Commemorating the Battle of El Alamein: 75 Years On (2017)

On a sunny and hot Sunday, 29 October 2017, I made my way to the Castle of Good Hope in central Cape Town to take some photographs at the 75th Annual Commemoration Service of the Second Battle of El Alamein. As in previous years, the service was organised by the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment, the Cape Western Provincial Dugout of the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTHs) and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DODMV).

I had only attended this parade twice before – once in 2010, and a second time in 2015. I still remember how completely out of my depth I had felt in 2010, because it was only the second military parade that I had ever attended (the first had been the Battle of Square Hill Commemoration Service of September 2010).

At the time, I didn’t have a clue how these parades worked, and I didn’t know where I was allowed to stand, how close I was permitted to get to the action, and what was going to happen when. I had no idea who was who. And I was still learning how to use my camera (I had just bought my very first DSLR, the Canon 550D) and how to take photographs at these kinds of events; I didn’t know what would work, how to compose and frame shots for best effect, how to anticipate and time the shot correctly, or what settings to use.

Continue reading