There were a few British forces around, and a lot more French ones. Washington correctly surmised that the french wouldn’t be very impressed with the previous battle. With only a few reinforcements, Washington (now a colonel, due to miscellaneous deaths), made the decision to quickly erect a fort to protect his small force. This fort wasn’t well thought out… it was built out of necessity. Hence the name of the fort.
And, like all of my last minute plans, the fort was a complete disaster. It was built too close to the treeline, so French snipers could hide and pick off the british. The fort didn’t last beyond the battle; the one standing today is a reconstruction. Early attempts to reconstruct the design of the fort showed it to be a small but serviceable wooden fort surround by a wooden stockade; later archaeological studies showed Fort Necessity was less a ‘Fort’ and more a ‘Garden shed surrounded by a bunch of 2x4s, but some kids broke in and call it their fortress’. The ‘fort’ was about 14 feet by 14 feet(a bit less than 200 square feet, or 18 square metres)
and was surrounded by a 53 foot diameter circular stockade.
On the outskirts were some trenches. It was a little tight for the 400 British soldiers… especially as 700 French forces were surrounding them. The battle only lasted a short time; It started in late morning on July 3rd, and ended by 8:00 PM.
There were surprisingly few casualties; 31 British aligned forces were killed, and three french aligned troops. In an untenable position, Washington surrendered. The document of surrender was in French, and Washington later argued that the verbal translation he was given wasn’t accurate, but the facts remained the same: he signed the document, admitting full responsibility for the ‘assassination’ of de Jumonville. The next day, the fort was abandoned.
So, lets look at the reconstructed fort. I stopped here on the way to another UNESCO site, and enjoyed the brief walk around. There were some nice short trails through the area.
Here is the fort in the visible spectrum:
It looks like a bunch of wood. Not good wood either. I think Washington wasn’t a great architect. In 3D, the trench in front is visible, and a small cannon outside is visible as well.
The wood is greyer than the living vegetation; the wear is much clear. The UG11 filter combines Infrared and Ultraviolet light. I know that green foliage is dark in UV; as the photosynthesis process absorbs a lot of UV radiation. So, how does it look in UV only?
Yeah, my ‘not-really-a-camera-filter’ filter, designed to let UV, violet, and a bit of blue light through. The old dead wood is noticeably brighter than the living vegetation. The photo didn’t turn out half bad; this time. I couldn’t correct the colour accurately to get rid of the purple tint this time, but at least I fixed the white balance. Otherwise, the 3D photo would be headache inducing, and no one wants that.
Umm. you do want that? Okay, but it will look awful. The colours conflict with red/cyan 3D glasses, so it doesn’t have a 3D effect as much as a headache-inducing effect. Still, that’s what the imaginary audience members asked for, so here:
Anyways, I said I wanded UV only; the short band pass filter still lets a lot ov visible light through. To eliminate the visible spectrum, I need to combine my Schott BG40 and UG11 filters. The former blocks infrared light, the latter visible light, to get a beautiful UV only photo.
Beautiful might be an overstatement, actually. It isn’t awful, and the wood for the fort is obviously different than the other vegetation… but it looks like an old black and white photo. Maybe one that Washington took when he was building the fort.
Anyways, lets got the other way: infrared! With my Zomei 680 nm filter:
Nothing really stands out; the trees are the right colour; the sky is a bit lighter than expected, but clouds were moving in.
A bit deeper in the infrared, at 950 nm(my ZOmei filter again)
It isn’t bad, but would be much more dramatic if I had a clear black sky. I hate the weather. Maybe the next government can end it.
So, that’s the fort. It really isn’t much, and is more important due to what it precipitated.
Despite the surrender, the tensions between the two powers didn’t cool down; the battle of Fort Necessity is seen as the beginning of the French and Indian War, part of the much larger Seven Years War. One of the wardens at the site said that George Washington became a better military commander when he gained some experience, and went on to participate in some notable events, but I’m not an expert on military history. I’ll take his word on it.
The French won the battle of Fort Necessity, but lost the war to the British, who then lost the next war to the Americans, who then
lost won broke even in the War of 1812.
You know… maybe voting is a better choice after all.
The above photos were taken with a modified Canon Rebel T3i camera