American Revolution Photos: Blog https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog en-us (C) American Revolution Photos [email protected] (American Revolution Photos) Mon, 01 Apr 2024 10:47:00 GMT Mon, 01 Apr 2024 10:47:00 GMT https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/img/s/v-12/u670739308-o757067994-50.jpg American Revolution Photos: Blog https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog 98 120 Ten of my Unique American Revolution Reenactment Photos Part 1 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/4/five-of-my-unique-american-revolution-reenactment-photos All my photography friends were at an American Revolution reenactment event last year. It was great. So, what did we discuss? Of course, our best photos. We're similar to fishing buddies trying to impress each other on who caught the biggest fish! We go back and forth, trying to top each other with embellished lore and tall tales. We're all good photographers, so the stories are impressive. Our recent topic was creating unique photos. I thought that would make a great blog! I'll discuss five photos for this blog and five next month.

I've reviewed all of these photos before in other blogs. For all of them, I used On1 software in post-processing, and for some, I used enhancing filters to alter the image significantly. Post-processing is the fun part of creating an image for me.

One of my friends specifically mentioned this photo below. I took it many years ago at the Battle of Germantown in 2012 and liked it. I didn't think it was remarkable then, but I was wrong! I've taken hundreds of musket blasts similar to this for many years, and not one has the sparks flying and swirling like this.

I'm also now using a new photo editing program to create cinematographs (subtle movement). My friend Harry Schenawolf, editor of Revolutionary War Journal, used this photo in one of his articles, Matchlocks & Flintlocks. I made this photo a cinemograph, it adds a new perspective. Take a look. What do you think?

Before most of the battle reenactments start, I tell myself to remember to zoom in as close as possible to my subject. I'm seeking that unique perspective! By doing this, I captured some of my best shots. Here is a perfect example. During the Battle of Trenton in 2019, I could zoom in close as the reenactor poured powder into the flash pan. This technique is challenging because the reenactors steadily move during the street battle. I like this photo; it was hard to capture.

I've often commented on this photo in other blogs from the Battle of Chadds Ford in 2021. When I added the radial blur filter, I made this photo look like an actual war photograph, and it gives me chills every time I see it! I've never seen another photo like it.

This photo never fails to amaze me. When I took it, I had no clue that Spyglass had the Delaware River's reflection. There are similar photos like this in my gallery from the Washington's Crossing 2019 event, but this is the best one. I am still trying to figure out what I did to get this reflection. I tried replicating it at each new Washington's Crossing event but have failed. Maybe I'll never be able to capture this again.

This image is a composite from the Battle of Newtown 2019 event. Did I take the shots consecutively? No! Only after reviewing the photos later did, I notice taking the same Native American reenactor headshot of his left and right side. Each image separately is good, but combined, it's perfect. I didn't plan it, though!

Thank you for reading! Blog #71 will be posted in May 2024.  Be safe & well!

 

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle Battle of Germantown Battle of Newtown" Battle of Trenton black powder British Army Chadds Crown Forces Ford" George Washington Harry Schenawolf musket of On1 software photography Reenactments Revolutionary War Journal the British Brigade The Continental Line Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/4/five-of-my-unique-american-revolution-reenactment-photos Mon, 01 Apr 2024 04:00:00 GMT
Battle of Trenton 2023 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/3/battle-of-trenton-2023 One of the photo techniques I use to make my photos unique is to zoom in as much as possible on my subject. It's hard during a reenactment with so much action and movement co-occurring. That's what is fantastic about the Battle of Trenton event, especially the morning street battle. So much action is happening, and at the same time, I'm trying to eliminate the modern city environment, such as telephone poles, cars, etc., as much as possible.

My Nikon 80-400 4.5-5.6 VR lens is the only one I use during a reenactment battle.  I was only about 5 feet away when taking this photo of the Hessian soldier adding black powder to his musket's flash pan. 

My good friend Harry Schenawolf, editor of the Revolutionary War Journal, describes in an article "Loading and Firing a Brown Bess Musket in the Eighteenth Century" how an 18th-century musket is loaded.

Half cock the musket by pushing back on the hammer with flint attached (called a dogshead). Push the frizzen  forward, open the pan (or flash pan), and pour a small amount of black powder from the cartridge.

Here's another photo of me zooming in on a reenactor firing his musket as tight as possible. I never know what to expect. This time, I noticed his eyes closed and then the sparks plus the smoke from the musket firing. Being so close adds more drama, and so many times, I'm surprised by the results.

Catching the peak action is always the goal. The surrender here ends the first battle in Mill Hill Park. You notice the out-of- focus British/Hessian troops holding their muskets upside down. 

Before I explain the photo here, I want to mention a pleasant experience. I was at my usual spot just past the Jackson Street Bridge, waiting for the second battle to commence around 3 pm. Behind me, at the end of the townhouse, I noticed numerous folks coming and bringing food. I jokingly asked one guy carrying a crock pot thanks for lunch and asked why everyone was entering this home with food. He mentioned a neighborhood party every year at this reenactment. About 15 minutes later, the person I spoke with tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a bowl of chili with cornbread. What a lovely gesture! I thanked him and had a delicious afternoon snack!

At no other Trenton reenactment, I've attended was the cannon placed on the bridge. Usually, it was on a hill adjacent to me. I like catching the cannon blast as the British troops are charging. It makes for an exciting photo.

Sometimes, you notice an object you haven't seen before, even when visiting that location numerous times. That's what happened here. This considerable medallion was on the right side of the barracks, where the officers lived, about 20 feet up. I was curious about its history, so I contacted the Executive Director Michelle Doherty and asked. She responded and stated.

The lion and unicorn medallion on the outside of the building is original to the building and is the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The Old Barracks was built in 1758-9 to house British soldiers during the French and Indian War. 

To enhance the medallion as much as possible, I used sharpening tools in On1 software. It brings out the detail in the lion and unicorn. It's a good reminder that even if you visit someplace often, on any new visit, you might see something different and unique.

Thank you for reading! Blog #70 will be posted in April 2024.  Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Trenton Black powder British Army Crown Forces French and Indian War Harry Schenawolf Hessians New Jersey Nikon Nikon 80-400 4.5-5.6 VR lens NJ Old Barracks On1 software photography Reenactments Revolutionary War Journal the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/3/battle-of-trenton-2023 Fri, 01 Mar 2024 05:00:00 GMT
Washington's Crossing 2023-Christmas Day https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/2/washingtons-crossing-2023-christmas-day George Washington and his ragtag troops of about 2,400 crossed the icy Delaware River on Christmas Day around 6 PM during a severe snowstorm, one of the pivotal moments of the American Revolution. The revolution likely would have ended without this daring surprise attack and the defeat of the Hessian garrison at the Old Barracks in Trenton, NJ. Over the past 60 years, the crossing reenacted is held on Christmas Day, with thousands of spectators watching reenactors crossing the Delaware River from PA to the shore of NJ in replica Durham boats. For many families in the area, attending this event is a Christmas Day tradition. 

There is also the two-week before practice event, which I attend more often; it's a festival. I came on Christmas Day this year. I left home around 10:30 for about one hour, mainly around the Philadelphia highway. It was a beautiful, sunny day with above-average temperatures.

Once I arrived, I met some photo friends and spoke with some reenactors. It was only a short time before I spotted George Washington entering the (McConkey's Ferry Inn) to plan the crossing with his officers. His lifeguards were protecting him outside. I first converted this photo to black and white and used a new photo post-processing technique, the canvas filter in On1 software, to make it appear like a charcoal painting. With his spyglass, George Washington viewing the Delaware River was the perfect choice for this technique. 

This photo shows the Delaware River and the Washington Crossing Bridge linking PA and NJ. It is near where George Washington and his men crossed on Christmas Day. I shot this panoramic on the PA side while waiting for the event to commence. You'll notice the entire bridge overflowing with spectators with a closer look. I've taken photos from the bridge a few times. You get a different perspective when the Durham boats are crossing; they appear so small in scale. You are also in amazement at how George Washington and his men managed this crossing in an icy, dark river with horses and cannons in a blizzard without being spotted by the Hessian troops. It was a miracle! 

The Washington Crossing Bridge with many spectators observing the crossing. Chief Artillery Officer Henry Knox met George Washington when he became Commander of the American Army in 1775 at Cambridge, MA, and a close confidant of Washington throughout the war. He was involved in many significant battles, including Trenton. This photo shows him walking behind Washington while addressing his troops before the crossing. Even though Washington is out of focus in this photo, you know it's him!

The 13 six-pointed Star Commander In Chief blue flag designates Washington in the boat. He followed typical European tradition by having a flag designed for himself as an army leader. Where the general was at any time, so was the flag. If you look closely here, you can spot Washington at the bow. 

When reviewing this image, I immediately considered emphasizing the flag's water reflection in my post-production process. I cropped the photo to show this and used the canvas filter in On1 software for the painting effect. I like the results!
Thank you for reading! Blog # 69 will be posted in March 2024.  Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Trenton British Army Crown Forces George Washington Henry Knox NJ Old Barracks On1 photography Reenactments software" The Continental Line Trenton Washington Crossing Bridge https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/2/washingtons-crossing-2023-christmas-day Fri, 02 Feb 2024 00:28:12 GMT
American Revolution Photos-2023 Recap https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/1/american-revolution-photos-2023-recap  

The influential photographer Ansel Adams said, "Twelve significant photos in any year is a good crop." For my 2023 photo recap, I'm selecting five of my favorites. Did I achieve the twelve significant photos for the year like Ansel Adams? Maybe? I chose from nine events last year and over 450 posted photos. This time, I didn't choose my overall favorite. I like all of them wholly for different reasons.

When photographing a person, you're always looking for human emotion. This photo from the 1777 Whitemarsh encampment does just that. You can feel his frustration as he attempts to fix his rifle. We can all relate to being just like this moment when we're doing something that isn't working just right! Ah, we do try!

My favorite photo of 2022 is similar to this one. It's from the Battle of Monmouth and has three British soldiers standing in a line, with one pondering about something. This photo again has three British soldiers, and they appear to be nothing special until you look closely at the placement of the three tin canteens. At the top left, the first soldier is starting to sip from his, the second is swallowing, and the third is putting the plug back in the canteen-just a perfect sequence. I couldn't have planned this!

Some photos make you smile, and this is one of them for me. It's from the recent Revolutionary Germantown Festival. I noticed this man with the three-corned colonial hat holding this adorable baby girl and asked if I could take their photo; he graciously said yes. It was my first shot of the day. Sometimes, that one is the best overall.


For the last few years, Ft Mifflin has offered, as part of siege weekend, the opportunity to cruise the Delaware River around the fort with Gloucester City’s Tall Ship, the Schooner North Wind. For this photo and two others of the same ship, #7, #8, and #9 in this photo gallery, I used On-1 software to create an old, period type photo by adding a canvas filter that makes the image resemble a painting. Just perfect!

Here is a simple but interesting photo from the Battle of Monmouth 20233 event. It follows numerous photography composition rules, such as not having the subject in the center of the frame, leading lines, and shallow depth of field. One rule I didn't follow was having my topic on the left side of the frame. It's okay because you notice the out-of-focus soldiers first, leading to the subject. It works.

Thank you for reading! Blog # 68 will be posted in February 2024.  Be safe & well, and Happy New Year!

I learned that reenactor/sutler Ted Hueskin passed away in November. I've known him and his wife, Sue, for over ten years, and at every event, we would say hello and chat for a few minutes. Wonderful guy! I have many photos of him over the years, including this one from the 2022 Washington's Crossing event, where he was one of Washington's lifeguards. He's the soldier at the left holding his musket with his left hand. RIP Ted!

Ken Bohrer


 

 


 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) 777 Whitemarsh encampment American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Ansel Adams Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth British Army Crown Forces Ft Mifflin George Washington Germantown On-1 software Philadelphia photography Reenactments Revolutionary Germantown Festival the British Brigade The Continental Line The Schooner North Wind Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2024/1/american-revolution-photos-2023-recap Mon, 01 Jan 2024 05:00:00 GMT
Revolutionary Germantown Festival 2023 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/12/revolutionary-germantown-festival-2023 The Marketing and Development Coordinator at Cliveden (also known as the Chew House) had recently asked me to photograph the special events at the early October 2023 Revolutionary Germantown Festival. I've attended the Battle of Germantown reenactment event many times since I live in the Philly suburbs. It has become a different type of event in the last few years. Pre-covid, it was called the Battle of Germantown (two battle reenactments), with the highlights having George Washington's troops storming the Clevedon stone mansion unsuccessfully, just like the actual battle on October 4, 1777. 

This year, again, it was a festival with a small number of Continental and British first-person interpreters, vendors, a replica of George Washington's mobile tent, a battle overview by Thomas J. McGuire, the commemoration of those who were in the battle, an exhibition from the Souls Shot Portrait Project, Storytime at 10:30 am at the new Literacy Nest and family-friendly activities. I thought of myself as an event photographer, not one photographing a reenactment. It was essential to see the big picture and capture the special moments.

The weather forecast for the day was intermittent rain with downpours. We got lucky, with only a few scattered showers throughout the day. Here was one of the first photos I took in the morning. I saw this man with the three-cornered hat holding this adorable baby girl. I got it on my first attempt; sometimes, everything works perfectly! Here is the link to this event's photos.

The day was about educating the public about the life of an American Revolution soldier. It's needed to start educating kids about our history accurately and honestly.

Reenactors are accustomed to having their photos taken. Just ask politely, and they will usually say okay. That's what I did here.

In all my years visiting this site, it still amazes me that this is the original house that played such a pivotal role in the outcome of the Battle of Germantown in 1777. The mansion is that old. At this event, author Thomas J. McGuire always provides an excellent oration of the battle and the role of this mansion in it.

There is always a commemorative ceremony by British and Continental troops for who lost their lives at the battle. On both sides, about 200 soldiers were killed.

Thank you for reading! If you need an event photographer for an event, please get in touch with me.
Blog # 67 will be posted in January 2024. I'll share my top 5 photos of 2023. Be safe & well and Happy Holidays!!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown British Army Chew House Cliveden Crown Forces George Goerge Washington Philadelphia photography Reenactments The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/12/revolutionary-germantown-festival-2023 Fri, 01 Dec 2023 05:00:00 GMT
Discover History Everywhere-Korea 2023 Part 2 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/11/discover-history-everywhere-korea-2023-part-2-of-2 In last month's blog, I described my summer family trip to Korea at the historic Jeju Folk Village (Jeju Minsokchon) on Juju Island, off the southern tip of the mainland. For this blog, I'll describe the largest of four historical villages in the Seoul suburbs, Korean Folk Village.

Seoul is the capital of South Korea and the country's largest city, with a population of nearly ten million people. There is much to see and do in this safe, clean, progressive city. I wanted to learn more about Seoul's historical past.

We visited on a sunny, hot, humid weekday. There were few visitors that day.

The Korean Folk Village has more activities like this traditional dance ensemble. This village was bigger and had more to see. As I described last month, my camera was my compact and light Panasonic/Lumix Mirrorless DMC-GF6 camera with a 14-42 mm lens.

As my family was walking the grounds, crossing over a small bridge above a gently meandering creek, I spotted this heron searching for a meal. I'm not a wildlife photographer, but I did spot an excellent photo opportunity. Then, all of a sudden, the bird went from fishing to ascending into the air as I took the shot. It was fun capturing this moment.

With few interpreters on the grounds, many sites had mannequins depicting everyday life. My educated guess is that this couple was not typical villagers.

 Here was a photo opportunity I couldn't pass up. Somebody in this stone hut arranged all these colorful wooden figurines in neat rows. I wanted to know if they were for sale. My oldest son was inquiring about them. No one was around to ask.
As my family was strolling the grounds, I spotted this straw hut with a matching fence. At the bottom left, I noticed a stream of light. It just glowed. It made for a good photo.

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 66 will be posted in December 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer


 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Colonial Williamsburg History Jeju Folk Village (Jeju Minsokchon) Korea Korea Strait onggi Panasonic/Lumix Mirrorless DMC-GF6 Reenactments Seoul South Korea https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/11/discover-history-everywhere-korea-2023-part-2-of-2 Wed, 01 Nov 2023 04:00:00 GMT
Discover History Everywhere-Korea 2023 Part 1 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/10/discover-history-everywhere-korea-2023 On my 5-week family trip to Seoul, South Korea, I asked to visit Korean historical sites. Although my photography focuses on the American Revolution, I enjoy learning about history everywhere. On this trip, I was fortunate to see two Colonial Williamsburg-type historical-themed villages. I'll review in this blog Jeju Folk Village (Jeju Minsokchon) on Juju Island, known as the 'Hawaii of Korea'. In next month's blog, I'll review my visit to the Korean Folk Village in the Seoul suburbs.

The first restoration we visited was Jeju Folk Village (Jeju Minsokchon) on Jeju Island in the Korea Strait, about 50 miles south of the South Korean mainland. An underwater volcano's eruption approximately 2 million years ago created the island. We took a short, less than one-hour plane flight from Inchon airport to the island. We stayed for three days and two nights. The weather didn't cooperate, and it rained at some point every day.

It was a warm, muggy weekday, so not crowded with visitors. Unlike Colonial Williamsburg, there were no interpreters providing tours. Instead, we were strolling the grounds and reading occasional educational information on posted signs.

For this trip, I took my compact and light Panasonic/Lumix Mirrorless DMC-GF6 camera for this trip abroad with a 14-42 mm lens.  Photographers know this, but it takes a lot of work to focus on photography when you're with family. They don't understand why you're taking so long in one place and want to take the same shot from different angles and perspectives. Creating a photo must be done quickly. That's what happened here with these stone figures. I don't know what they symbolize but it makes for an interesting photo. 

Their site map/ brochure describes the Jeju Folk Village as a vivid and faithful re-creation of Jeju Island's traditional culture and history during the late Joseon Dynasty. It is committed to informing international visitors about Jeju's folk culture. 

This Dynasty was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea, lasting just over 500 years. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye in July 1392 and replaced by the Korean Empire in October 1897. A critical element of Korean culture is an earthenware pot called onggi, which has been used for tableware and food storage since prehistoric times. They vary in size. The photo shows how big they can be.

This door was the entrance to the village. The colors were so vibrant I knew this would make a good photo.

My one-and-a-half-year-old- son enjoyed "meeting" this golden ox. He was in awe. In the stone homes, there were also mannequins dressed in traditional clothing. That way, you would feel what living in that period would be like.

Thank you for reading! In next month's blog I'll review my visit to the Korean Folk Village in the Seoul suburbs.

