Simpson was an eyewitness to many momentous events, and several times found himself under fire. One time at Balaclava he kept sketching while being shelled. He had a strategy for dodging bullets. "If a shell is coming to you," he said, "it becomes instantly visible as a black speck against the white smoke of the gun which fired it, and before it reaches you, there is plenty of time to go under cover."
Image from Circus No Spin
Book: Visions of India: The Sketchbooks of William Simpson, 1859-62