No photograph that is displayed and posted on this blog may be reproduced, copied, stored, manipulated or used in whole or in part of a derivative work without the prior written permission of the Copyright (c) Owner & Photographer: Trevor David Betts BA (Hons). All rights reserved.


If you want to use any of my photographs displayed upon this blog, for inclusion in an essay, presentation, talk, or for posting on your blog or web site. Or for use in any other way or means. Then it would be very much appreciated if you could contact me first (as a matter of courtesy and decency) to seek my permission to use any of my photographs. Failure to do so is breach of my copyright and rights.

Thursday, 30 April 2009


This story relates to the documentary project I did about the Normandy Veterans. Over the course of this project I came to know, talk to and socialise with many individual veterans. But the one that will always stand out in my mind and last in my memory was a wonderful human being called Maxwell Vernon Hearst from Hull. Max was called up at the start of WWII and he joined the East Yorkshire Regiment has an infantry soldier.

Max took part in the retreat to, and evacuation from Dunkirk, in which many small boats and the Royal Navy managed to bring safely back to Britain some 300,000 soldiers. Max had a story to tell about everything. He remembers that they were low on food rations and he saw a rabbit suddenly appear in front of him, with visions of rabbit stew floating through his mind he put his Lee Enfield .303 rifle to his shoulder took careful aim, squeezed the trigger and fired one round.

He then went to pick the now deceased animal up but he found himself suddenly surrounded by French soldiers, all pointing their rifles at him and shouting. After the initial confusion he learned that he had just gone and shot and killed this French unit's Regimental mascot!!!

Max then served in the Desert with the 8th Army, and then he participated in the D-Day landings on the morning of 6th June 1944. Later on he was in Holland and whilst acting as a motor bike dispatch rider. He came under enemy mortar shell fire and one landed close by knocking him off his bike and into a nearby canal.

He was pulled to safety and taken to Hospital where he had both his arms put into plaster. Then his good mate "Taggy Taylor" entered his life (I will leave that one to your imagination). Both arms in plaster and a mate called "Taggy".

Max was a wonderful warm human being with a good sense of humour and he was a terrific story teller (all of which were true). But sadly like old soldiers he eventually faded away in 2003. It was my pleasure, honour and privilege to have known him. That is why the resulting project and exhibition touring programme meant so much to me, in that it made his and many other's like him experience's and exploit's available to a new generation.

I will always remember having the opportunity to sit with, and talk to Max whilst sharing a few pitchers of ice cold beer in a London pub one very hot summer evening (see the photo entitled "American Girl's"). History straight from those who where there, it does not get any better than that.

We are fast running out of living memory of this generation who we owe so very much to. Rest in peace Max and all the others who I came to know and who are now longer with us. The world is a poorer place without you all.

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To my Photo Blog,

All my monochrome photography is darkroom produced. This portfolio consists of photographs from several of my projects, assignments, personal and course related work. Some of these monochrome photographic prints are then selectively toned.

Take a look at the slide show, or the popular posts. Click onto some of the many excellent blogs that I have listed in my blog roll. I welcome constructive feedback (post a comment).

Click onto the links in some of my posts which will then take you to the relevant website link where you will be able to find out more about that location, charity or organisation etc featured in the post and which is relevant to that specific image.

Also please click onto my links. Join my blog and my Google + followers. If you would like to know more about any particular photograph or project then please send me an email. My email address is at the foot of this page.

Also from time to time I will post videos that are of interest to me, mainly from my military background.

Yours sincerely

Trevor David Betts BA (Hons)




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All the photographs featured on this blog spot were taken on Canon analog 35mm SLR cameras which included: Canon A1, Canon AE1 (non-programme) and Canon T90. The Canon A1 was rendered useless after prolonged exposure to salt spray residue, and the AE1 suffered a malfunction, and one of my T90s just packed up on me during a photographic shoot.

Most of my camera equipment was initially purchased brand new, then as the years have past I have purchased second-hand equipment. But the vast majority of equipment I currently possess is well over twenty years old.

Canon FD lenses used were: 28, and 35mm wide angle, 50mm standard, 35-105mm short telephoto zoom and a 70-210mm large telephoto zoom lenses. Also used was a loaned Mamiya 645 with 50 and 80mm lenses. My favourite combination is a T90 fitted with the 35-105mm lens with an Hoya orange filter. I use Hoya orange, red, neutral density, and skylight filters. Hoya and Canon lens hoods. A Canon remote cable. I have used a great Metz 45 CT-4 flashgun for many years. I used this for the bounced and fill-in flash for some of the documentary and portraiture work.

Studio flash used was Courtenay brolly flash (just two heads fitted with soft boxes) at Hull Community Artworks studio (sadly this excellent local arts facility closed in 2001). Billingham and Tamrac camera bags (the Billingham is a old model that I have had for years - wonderful bags). The Tamrac one is a medium sized back pack type bag. Slik Black Diamond 88, and 500 DX Pro tripods. A Cullmann touring set (which consists of a light tripod, ball and swivel head, all-purpose clamp, suction cap, and a ground spike). I presently have three Canon T90 and one A1 SLR cameras.

Film used was mainly 35mm (with some 120mm). Ilford Delta monochrome negative print film, 100 asa (a few rolls of 400 asa as well). Ilford HP5 and FP4 (400 and 125 asa respectively). Fuji Neopan 400 asa. Various Fuji colour film. Photographic chemicals: Ilford ID-11 and Microphen film developers. Agfa Rodinal fine grain film developer, and Ilford Hypam fixer.

Photographic paper: Ilford Multigrade IV VC paper, Fibre based VC paper including warm and cool tone. Kentmere Velvet Stipple and Art Document papers. Kodak selenium toner. Barclay and Fotospeed sepia toners, and Colorvir blue toner. Durst M60 and Meopta 5 enlargers fitted with 50 and 80mm Schneider lenses. Kenro negative sheets and Jessops negative folders.

Most of my photography involves the use of the camera being securely mounted onto the tripod, with the shutter set to the 10 second delay. I bracket my exposures (relying on the excellent Canon in-camera meter). My aperture settings are usually between F5.6 and F22. In the vast majority of cases the very first exposure I take is usually the correctly exposed one.

Finished photographic prints (spotted if needed). At the 10 x 8 inch size are then scanned on an Epsom 1660 photo perfection scanner using Adope Photoshop CS2 at the 5.5 x 3.5 inch image or canvas size, 150 dpi and at the 750 x 550 pixels size, and saved as for the web. The only thing that is manipulated is the brightness balance and contrast levels.


"It is the soldier, not the minister, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to fair protest.

It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

From: "Fighting for Queen and Country,
by Nigel 'Spud' Ely. Blake Publishing London, 2007.