Blog # 65 will be posted in November 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Colonial Williamsburg History Jeju Folk Village (Jeju Minsokchon) Korea Korea Strait onggi Panasonic/Lumix Mirrorless DMC-GF6 Reenactments Seoul South Korea https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/10/discover-history-everywhere-korea-2023 Sun, 01 Oct 2023 04:00:00 GMT
Battle of Monmouth 2023 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/9/battle-of-monmouth-2023 It's been four years since I attended the Battle of Monmouth American Revolution reenactment in New Jersey. At this event, I've taken some of my favorite photos. My up-close vent cannon shot is the first photo on my website from this event in 2009. 

My drive that early Saturday morning was easy and fast. Like the actual battle, this event typically is stifling hot and humid. Not today; the weather was comfortable. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend the afternoon reenactment because of a family illness. I had to leave early. But I still captured some excellent photos.

Many of my best and favorite photos I've taken in the last few years are not from the reenactments. Just simple, candid images of reenactors and camp life. This photo was a perfect example and a pleasant surprise. 

Notice how the tin canteens are in sequence for these three British reenactors. At the top left, one reenactor is sipping water, the second is swallowing, and finally, the last is finished. Only after carefully reviewing the photo did I notice this sequence. Sometimes, I'll see the patterns before taking the shot; other times, like this one, I'm lucky!

This photo is funny. I searched for where the horses were resting and grazing. One horse appeared to be eating the bark of a tree. I never saw that before. Not that I'm a horse expert. His handler was there, so I asked what the horse was doing. He said the horse was bored. I just chuckled to myself. Horses get bored, which is new to me. It sure makes for a unique photo, though.

I'll often take panoramic photos to show many reenactors at an event. Then, you get a sense of how big the reenactment was.

It's easy for me to compose panoramas now. I'll start in the middle of my subject, slowly rotate left to right, stop in short intervals, and take about 5-8 single shots. In On1 software, I stitch them together. Most times, everything works perfectly, like this one.

Sometimes, you see a photo. You know it's there; hopefully, you can capture it. Below is a perfect example. I was walking in a sloped area near the American camp and saw these two artillery reenactors relaxing above me around their cannons. They looked so natural and almost posing for a picture. I waited patiently for the flag to flap in the wind before I took the photo. Patience is the key.

Walking around the camps at an American Revolution reenactment event is fun. There are always photo opportunities to find. In this photo, it's the mom and her son just relaxing. The light was perfect, so it made a nice photo. 

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 64 will be posted in October 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Monmouth British Army camp life cannons Crown Forces dragoons horses On1 software panoramic photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/9/battle-of-monmouth-2023 Fri, 01 Sep 2023 04:00:00 GMT
Challenge myself photographically-Mt Vernon Part 2 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/8/challenge-myself-photographically-mt-vernon-part-2of-2 In last month's Part One blog, I mentioned having to challenge myself photographically because of my recent surgery on my visit to the Revolutionary War Weekend event at Mt Vernon, George Washington's home. I'm not supposed to lift over 15 pounds for a few months. So, I took only one lens, my light Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4, for my Nikon D500 SLR. Usually, I would use my long, heavy Nikon 80mm-400mm f/4.5-5.6. 

Here is my favorite photo of my day. I followed many photography techniques using On1 software. First, I cropped the image to have the path lead to the highlighted red topped wooden garden shed. I vignetted the edges, added vibrance, and brightened the subject. So much fun!

When my photo subject is recognizable, like Mt Vernon, I'll photograph it from a different angle or vantage point. That's what I did here. I positioned myself on the right side of the mansion, getting this compressed view with different angles and leading lines. It feels like a maze to me.

Slave labor built this magnificent mansion. We must remember that. No matter how much we don't want to admit our nation's blemish, it's a fact. George Washington was ahead of his time as a Southern enslaver in many ways in that he struggled with the institution of slavery and wrote of his desire to end the practice, Maybe because he traveled outside the South to New England and as far west as Ohio Valley where he met all types of people including free-and enslaved African Americans. But let's remember he was a product of his generation, where slavery was the economic foundation of the Southern plantation economy.

Directly across from Washington's tomb is a slave memorial. During these troubling political times, visiting this shrine was vital for me.

What's fun about photographing American Revolution reenactments is the many fantastic photography opportunities. Just something so simple as walking around the American & British camps, you can always find a photo opportunity. Here kids were having a great time playing cards. Simple!

You never know who you might see at an American Revolution reenactment event. Maybe even a Buddhist monk? Plus, Mt Vernon is open 365 days a year. So, make a plan to visit if you haven't before!

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 63 will be posted in September 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer


 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) "Nikon 80mm-400mm f/4.5-5.6" "On1 software" "The Continental Line" Nikon Nikonn24-85mm f/2.8-4500" Reenactments slavery "George Washington" "Mt Vernon" American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Crown Forces Nikon D500" https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/8/challenge-myself-photographically-mt-vernon-part-2of-2 Tue, 01 Aug 2023 04:00:00 GMT
Challenge myself photographically at American Revolution reenactments! Mt Vernon Part 1 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/7/challenge-myself-photographically-at-upcoming-american-revolution-reenactments For the next few months, I will challenge myself photographically at upcoming American Revolution reenactments. I needed surgery that would prohibit me from lifting anything heavy. My procedure was in mid-May. My Doctor said my recovery might take three months. Usually, I would carry a backpack full of gear, including all my lenses and accessories. Read blogs #39 & #40 about my photo equipment. For a few months, I won't have a backpack, just me shooting with one lens on my SLR Nikon D500 camera. So, which one to choose?

The lens I use most at reenactments, around 75% of the over 8,500 photos posted on my website, is the Nikon 80mm-400mm f/4.5-5.6. My SLR D500 Nikon camera has a smaller crop sensor, magnifying the lens 1.5 times. This lens then becomes 180 mm-840 mm! But I need a lighter, more versatile one for the next few months. So I'll use my Nikon 24-85mm (36-128mm) 2.8-4 lens.

It's hard to believe it's been three years since I last attended Revolutionary War Weekend at Mt Vernon. For me now, on a 1-day round trip, 2 1/2 hours each way is the maximum I can handle. It's a pleasant highway drive with only traffic in the Washington, DC, area. Hurray, on this trip I had no speeding ticket!

I purchased my ticket in advance, so it was a quick, easy access through the Ford Orientation Center. Slowly I walked to the mansion and took this photo. The house lawn was full of people milling around the grounds. Because of my limited movement, my goal was to stay in the mansion area for the day's visit. 

I went to the back of the house to sit on a fan back patio chair. Can you imagine waking up to this view of the Potomac River every morning? Plus, it's incredible to think of some of the conversations held here with some of the most influential men of his generation. 

Where else can you meet George Washington and two Frenchman General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau on the left, and volunteer Marquis de La Fayette Washington's and Lafayette's relationship was so close that they were more like a father and son rather than a commanding general and his top-ranking officer.

In the summer of 1781 Washington did host Rochambeau & LaFayette at Mt Vernon right before the siege of Yorktown that essentially ended the American Revolution and major fighting.

Here is one of my favorites of the day. The continental troops were lining up for an inspection from General Washington. The reenactment, with regiments of men firing in unison, demonstrates how many American Revolution battles were fought. It's always impressive to see.

Thank you for reading! Happy July 4th!

Blog # 62 will be posted in August 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer



 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army crop sensor Crown Forces D500 DSLR George Washington Marquis de La Fayette Nikon Nikon 24-85mm (36-128mm) 2.8-4 Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 photography Reenactments Revolutionary War Weekend at Mt Vernon Rochambeau Seige of Yorktown the British Brigade The Continental Line Yorktown https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/7/challenge-myself-photographically-at-upcoming-american-revolution-reenactments Sat, 01 Jul 2023 06:54:21 GMT
My Favorite American Revolution Reenactment Cannon Blasts 1-5 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/6/my-favorite-american-revolution-reenactment-cannon-blasts-1-5 I selected numbers 6-10 of my favorite cannon shots in last month's blog. For this month, I'll review my five favorites. At any American Revolution reenactment that fires cannons, they are one of the spectator's highlights. Most kids shout approval, babies cry, dogs howl or bark, and adults are startled. 

From my friend Harry Schenawolf, historian, author, and publisher of the Revolutionary War Journal's website, I learned the sizes of cannons used during the American Revolution. At most reenactments, the artillery units are using the smaller 2-pounder.

5) This photo, from the Battle of Iron Hill in 2009, is a favorite not because of the cannon blast but because of the crew's reaction. Yes, I remember the loud echo from the close when the cannon fired from this street reenactment. It can be so loud sometimes car alarms would go off.

4) This photo from Ft. Lee in 2018 reminds me of pyrotechnics from the 4th of July fireworks celebration. You never know what a cannon blast will look like; each is unique.

3) At first glance, some photos you just like. That's true for me with this photo from the Battle of Trenton in 2013. Instantly, I liked and thought it was different. None of my cannon photos before or after have this goldish, metallic color. Every time at an event, I want different and unique images. This photo does that.

2) I'll often zoom in as close as possible for cannon photos. This photo, from the Battle of Trenton 2016, was also a street battle in Trenton. I zoomed to 600mm, about six times what the average eye sees. Plus, to capture a good shot, my camera Nikon D500 is in burst mode and can shoot ten frames per second. Though fast, many cameras even have a higher count.

The cannon blast produces a lot of heat, smoke, and sparks. The photo shows what the eyes can't. That's why I zoom in often on cannon shots. I'll review it immediately on my camera to see if I captured a good one. I was happy this day!

1) I remember taking this photo vividly. It happened at the Battle of Ft Lee in late November 2017. The sun was setting, and the light was perfect. Plus, where the cannon was in the shade. These were just ideal photography conditions. 

Many times, after a firing, I'll review what I took before the cannon crews can resume again. After taking this photo, I thought it would be great, and it was a wow. I shared it with a photo friend next to me, who said the same thing. Just a spectacular shot!

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 61 will be posted in July 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) "British Army" "Ft. Lee" Nikon D500" Reenactments "American History" "Battle of Iron Hill" American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Trenton British Army cannons Crown Forces Harry Schenawolf photography Revolutionary War Journal the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/6/my-favorite-american-revolution-reenactment-cannon-blasts-1-5 Thu, 01 Jun 2023 04:00:00 GMT
My Favorite American Revolution Reenactment Cannon Blasts 6-10 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/5/my-favorite-american-revolution-reenactment-cannon-blasts-6-10 When I started attending American Revolution reenactment events over a decade ago, one of the day's highlights was capturing at least one good cannon blast for those events that included artillery. Usually, I did get at least one good photo. At most reenactments with cannons, their firing usually starts the reenactment. It usually startles all participants, especially young children, and dogs. At my last event, I captured four terrific cannon blasts. Afterward, why not write a blog about my top 10 ones?

I started reviewing all my galleries to find the best ones. I chose 80, possibly good ones to feature. Selecting my best ones was challenging, but I initially chose my top 10. 

10) The photo below is from the Battle of Germantown in 2016After viewing it, a gun crew reenactor told me they had changed their safety procedures. The gun crews didn't realize how far out the blast went. One of my photos helped; such a good feeling.

9) This photo is different from all my other top 10 cannon photos. It was snowing at the Battle of Trenton in 2012. Looking closely, you can see the Chase (the barrel) exuding so much heat that the snow melts. 

8) This photo I've always liked. Part of it it's a simple composition, and the lighting is perfect. It's one of my best earlier photos, from the Assault at Fort Mercer in 2008.

7) After the flame from a cannon blast comes the smoke, most times, it swirls around like a morning fog. At other times it's a ball of fire with small pieces of flaming sparks, like here. This photo is from the Battle of Trenton in 2011. 

6) I often zoom in as closely as possible with my long lens on the cannon burst. If the background is dark, like in this photo from the Battle of Germantown in 2013, I get an almost painting-like effect from the smoke. It almost doesn't look like a photo at first glance.

Thank you for reading! Next month I'll review my top 5 cannon photos.

Blog # 59 will be posted in June 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Trenton British Army cannon cannon blast Crown Forces Fort Mercer photography Reenactments The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/5/my-favorite-american-revolution-reenactment-cannon-blasts-6-10 Mon, 01 May 2023 18:06:55 GMT
5 Favorite Portrait B&W American Revolution Photos https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/4/5-favorite-portrait-b-w-american-revolution-photos I first learned photography using film. My first SLR (single-lens reflex) camera was a Nikon 20-20. Those small film canisters had the most 36 exposures and were for either color or B&W. Through classes, I learned how to develop & print in B&W. It was fun creating unique photos by adding dodging & burning techniques. Now, with a digital Nikon D500 SLR camera, I'll later convert some images to B&W in a digital darkroom using On1 Software. My preference is B&W, even in the movies I mostly watch.

They are from the 30s and 40s, especially the film noir (dark film) genre. You may have never heard of this category before? Their popularity was during the mid to late 40s. This film style was gritty and urban, with stark lighting, flawed heroes, and shady characters. Fun movies to watch; you will be hooked! My favorites are Laura, The Maltese Falcon, and Double Indemnity. 

After a reenactment when reviewing my event gallery, I'll determine if the photo should be in color or B&W. For my reenactment portraits, so many of them color it doesn't have the same emotional impact! What do you think?

This photo is from the Washington Crossing event in 2018. It's George Washington using his spyglass to view the other side of the Delaware River, my favorite B&W photo.

Portraits make great B&W photos. Here is a perfect example. In color this photo, from the Assault on Ft Mercer 2022 event doesn't inject the look of a tired, veteran America Revolution soldier. In blog #55, I explained taking this photo. 

This photo is from the Battle of Germantown 2017. It looks like it was taken in a photography studio. The natural light and his expression make for a beautiful photo which I discuss in blog #25.

I captured many good photos including this one, at the Washington Crossing 2017 event.The rowers were lining up to board the Durham boats. Converting him to B&W heightens his rugged features.

This photo was also taken at the at the Washington Crossing 2017 event. Instead of a rower he is a soldier. The B&W intensifies his weariness of the moment. If photography existed that Christmas night in 1776 this is how the soldiers would have looked!  

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 59 will be posted in May 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Assault on Ft Mercer B&W photos Battle of Germantown British Army Crown Forces film noir George Washington Nikon Nikon 20-20 Nikon D500 On1 photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/4/5-favorite-portrait-b-w-american-revolution-photos Sat, 01 Apr 2023 04:00:00 GMT
5 Reasons to Attend an American Revolution Reenactment https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/3/5-reasons-to-attend-an-american-revolution-reenactment February is the month I start preparing for the new American Revolution reenactment year. To start, I'll review two sites, The Continental Line, recreated units representing the Continental Army, and The British Brigade, recreated units that served with the Crown Forces during the American Revolution. You can also find the event schedule for the Great Lakes region The North West Territory Alliance (NWTA).

Luckily, one of my photo friends keeps me updated on future events. The first one usually occurs in April. There are fewer now because of our country's political environment. Many reenactments have now become festivals meaning reenactors are not allowed to fire volleys at each other. Why?

As my photo friend explained, many states in our area have enacted gun laws & that ban face-to-face encounters. So now is the time to attend an American Revolution reenactment while you still can. Here are five reasons why.

1) Learning about our country's beginnings is essential.  Many reenactors are experts on this period of history and are knowledgeable about the battles and 18th century colonial history.

This photo is one of my favorites. I took it at the Battle of Trenton in 2012. The setting was perfect because it was snowing. We all read how difficult it was for Washington and his men to cross the Delaware River. I dressed warmly that day, but it was still cold. Imagine what it must have been like for Washington's army without sufficient clothing and many without shoes. The sacrifices these men made are implausible!

2) You will always meet interesting people. I know many of the reenactors because I've been photographing these events for so long. But at every reenactment, I meet someone new, including spectators. I snapped this reenactor after a cannon demonstration at the Assault at Ft. Mercer 2022 event. Where else can you take a photo like this?

3) There are so many subjects to photograph at a reenactment. Sure, there are the reenactors, camp life, and the reenactments with all the cannons and muskets firing away, But, there is so much more. I saw a reenactor at the Battle of Short Hills 2017, walking this cute, friendly dog and asked if I could take his photo. I sat on the ground, saw those beautiful eyes and inviting smile, and took a few shots. This photo always makes me smile!

4) At most events, there will be children's activities. Many times, it will be drilling the "troops." I always get a laugh watching the kids playing soldiers and the amused adults watching.  I took this photo at the Ft Mifflin 2022 event.

5) At many larger reenactments, sutlers (merchants) will attend to sell their wares. So, if you were seeking 18th-century clothing or shoes, you can find them at these events. Now, some focus to reenactors, and others, such as my friend Ron Mehalko founder of Revolution Wear, cater primarily to spectators since he sells quality merchandise pertinent to the Revolution. This photo is from the Revolutionary Germantown Festival in 2023.

To learn more about the American Revolution, I recommend my friend's site, Harry Schenawolf, Revolutionary War Journal, whose website has a wealth of information on the people involved and battles that make our country's founding so fascinating. He's incorporated many of my photos into his articles. Thanks, Harry!

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 58 will be posted in April 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Short Hills Battle of Trenton British Army Chadds Ford Crown Forces Harry Schenawolf photography Reenactments Revolutionary War Journal the British Brigade The Continental Line The North West Territory Alliance https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/3/5-reasons-to-attend-an-american-revolution-reenactment Wed, 01 Mar 2023 05:00:00 GMT
Attending a new American Revolution Reenactment-The Battle of Princeton 2023 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/2/attending-a-new-american-revolution-reenactment-the-battle-of-princeton Attending a new American Revolution Reenactment is always fun. You don't know what to expect. This time it was the Battle of Princeton on the first Sunday in January. This event has occurred sporadically over the years. One of my photo friends said to leave home at the site early, by 7:00 am. It was around 6:30 am when I started from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. The drive took me about 80 minutes. There was no traffic, so I was cruising, listening to the music of Bob Dylan. I arrived around 7:30 am, which I'm glad I did because parking was limited. I saw old friends, made some new ones, and by chance, spoke with the Executive Director of Ft. Mifflin in Philadelphia. I had a great day.

After parking and wandering around, I spotted the Thomas Clarke House. Here is where American General Hugh Mercer was wounded in the battle, carried to the field hospital, and died nine days later.

Below shows the crowd gathering as the reenactment was starting. The news said there were about 800 spectators. This reenactment was unusual because it began early at 9:30 am and ended around 2:00 pm, with the reenactment starting at 10:00 am. That's early! Wawa the convenience store headquarted near my home was there to provide free coffee. On a cold day it tasted perfect.

With this photo, I envisioned first how to construct it. I was on the main road looking down at the sloped open field. I moved around until I could capture the crowd, road sign, and the most challenging part, some reenactors in the photo. It created a special triangle effect.

I don't have a photo like this before, I believe. It shows the flash when the flint struck the steel lip igniting the black powder in the flash pan. It's just before the flash explosion. It's incredible with photos that you can see something in a new way that your eyes cannot! 
Only eight days after George Washington's victory, Hessian forces garrisoned in Trenton, New Jersey, defeated a force of British troops near Princeton, New Jersey. Although the two battles of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton were relatively small, they did help the morale of the patriot cause and helped increase many recruits to join the Continental Army. The photo below gives an idea of how the battle might have looked.

