Sunday, May 24, 2009

In the spirit of Mole and Thomas

I've learned a lot of trivia from AFKN/AFN commercials. One thing was the works of Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas, who put together "living photographs" using tens of thousands of officers and enlisted during World War I, like the "Living Statue of Liberty" below.

Well, that's exactly what I was reminded of when I was this picture below over at ROK Drop, which involved 5000 soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID, aka Warrior Division) headquartered at Ŭijŏngbu and deployed at points close to the DMZ.

At left is what the insignia is supposed to look like. I'd say they did a pretty good job, but few attempts capture the well proportioned depths of Mole and Thomas, who widened the subject at the top so that, when photographed from below, would look normal. For example, the base of the Statue of Liberty is composed of seventeen people across, whereas the flame, which is only about a fifth of the distance across as the eye sees it, is close to a hundred people across. Imagine setting up a very large V-shaped structure with the very bottom cut off so that, when photographed, it looks like parallel lines.

If you go to the Vatican or other places in Italy to see the tallest statuary, they've done the same thing, making the stuff at the top wider, were you to see it from a different angle, so that those seeing it from below — which most everyone — will see it in a proper proportion.

The effort of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anastasia didn't quite capture that proper proportion, but hey, that's not what we're paying him for, is it? I'd say this is a neat thing to have done.

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