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Best Of 2016

(January – December 2016)

Andrew Bodrov

Our personal beach

Robert Bilsland

Three Men, an Eagle, the Moon and the Stars

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dedham, Essex, England, UK

August 9, 2016, 14:05 UTC (15:05 local time)

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© 2016 Robert Bilsland, All Rights Reserved.

It's not just luck that there is a Dedham in England as well as a one in the United States of America. During the 1600's many residents of this Essex village and surrounding areas emigrated to the USA, some of them settling in Massachusetts. It was then in 1636 the town of Dedham, Massachusetts was founded taking its name from its Essex counterpart. It was from this point that links were forged with descendants still keeping them alive today.

Many of the links are celebrated in this Church, but the one that caught my eye was the commemoration of man's first moon landing on the 20th July 1969. Whilst all of the pew ends are carved and decorated celebrating different things, it is only this one has two medallions inlaid into it. The left showing the three astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission (Neil A. Armstrong - commander, Michael Collins - command module pilot and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. - lunar module pilot), and the right showing the lunar lander, Eagle. Between them there is a quotation from Psalm 8, "The Moon and the Stars which thou hast ordained. What is man, that thou art mindful of him and the son of man that thou visitest him?".

I was pleased to have found this as I've always known that the last time man set foot on the moon was the year I was born (1972) and at the time talk was great of returning in the not too distant future. Of course 44 years have now passed without a single human foot touching the lunar surface. What advances could have been made if we continued visiting the moon during this time? But things now could be starting to change with Google's Lunar XPrize re-stimulating the race back to the moon. This may be with unmanned rovers, but things always have to start somewhere and once started lead to who knows what? Could it now be the right time for man to return to the moon?
Dedham Parish Church, The American Connections
Dedham, St Marys Church
Dedham, Essex - Wikipedia
Dedham, Massachusetts - Wikipedia


Europe / UK-England

Lat: 51° 57' 30.9" N
Long: 0° 59' 34.55" E

Elevation: 39 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 panoramic head and R-D16 rotator atop a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. 7 bracketed shots (-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3) taken at 6 positions 60° apart, tilted 15° down, another set of shots taken looking straight up. Raw files then processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7 before being blended into single views and stitched together using PTGui Pro 10.0.12 and converted using Pano2VR 4.5.3.

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