With all the muskets & cannons blasting away, it was hard to see clearly with the swirling wind and blowing smoke. During a real battle, it was almost impossible to see anything.

At any reenactment with cannons, I will capture a few good shots of flashes from at least one. I posted 11 in this gallery. At no previous reenactment event did I ever have so many excellent cannon photos. Here is the photo gallery link American Revolution Photos |Battle of Princeton 2023

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 57 will be posted in March 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Princeton Battle of Trenton British Army Crown Forces Ft Mifflin General Hugh Mercer George Washington Hessians Muskets New Jersey New Jersey and the American Revolution Philadelphia photography Reenactments The Battle of Princeton the British Brigade The Continental Line Thomas Clarke House Trenton Trenton New Jersey Wawa https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/2/attending-a-new-american-revolution-reenactment-the-battle-of-princeton Wed, 01 Feb 2023 05:00:00 GMT
American Revolution Photos-2022 Recap https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/1/american-revolution-photos-2022-recap This blog is to recap the reenactment events I attended in 2022. I was at five regular and one national. Regrettably, because of a flat tire the night before, I missed one of my annual favorites the, Battle of Monmouth. And was cancelled because of bad weather, the Battle of Germantown. What luck!! Here are my five favorite photos of the year.

For 2022, this is my top choice. Good photos tell a story, and this one does that. It's from the 1777 Whitemarsh reenactment. Notice the reenactor on the right pondering. Everyone else is looking to the left, but he's looking down, thinking of something. About what?

Was it to decide on what type of wine for dinner? Or when is his upcoming dentist visit? That's what makes this photo special. You don't know.

This reenactor asked me to take his photo at the Assault on Ft Mercer event. One of my photo friends recommended me to him. I found a quiet secluded spot near some trees and took about ten shots in ten minutes. I decided to use my Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens. This lens blurs out the background. I knew later it needed to be converted to b&w in post-production. Here he resembles an 18th-century soldier, weathered and battle-scarred. 

National events, such as the Battle of Brandywine, have many reenactors. It is impressive when they are in formation, especially the British soldiers. Yet it must have been frightening to watch in an actual battle. That's the feeling I wanted to reproduce.

To make the British troop formation feel massive, I was on my stomach and held the camera as close to the ground as possible, shooting upwards. The image, with a gray sky, gives a sense of foreboding!

This photo is of Washington's Life Guards at the Frye House at Washington's Crossing. This photo shows the officers starting to gather to discuss strategy for crossing the Delaware River. 

A reenactor spitting the paper from biting a cartridge while loading a musket is a photo I've been attempting to capture for years. When loading the musket, the cartridge black powder is first placed in the priming pan and the rest in the muzzle, followed by the ball and wadding. This photo of Noah "Ned Hector" Lewis, whom I had a blog interview about six months ago, shows that at the event at Ft Mercer.

Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 56 will be posted in February 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) 1777 Whitemarsh reenactment American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Assault on Ft Mercer Battle of Brandywine British Army Crown Forces George Washington Hector" Lewis" loading an 18th century musket Ned Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens Noah Philadelphia photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Washington's Crossing Washington's Life Guards https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2023/1/american-revolution-photos-2022-recap Sun, 01 Jan 2023 05:00:00 GMT
245th Anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine-2022 National Event https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/12/245th-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-brandywine-2022-national-event  

On a beautiful Sunday morning in late September, I drove the short distance, ten miles, to the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine American Revolution reenactment. It was a National Event. What is that? 

Simply, it's a big event with more reenactors and programming. Each year around three large event sites are chosen. The last year this event was held here was in 2017. I'm fortunate to live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where many important American Revolution events occurred.

How do I learn the dates of all the many American Revolution reenactment events? Two leading websites for the original 13 colonies, the British Brigade and the Continental Line, post reenactment schedules and unit websites. The midwest states have a separate reenactment organization, The North West Territory Alliance (NWTA)

One of the reasons I enjoy attending a Sunday event is the Christian religious service. Usually, it starts around 10 am. This year, George Washington attended! I wrote about this, Reenactment Religious Observances, in blog #33,

This reenactment was one of the bigger ones I've attended since before the pandemic. This panoramic photo gives you an idea of how big it was. 

Here are the tentative national events scheduled for 2023.

Monmouth Battlefield-June 17-19

Fort Loudoun-September 30-October 1

In the morning, there was a recognition dedication of the Mass Grave on the battlefield. All the troops assembled. And an opening prayer was given by the Continental Reverend. 

Most American Revolution reenactments are rendered on the actual battle site, so reenactors want to show their respect for the brave soldiers who fought these battles. These ceremonies are always quite moving.

At a big event with so many reenactors, you can get a feel of how impressive having so many troops assembled is. For this photo, I was on the ground shooting upwards. It shows a different angle and perspective. 

The goal for me of any reenactment is to capture at least one excellent cannon shot. This one does that.

If you look closely at the photo, you might recognize Noah Lewis (Ned Hector), with whom I did a 3-part blog interview a few months ago. When portraying Ned Hector in many reenactments, he is a bombardier. What is that? It's an artilleryman during the American Revolution. 


Thank you for reading! 

Blog # 55 will be posted in January 2023. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Brandywine bombardier British Army Crown Forces George Washington Lewis" Ned Hector Noah Noah Lewis (Ned Hector) Philadelphia photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/12/245th-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-brandywine-2022-national-event Thu, 01 Dec 2022 05:00:00 GMT
Rediscovering Old City Philadelphia Cultural District https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/11/rediscovering-old-city-philadelphia-cultural-district As mentioned before, I live in the Philadelphia, PA, suburbs. Because of the pandemic, it has been years since I had the opportunity to visit the Old City Cultural District and the Museum of the American Revolution. On a beautiful Saturday in early September, I obtained a free pass from our local library. They have various passes to museums and even a local zoo in the Philadelphia region. What a great perk. So, maybe your local library does the same? Check!

After leaving the train station, I was in Philly's Chinatown neighborhood. It's a fun place to people watch and, of course, food. But, the museum area was still five blocks away.

On my route was the National Constitution Center. It's a great museum I've visited a few times. Funny, I wrote this blog on September 17, National Constitution Day!

Diagonally across the street from the museum is the Christ Church Burial Ground. Benjamin Franklin is buried here. His funeral on April 21, 1790, was massive; at least 20,000 people attended. At that time, Philadelphia only had about 28,000 residents!

I was walking south on N 5th Street, which turns into S 5th Street, towards The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. The last time I visited the area, over two years ago, they were closed. 

The museum in the photo below is behind the bright red tourist bus. Now admission to the museum is free, how great is that! I visited for about 30 minutes.

Across the street was the Liberty Bell. Of course, that is a popular tourist destination.

 I had sub lunch at a Wawa, a chain of almost 1,000 convenience stores and gas stations located along the East Coast. Their headquarters is only a few miles from my home. 

Walking east on Chestnut Street for about three blocks was my destination, the Museum of the American Revolution. I was able to visit for a few hours. What fun!

In blog # 4, I wrote of my day at the museum. When you're in Philadelphia, it's a must-see.

 

Thank you for reading! Blog # 53 will be posted in December 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) National Constitution Day American History American Revolution Benjamin Franklin Christ Church Burial Ground George Washington Independence Hall Liberty Bell Museum of the American Revolution National Constitution Center National Park Service Old City Cultural District Philadelphia Philly's Chinatown neighborhood September 17 The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History Wawa https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/11/rediscovering-old-city-philadelphia-cultural-district Tue, 01 Nov 2022 10:16:57 GMT
Mount Harmon National Revolutionary War Reenactment & Colonial Festival 2022 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/10/mount-harmon-national-revolutionary-war-reenactment-colonial-festival-2022 Have you heard the expression how time flies where time seems to move very or more quickly? That is how I felt a few months ago attending Mount Harmon's National Revolutionary War Reenactment & Colonial Festival. I couldn't believe it's been three years since I last visited. Why? Of course, the pandemic canceled every reenactment for almost two years. Plus, there seemed to be terrible weather one year, I believe a hurricane. 

How, then, to describe Mt. Harmon MD?

This excerpt is from their website Home - Mount Harmon Plantation

Mount Harmon Plantation originated as a land grant of 350 acres to Godfrey Harmon by Caecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, in 1651. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Mount Harmon prospered as a tobacco plantation. As you drive down the two-mile lane, through the tunnel formed by Osage orange trees, you will appreciate the isolation of those times, when transportation moved most freely by water. Three of the owners during the period had their own schooners to transport tobacco to the British Isles and return with furnishings and necessities for the house and farm.

There was no major American Revolution battle here or anywhere in MD. The closest was when General Howe landed 13,000 troops in Elkton, formally Head of Elk, during the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. 

It took me a little over an hour to get there. It was on a very, very hot Sunday. Some activities were canceled due to the extreme heat.  What's great about a reenactment is that you never know what to expect.

At this event were Spanish reenactors. I never saw that before. In this photo, they were praying before the reenactment battle. 

Attending reenactment events on Sunday is always fun. A Christian religious service, most times, will be held. I always try to participate.

Having special events for spectators happens often. One of the most popular events is the children's drill with wooden muskets. They pretend their 18th-century soldiers, and the highlight is when they charge with a loud scream. Fun.

When you visit Mt Harmon, you notice Brick Georgian Manor House circa 1730, surrounded by 200 acres of open space. This vastness is evident during the reenactment because when the reenactors are scattered far from the mansion, I can't get good photos even with my long lens. Pictures like this show the scope of this reenactment. Here is the link to the photo gallery. Thank you for reading! Blog # 52 will be posted in November 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Godfrey Harmon by Caecilius Calvert Mount Harmon Mount Harmon National Revolutionary War Reenactment & Colonial Festival Mount Harmon Plantation photography Reenactments Spanish reenactors the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/10/mount-harmon-national-revolutionary-war-reenactment-colonial-festival-2022 Sat, 01 Oct 2022 04:00:00 GMT
Celebrating my 50th AmericanRevolutionPhotos.com blog, which is my 51st https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/9/celebrating-my-50th-americanrevolutionphotos-com-blog-which-is-my-51st Why am I celebrating my 50th blog with my 51st? Because I had posted part 2 of my fantastic interview with Noah "Ned Hestor" Lewis last month, his comments were too much for one blog. But now, I get to reflect on achieving 50 blogs. 

My first blog doesn't at all resemble the format I use now. The layout, font, etc., are different. In my four-plus years writing this monthly blog, I've conducted interviews, visited historical sites, discussed many of my photos, reviewed many reenactment events, and even described a reenactment wedding I photographed in KY. Fun, fun, fun!

I remember my first blog interviewing David Hospador in June 2018. Wow-that time went by quickly. My first thought was to interview him at the Battle of Monmouth event. I bought a recorder to record the interview. He suggested reviewing the questions at home, where he had more time to think of his responses. Great idea! I have continued this technique with all my other blog interviews.

What photos do I include in this blog? I've already discussed so many of my best images before, so which ones? Then I realized some of my photos are unique. 

This one with the reflection of the Delaware River in George Washington's spyglass is a good example. In blog #24, I reviewed this photo and the one with the black powder poured from the cartridge into the flash pan.  Again both, one of a kind. This photo was from Germantown in 2012. I discussed it in blog #26. It became one of my first good and unique reenactment photos. I have many pan-firing photos, but none like this, with metal-looking slivers flying everywhere. When first posting this photo, I had no idea how rare this particular photo is!

Over three years ago, I had the honor to photograph a reenactment wedding in Louisville, KY. I describe my KY trip in blogs #s 11, 12, and 13. What a wonderful experience that was. Plus, the day before the wedding, I was able to visit a replica of Fort Boonesborough, a frontier fort founded by Daniel Boone and his men in 1775. As a child, my favorite TV show was Daniel Boone starring Fess Parker. Are you old enough to remember that show?

And lastly, one of my recently taken photos that, for me, resembles an actual war photo. In blog #41, Chadds Ford 2021, I discuss this photo. Through creative manipulation, I created one of my more powerful photos. Every time I see it, I get a different reaction.

I'm preparing for my next milestone, blog # 100. I hope to have at least five new, unique, never seen images to showcase!
Thank you for reading! Blog # 52 will be posted in October 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Trenton British Army Chadds Ford Crown Forces Daniel Boone Fort Boonesborough George Washington Lewis" Ned Hestor Noah Philadelphia photography Reenactments the Battle of Monmouth The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/9/celebrating-my-50th-americanrevolutionphotos-com-blog-which-is-my-51st Thu, 01 Sep 2022 04:00:00 GMT
Interview with Noah “Ned Hector” Lewis-Black Revolutionary War Hero Part 2 Cont https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/8/interview-with-noah-ned-hector-lewis-black-revolutionary-war-hero-part-2-cont In last month's blog, I shared that my 2nd interview, questions 6-10, would be included in this posting. Noah “Ned Hector” Lewis had more insight for some more in-depth questions.

Below is a photo of Noah that I found by accident when researching for another blog. He is very active in the Philadelphia region.

6) What are your thoughts on the future of American Revolution reenactment events?

I am really concerned about the willingness of our present-day culture to change the facts of the past because we like them. The other day I was approached and told not to talk about the musket. When I asked why I was told it was too scary. I replied don’t you think people should know it was an everyday tool of our colonial ancestors and not just a weapon for war? It was used for protection of home, hunting, and driving off predators by men, women, and children. I think if you give incomplete information, wise decisions are harder to make.

7) During the American Revolution, most free & escaped enslaved African Americans fought for the British. Is this a topic you also discuss in the presentations?

Yes! I label it “Black People Choosing Sides”. At first I was astounded by the fact that twice as many American Blacks fought on the British side as versus the American side. But as I thought about it, it made sense. The main driving force for the patriots was the country’s independence and their personal freedom. For us Black People, the predominant driving force was our personal freedom. And many of the American Black People made the choice of the side that was most likely to give that freedom. After all, it’s never good to be on the losing side. On the American side, an enslaved Black person, as a general rule, you were not promised your freedom. In fact, when Gen. Washington took over the army in Cambridge Massachusetts, he was bothered by the amount of armed Black people in his army. He was so bothered that he issued orders forbidding the recruiting of any Blacks soldiers in the Continental Army, enslaved or free. Later after reconsidering he changed his orders to allow free blacks people to be recruited. You may have considered that he could have these people fighting for him or against him. Also Lord Dunsmore, the Loyalist governor of Virginia, would make the proclamation saying that all enslaved Black People, belonging to rebels, in Virginia, if they would rise up and fight for the crown, they will be given their freedom! Now think about it and pretend you don’t know the outcome of this war. Who do you really think is going to win in a fight between Great Britain and a bunch of farmers and business people? Our American men are brave and are willing to fight, but they’re not well trained soldiers. However, the British are well-trained, well led, well supplied. It seems obvious who is going to win. On the American side, you as an enslaved black person, as a policy are not promised your freedom, but the British are promising freedom. So if you have a choice to make, what side would you pick? I must say I do find it astounding that so many Black People, slave or free, chose to fight for a country that had enslaved their people, not knowing if they were going to have their own freedom or not by the end of this war, but yet they fought! By the end of the war, 10 to 25% of Washington’s Army would be People of Color.

8)  Many of our nation’s founders were enslavers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Benjamin Franklin. Should our opinions on their accomplishments be reevaluated?

Oh yes! Just like anything else, when we learned new information we reassess our perspectives. Where that reassessment will take us, I guess that’s up to the individual. I do believe this, the more complete information we have the better we can make our judgments and the better we can decide what we want to learn from it.

Below is a recent photo of Noah taken at Valley Forge  National Historic Park.

9) What resources, books, websites, etc., would you recommend learning more about African Americans during the American Revolution?

Of course, I invite everyone to come to my website, www.nedhector.com to learn more.

Lest We Forget Museum of Slavery-lwfsm.com

Africans In America-www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/home

I suggest visiting the many historical sites to learn and get a feel of history.

*             Museum of the American Revolution-www.amrevmuseum.org

*             Chadd’s Ford-www.chaddsfordhistory.org

*             Brandywine Battlefield-www.brandywinebattlefield.org

*             Bartram’s Garden-www.bartramsgarden.org

*             Mount Vernon-www-mountvernon.org

*             Valley Forge National Historical Park-www.nps.gov/vafo/index.htm

*             Independence National Historical Park-www.nps.gov/index.htm

*             Swedish Cabin-www.dcva.org

*             Daniel Boone Homestead-www.thedanielboonehomestead.org

*             Paoli Battlefield-www.pbpfinc.org

*             Cliveden-www.cliveden.org

*             Thomas Massey House-thomasmasseyhouse.org

*             Morton House-www.parrett.net

*             Peter Mott House-www.petermotthouse.org

*             Mouns Jones House-historicpreservationtrust.org

*             Deshler Morris House-www.nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/germantownwhitehouse

*             New Sweden Centre-www.colonialnewsweden.org

*             Washington Crossing State Park-www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/WashingtonCrossingHistoricPark      

*             Hope Lodge-www.ushistory.org/hope

*             Fort Mercer-www.sitesofnj.com/New_Jersey/Gloucester_County/Fort_Mercer/Web_Pages/Fort-Mercer

*             Fort Mifflin-www.ushistory.org/march/phila/mifflin

*             Monmouth Battlefield-www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks

*             Landis Valley Museum-www.landisvalleymuseum.org

*             Atwater Kent Museum-www.philadelphiahistory.org

*             Mercer Museum-www.mercermuseum.org

I have found the following books to be helpful:

“An Imperfect God” by Henry Wiencek

“Negro President – Thomas Jefferson and the Slave Powers” by Gary Wills

“The Negro in Eighteenth Century Williamsburg” by Thad W. Tate

“Black Courage 1775-1783” by Robert Ewell Greene

“Black Heroes of the American Revolution” by Burke Davis

“How the Irish became White” by Noel Ignatiev

“Forten The Sailmaker” by Esther M. Douty

“1619-1784 Braving the New World” by Don Nardo

“Rough Crossings” by Simon Schama

“Following the Drum – Women at the Valley Forge Encampment” by Nancy K. Loane

“African Americans in Pennsylvania” by Charles Blockson

“The Philadelphia Campaign: Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia” by Thomas McGuire

“The Surprise at Germantown or the Battle of Cliveden” by Thomas McGuire

“The Nagle Journal” by John C. Dann

“The Revolution Remembered” by John C. Dann

“A Great Improvisation” by Stacy Schiff

“The Floating Brothel” by Sian Rees

“The Negro in the American Revolution” by Benjamin Quarles

“Phillis Wheatley” by Merle Richmond

“Race and Revolution” by Gary Nash

10) Is there another question I should have asked?

