mono Messines_1917-06-02

You start to doubt your sanity slightly when you spend an hour colouring in a photo brown that was, erm, brown, well sepia, but I’ve also tried to pull the detail out a bit as well. This is Messines Just to the South East of Ypres, This was taken on the 2nd of June 1917, just prior to the Mining attack, but presumably during the bombardment judging by the plumes of smoke.

If you click on the preview above can see it much larger in your browser which gives some sense of the scale of it, I realised as I worked on it you can see planks and joists as well as piles of brick rubble in quite a lot of detail, it becomes almost like a video game image, like some morsel of video intrigue from the 1990s, Close Combat, with it’s crawling terrified and tired men. There I suspect is one of the main problems we have in industrialised warfare, that game image and the fact that there’s real people in it down there somewhere too small to see while you’re pouring shells onto them or bombing them or now of course using missiles and drones. Above is the original for your delectation, in sepia or brown depending on your preference.