This print was taken when the Great War interrupted Steichen's life. After enlisting in the U.S. Army, he was appointed Head of the Photographic Section of the Air Service, which was responsible for aerial photographs of the enemy trenches and locations.
This photograph bears no signature or stamp, as is customary with these aerial views. An enlargement, it was purely informative in nature. Steichen later wrote that taking these pictures dramatically changed his hitherto Pictorialist view of photography. He wrote, 'The wartime problem of making sharp, clear pictures from a vibrating, speeding airplane 10,000 to 20,000 feet in the air brought me a new kind of technical interest in photography. Now I wanted to know all that could be expected from the camera.'