Yes! But it is not a question that you should have asked me. It is a question you should ask us as Americans. If a building is no better than the material it is built out of, then will a better knowledge of us as a people help us to become better people? We are the material that our country is made up of.

Thank you for reading! Blog # 51 will be posted in September 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) African Americans African Americans in the American Revolution American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Crown Forces Hector" Lewis" Ned Noah Reenactments The Continental Line Valley Forge  National Historic Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/8/interview-with-noah-ned-hector-lewis-black-revolutionary-war-hero-part-2-cont Mon, 01 Aug 2022 04:00:00 GMT
Interview with Noah “Ned Hector” Lewis-Black Revolutionary War Hero Part 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/7/interview-with-noah-ned-hector-lewis-black-revolutionary-war-hero-part-2 There were so many more questions I wanted to ask Noah “Ned Hector” Lewis after posting blog # 46. Soon afterward, I asked him to interview for another ten-question blog part 2. He graciously agreed.  For this interview, I wanted to ask more in-depth questions.

His first interview was exemplary, this one is even better! In this blog, I'll post questions 1-5, and next month questions 6-10.

I want to thank Noah for sharing and expressing his sentiments so powerfully. 

1) In your first interview, you mentioned conducting geological research on your family. What have you learned so far?

I was actually able to get back to 1800 in the northeastern corner of North Carolina in Northampton and Hereford County to Noah Lewis and Leah Scott. There hit a wall that I was unable to get past. I suspect they were Meherrin natives. These two people are the reasons I started searching the American Revolution. After all, 1800 is not that far from the American Revolution. Finding these two was amazing for the following reasons. First, I found their marriage bond dated 1823. Noah was 23 years old. What was so amazing about that? It implied that he was a free man. Slaves were not allowed to formally get married. You’re probably curious about the term “marriage bond”. I was too. It turned out that during that period of time a man would have to put up a $300 bond if he wanted to get married. The bond here is much like a bail bond. It was to guarantee something, in this case, the fidelity of the man. Since information traveled so slowly, a man could marry a woman under deceptive circumstances. He could be for instance a bigamist, a swindler, or a fugitive from the law. If this was the case, and the marriage was annulled, the woman would find herself being considered as damaged goods. She would use that money to try to restart her life.

The reason I suspect being a Meherrin native is they live in the area of Murfreesboro, North Carolina where my relatives are. My relatives back then owned a lot of land next to the reservation. Physically, I am a light skinned black man. The last named Lewis appears in the tribe. When the tribe was decimated, many of the members went and lived among the black people. Other members would pass as white. I verified that I had a native American connection via a DNA test. Why wouldn’t this information had been passed down to the descendents? During this period of time, especially in this particular area, the last thing you wanted anyone to know is that you are a native. Have you ever heard of the Trail of Tears?

My efforts to trace my genealogy in the colonial period are what lead me to discover Ned Hector and colonial African-American history. Although not related to Ned Hector, what I learned was an eye opening experience.

2) Have your school classroom visits changed after COVID, such as integrating technology?

I have had to expand my efforts to communicate my information. I have developed some virtual presentations in which I retain some elements of interactivity. I’ve learned to speak through mask and face shields. Taking some clues from our colonial ancestors, I’ve learned to teach colonial dancing using handkerchiefs. In some cases I have learned to use PowerPoint to enhance my presentations. In some cases, when doing presentations outside or in large venues separated from my audience, I have utilized portable PA systems. Sometimes you do what you have to do, to do what you need to do.
3) What are your thoughts on critical race theory, and have you introduced this topic in your presentations?

I have been told so many different things about the critical race theory that I decided I’m going to leave that to those that want to tussle about what it is and is not. What I’m going to do is convey history as clearly and honestly as I can with the hope that it will bring us together as better people.

4) Since you’ve presented in public schools for many years, what history curriculum changes do you believe are needed?

Over the years that I’ve been working with schools I have noticed a slow removal of history as a subject out of the curricula. Since history is not part of the STEM core curricula, in many schools it has been relegated to social studies or deemphasized as a lesser subject. I have a fear that there will come a time when our nation will have no idea where our government came from, how it operates, and how to maintain it. Ignorance does more damage than anything I know off. I believe that we need a fuller and more complete history taught, so we can learn from our mistakes.

5) Have you been a mentor to students or have exciting stories to share?

I haven’t had anyone follow me around that I have acted as a teacher for, but I have had situations where I was told that what I did affect it individuals in my audience. At a presentation at Freedoms Foundations in Valley Forge, I was told of a young Asian boy from California that told his teacher that now he knew he fit in America as part of the e pluribus unum in reaction to something I said during my presentation. I was very moved. At the Graeme House Park, a woman walked up to me and said, “You probably don’t remember me, I was a little girl when I first saw you. You are the reason I started reenacting. Later that evening, while after a doing presentations at my station in the house, a little girl came up to me and said, “I like what you’re doing. I want to do it to.” I told her today’s your lucky day. I directed her to the woman I talked to earlier that day, and told her to talk with her. When our evening was done, the woman told me that they had signed her up as a junior helper. Some time ago I had a young man tell me that I inspired him to become reenactor. I often wonder if I’m really doing any good. Then I am reminded that you never know how your message is affecting people.

Since the last blog I did for Kenneth a couple things happened. I was given the honor by the Brandywine Battlefield Park to represent them as their, “2022 Volunteer of the Year”. I was thrilled to speak for the Daughters of the American Revolution at a dedication of a historical plaque for a Black Revolutionary War soldier named Oliver Cromwell in Burlington New Jersey. Crooked Billet School was built where a skirmish of the Revolutionary War occurred. About three years ago, the school was torn down and rebuilt. In the rotunda area they honored Ned Hector by putting a picture of me as the artillerist Ned Hector on a wall mural. On April 29, 2022 I had the honor of presenting Ned to the students there.

Thank you for reading! Blog # 50 will be posted in August 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) African Americans American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Hector" Lewis" Ned Noah photography Reenactments The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/7/interview-with-noah-ned-hector-lewis-black-revolutionary-war-hero-part-2 Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:00:00 GMT
10 American Revolution Reenactment Motion Blur Photos-1-5 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/6/10-american-revolution-reenactment-motion-blur-photos-1-5 In last month's blog, 10 American Revolution Reenactment Motion Blur Photos-6-10, I reviewed five photos using panning or radial blur filter. For this month, I'll discuss five more shots.

In blog # 25, I said about this photo.  

The focus of this photo is the Native American warrior. Both American & British troops surround him. Who's he attacking? You can't tell. I knew this would make a great photo when the warrior extended his arm with a ball-headed war club.

I accentuated him further in a comprehensive photo editing program, ON1 Software, by adding blur and movement. These few minor editing changes make this photo unique!

This photo is from the Philadelphia Campaign 1777 2012 gallery. My first thought on this photo is how the colors are bright and dynamic. This clarity is unusual since most reenactments are held right after lunch, the worst time of day for taking photographs because of the harsh light. I applied the radial blur filter moderately to augment movement.

Photo blurring, moving the camera side to side at a moderate speed, is not an exact science. It's trial and error, and sometimes you get lucky. I did with this photo from the Battle of Germantown in 2011. The streaks of color make this photo appear like a painting. Just a pleasing image, hard to replicate.

Attending the annual Washington Crossing the Delaware reenactment should be on everyone's bucket list! In blog #31I wrote

By far, December is my busiest reenactment event month. In some years, there is an event every weekend. Washington's Crossing is the big one. It's two separate events. The first one is a practice festival held about two weeks before the main crossing on Christmas Day. Both are fun. But, the Christmas event is the busiest of the two; it's a family tradition with hundreds attending religiously year after year. My focus both days is capturing outstanding photos of George Washington, recently portrayed by John Godzieba. His resemblance to George Washington is remarkable!

This photo is from the practice event in 2018. I added the radial blur filter to add more focus to the subject, General Washington.

This photo was from the Jockey Hollow encampment in 2012. During the marching /drilling demonstration, the reenactors fixed bayonets and slowly moved towards the public behind a split rail fence. The first time you experience this, it doesn't feel very comforting. Can you only imagine this during an actual battle? Terrifying!

I added the radial blur filter to emphasize movement. Reduced the filter amount on the faces. I took this same shot other years, but this is still the best one!

Thank you for reading! Blog # 49 will be posted in July 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown British Army Crown Forces George Washington Jockey Hollow Motion Blur Photos ON1 Software Philadelphia Philadelphia Campaign 1777 photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Washington Crossing the Delaware Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/6/10-american-revolution-reenactment-motion-blur-photos-1-5 Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:00:00 GMT
10 American Revolution Reenactment Motion Blur Photos-6-10 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/5/10-american-revolution-reenactment-motion-blur-photos-6-10 To write my monthly blogs, I've had the opportunity to review many photo galleries. It's been fun reminiscing on when and how I took all these photos. One photo technique I've been somewhat neglecting the last few years is motion-blur photos. This procedure is created by either moving the camera at a slow shutter speed side to side or a program I use On1 Software. It has a radial blur filter, a photo technique that produces a directional blur. I chose my favorite 10 to review for this blog and next month. They're not ranked. 

Reenactments educate and entertain spectators. Of course, they don't show the horrors and brutality of real American Revolution battles. Photography didn't exist yet! This photo from the Battle at Chadds Ford in 2021 reminded me of the great war WWII photographers. Two preeminent ones were Joe Rosenthal (flag raising at Imo Jima) and Robert Capa. You have seen their photos before.

When I finished processing this photo with the radial blur filter, it felt painfully realistic; so many soldiers in the American Revolution died in this horrific way. What do you think of it?

This photo is from the Battle of Monmouth in 2009. I have many excellent photos taken that day! To achieve this motion effect, I moved the camera back and forth slowly. This photo shows constant movement in all directions. My eyes are wandering everywhere-one of my favorite images. 

This photo is from the Battle of Germantown in 2011 with the continentals charging the Chew House. I converted it to B&W and used the technique of selective color, only coloring particular objects in the photo. The movement of the soldiers here is perfect. It's not easy to time the panning at just the right speed.

 

 

Here is another Battle of Germantown in 2012 photo of soldiers storming the Chew House. I used a radial filter in post-processing to produce this moving effect and reduced the filter amount on the charging soldiers near the steps.
This photo was from Mt Harmon in 2011. I remember vividly walking the grounds, and suddenly, these galloping dragoons rode directly towards me over a modest hill. Quickly, I knew this would make a fantastic panning photo! So, instead of moving the camera back and forth horizontally, I moved my 80-400 Nikon VR lens vertically, extending slowly to attain this effect. 

Thank you for reading! Blog # 48 will be posted in June 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle at Chadds Ford Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth British Army Chew House Crown Forces flag-raising on Iwo Jima II Joe Rosenthal On1 Software panning photographers" photography radial blur filter Reenactments Robert Capa The Continental Line WW https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/5/10-american-revolution-reenactment-motion-blur-photos-6-10 Sun, 01 May 2022 04:00:00 GMT
Interview with Noah “Ned Hector” Lewis-Black Revolutionary War Hero https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/4/interview-with-noah-ned-hector-lewis-black-revolutionary-war-hero One of the joys of photographing American Revolution reenactments is meeting spectators, event staff, photographers, vendors, and most especially reenactors, AKA Living Historians. I've known Noah-Ned Hector for many years. Besides being a reenactor, he is an educator. He is a dynamic speaker that keeps his audiences engaged and entertained. This paragraph from his website states his mission.

"I am blessed to have the opportunity to continue with this tribute, and to aid in helping others to appreciate the contribution we Black people made to the freedom of all Americans. There is a part of me that hopes the souls of these amazing contributors to our freedom will rest more peaceful by giving them the honor they were denied for so many years."

Noah and I speak at many reenactment events. Because of his background, I knew he would make a great interview. I asked him, and he immediately said yes. 

1) From your website www.nedhector.com, I learned you were born in Germany. Do you have any memories of that time?

Unfortunately not, I was 10 months old when our family returned to the America.

2) When did you relocate to the Philadelphia region?

We were living at Ft. Knox, KY when Dad decided to retire in 1965. We moved from there to Philadelphia. Afterwards, in 1966, we moved to Aldan in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

3) Your college degree is in biology? Have you always been interested in history too?

No. My interest in history came with my research in genealogy.

4) In your professional career, you were first a Bio-Medical Technician. Then you owned a small business. Did you ever believe your livelihood would eventually be presenting living history?

Absolutely not! In school I’m not what anybody would have described as a scholar. In high school I was still being given speech therapy. The thought of talking publicly frightened me. Although I was not a discipline problem, I just really struggled in my academic classes. The last two years of high school I went to vo-tech for a half day. I remember when I graduated I went to my guidance counselor to let her know I was going to college. She said to me,”Oh no! don’t do that. I don’t think you will be able to make it.” The shame about it is, knowing my grades, I could understand why she would say something like that. I never saw my future where I would be talking to large audiences, writing scholarly research papers, and doing heavy duty historical research. I guess you never know where God will to lead you.

5) You stated it all started when presenting to your daughter’s fourth-grade class on biology over twenty-five years ago. And by chance, the teacher asked if you could also teach on Colonial America. Do you view that incident today as fate?

Well, I never saw it coming. I don’t know if I would say fate. I believe there is another source that guides our lives. During the time when my daughter’s fourth grade class was happening I was also doing geological research on my family. I managed to get back to 1800 on my dad’s side. I hit a brick wall and couldn’t get back any further. I started thinking, well, 1800 isn’t that far from the American Revolution. Maybe I might find something there. I didn’t. But I started learning a lot of things about Black colonial people. To appreciate what I am going to say, you have to know that what I thought about black colonial people were. I believed that they all were slaves, that they all were poor, and if they were in the military they were nothing but manual laborers. If this was true I really didn’t have any interest in Black history during this period.

6) How did you learn about the patriot Ned Hector, the soldier you portray?

During my research, I came across a book written by Charles Blockson called Black Genealogy. In this book, I learned about a man named Edward Hector. He was a bombardier and the teamster with Proctor’s Third Pennsylvania Artillery. He was nothing like what I thought colonial blacks were. He was a free man. He was with an elite fighting unit, the artillery. He was a soldier that fought in the Battle of Brandywine and Germantown. In the Battle of Brandywine he was noted for his heroic actions to save his wagon, horses, and armaments in the face of a British charge. And this was after he had been ordered to retreat and abandoned them. He was one of the first Black people to live in Conshohocken. He was so well regarded in his home community of Conshohocken that 16 years after his death, the people in this newly formed town in 1850, petitioned to name a street after him. I don’t know too many things named after Black people around 1850.

7) Have you changed your presentations/talks because of the recent civil unrest & racial inequality incidents?

Good question! Through the years, I’ve started noticing that people seem to think of American history as their history and our history. I thought to myself that can’t be right. Whatever history it is, it is our history! We African-Americans tend to think of America’s multi-ethnic history as part of our history. In the same way, a non-African-Americans should embrace African American history as part of their. It’s not those peoples history, it is our history. Another thing that bothered me is although our culture is multi-ethnic, we really don’t tell about the Germans, Irish, Polish, women, Jews, Scottish, and so many other subgroups that make us Americans. So as I can I try to talk about other groups.

8) Besides presenting in schools and at reenactments, how else do you educate folks on the American Revolution and Ned Hector?

I write articles for historical publications. I have found many of the historical sites, like Cliveden, Washington’s Crossing, Chadds Ford, have been open to including articles in their program books when they have a reenactments. Also many of the historical sites have made efforts to put up permanent displays that talk about the African-American like, the Museum of American Revolution, the National African American Museum in Washington DC, Valley Forge National Park, so it can be seen all year around. I appreciate institutions like this magazine that allows me to share the story with their readers. From time to time I am in videos, and TV broadcast. I was allowed to be in the video for the visitor center at the Valley Forge National Park and Washington’s Crossing. I feel all of these are important because they are helping all of us Americans to understand our history.

9) What do you hope adults and especially children will learn from speaking with you about Black soldiers in Colonial America?

I am hoping that our children will be a lot less ignorant than we were about our history. I am hoping we black people will realize what a significant contribution we played in the founding of this country. I am hoping that the nonblack ethnic groups will understand.

10) Is there a question I should have asked?

What is it you hope to achieve by doing Ned Hector? First, I hope to bring honor to a group of Americans that whose history was buried and ignored, who deserved our countries gratitude.

Secondly, I hope to instill in my fellow African Americans a sense of pride for knowing we African Americans were not only the poor, or enslaved, or just manual laborer. But African Americans made a significant contribution to this country becoming independent.

Thirdly, I hope to bring awareness to all Americans that African American history is American history and should be embraced by all Americans, because their actions helped us all to be free.

Lastly, with this awareness I hope we will come to appreciate each other the way that we should.

Thank you for reading and Noah-Ned Hector for a great interview! Blog # 46 will be posted in  May 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) African Americans American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Black Colonials British Army Chadds Ford Cliveden Crossing" Crown Forces Edward Hector George Washington Philadelphia photography Reenactments the Museum of American Revolution the National African American Museum Valley Forge National Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/4/interview-with-noah-ned-hector-lewis-black-revolutionary-war-hero Fri, 01 Apr 2022 04:00:00 GMT
Top 10 Photos You Wouldn't Expect Were From A Reenactment-Numbers 1-5 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/3/top-10-photos-you-wouldnt-expect-were-from-a-reenactment-numbers-1-5 In last month's blog, I reviewed 5 photos you wouldn't know were taken at an American Revolution reenactment. And this month, I'll discuss my other 5 favorites. These aren't ranked.

I seem to like tin cups? Why, it's a simple subject and always seems to catch my attention. I have a few similar photos and, this is the best. I zoomed in very tight and used ON1 photography software to give it an antique look. What do you think?

Can you guess where this picture is? Hint, I've photographed reenactment events here and, it's one of the most magnificent homes in America. 

I shot it in 2017 at Mt Vernon, a photographer's paradise. I remember constructing this shot vividly. I was in the Lower Garden where the fruits and vegetables are grown, adjacent to the mansion.

In the distance, I noticed sheep grazing with a small shed framed between a bevy of trees, a storage shed, with a bright puffy blue sky. It is the perfect setting and a wonderful photo.

This one I took in 2014 at the Battle of Brandywine is just funny. It puts a smile on my face every time I see it.

When reviewing all my photo event galleries, I noticed having many excellent horse photos. Why? I have no idea? I've only ridden a horse a few times. And to be honest, I don't want to ride one again. But, they make great subjects.

Do you have any idea where I took this photo? Probably not. I took it in 2016 at Ft Mifflin in Philadelphia. The fort has many underground tunnels. Under the flag pole is this tunnel. At it's entrance, I noticed the sunlight shining brightly. Immediately, I went down to one knee and took a few shots. This one is the best. I knew this would look great in B&W.

