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Best Of 2009

(January 1st - December 30th, 2009)

Andrew Bodrov

All-Estonian Dance and Song Celebration "To Breathe as One"

Robert Bilsland

Remembering the Americans Who Liberated France

Les Braves, Omaha Beach, Les Moulins, Basse-Normandie, France

October 27, 2009, 08:57 UTC (09:57 local time)

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© 2009 Robert Bilsland, All Rights Reserved.

On the 6th of June, 1944, the scene on this spot was very different. Omaha beach was one of the main landing points for the Allied invasion of German-occupied France on D-Day. Being 5 miles long it was the longest of the 5 beaches being used that day and the job of taking the beachhead had been given to the troops of the United States Army.

By the end of the first day the losses in troops, vehicles and supplies was high. The advances on the beachhead were also not as great as planned, with just two isolated pockets being gained. At one point during the day the evacuation of the beach itself had even been considered.

I visited Omaha beach early one morning, it was peaceful and to find this sculpture was unexpected. It was commissioned by the French government to celebrate the 60th anniversary in 2004. Designed by Anilore Banon, it consists of three elements, "The Wings of Hope," "Rise of Freedom," and "The Wings of Fraternity."
Omaha Beach - Wikipedia
Les Braves - The Battle of Normandy


Europe / France

Lat: 49° 22' 15.81" N
Long: 1° 53' 46.63" W

Elevation: 0 ft

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: High. Pinpoints the exact spot.

Taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G fisheye lens. Mounted on a Nodal Ninja 5 panorama head atop a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. Shots taken at 6 positions 60° apart, tilted 15° down and another shot taken looking straight up. Raw files then processed in Nikon CaptureNX 1.3 before being stitched together using PTGui Pro 8.3.6 / Smartblend 1.2.5 and converted to a QTVR Cube using Pano2VR 2.3 beta 4.

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