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FED 1, "Commander" 35mm Rangefinder. Photograph gallery.
archway at the Castle of old Wardour Gold Hill in Shaftsbury

Left, a surviving archway at the Castle of old Wardour, in Wiltshire, destroyed by Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.

Above, Gold Hill in Shaftsbury, also in Wiltshire. Both taken October 2001.

 

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky,         represented here by this statue

The FED is so named after the initials of Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, represented here by this statue. Dzerzhinsky founded the Russian secret police under Stalin, the service ultimately metamorphasized into the famed KGB outside whose headquarters this statue was erected, but now resides in the garden of fallen monuments in Moscow. It seemed appropriate that the FED should photograph this statue.

The Kremlin and St Basils, Moscow

The Kremlin and St Basils, Moscow - 11:30 mid July 2003. Originally a wooden barricaded town in its own right, the Kremlin now acts as the seat of Government, in the centre of Moscow. The FED was placed on a window ledge of the monolithic Hotel Rossija, as the tripod mount is non standard, exposure B setting for about 2 seconds.

The Hotel Rossija succumbed to the demolishers in 2006.

The cruiser Aurora, St Petersburg

The cruiser Aurora, St Petersburg.

The cruiser Aurora, St Petersburg

Built in 1903 at Petersburg Aurora fought against the Japanese in 1905, it was not an especially successful naval encounter..but though mauled, Aurora stayed afloat and made it back home. Extensively rebuilt, including 14 new six inch guns, it went on to fight in World War 1. However, its most famous action was the firing of a blank shell in October 1917 to start the revolution, being the first ship to hoist the new red flag. It served until 1926 when it was relegated to training, for which role it was fitted with 100mm main guns. Germany invaded in 1941, one of the goals being Leningrad (formerly Petersburg). Guns from Aurora were removed and dug into the hillside on the approach to the city, where, manned by Aurora's crew, they played havoc with the German armoured advance for 7 days until all Aurora's crew were killed.
Meantime the main armament-free hulk was attracting considerable attention from the Luftwaffe, receiving over 1000 hits of varying calibre before eventually sinking in shallow water....with it's upper deck clear of the water, a fact that ensured it's continued attraction as a target for the Luftwaffe. Finally, at the end of the war the rotting hulk was raised, as it was blocking the harbour. Public opinion saved the ship from the scrap yard, instead, she was restored to the condition she was in at the time of the famous blank round shot, including the refitting of period six inch main armament. Aurora is now moored permanently in the harbour at St Petersburg (yes it's been renamed again!) as a memorial to her crew's revolutionary and wartime acts.
Soviet sculpture is truly fantastic, and I knew the FED was going to have to record a few... so here's a bunch, all to be seen in Moscow. Left to right are, the memorial to Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, the sculpture at the Cosmonaut Museum, the sculpture outside the gates of the former "Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy" (my favourite, entitled The Worker and Collective Farm Girl, designed by Vera Mukhina 1889 -1953) and finally an unknown sculpture in the garden of fallen monuments, whose sentiment I just like. The FED proved very usable and although only one roll of film was exposed in Russia, it returned 30 good pictures. The quality of these rebuilt FEDs is variable however, and if you are expecting to use one we would suggest a conventional silver topped and un-rebuilt example, as these rebuilt types are primarily intended for display, our example works fine but did require some time in the workshop to sort it out.
memorial to Yuri Gagarin
sculpture at the Cosmonaut Museum
The Worker and Collective Farm Girl

 

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