Another photo that makes me smile is from the Battle of Short Hills in 2017. This small dog was walking his reenactor owner. His ebullient expression makes this a great photo. After asking to take his picture, I sat on the ground to get on his level. Look closely, and you can see the catchlight (a light source reflected off the surface of the eye) image of me. Photos like this I never forget taking!

Thank you for reading. Blog # 46 will be posted in April 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Short Hills British Army Crown Forces Ft Mifflin George Washington Horse Photos Horses Mt Vernon New Jersey On1 Software Philadelphia photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/3/top-10-photos-you-wouldnt-expect-were-from-a-reenactment-numbers-1-5 Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:00:00 GMT
Top 10 Photos You Wouldn't Expect Were From A Reenactment-6-10 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/2/top-10-photos-you-wouldnt-expect-were-from-a-reenactment-6-10 Photographing American Revolution Reenactments is fun. There are so many photography opportunities to explore at every event. None are the same. Sure, almost all have reenactment battles with numerous mass volley fire and cannon booms but, there is so much more. Visiting the British and American camps also has fantastic photo opportunities. But, now I search for more possibilities.

I examined my numerous photo galleries on this website, over 7,800 photos, and selected my favorite ten non-reenactment photos. Many of them I haven't seen in years. 

I have numerous examples of horse photos. These two are my favorites. The first one was from the Battle of Brandywine in 2014. Sometimes, you get lucky. I noticed these horses moving their heads up and down in unison. To me, it appears like an optical illusion! Keep staring; you'll see it.

This other horse photo is just beautiful; taken at Mt Harmon in 2016. The light here is perfect. The horse glows. What a magical time of the day it was. The definition of photography is drawing with light. I did that here.

I took this marsh grass photo below taken at Ft. Mifflin in 2019 appears to me to be both an abstract and landscape photo together. It was fun to create. 

My shutter speed was set very slow, at 1/5 second while panning from side to side. I took many shots that day and, this one was the best. I also converted another similar photo to b&w. That one looks good too.

This photo brings back memories. It was taken at the annual Washington's Crossing event on Christmas in 2014. I was standing in the middle of the Washington's Crossing Bridge waiting for the Durham boats to cross the Delaware River from PA to NJ. It was cold, very cold that day with the wind blowing steadily. While waiting, I noticed the sun lighting up the trees further down the river. With the thick, puffy clouds I knew this would make a great photo. The hardest part was staying motionless. I did it.

A great photo opportunity always is a blacksmith demonstration. This photo shows a blacksmith from Ft. Mifflin in 2019. The blacksmith shop was in a small building at the back of the fort. I knew watching the blacksmith working on the anvil would make a great photo. My first thought was the appearance of making the hammer move. The building light wasn't good, so I set my ISO to 3200. To create motion, I moved my shutter speed to 1/80 of a second. That's moderately slow.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 45 will be posted in  March 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) abstract photos American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments anvil Battle of Brandywine blacksmith British Army Crown Forces Delaware River Durham boats Ft. Mifflin George Washington horses Mt Harmon NJ PA panning photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/2/top-10-photos-you-wouldnt-expect-were-from-a-reenactment-6-10 Tue, 01 Feb 2022 05:00:00 GMT
American Revolution Photos-2021 Recap https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/1/american-revolution-photos-2021-recap In blog # 19 (January 2020), I started a new, hopefully, recurring ritual. I recapped my American Revolution reenactment calendar year. My goal was to review my reenactment photography every January. But, because of COVID, this wasn't possible in 2020. There were no reenactments. Thankfully, because the pandemic had eased steadily, more events were held in 2021. Yeah!  So for this blog, I'll recap my 2021 reenactment season. And, I'll start a new inaugural tradition by choosing my favorite photo of the year!

This panorama inside Ft Mifflin during the recent Seige Weekend is the one I chose! I awarded myself a first place blue ribbon! In blog # 19, I featured another Ft Mifflin panorama. This time it, was the back of the fort near the Delaware River.

How did I create this one? I stitched ten photos together in Adobe Photoshop. I stood on the highest mound with an excellent view of the compound. My waist and legs were still and, I twisted 180 degrees left to right. Every few seconds would stop, shoot another shot, always trying to remain level. I tried this technique a few times. If you have program that can make panoramas, try to create one. It's fun.

This one was the best of the bunch. The clouds look great, the Delaware River is viewable in the top left corner, and the Philly skyline appears slightly in the top right corner! It's visible but, you need to look closely.

Plus, something significant happened to me this summer. My eyesight wasn't good. I needed cataract surgery in both eyes. The left eye was done in July (outpatient surgery) and, two weeks later, the right eye. Wow- seeing everything in focus again is incredible.

Mt. Vernon, George Washington's estate, nestled on the Potomac River, was my first reenactment of the year, held in May. I've been here a few times. It's a memorable mansion with numerous additional buildings and speculator landscaping. Slave labor built this plantation; let's not forget that.

In blogs #36 & #37, I review my trip. I didn't take many photos during this visit. I preferred to walk the grounds; it was a beautiful day.
Another event I wrote a blog about #38 was the Jacobsburg Historical Society-Revolutionary War Weekend held in late May. It was my first time attending. I had a difficult time photographing because my vision was awful. But, I was able to capture some good photos. Near the end of the event, the American troops depicted a deserter on trial. The reenactors enjoy adding these sketches to the event schedule.


  

In September, there was a new event, Battle at Chadds Ford blog # 41, to  commemorate the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. A festival event with many family activities. Always feels great to capture a good volley firing!

The Revolutionary Germantown Festival & Ft Mifflin are the two reenactment events I've attended the most often over the years. Both are close to my home. 

What makes my photos different at Cliveden from the other events is the many trees located around the house. The beams of sunlight shine sporadic light through from the musket volleys. It's a distinctive, very cool effect!  Every year at a Germantown reenactment, this happens like this photo.

Another event I attend almost every year is Washington's Crossing. They have two crossings. The practice one, about two weeks before the main event on Christmas Day. And the big one, on Christmas Day. Many families make this part of their annual Christmas celebration. 
This event was significant in the outcome of the American Revolution.  If George Washington & his troops failed in crossing the Delaware River and defeating the Hessians at Trenton, the American Independence cause was lost.

This event has so much significance. I met a photographer from CA working for a photo agency who had on his "bucket list" to attend this event. He wasn't disappointed. Later, he e-mailed me and said one of his photos was selected. Funny, the client is from London, England! I chuckled when reading this.

Thank you for reading! Happy New Year! Blog # 44 will be posted in February 2022. Be safe & well & please get the booster shot.

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle at Chadds Ford Battle of Brandywine Battle of Germantown British Army Crown Forces Delaware River Ft Mifflin George Washington Germantown Jacobsburg Historical Society Mt. Vernon Philadelphia photography The Continental Line Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2022/1/american-revolution-photos-2021-recap Sat, 01 Jan 2022 05:00:00 GMT
Interview with Jocelyn Rouse- Marketing & Business Operations Coordinator at Cliveden https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/12/interview-with-jocelyn-rouse--marketing-business-operations-coordinator-at-cliveden Living in the Philadelphia, PA suburbs, has many benefits. I'm close to many of the American Revolution reenactments held in this region. The Battle of Germantown now referred to as the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, I've attended thirteen years. It's one of my favorite events located in North Philadelphia and only about a 20-minute drive. 

At this event, I always capture spectacular images. The  2010 event was special for me. I photographed from the 2nd floor in the mansion. What a unique photographic experience!

For this month's blog, I asked Jocelyn Rouse, Marketing & Development Coordinator at Cliveden (Chew House), to be interviewed. This historic site, located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, played a pivotal role in the American Revolution Battle of Germantown in 1777. The British 40th Foot, of about 120 men, barricaded the mansion. Washington's troops tried to penetrate it with no success. Thus, the American advance was halted. The battle was then lost.



1) Are you from the Philadelphia area? What is your educational background?

I am from the Philadelphia area, and spent my formative years in West Philadelphia, Germantown, and Mt. Airy neighborhoods. I grew up and graduated from schools in the Philadelphia School District and I received my bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University in 2010.

2) What types of jobs have you had in your career?

Before I came to Cliveden, I was an administrative assistant and secretary at a charter school for six years.

3) What are your primary responsibilities as the Marketing & Business Operations Coordinator at Cliveden?

My primary responsibilities are promoting all things Cliveden through a variety of channels such as social media, our website, banners on Cliveden’s front gate; designing marketing materials, processing donations, support senior staff members, and maintain donor information.

Thought it was funny the young boy wearing a coonskin cap at this event!

4) What have you learned about the Chew family and mansion that you didn’t know before working at Cliveden?

Before I worked at Cliveden, I didn’t know anything about the site or that it even existed, so working here has been a very eye-opening experience. I’ve learned that enslavement was in the North, and that the Chew family were participants; that Benjamin Chew, Sr. (1722-1810) was inspired to build his own summer home after spending time at Mt. Airy, the summer home of his friend William Allen; Ada Knowlton Chew (1877-1948) was a WWI veteran and after serving in France was instrumental in creating the Women’s Overseas Service League which is still in existence today. The list goes on and on.

5) Has Cliveden’s mission changed with all the civil unrest and racial inequality incidents happening in the US now?

Our mission has not changed, but we are even more determined to share Cliveden’s complex history and work with other historical sites to tell more stories about people who are often left out as well as being a safe space for uncomfortable conversations.

6) If someone asks why visit Cliveden, what would you say?

I would say people should visit because there is more to the site than meets the eye. Yes, the buildings and the Main House are amazing and yes, we are a Revolutionary War site, but it is the stories of everyone who was at Cliveden over its three centuries of history that really make this place special and can establish a link between the past and the present.

7) Amazingly, the house that was such an integral part of the Battle of Germantown is still standing. How was it able to survive all these years?

The Chew family was instrumental in preserving the house. The family members who come to mind in working to maintain Cliveden are Anne Sophia Penn Chew (1805-1892) who became Cliveden’s caretaker after the death of her father Benjamin Chew, Jr. in 1844; Samuel Chew III (1832-1887; we refer to him as ‘Centennial Sam’) who really established Cliveden as Revolutionary War site during the 1876 Centennial celebrations; Mary Johnson Brown Chew (1839-1927), Cliveden’s caretaker after Anne Sophia Penn Chew’s death and who also kept the property in the family in spite of the city and state governments seeking to have the family sell the property; Elizabeth Brown Chew (1863-1958) who maintained the property after her mother’s death and her brother Samuel Chew IV’s (1871-1919) death; and Samuel Chew V (1915-1989) who was Cliveden’s last owner. And of course, all those who worked and labored at Cliveden enabled it to be preserved as well.

Our staff has continued the family’s legacy as well. For example, we have Indow window inserts which protects the floors and collection from UV rays; we are in the process of having the chimney caps replaced, and our front gate on Germantown Avenue will undergo some restoration in the coming year.

8) How is the slavery issue addressed since the Chews at Cliveden held enslaved people?

We address it honestly and directly, and we make it clear that the Chew family’s wealth and status was based on enslaved laborers. In the Carriage House Visitor Center, we have our core exhibit Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, that juxtaposes the Declaration of Independence against the fact that the Chews had enslaved laborers and that the word life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness didn’t apply to all people. We are also constantly doing research in the Chew Family Papers, an archive housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania that has about 230,000 documents. This year, our Education Director looked through the Chew Family Papers for information about the enslaved laborers who worked on the Chew family’s properties in Maryland and Delaware, and in 2022 we are planning to share this research through public programs and a partnership with the African American Genealogical Society.

9) Because of this country’s gun violence epidemic, there have been discussions at Cliveden on whether to focus the annual Battle of Germantown on the reenactments or hold more of a festival event. Have any decisions been made?

As of now, we have an advisory task force that will help us plan programming around the Revolutionary Germantown Festival that includes more diverse stories of the American Revolution, and we will be working with our fellow Historic Germantown sites to have activities that highlight these stories during the festival.

10) Is there any question I should have asked?

I was thinking of something a little humorous and light-hearted; how about many cups of coffee do we drink in a year at the office?

Thank you for reading and Jocelyn for a wonderful interview. Blog # 43 will be posted in January 2022. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Benjamin Chew British Army Cliveden Crown Forces Philadelphia photography Reenactments Sr. the British Brigade The Chew House The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/12/interview-with-jocelyn-rouse--marketing-business-operations-coordinator-at-cliveden Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:46:45 GMT
Battle at Chadds Ford 2021 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/11/battle-at-chadds-ford-2021 The Battle of Brandywine, held on September 11, 1777, was the largest land battle of the American Revolution.  Almost 30,000 soldiers were involved, it encompassed a ten square mile area. That's a big battle. 

I'm fortunate to live close to the Brandywine Battlefield Park site. It's only about 12 miles from my home.

The Battle at Chadds Ford reenactment was held at the Chadds Ford Historical Society to commemorate the Battle of Brandywine  on the same day as the original battle, September 11. The day was sunny and warm. I arrived around 10 AM and searched for my friends. 

The highlight of most events is the battle reenactments. They're loud, smoky from the muskets/cannons, and just entertaining. It's fun for the participating British and American troops too. Below is a photo from this event that feels eerily realistic of a British soldier being bayoneted. It's one of my more powerful photos.

Bayonets were the choice weapon for the British and Hessian troops during the American Revolution because of the inaccuracy of the musket. During the war, most major British attacks have a bayonet charge. 

The Chadds Ford Historical Society hosted a reenactment/festival event on September 11. It was the first time, I believe, at this site? The last time I remember a Brandywine event was in 2008? REENACTMENT PHOTO GALLERY

The focus of the day is the reenactments. It's fun to see reenactors of opposing sides interacting with each other! 

There were many fun activities, especially for the kids.

More fun activities for the kiddies. This time they got recruited and learned how to march.

And the recruits get younger all the time!

Sometimes photo opportunities happen unexpectedly. Like these 2 dogs getting to know each other better! 

Fun for the adults too, with live bluegrass music! They were good.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 42 will be posted in December 2021. Be safe & well and please get vaccinated!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Bayonets Bluegrass Music British Army Chadds Ford Crown Forces Hessians photography Reenactments The Battle of Brandywine the British Brigade https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/11/battle-at-chadds-ford-2021 Mon, 01 Nov 2021 04:00:00 GMT
My Camera Gear and Accessories Part 2 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/10/my-camera-gear-and-accessories-part-2-of-2 In last month's blog, I described my photography gear. For this month's blog, I'll review my cameras and accessories. First, the camera; I bought the SLR Nikon D 500 last year. I've only used it a few times. The camera I had for so long is the Nikon D 300. Why the change? The camera was old and needed to be upgraded. I've had it for over a decade. Some of the features of this  new camera are amazing. 

  • ISO range: 100 – 51,200 
  • Continuous Capture: up to 10 frames per second
  • Video
  • Tilt Screen

Here is my primary camera gear.

The most significant advancement in this camera is the significantly high sensitivity of the image sensor (ISO). Previously, I couldn't photograph high school night events with my long lens because the ISO couldn't go high enough. I can now set my ISO to 51,200. To put that in perspective, during film days, the highest ISO would be around 1,000! Game changer.
As a backup, I have the
Panasonic/Lumix Mirrorless DMC-GF6 with a 14-42 mm lens. Because of this camera, I have some videos on my website. 

 I've had all my lenses for over a decade, and they work perfectly. My primary reenactment lens is the Nikon 80-400 4.5-5.6 VR. You'll see on the lens hood (decal from sutler-Ron Mehalko of Revolution Wear) my photo interest! About 75% of the photos on my website are from this lens. I can handhold it because of the VR feature, and I can zoom in close, very close. This photo is a perfect example.

Only because of my lens could I have taken this shot. Another reason is that my camera has a crop sensor that magnifies the lens more. In blog # 24, I described what this means

My Nikon DSLR (interchangeable lens) camera has a smaller crop sensor. It sees a narrower field of view. The good news is this smaller sensor magnifies my lenses by 1.5 times! Now my 80-400 mm lens becomes a 120-600mm. Also, to gain even more distance, I added a 1.4 converter which extends the lens even further. Now it's comparable to an 840mm. Why is this significant? The average eyes see around 50mm!

I'm using my Nikon 24-85 2.8-4 lens more now because of photographing camp life. When I first arrive at a reenactment, I go to the campsites. I can capture many interesting photos early in the morning like, this one from Mt Harmon 2019.

The lens I use less often is the ultra-wide 11-18 mm 4.5-5.6 Tamron lens and the fixed focal Nikon 50 mm 1.8 lens. For the wide-angle lens, I use it when I want a broader perspective of the reenactment site. This photo from Return to the Hook 20213 in VA shows that. This event has been one of the most incredible reenactments I've attended. On the first day, a full-scale replica cabin was created.  And later, on the last day it was burned to the ground. I was able to photograph from a tower, there were 2 of them, about 30-40 feet high. The vantage point for the reenactments was spectacular. I have no other photos similar to the one here.

I don't use the 50mm lens at reenactments often. I'll use it when roaming the Continental & British camps. To get good photos with this lens, you have to work the shot, move around and shoot from different perspectives. But that's what I want to do to get an excellent photo. Here's an example of that sharp lens from this photo from Battle of Germantown 2012.

I bring my Nikon Speedlight SB 900 flash only occasionally. If I know there will be finite natural light, such as inside buildings/cabins, then I will. Without the flash, I couldn't take this cabin photo of reenactors at Valley Forge 2017.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 41 will be posted in November 2021. Be safe & well and please get vaccinated!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown British Army Crown Forces ISO Lens" Mirrorless cameras Mt Harmon Nikon Nikon lens Panasonic/Lumix cameras Reenactments Return to the Hook Tamron the British Brigade The Continental Line Valley Forge National Historical Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/10/my-camera-gear-and-accessories-part-2-of-2 Fri, 01 Oct 2021 04:00:00 GMT
My Camera Gear and Accessories Part 1 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/9/my-camera-gear-and-accessories-part-1-of-2 At the end of last month's blog, I mentioned having cataract surgery in both eyes. My surgeries went perfectly! The clarity and vibrancy of the colors I see now are spectacular. I learned that cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. 

I'm able to capture some unique photos because of my photography gear and equipment. This photo of me from a photo friend is a perfect example. I'm getting ready to photograph something special at a Washington Crossing event. For this month's blog, I thought it would be fun to focus on my gear. Next month, I'll discuss my cameras, lens, and accessories.


When attending reenactment events, I always try to have 4 items. I'm always wearing a hat, most often my Ft Ticonderoga baseball cap. I bought it many years ago when I was still shooting film! It looks good, feels comfortable, and it shows my interest in the landmark fort. Another item I usually wear is a photo vest.

I get asked all the time where I bought mine. Over twenty years ago, my mom bought it for me as a birthday gift.  She's deceased now, so I think of her every time I wear it!

