Saturday, November 29, 2008

Top Gun

Cannon to Left Of Them, Cannon To Right Of Them

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON



No, we weren't riding into the Valley of Death. Nor were we re-living the famous cavalry charge put so memorably into verse by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I took this shot late last year, when I was in India for just five days.

I was at the Indian Military College in Dehra Dun, in the country’s north and this cannon was on the perimeter of the parade ground. I framed this shot very carefully - to get in both of the huge wheels as well as their shadows on the concrete plinth. You did notice the shadows, didn't you?

And if you spotted the shadows, you would also have noticed that the "spokes" on the wheel nearest the camera do not line up exactly with the spokes on the other wheel. Look carefully and you'll see that their positions are not synchronised, which is odd for a parade ground display.

While this sight evoked schoolboy memories of learning the poem The Charge Of The Light Brigade, I could not find a commemorative plaque that detailed the history of the ancient weapon.

I guess that could be a sign of maturity, perhaps. When I was in primary school and had the privilege of travelling around Southeast Asia, I wasn’t seriously interested in the history of too many of the places we visited. But now I seek knowledge – which is probably a good thing.

After taking the first shot of the cannon I walked away to take a shot of some really strong triangular colours that you can see at Guardian Angles. Then I heard the sound of someone marching past and behind me, so I had to try and get the officer into the frame somehow - with the cannon to the right of the frame.

As a last resort, I might have had to take a clue from the wartime song and roll out the barrel.


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Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Metal".

25 comments:

Hilary said...

Very cool. It never would have occurred to me to notice if spokes were lined up or not. Now it probably will the next time I visit my son at his military college. :)

Moannie said...

Just out of interest, David, how many photographs do yu have in your files? Thousands I'll bet.

I can feel the heat of the parade ground.

Terrible news out of India this last couple of days...so sad.

Casdok said...

I learnt The Charge Of The Light Brigade too!

imbeingheldhostage said...

We're all benefiting from your knowledge seeking :-)

Thank you for the Tday wishes!!

J

Dianne said...

the shot of the guard is wonderful, I especially like the shadow of his legs.

phd in yogurtry said...

My what excellent shadows you capture! And no, I would not have noticed the out-of-sync spokes. I had no idea there are those who would strive to be sure they lined up.

Fireblossom said...

ooo, Inja!

Think of the damage Mahatma Ghandi could have done, with some heavy ordnance at his disposal.

My history teacher never liked me and tended to get headaches. I've no idea why.

Dr.John said...

Interesting pictures and information. Now I would like a history of the canon. I suppose it's off to Google.

Maggie May said...

Had no idea that the spokes of both wheels were supposed to be lined up. We learn a lot from your blog!
Great photos.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Nice pics. I don't think I would have notice the spokes were in tune if you had not mentioned it.

RJ Flamingo said...

I like your shot of the cannon (no pun intended). Reminds me of visits to some of the old forts to watch reenactments...

Thanks for visiting my Friday's Feathers post - my Saturday PhotoHunt post will be up in about 8 1/2 hours from now - probably Sunday for you... I'm having a tough time with you all being nearly a full day ahead!

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

That is one well-endowed cannon...

cheshire wife said...

The spokes of the wheel probably lined up once but the canon is now doubt no old and no longer in A1 condition.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Wonderful shot, David! Having grown up in the American South around battlefields and going on Sunday afternoon "hysterical" tours with my father, I have always loved things military. So your cannon is well appreciated.

If you ever get the change to travel through the South, you must visit places like Vicksburg. There is a such a strong sense of place that you can almost hear the sound of cannon fire. Endless photo ops.

Thanks for sharing!

Sheila

Daisy said...

Very educational, and lovely to be reminded of that wonderful and sad poem. Thank you!

RBK's Realm said...

Apart from your great pictures, I love your blog because you take me back to my childhood years in New Delhi.

I remember how much I loved Tennyson's , "Charge of the Light Brigade" and with what passion I used to recite it for every poetry contest! It was an all time favorite -undoubtedly!

Shellie said...

I did notice the shadow but didn't stop to notice it didn't line up. That is just too much thinking on the job for me.

RJ Flamingo said...

Okay, now mine's up!

http://flamingofotos.blogspot.com

Cheers!

humanobserver said...

As Hilary said very cool indeed....Sir thanks for stopping by....

Colin Campbell said...

Nice shot. It reminds me of the one oclock gun in Edinburgh.

Hootin' Anni said...

When we visit Civil War areas back in the East we see so many of them I tire of them very easily. They're all over the place.

Great photographs David.

My metal is posted. Drop by for a visit if you can!
Happy Hunting.

jams o donnell said...

That's a nice take on the theme. I have military hadwarde for my choice this week.

June said...

A timely choice, sadly. My heartfelt sympathy for your country's tragedy...

June said...

Oops...I may have my history and your location wrong.

Emzkie said...

oh thats cool! great shots David