The company, Domke, stopped making them? I wonder why? The vest holds a lot of stuff, so much that sometimes I forget what pocket (10 of them) I placed something. I'm constantly patting myself to find something, usually my car keys. It's now starting to fray, but I'll always keep it. One item I always carry in the vest, knee pads.

I purchased them at Home Depot for around $15. By being low allows me different angles and perspectives. This house photo from the reenactment event I photographed a few years ago, at Locust Grove in Louisville, KY is a perfect example. It's more prominent by me being crouched and shooting upwards. My last item is my footwear, always hiking shoes. Or what my young son refers to as my photo shoes.

For foot stability, I won't attend an event without them, even during the summer. A funny situation happened at the reenactment wedding two years ago. While photographing the campsites, my left shoe disintegrated, just fell apart. I had no choice that day. On came my sneakers. Quite weird! 

At every event, I'll have a camera backpack bag on my back. Here is my batch, and I have many. All are the same brand, Tamrac. Why? Not sure. They are all  sturdy, reliable bags at an excellent price.

I decide before each event what bag would be best for that event. My favorite is the orange one. It holds a lot of gear and accessories. Perfect for a busy reenactment day.

I use a rain cover from Aqua-Tech Sports Shield to protect my camera/lens in the rain or snow. It can be hard to attach, but it is the best & most reliable way to keep my equipment safe from the elements. I needed this protection from the snow/ice/wind in the photo below during a heavy snowstorm at Valley Forge National Historical Park, PA.

When it's cold and snowing, I'll wear my NY Islanders knit cap instead of my Ft. Ticonderoga baseball cap to keep my head warm. You now know my hockey team and where I'm originally from! Go Islanders.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 40 will be posted in October 2021. Be safe & well and get vaccinated!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Aqua-Tech Sports Shield British Army cataract surgery Crown Forces Domke Ft Ticonderoga George Washington Locust Grove Louisville KY NY Islanders photography Reenactments tamrac the British Brigade The Continental Line Valley Forge National Historical Park Washington Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/9/my-camera-gear-and-accessories-part-1-of-2 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 04:00:00 GMT
Attending a New Event-Jacobsburg Historical Society-Revolutionary War Weekend https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/8/attending-a-new-event-jacobsburg-historical-society-revolutionary-war-weekend It's always fun attending a Revolutionary War event for the first time. This one, this past May, was the Revolutionary War Weekend reenactment in Jacobsburg, PA. I learned about it from my photo friend, who keeps me updated on upcoming events. Felt great being healthy and vaccinated, so I was excited about my new road trip.  I planned my trip and calculated it would take me about 1 1/2 hours to travel from my home in the Philly suburbs to NE rural PA. To arrive early, I left around 6:30 am. It was a pleasant, cloudy, hot day. When I enter any new event, I like to stroll first to get the lay of the land. Near the parking lot was the sutler's area (vendors), and nearby was the American camp. Across the field were the British.

Soon after arriving, I found 2 of my photo friends. We gabbed for a few minutes on how we were and that we haven't seen each other in over a year! Walking around the grounds, I found some interesting subjects to photograph, like this birdhouse.

I'm always trying to photograph something unique. When walking around the American camp, I spotted this empty plate/cup on top of this block of straw. Nice photo, something different. 

The reenactments are usually the highlight of the day. I strive to get at least two original photos each time. Most times, I meet that goal.
In this photo, the blurred background makes this Native Warrior stand out. The key was being close to my subject. Also, like almost all my photos, it was hand-held. 

After the reenactment, I toured the John Joseph Henry House, an 1832 mansion. "Five generations of the Henry family lived in the home, filling it with musical instruments, books, tools, paintings, furniture, and numerous other personal belongings."

Across the street from the house is the Pennsylvania Longrifle museum. Included in the collection were numerous vintage muskets & powder horns. "The Pennsylvania Longrifle Museum features more than 100 historic arms on either permanent display or in rotating, topical exhibits. Displays feature Henry firearms dating from the American Fur Trade, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the American West, and the early twentieth century. Most of the firearms were made by the Henrys of Boulton..." The guides in the museum were knowledgeable about answering my questions.

After visiting the museum, I went across the parking lot to the British camp to shoot some more. I wasn't feeling well; my eyes were bothering me. They had been more a few months. A few weeks after this reenactment, I had an eye exam. Guess what I learned? I need cataracts surgery not just in one eye but both. Whew! My photo friend had said this! I'm scheduled for surgery, in both eyes, this month. I can't wait to see clearly again!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

Thank you for reading. Blog # 39 will be posted in September 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Crown Forces Jacobsburg Jacobsburg Historical Society John Joseph Henry House PA photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/8/attending-a-new-event-jacobsburg-historical-society-revolutionary-war-weekend Sun, 01 Aug 2021 04:00:00 GMT
Attending Mt Vernon's Revolutionary War Weekend Part 2 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/7/attending-mt-vernons-revolutionary-war-weekend-part-2-of-2 Ilast month's blog, I reviewed Mt Vernon's Revolutionary War weekend reenactment and camp life. Always a fun event! In this month's blog, I'll discuss some of the extensive (around 500 acres today) mansion grounds. I didn't tour the house this time because of the large crowd and day's activities. 

Below is a photo from the back of the mansion. Do you notice the size of visitors in this photo compared to the immense size of Washington's home? It provides a good perspective on how big it is. 

Here is a photo of the Potomac River that I took from sitting in a porch chair. Can you imagine having this view every morning? From this photo of the columns on the northern side of the mansion to the kitchen, I learned a new word, colonnade. I had asked myself, what were the columns called? It means "a series of columns set at regular intervals and usually supporting the base of a roof structure." Architecturally this plantation is magnificent.

In the early afternoon, I took the bus shuttle to the wharf. First saw crops in the fields, sheep grazing, and this 16-sided barn, Washington's design. He created this new concept for more efficient grain processing and storage. Across from the barn is a replica slave cabin. We mustn't ever forget that this plantation was built and sustained on slave labor!!

All of the founding fathers from southern states had and depended on slave labor, including Washington. Did you know that later abolitionist Benjamin Franklin had household slaves around the 1740s? The repercussions of not resolving this evil in the 1770s still resonate today? At least now it's being discussed and addressed at historical sites like here.


The greatest failure in our nation's founding was not resolving the slavery issue. The southern representatives during the 2nd Continental Congress meeting in 1775 wouldn't follow Thomas Jefferson's words in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. Simply it was all based on economics. All of the founders knew this issue would haunt this country until resolved. And it has to this day!!

The many gardens at Mt Vernon is a must-see. This one is adjacent to the mansion.

Near the end of my day, I visited Washington's tomb. Yes, he and Martha & plus 23 other family members, are buried here. All the visitors I noticed showed respect and decorum around the tomb area.CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY!

Can't wait to visit again. Did you know that Mt Vernon is open 365 days?

Thank you for reading. Blog # 38 will be posted in August 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) "Benjamin Franklin" 16-sided barn American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Crown Forces George Washington Martha Washington Mt Vernon photography Potomac River Reenactments slavery the British Brigade The Continental Line Thomas Jefferson Virginia https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/7/attending-mt-vernons-revolutionary-war-weekend-part-2-of-2 Thu, 01 Jul 2021 04:00:00 GMT
Attending Mt Vernon's Revolutionary War Weekend Part 1 of 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/6/attending-mt-vernons-revolutionary-war-weekend For the first time in over a year, I attended an American Revolution reenactment. It was the Revolutionary War weekend at George Washington's Mt Vernon on May 1. It was a great day! In this month's blog, I'll focus on the reenactment. Next month, I'll discuss exploring the Mt Vernon grounds.

I've attended this event back in 2017 and 2018. The other two times, I went both days. But, this year it was a one-day trip. I left my home at 6 am and arrived at Mt Vernon at around 9 am. The trip took longer because of the ongoing construction in Baltimore and Washington DC. I learned a few days ago that I received a $200 DC camera speeding ticket. Ouch!

Luckily, I arrived early to secure a parking space. Although the website claimed there would be limited attendees, it was still crowded. It took about 45 minutes to enter the grounds because of security and COVID safeguards. Here's is a photo of everyone waiting to get in.

Once you enter the grounds, you're in the museum that you should visit. You will learn so much about George Washington's life and legacy. From the museum, I  proceeded to the mansion.

As you enter the mansion grounds, you see the house. It is two and a half stories with a cellar, almost 11,000 square feet. That is a big home.

My first stop was the 12-acre field for the dragoons demonstration. I missed George Washington addressing the troops because of  entering late. 

At every event, my goal is to capture 1-2 unique, memorable images. Most times I achieve my goal. Below is one for sure!  Yes, I've captured many cannon blasts before. But, the orange color saturation in this photo is incredible. I must have caught it at its peak color. My photo pal commented on the saturation too. Here is his latest photo of me. Mask on!

What I enjoy now more than the reenactments is visiting the camps. It's a great opportunity to chap with folks and observe camp life. Also, a wonderful time to create new photos.

The reenactments at these events are the main attraction. The spectators always enjoy them. They're loud with the smoke and noise from cannons and volleys of muskets in unison. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY!

Thank you for reading. Blog # 37 will be posted in July 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Crown Forces dragoons George Washington Mt Vernon photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line VA Virginia https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/6/attending-mt-vernons-revolutionary-war-weekend Tue, 01 Jun 2021 16:09:10 GMT
My Favorite Destination Colonial Williamsburg-Top 10 Photos-#'s 1-5 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/5/my-favorite-destination-colonial-williamsburg-top-10-photos--s-1-5 In last month's blog, I reviewed #'s 6-10 photos of Colonial Williamsburg, VA, my favorite retreat/relaxation destination. For this month, I'll review my favorite 5 photos.

The image below, the entrance gate at Governor's Palace, is not a photo that would make you automatically think of Colonial Williamsburg .  The front gate has two light brick columns with a stone unicorn on the left side and a lion on the right. Above the painted gate entrance is an ironworks design with a crown at the top. On either side of the main gate is a connecting high brick wall.

To make this photo unique, I didn't focus on capturing the entire main gate. Instead, it's cropped tightly on the lion statue making the steeple out-of-focus. Would you agree, a more dynamic photo? The blue sky helps make the photo glow adding incredible detail to the stone lion. I did try to learn more about the palace gate by searching online and reviewing the books I had about Colonial Williamsburg. No luck. So I contacted a reference librarian at the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library Colonial Williamsburg Foundation who, graciously sent me this information.

Restoring Williamsburg, by George Humphrey Yetter and Carl R. Lounsbury

On page 231

“Colonial records show that “handsome gates” to the forecourt were specified for the new residence in 1710. The design of the present wrought-iron gates was based on excavated fragments and eighteenth-century English examples. The Portland stone lion and unicorn atop the gate piers were sculpted in London by William Aumonier. Similar figures at Hampton Court Palace inspired their general character.”

#5

#4

This photo is different because it was taken with 35mm film. Remember those times? I'm not sure even what year I took this photo? Probably in the 1980s? I saw it when reviewing my numerous film storage pages. It's of the Chowning's Tavern and photographed at sunrise. About 10 years ago, I scanned the film to digital and made digital darkroom changes in On1 Photo Editing Software.

# 3 & 2

You never know who you might meet when visiting Colonial Williamsburg? In my 3rd blog, I described meeting  historical interpreter Mark Schneider.

Another unique event that I hope occurs again soon is Prelude to Victory. This event celebrates the anniversary of George Washington & the French General  Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau anniversary when their armies stopped in Williamsburg before proceeding to Yorktown, the last major battle of the war.  I had the opportunity to speak with Marquis de Lafayette portrayed by historical interpreter Mark Schneider. Of course, he was in character. He has also interpreted "Bloody Ban" Banastre Tarleton.

We have corresponded a few times since we first met. I learned he's from Long Island, like myself. The photo above is him portraying ruthless "Bloody Ban" Banastre Tarleton during Under the Redcoat in 2011. This photo is of him mounted on his horse at the Capitol. I can feel the arrogance in his portrayal of the real Tarleton. I sent Mark this photo, and he enjoyed it.

The photo above has a different feel. It shows the boyish charm and appeal of the Marquis de Lafayette. Here is Mark's short bio from an article he wrote on Lafayette.

Mark Schneider has worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for 23 years and has performed in a variety of roles from Historic Tradesman, Military programs, Actor interpreter, Theatrical interpreter, Coach & Livestock and now as a Nation Builder where he has been performing as the Marquis de Lafayette for 20 years. Mark’s passions are history and horses and he is able to bring them both to life at Colonial Williamsburg.

#1

My favorite Colonial Williamsburg photo is also in my top 10 list that I reviewed in blog # 23. Let me show you how I created it before you see it. At my last visit to Colonial Williamsburg, I wanted to find the house with a ladder on its side. I remembered it was near the Capitol. Here it is. How would you compose a photo from this scene?

Yes, the best photo would be the side building with the ladder. That's what I did. Here it is with a new perspective. In blog # 3, I reviewed how I created this photo.

It was early in the morning when I was walking around the streets near the Capitol. Behind a house was a storage building with a ladder hooked on it's side. Looking closer, I imagined the windows as eyes and the ladder a mouth. What an excellent photo this would be! Later in post-production, I cropped it to appear like a face. This photo still makes me smile! Does it for you?

Thank you for reading. Blog # 36 will be posted in June 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur comte de Rochambeau John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library Colonial Williamsburg Foundation American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Chowning's Tavern Colonial Williamsburg Crown Forces George Washington Governor's Palace Marquis de Lafayette photography Prelude to Victory the British Brigade Under the Redcoat https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/5/my-favorite-destination-colonial-williamsburg-top-10-photos--s-1-5 Mon, 03 May 2021 15:33:02 GMT
My Favorite Destination Colonial Williamsburg-Top 10 Photos-#'s 6-10 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/4/my-favorite-destination-colonial-williamsburg-top-10-photos--s-6-10 Thankfully the COVID crisis is improving. We now have a President taking this pandemic seriously. Plus, the vaccines are here-good news. Maybe by spring or at least summer, life will be getting back to normal? Some reenactment events are scheduled this year, yeah!

I’ve mentioned in my 3rd blog that visiting Colonial Williamsburg is my top retreat/relaxation destination. Hopefully, I can go this year?

I thought this would be a great time to review my Williamsburg galleries and select my top 10 photos. For this blog, I’ll discuss numbers 6-10.

#10

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg is a special occasion for me at any time but particularly when events such as Prelude to Victory or Under the Redcoat occurs. It feels a little like you're living in the 18th century.

#9

#10 & #9 photos were taken in 2011 at the Under the Redcoat event.

#8

Here is a simple photo that reminds me of what makes Colonial Williamsburg so special. When walking the largest outdoor living museum in the country-around 300 acres, you'll see horse-drawn carriages & wagons slowly meandering the streets carrying visitors. You do have to be careful walking in the streets if you know what I mean?

#7

The winter months in Colonial Williamsburg are unique. It is fun seeing the snow and makes for great photos like this one. It was taken early in the morning, the best time to shoot, and the colors pop.

My perfect day is to arrive in town just before sunrise. I will bring a large coffee and my Nikon SLR camera attached with the all-purpose 24-85 mm lens. On most mornings, I’ll observe W&M students jogging, retired folks walking their dogs, and maintenance crews in their pick-up trucks cleaning the area. Between the Wren Building on William & Mary campus and the Capitol, a short distance of less than a mile, I get to stroll around the town where so many of our Founding-Fathers frequented.  Amazingly, that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Henry, and others walked these same streets. Even Benjamin Franklin, then postmaster, visited Williamsburg in 1756 & 1763

The building at the far right is the William Pitt Store a Children’s Boutique. It sells replica items from 18th-century hats to toys, games, and books.

#6

This photo is of the restored Capitol (rebuilt in the early 1930s) from the Under the Redcoat event in 2011. When only a specific focus area in the photo is in color is called selective-color.  I changed it to b&w except for the British flag. Some people don't like this technique? I only do this on select photos to make them distinctive. For me, this photo just in b&w isn't as appealing. Do you agree?

Thank you for reading. Blog # 35 will be posted in May 2021 with my top 5 Colonial Williamsburg photos  Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Colonial Williamsburg Crown Forces George Washington horse-drawn carriages horse-drawn wagons photography Prelude to Victory Reenactments selective color effect the British Brigade The Continental Line Thomas Jefferson Under the Redcoat William Pitt Store https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/4/my-favorite-destination-colonial-williamsburg-top-10-photos--s-6-10 Thu, 01 Apr 2021 05:00:00 GMT
Reenactment Religious Observances https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/3/reenactment-religious-observances At any 2-day weekend reenactment encampment, there has always been an early Sunday morning religious service. It's stated in the event schedule. I always try to attend. Usually, there will be between 10-25 British & American reenactors plus spectators like myself. The Christian observance usually lasts about 20 minutes.

When I first arrive I take a few photos. Then I'll put my camera down and participate in the service. From all my weekend reenactment photo galleries, British Brigade Deputy Commander Mark Hagenbuch is leading us. He reads a few bible passages, selects a few hymns, delivers a short sermon, and ends with a group prayer.  At the end of the service, I feel comforted just like my regular weekly church service. It helps provide me peace and hope.

At an event in 2017, I noticed this cross made of sticks in front of a reenactors tent. I don't remember which camp it's from?

In my 3rd blog, over two years ago I wrote how much I enjoy visiting Colonial Williamsburg. They regularly had two events that I wish would be held again, Under the Redcoat & Prelude to Victory. Under the Redcoat is held first in late June. It depicts the British occupation (for about 10 days) of Williamsburg in 1781. The town is taken over by the British army and the reenactors set up camp throughout the historic area. Martial Law is declared. 

On Sunday morning, a church service was held in front of the Capitol. All troops were required to attend.

Also, in my 3rd blog, I wrote about Prelude to Victory-

This event celebrates the anniversary of George Washington & the French General  Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau and their armies stopped in Williamsburg for a few days rest before proceeding on to Yorktown for the last major battle of the war.

On that weekend Sunday, there was a religious service at the side of the Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse. Besides American troops attending there also were many Williamsburg visitors.

At any weekend reenactment event, I will check the schedule to learn what time and where the religious observance will be. When you're at an event try to attend. You will feel refreshed!

Thank you for reading. Blog # 34 will be posted in April 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army Church Services comte de Rochambeau Crown Forces French General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur photography Prelude to Victory Reenactments Religious Services the British Brigade The Continental Line Under the Redcoat Yorktown https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/3/reenactment-religious-observances Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:00:00 GMT
The Enduring Valley Forge National Historical Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/2/the-enduring-valley-forge-national-historic-park Last month, I reviewed two more core reenactment events I've been regularly attending, Washington's Crossing Historic Park and the Battle of Trenton-Old Barracks Museum.  In this blog, I'll review the Valley Forge National Historical Park. I visit as often as possible. This past Sunday, 1/31, is a perfect example. We were in the middle of a massive snowstorm. Time to take some wintery photos!

My young son sure enjoyed playing in the snow with his sled! What a fun day.

Luckily for me, it's only about a 30-minute drive. Anytime it snows, I'm hoping I'll be able to visit and photograph the restored cabins/cannons. Below is a great example. It's cold and uncomfortable, but capturing great photos is worth it.

The Valley Forge National Historical Park has many different events over the years including, the annual march in and out of Washington's troops from December 19, 1777, to June 19, 1778. At its peak, there were 1,500-2,000 log huts measuring 14 x 16 feet. The encampment had over  12,000 soldiers plus 400 women/children, making it the fourth-largest city in the United States at that time.

Most Americans know of George Washington leading his troops at Valley Forge in 1776. Many know that Baron von Steuben trained the Continental Army the essentials of military drills, tactics, and discipline? Did you know that many other famous Americans also were at Valley Forge in that encampment?

The list of famous Americans at Valley Forge during the encampment is long and impressive. Let's start with America's most famous eventual traitor, Benedict Arnold. Plus, the Marquis de Lafayette who's future relationship with George Washington, was almost like a father and son.

Add another future President, James Monroe, and Chief Justice John Marshall's who was Thomas Jefferson's bitter rival and 2nd cousin. And finally, one of those bizarre occurrences Alexander Hamilton and his future killer in a dual Aaron Burr. Wow, they knew of each other then. Did they communicate often at the encampment?

Below is the Issac Potts House that was used by George Washington as his headquarters at Valley Forge.

Today, the park is a spacious 3,500 acres with replica cabins/cannons, monuments & walking trails. In addition, Valley Forge regularly hosts encampments and special events including a Focus on Women & Civilian Contributions

Thank you for reading. Blog # 33 will be posted in March 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) Aaron Burr Alexander Hamilton American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Baron von Steuben Benedict Arnold British Army Crown Forces George Washington James Monroe John Marshall Old Barracks Museum photography Reenactments The Battle of Trenton the British Brigade The Continental Line Thomas Jefferson Valley Forge National Historic Park Washington's Crossing Historic Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/2/the-enduring-valley-forge-national-historic-park Tue, 02 Feb 2021 16:26:54 GMT
5 Core Reenactment Events Missed-Part 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/1/5-core-reenactment-events-missed-part-2 Happy New Year! In last month's blog, I reviewed my two out of five core attended reenactment events. This month, I'll reflect on two more, Washington's Crossing Historic Park and the Battle of Trenton-Old Barracks Museum. And next month, I'll review all the many events at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

By far, December is my busiest reenactment event month. In some years, there is an event every weekend. Washington's Crossing is the big one. It's two separate events. The first one is a practice festival held about two weeks before the main crossing on Christmas Day. Both are fun. But, the Christmas event is the busiest of the two; it's a family tradition with hundreds attending religiously year after year. My focus both days is capturing outstanding photos of George Washington, recently portrayed by John Godzieba. His resemblance to George Washington is remarkable!

When first photographing Washington's Crossing, I parked in PA & walked across Washington's Crossing Bridge to wait for the replica Durham boats (carried heavy cargo on colonial waterways) to land in NJ. Lately, I've stayed in PA and photographed  Washington preparing his troops to leave PA and the reenactors boarding the boats. Just before departing, Washington delivers his motivational crossing speech. Very inspiring!

In the last few years, I've wanted to photograph the crossing from a different perspective. The bridge was the perfect solution. The photo below shows the ample size of the Delaware River compared to the relatively small Durham boat.  Also, it provides an inkling of the tremendous undertaking it must have been for Washington and his men to cross in darkness during a blinding blizzard snowstorm. You truly understand the difficulty of the Christmas night crossing when you view the Durham boats up close.

The Battle of Trenton is held the last Saturday in December. It usually takes me about an hour by highway driving. Last year, I did something different by taking the SEPTA train to Trenton. It was a comfortable 2-hour trip and a brisk .08 mile walk to the Old Barracks Museum. A photo friend drove me to the train station when it was over.

The event commemorates two battles. The first and most known is the Christmas night crossing. This reenactment starts with a cannon firing at the Trenton battle monument and the fighting continues in the streets until it reaches Mill Hill Park.

Below shows the battle in the Trenton streets.

It snowed a few times during this event. That's what I'm always hoping for. My drive home then took hours, but the photos I got were worth the long commute. Below is a great example. The snow adds so much realism. It's an event you should try to attend at least once. You're so close to the reenactors during the street fighting you can reach out and touch them. It also gets so loud from the muskets and cannons that car alarms go off.

The lesser-known 2nd Battle of Trenton, known as the Battle of Assunpink Creek, occurred on January 2, 1777. The Hessians were repulsed three times & annihilated when attacking a fortified position, The afternoon battle depicts this battle on the Mill Hill Park Bridge.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 32 will be posted in February 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) 2nd Battle of Trenton American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Assunpink Creek Battle of Trenton British Army Crown Forces George Washington Mill Hill Park Mill Hill Park Bridge NJ Old Barracks Museum photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Trenton Trenton Barracks; Valley Forge Washington's Crossing Washington's Crossing historical Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2021/1/5-core-reenactment-events-missed-part-2 Fri, 01 Jan 2021 15:01:04 GMT
5 Core Reenactment Events Missed-Part 1 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/12/missed Happy Holidays! Wow-what a year! Writing this month's blog has been more difficult than I thought it would be. In 2020, I haven't been able to attend a reenactment event. Besides a contentious Presidential election, we have had to endure a Coronavirus pandemic that appears not to be under control any time in the foreseeable future. Add a recession to this mess makes for a stressful year. Plus, I have been working remotely from home since the middle of March. Luckily, everyone I know is well and healthy.
Not attending reenactments has me appreciate the 5 core events I regularly attend most years. Also, since I live so close to Valley Forge National Historical Park, I'll visit as often as possible to photograph something unique.

Every June I look forward to the Battle of Monmouth reenactment. I have so many good photos, over the years,from this event. It is an easy drive from my home in the western Philly suburbs, only about 1 1/2 using the PA & NJ turnpikes. Here are my comments about this event from my first blog posted in June 2018

Why do I enjoy this event so much? Its location is one reason. When walking behind the visitor’s center, you stop and gaze. There are clusters of trees sporadically growing everywhere. In the middle of the field is a big grass area gently sloping downward. In the distance is a large cornfield. The entire area is green throughout. It’s so stately. This awe feeling comes over me every time I visit.

When fall arrives in October, the Battle of Germantown reenactment occurs. For me, it's also a short 30-minute drive from the western suburbs to North Philly. This year there was the Revolutionary Germantown festival but with no reenactments and a limited number of reenactors.  It felt great attending any event this year, even if it wasn't the same!

Amazingly, the original stone house that was so pivotal in the outcome of the day's battle still exists with visible bullet holes and cannon indentions in the walls. In 2020, I photographed the reenactment from the 2nd floor. What a special, unique opportunity it was to be permitted to do this. It was a tight fit with everyone crammed together. And wow, was it loud. It provided me an idea of what it must have felt for the British soldiers defending this house during the battle.

Visiting Ft Mifflin is an easy drive for me. It's right next to the Philadelphia International airport, a 20-minute trip. The first time visiting was in 2007. It reminded me of the time, as a young boy with my family, initially seeing Ft. Ticonderoga. Both forts appear so massive with their high stone walls and flags flapping in the wind. There is something magical about visiting these magnificent structures that is hard to describe. Maybe you feel the same?

In 1776, a British Navy bombardment destroyed Ft. Mifflin. The fort started to rebuild in 1794. Ghosts, including a screaming woman, supposedly haunt it. Ft. Mifflin conducts numerous paranormal programs & events yearly. Reenactors who have stayed overnight said they heard voices. Not exactly a restful night's sleep!

Next month I'll feature Washington's Crossing, the Battle of Trenton, and the many events at Valley Forge.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 31 will be posted in January 2021. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Battle of Trenton British Army Crown Forces Forge Ft. Mifflin Ft. Ticonderoga Historical National Park" Philadelphia photography Reenactments The Continental Line Valley Forge Valley Forge National Historical Park Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/12/missed Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:27:16 GMT
Revolutionary Germantown Festival 2020 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/11/the-germantown-festival-2020 The 2020 Revolutionary Germantown Festival was a different event this year because of COVID-19. No surprise! There weren't  reenactments,  few Continental & British reenactors, no sutlers (merchants), food trucks, beer garden, reenactor tent, house tours, or even porta-potties. Very strange! Of course, everyone kept a social distance and were wearing masks. Compare to last year's event.

This reenactor was typical of the day. Can you guess who he is? Hint-he's been attending this event since 1984. I'll disclose who

this is at the bottom of the blog

But, it sure felt good strolling the grounds and speaking with a photographer and reenactors I knew. This is my first event of any kind in 2020. Also, played with my new DSL Nikon-500. It was fun and I can't wait for a "normal" Revolutionary Festival next year.

Some events remained the same as in years past such as musket demonstrations.

Also, author Tom McGuire tells the story of the Surprise at Germantown.

The masked reenactor above is Patrick Jordan.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 30 will be posted in December 2020. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth British Army Crown Forces Philadelphia photography Reenactments Revolutionary Germantown Festival the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/11/the-germantown-festival-2020 Sun, 01 Nov 2020 17:10:39 GMT
Interview with Harry Schenawolf-Revolutionary War Journal https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/10/interview-with-harry-schenawolf-revolutionary-war-journal One of the many joys of interacting among the American Revolution reenactment community is meeting so many wonderful reenactors, photographers, site administrators, sutlers (merchants), and historians/writers. An author I recently met on-line is Harry Schenawolf, founder of the American Revolution Journal. When I conducted American Revolution research material for my blogs his web site articles kept appearing. I contacted him and introduced myself. We've been corresponding regularly since the beginning of this year. I asked him to be interviewed for my October blog. He graciously agreed. His background is amazing!

1) Where did you grow up? What is your educational background?

New Jersey – outside Newark to Morristown.  Studied Astro Physics at Univ. of Arizona – switched to fine arts when transferred to Montclair State College (now Univ.). Did my Masters work at Temple University in Philadelphia and my doctoral work at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

2) What types of jobs have you had in your career?  

You name it – repairing water pipelines, fireman, truck driver, teacher Elem – High School & University Professor. Musician – both classical and jazz. 

3) What inspired you to create the web site Revolutionary War Journal? 

As I neared retirement, I wanted to devote the rest of my creative life to my first love–history–mainly military. There are multiple web sites devoted to the Civil, First World Wars, and later Second World Wars including Korean and Vietnam. However, at the time I started the site, only a few major web sites on the Revolutionary War and most of them were loaded with adds from T-shirts to tires. I wanted a site that was devoted to knowledge – focusing on little known information that had an impact on the war – plus would only sell books.

4) What year did you start? 

 I think it was late in the year, 2012.  A friend and fellow historian told me I was a mini-encyclopedia about everything military – in other words boring the hell out of him with tons of little-known information – that he suggested I put it in writing.  So, I did.   

5) How do you create content and what about submissions from other contributors?  

I have, over the years, downloaded or xeroxed literally thousands of books from the National archives or old, dusty books you can get on inner library loan – Dartmouth, Middlebury College, Univ. of Vermont, and SUNY (where I was adjunct for many years) had great libraries of old historical texts. I research mainly through text books – however the internet is very useful to point me in the right direction – google books and the archive search, along with dozens of other site searches are very helpful. I do all my own writing – however, just this year – having been preoccupied with potential screenplays started to accept submissions from other authors.

6) When did your interest in the American Revolution, especially African American studies, develop?

About fifteen years back, I started writing a novel about African explorers. My main protagonist was a youth who escaped the law in colonial Virginia by taking to the high seas.  He was shipwrecked off the West Coast of Africa in the late 1700s and had many adventures throughout the regions. During research –I stumbled across slave rebellions – wrote another book on the Gabriel Rebellion of 1800 – about 12 years back – and discovered the incredible impact African Americans had in the Revolutionary War.  There were few if any sites on the internet at the time.  So, I decided to write a series of historical fiction, based on African American soldiers fighting for both sides of the war I entitled “Shades of Liberty”.  

7) What is the motivation behind your fictional Shades of Liberty Series?   

My desire to tell a story that had never been told.  I started writing the series about twelve years ago when there was little if any interest.  It is amazing that this topic has gained such a following – helped by light being shed on the social injustice that has been prevalent in this country all these decades. Motivation? I want to make a difference – my small part in correcting something that has been buried for far too long.

8) What do you want folks to take away from browsing your web site?  

Knowledge. An open mind.  Not to accept things for face value on the internet – but to dig deeper to find the truth – something that has been under severe attack not only in the US, but the world. Most of my articles are detailed – not cut and paste from other articles that unfortunately has become the norm on the internet – solely to advance revenue.

9) How would you define your personal mission?   

History is truth – and often we bury it rather than embrace it – so my mission is to promote it – however I can. Without history – as well documented, we will continue to make the same mistakes – over and over – not only in war but in the development of authoritarian regiments dating back centuries – vile roots that need to be exposed.  But also – the sacrifice and contribution by so many incredible people who continue to enrich our present life. I want history to open eyes – so we as a nation and a people – self examine who we are, where we are going, and if we truly deserve to honor who we believe we have become. History is a gate that unfortunately remains closed for so many because we have either lost the keys or don’t care if they ever existed. 

10) What about future career aspirations?   

I hope to finish publishing the novels in my Shades of Liberty Series. I hope to see the story of African American Founders on the big screen.  And I want to make a difference – to cast light on that which should never have been extinguished.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 29 will be posted in November 2020. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) African American Founders African Americans in the American Revolution American History American Revolution American Revolution Journal American Revolution reenactments Harry Schenawolf Reenactments" Shades of Liberty Shades of Liberty-Book 2 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/10/interview-with-harry-schenawolf-revolutionary-war-journal Thu, 01 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT
My Top 25 American Revolution Photos-Last 5 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/9/my-top-25-american-revolution-photos-last-5 Here is my last blog of favorite photos! I've selected 5 more American Revolution reenactment photos to discuss. In 5 blogs, I've reviewed 25 of my favorites. If you missed it, here is my August blog.

I now try to focus on photographing non-battle reenactment subjects, when attending events. Here is a perfect example. It's a boat that was sailing nearshore from Mt Harmon 2019. I knew this would make a great photo if I included, besides the boat & mast, the water reflection. I added filters in ON1 Software to make the photo appear like a painting. This photo glows and has a peaceful effect on me.

This image from the Battle of Monmouth 2008 is one of my better constructed early reenactment photos. I've used it on my the back of my American Revolution Photos business cards for years. A bonus is that this image also has sold a few times. The comments are always about the musket flashes and vibrant colors. I was lucky, got the musket blasts all at the right time.

 

Photographing battle reenactments and sporting events are identical. I've done both. Action everywhere. No real planning, just trying to capture the moment quickly. But, photography does have rules to guide us. Some examples are the rule of thirds, subjects not in the center of the frame, and rule of odd numbers, etc. 

I'm conscious of the rules when walking through the American and British camps. Here is an example from the Battle of Wyoming 2014. I spotted this Native American reenactor applying his war paint and knew this would make a great photo! My focus was on his eye. As he was applying his war paint I noticed his left hand was on his forehead creating a circular effect when holding his mirror. It guides the viewer directly to his eye. Perfect!

My photography buddies always discuss our photos from previous reenactment events. Some of my favorites they don't enjoy and vice versa. That is true, especially for motion & blur photos. I like them a lot and try to create them when possible. My friends don't!

Here is an example of this technique from the Battle of Germantown 2011. The Continentals had stormed the Chew Mansion and were unsuccessful. They were retreating. This photo was panned, meaning my shutter speed was set to a slow setting. I kept the camera level and moved at a moderate speed from left to right, holding the shutter button in continuous mode, so the photos were blurred. Most of the them were unusable but this one was perfect! I think so anyway.

 

My goal when photograph American Revolution reenactments is to capture images that provide a glimpse of what it might have been like during the late 18th century. Unlike the American Civil War, photography didn't exist during the American Revolution. It began in the late 1830s in France. This photo of a Native American Warriors from the Battle of Newtown 2019 seems more authentic. I can picture Native American warriors preparing for battle. How does it affect you?

Did you agree with my choices? Would you have chosen other photos? Please let me know.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 28 will be posted in October 2020. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Battle of Newtown British Army Chew Mansion Crown Forces Mt. Harmon of On1 Software photography Reenactments the British Brigade Wyoming" https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/9/my-top-25-american-revolution-photos-last-5 Tue, 01 Sep 2020 05:00:00 GMT
My Top 25 American Revolution Photos-5 More https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/8/my-top-25-american-revolution-photos-5-more Because of Covid-19 and no American Revolution reenactments in the foreseeable future, I'll continue reviewing 5 more of my favorite 25 photos. If you missed it, here is my blog from July.

Occasionally, a photo captures an event perfectly like the one below from the Battle of Trenton 2012. It's of 2 Hessian soldiers at the Trenton Barracks with snow falling gently.  It's easy to envision the Hessian troops stationed here in 1776.

I've attended this event numerous times. My best photos are when it has snowed. Magical!

One year it took me twice as long to drive home from this event because of a snow storm. But, the photos I took were worth it!

Some photos are so simple yet they are still memorable. That was true with this photo from the Battle of Monmouth 2017. It started to drizzle. The British soldier just looks up at the sky. He was probably wondering if as he was loading his musket if it would fire? The rifles/cannons won't fire if wet.

On my website, I have many photo examples of musket firing blasts of fire & smoke! You would believe they all would look the same? Surprisingly, no they are all unique. But this one from the Battle of Germantown 2012 is so different than any other. The sparks shooting from the flash pan appear like tiny pieces of metal strands flying in the air. I have never seen another photo like this ever. It's the reason why I like it so much!

I remember vividly taking this photo from Washington's Crossing 2014. It was the last shot I took that day. I was on the NJ side of the Delaware River walking to my car. I turned around and spotted the Durham boat full or reenactors near shore. The sun was setting. So quickly I took the photo. Because I was facing directly into the sun, the resulting photo became a silhouette. Good photos sometimes just happen.

As a child, I remember visiting Fort Ticonderoga, in upstate NY, for the first time. It was magical. The fort appeared so big and majestic when I was young. I had that same feeling again visiting Fort Mifflin for the first time in 2007. What is it about forts that bring out the child in you?

This photo is from Ft Mifflin 2012. I had taken my tripod hoping to capture a photo of the entrance to the fort. What added to the photo  was the cloudy day at sunset. The fort flag, only flown during this reenactment, seemed to glow in the light. When you are visiting Philadelphia, this is a must-see destination!

Did you agree with my choices? Would you have chosen other photos? Please let me know.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 27 will be posted in September 2020. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Battle of Trenton British Army Crown Forces Fort Mifflin Fort Ticonderoga Philadelphia photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Trenton Barracks Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/8/my-top-25-american-revolution-photos-5-more Sat, 01 Aug 2020 05:00:00 GMT
My Top 25 American Revolution Reenactment Photos https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/7/my-top-25-american-revolution-reenactment-photos I reviewed my top 10 American Revolution reenactment photos in my latest May & June blogs. It was both difficult & fun selecting my favorites. I enjoyed reminiscing on where and when they were taken. Since there are no reenactment events in the foreseeable future because of Covid-19 I'll continue to discuss more of my personal best photos. So for this blog and my next 2, I'll review 5 of my favorite photos each month. Then I would have reviewed a total of 25 photos!

This photo is from the Battle of Monmouth in 2009. The American soldiers marching to start the reenactment. Originally, I liked the photo so much it was in my top 10 list.

I've been attending this event for over 10 years. Some of my best photos have come from this June reenactment. Why?

First, the park area itself is picturesque. Behind the visitor's center is a large sloping grass-covered field and woods on both sides. In the distance is a bridge and still further crops in the field. The background is perfect for reenactment photos.

At each event, I plan on the day being hot, usually in the high 90's with extreme humidity. The weather was ideal with many puffy clouds. For me, they add so much drama to any photo.  The light was ideal so the colors just pop, a wonderful photo.

At every reenactment, I'll take some informal reenactor portraits. So many of them have the facial features, expressions & uniforms that make for a powerful photo. Here is a perfect example from the Battle of Germantown 2017.

When I review my event photos afterwards, I immediately decide whether the image is more compelling in b&w or color. It was an easy decision for this one, b&w. In this photo, his demeanor and the light focused on his face make this photo special.

Some of the best events I've attended only happen infrequently. This photo is from the Return to the Hook 2013. I don't believe the event has been held since? At no other event, have I seen a house exterior been built and then burned to the ground? It was amazing.

I was lucky to photograph from such a unique vantage point. There were 2 platforms constructed about 20-25 feet high right next to the spectators' area. That is why I was able to capture so many unobstructed photos of the burning house.

I was excited to learn recently that in October 2021 this event is scheduled again. Plan to attend, it's magnificent. Plus, Colonial Williamsburg is so close, just across the York River.

I'm often asked  which American Revolution reenactment is a must-see? Immediately, I mention Patriot's Day's  (Lexington & Concord) in Boston, MA on April 19. It's the event you will never forget. Unfortunately, it's been 2011 since I last attended. At that time, 3 separate reenactments occurred at the Lexington Green, North Bridge & Battle Road (the route taken by the British expeditionary force.) This photo is from 2010 on Battle Road.

At this event, the British are retreating to Boston and the militiamen are ambushing them along the way. The action is non-stop. As a spectator, you are following them throughout. You feel like you're part of the battle. It provides a small sampling on how the minutemen and British troops must have felt on that eventful day!

Photographers have always manipulated their photos. Before digital cameras, it was achieved in a film darkroom. Today photos are still enhanced. It's not done using chemicals but instead with computer software. In my digital darkroom, I stylized this photo from the Battle of Oriskany 2012. The focus of this photo is the Native American warrior.

He's surrounded by both American & British troops. Who's he attacking? Can't tell. I knew this would make a great photo when the warrior extended his arm with a ball-headed war club.

By adding blur and movement, in a wonderful photo editing program ON1 Software, I accentuated him further. These few minor editing changes make this photo very unique!

Did you agree with my choices? Would you have chosen other photos? Please let me know.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 26 will be posted in August 2020. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Battle of Oriskany Battle Road British Army Colonial Williamsburg Crown Forces Lexington & Concord Lexington Green North Bridge on1 software photography Reenactments Return to the Hook the British Brigade The Continental Line https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/7/my-top-25-american-revolution-reenactment-photos Thu, 02 Jul 2020 20:26:20 GMT
My Top 10 American Revolution Reenactment Photos-Numbers 1-5 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/6/my-top-10-american-revolution-reenactment-photos-numbers-1-5 About two months ago one of my reenactor friends suggested I select my top 10 photos for a blog post. The COVID 19 virus has canceled all upcoming American Revolution reenactment events for the foreseeable future. She asked: "Maybe you can do a compilation of your “greatest ” to entertain the “troops” until we get kicking again? Could make for an interesting blog!" I thought what a great idea!  In last month's blog, I selected & reviewed my #6-10 selections. Now I'll reveal my personal top 5 photos.

#5

My goal at every  reenactment event is to capture unique images. The photo below is a good example. It was taken at the Battle of Trenton 2019 reenactment. This event is special because the reenactment occurs in the streets of Trenton, near the Trenton Barracks  and NJ State Capital. I'm so close I could touch the reenactors.

This event is difficult to photograph. To avoid modern elements I zoom in often with my telephoto lens very, very tight. I want no cars, telephone poles, or street signs, etc. in the photos. That's what I did here. I zoomed in close!

I had to move/jog with the reenactors as they fired in the streets. The photo shows the musket in Half-cock -the hammer with flint attached (called a dogs head) pulled back. Then a small amount of black powder is poured from the cartridge into the flash pan. I haven't seen another photo like this before. Yes!

#4

I've always been able to capture fabulous & interesting musket firing photos at every reenactment event. No two blast photos I've taken look the same. But, this one is far different than any other posted on my web site. This photo is from the Battle of Germantown 2019.  Magic happens when the flint strikes the black powder in the flash pan, an explosion. This flash was bigger than any other I've seen; it engulfs the entire photo. All the fire & smoke makes it an abstract photo. There is no clear subject. Your eyes wander aimlessly. Amazing!

#3

My advice when photographing special events is to take tons of photos. Sometimes you just get lucky. I did! That's what happened with this photo from the Battle of Stony Point 2019. It occurred in the morning when the Continental troops were assembling. To get the best images I'll photograph from all different angles and vantage points. Afterward, when reviewing hundreds of photos taken that day, I noticed this reenactor secretively extending his middle finger.

There is a saying, every picture tells a story. This photo has many possibilities. He isn't a real soldier so what could have happened that day that he needed to show his frustrations so dramatically? Plus, the day just started. We'll never know? But, that is why this is such a good photo. So many possible scenarios!

#2

In rare occurrences, a photo expresses everything you're hoping to achieve. That is what happened in this photo from Washington's Crossing-Practice Event in 2019. Here's the background. It's December in PA with John Godzieba portraying George Washington looking through his spyglass. Looks great having the reflection of the NJ's Delaware River in the photo. He's preparing to cross the Delaware River that day. How perfect is that! I couldn't have scripted this photo any better if I tried.

#1

Here is my favorite photo. Probably always will be. Why? Because it's my first really good reenactment photo. It was taken at the Battle of Monmouth in 2009. For the first 2 years, I've posted numerous galleries with hundreds of photos. Some were good. But, this one was so much better. Taking this photo was not easy.

Most of the Monmouth battle reenactments held in June are incredibly hot with many spectators attending. It's important to secure a good location at least 1 hour before the battle starts. In 2009, the cannons were very far away. I knew photographing them would be difficult. My photography equipment was important in constructing this photo.

My Nikon DSR (interchangeable lens) camera has a smaller crop sensor compared to a full-frame sensor camera. Simply, this means the cropped sensor “sees” a narrower field of view. But, the good news is this smaller sensor magnifies my lenses by 1.5 times! Now my 80-400 lens becomes a 120-600mm. Also, to gain even more distance, I added a 1.4 converter which extends the lens even further. Now it's comparable to an 840mm. Why is this significant? The average eyes see around 50mm!

Now, I could photograph the cannons. After many tries, I got it. For me, this photo will always be #1!

Did you agree with my top 10 list? Would you have chosen other photos? Please let me know.

Thank you for reading. Blog # 25 will be posted in July 2020. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) "Battle of Stony Point" "George Washington" "Washington American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Monmouth Battle of Trenton British Army Crossing" Crown Forces Delaware River Nikon photography Reenactments s the British Brigade The Continental Line Trenton Barracks https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/6/my-top-10-american-revolution-reenactment-photos-numbers-1-5 Mon, 01 Jun 2020 05:01:00 GMT
My Top 10 American Revolution Reenactment Photos-Numbers 6-10 https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/5/my-top-10-american-revolution-reenactment-photos-numbers-6-10 Every April, I look forward to enjoying  Major League baseball & photographing American Revolution reenactments. Unfortunately, both activities are now canceled for the foreseeable future! COVID 19 has changed everything! Who knows when life will get back to normal?

Something positive has happened during this terrible time; people are reconnecting more with family & friends remotely. Me too. One reenactment friend Olga Leake, who I interviewed for a blog in January 2019, suggested: "Maybe you can do a compilation of your “greatest ” to entertain the “troops” until we get kicking again? Could make for an interesting blog!" I thought what a great idea!

I do have many photos to choose from. A brief history about me; I've been photographing American Revolution reenactments since 2007. My web site has over 7,300 photos. My first step in this endeavor was to review all my many galleries and self-critique my photos. A daunting task. I initially selected 41 of my best photos. Some I knew immediately would make the list; others I would need time to mull over.

The photos I selected aren't all necessarily technically perfect but are the ones that have personal significance for me. In every one of these images, I remember all the details of where and how they were composed. For this blog, I'll discuss #10 to#6. Next month I'll list my top 5.

#10

This photo originally was not in my top 10 list. I changed my mind after reviewing it a few times.  It was taken at Valley Forge's March-In event in December 2017. The temperature was extremely cold with snow on the ground, just like in 1776. There was an unoccupied hut in the Muhlenberg Brigade area of 9 log cabins. I peered inside and saw a few muskets stacked and the fire was blazing. Knew this would make a great photo. I dropped to 1 knee and raised my external flash in my left hand as high as possible. And with just my right hand on my camera took numerous photos. Luckily, I captured this one.

# 9

Colonial Williamsburg is my favorite place to take photographs. I mentioned this in the 2014 gallery when the photo below was taken.

ONE DAY IN WILLIAMSBURG REFLECTING!
My goal for the last decade has been to visit Colonial Williamsburg at least once a year! Unfortunately, that hasn't always happened. For me, this is the place I go to relax and get away from everyday stresses. I get to stroll around the town that so many of our Founding Fathers developed their political thoughts. It’s amazing that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Henry, etc. walked these same streets. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin visited here as postmaster twice in 1756 & 1763? William & Mary awarded him an honorary MA degree in 1756.

It was early in the morning when I was walking around streets near the Capital. Behind a house was a storage building with a ladder hooked on its side. Looking closer I imagined the windows as eyes and the ladder a mouth. Knew I had a photo opportunity. Later, I cropped it to appear like a face. This photo still makes me smile!

# 8

I'm almost always able to capture at least 1 good flash photo at any event that has a firing cannon. My web site has many excellent photos to choose from. But, this one is my favorite.

It was taken at the Retreat at Ft Lee event in 2017. The day was perfect; it was late afternoon in December so the light was ideal. The orange blast in this shot just pops. Plus, what makes this photo interesting is that the cannon vent spark is so high. Immediately afterward, I shared this in-camera shot with the cannon crew & photo friends next to me. Knew I had a good one.

# 7

Sometimes when taking a photo everything is just perfect. The light is exquisite, subject engaged, colors are exemplary, and a background that is ideal! That is what happened with this photo from the Focus on Women & Civilian Contributions at the Valley Forge in 2019. It was a late afternoon, a perfect time to take a photo. This reenactor was standing against the side of a log cabin holding his musket. Other folks were taking his photo at the same time. He saw me, posed, and provided the perfect grin. Simple. That's why I think it's one of my best photos.

#6

Battle reenactments are loud. When the reenactors fire their musket volleys in unison your ears hurt. Add cannons, especially in close quarters, it's painful! That's what happened in the photo below. It was taken at the Iron Works Hill, Mount Holly, NJ, event in 2011. The canon was firing in the town's main street and when it went off the echo was deafening! It was the loudest cannon I can remember. The British reenactors' expressions show their pain!

I miss this event. It hasn't occurred for many years. There is a great NY style pizza shop downtown where I want to eat again.

Thanks for reading. Blog # 24 will be posted in June 2020. Then I'll reveal my top 5 photos. Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments British Army cannon Colonial Williamsburg Crown Forces Ft Lee George Washington Iron Work Hill Mt. Holly Muhlenberg Brigade musket firing New Jersey NJ Pennsylvania photography Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Top 10 List Valley Forge https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/5/my-top-10-american-revolution-reenactment-photos-numbers-6-10 Fri, 01 May 2020 05:00:00 GMT
Jockey Hollow-Morristown National Historical Park https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/4/jockey-hollow-morristown-national-historical-park

Most everyone has heard of George Washington's winter encampment of his army in 1777-78 at Valley Forge PA. Because of Prussian volunteer Baron Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben (great name) creating a standard method of drills for the entire army it is famous for being the birthplace of the American Army. But have you heard of the encampment at Jockey Hollow, around Morristown, NJ, in 1779-80? It was called the "The Hard Winter"; the most severe known in early America! How bad was it?

This winter produced 26 snowstorms with 6 of them being blizzards! There were snowdrifts over 6 feet & the temperatures were only above freezing a few days. BURRRRRRRRRRR. In the Valley Forge winter encampment of 1777-8, there were over 1.400 deaths. At Jockey Hollow, amazingly under 100 perished. Why? The camp layout and hut construction had improved since Valley Forge. The soldiers lived in less damp conditions and did properly take care of camp sanitation, resulting in less sickness and death.

Where is Jockey Hollow? It is located in Morristown, NJ about 30 miles from New York City. George Washington used this site twice for winter encampments, December 1779-June 1780 & November 1780-January 1781. Around mid-April is the annual encampment weekend. Unfortunately, the event had to be canceled this year because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Wait until next year.

In 2015, I  posted the cover/page/overview of a book aimed at middle schoolers entitled Jockey Hollow-Where a Forgotten Army Persevered to Win America's Freedom by Rosalie Lauerman. Three of my photos are featured in the book.

Some fun photos from recent encampments below.

Below is Henry Wick's house built in 1750. His farm called Jockey Hollow consisted of over 1,400 acres much of it timber. He was also the Captain of the Morris County Cavalry. It was the ideal location to house the army plus it was a mountainous range. It would be a difficult location for the British to attack. The timber from his farm was what was used to build the huts.

Replica of a soldier's cabin in the visitor center.

Six miles away in Morristown, NJ is the Washington Headquarter's Museum (above) & Ford's Mansion, a Georgian style home, where Washington stayed during the encampments. Visit this national treasure; it's a special & historic place!

Thanks for reading. Blog # 23 will be posted in May 2020.

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Baron Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben encampment Ford's Mansion George Washington Headquarter's Henry Wick's house Jockey Hollow" Morristown Museum" National Park Service New Jersey Reenactments Rosalie Lauerman The Continental Line Valley Forge https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/4/jockey-hollow-morristown-national-historical-park Wed, 01 Apr 2020 07:00:00 GMT
Founding Father-James Wilson https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/3/founding-father-james-wilson Recently, I've been fascinated with learning more about the creation of the US Constitution. Besides visiting the outstanding National Constitution Center museum in Philadelphia, I've read 2 excellent older books on this subject, the US Constitution, Miracle at Philadelphia, 1966 by Catherine Drinker Bowen & Genius of the People, 1987 by Charles L. Mee Jr.

James Madison & Alexander Hamilton are usually the leading founding fathers mentioned in the creation of the US Consitution. But, have you ever heard of James Wilson? Probably not, most people haven't. He is credited with being the second most influential statesman at the Constitutional Convention! Only James Madison is more important. Wilson addressed the Convention 168 times! He also signed the Declaration of Independence. So why is he not remembered today?

Life-size, bronze statue of James Wilson at the National Constitution Center

James Wilson's legacy reminds me of another founding father I did a book review on a few years ago, Richard Henry Lee of VA. Both men in the 1970’s Broadway play/film 1776, about the signing of the Declaration of Independence, were depicted horribly. Lee was described as a buffoon. And Wilson as a sycophant of John Dickerson. He wasn't indecisive as implied but instead following the wishes of his conservative Pennsylvania constituents.

Wilson Wilson was originally from Scotland and studied at numerous universities without receiving a degree. After immigrating to British America in 1766, he began tutoring & teaching at the College of Philadelphia (now the University of PA). Shortly afterward, he studied law under John Dickerson for 2 years. He passed the bar and began practicing law in Reading, Carlisle & Annapolis.  In 1771, he married Rachel Bird and eventually had 6 children.

In 1774 Wilson wrote  an influential  essay titled "Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Government".  This document challenges the authority Parliament has over the colonies. During the American Revolution Wilson & his family moved to Philadelphia. He later became the main author of Pennsylvania's new constitution.

 

After winning American independence Wilson became the University of Pennsylvania's first law professor and founder of the Penn Law School. But, his later years were difficult. After his first wife dies, he married again and had another child. But, his economic ruin occurred because of his unwise land speculation. For a brief period, he was imprisoned in the debtor's prison and had moved to NC to avoid creditors. There is where he died of malaria and buried in 1798. In 1906 he was reinterred at Christ Church in Philadelphia.

James Wilson's Gravesite at Christ's Church in Philadelphia

Thanks for reading. Blog # 22 will be posted in April 2020.

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) 1776 Alexander Hamilton American History American Revolution Christ Church Constitutional Convention Declaration of Independence Dickerson" Founding Fathers James Madison James Wilson John National Constitution Center Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania's first law professor US Constitution https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/3/founding-father-james-wilson Thu, 05 Mar 2020 19:24:07 GMT
Photography Friends https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/2/photography-friends A first for this blog, none of the photos were taken by me at a reenactment. Instead, they are recent photos of me from my photo friends.

One of the many great reasons for me photographing American Revolution reenactments is developing friendships with reenactors and fellow photographers who all have similar interests. To have fun, we photographers regularly like to photograph each other and then share. We generally do this for 2 reasons. The first is to show us in action, like the photos below.

The other is when we're waiting for the action to start. We're bored! At each reenactment event, there is a prime location to photograph. So we have to claim our spot early so that means we have to wait...and wait some more. These images show the boredom...and that I'm getting older.

The photo below shows us waiting and chatting!

Sometimes we're not the subject; we're in the background.

I appreciate my photo friends. When we're together we talk shop. Either it's about what our cameras are doing/not doing something or where would be the best location to photograph.

Thanks to them for wonderful times!

Thanks for reading. Blog # 21 will be posted in March 2020.

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Trenton British Army cameras Crown Forces photography photography friends Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line waiting Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/2/photography-friends Tue, 04 Feb 2020 18:21:24 GMT
American Revolution Photos-2019 Recap https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/1/american-revolution-photos-2019-recap For this blog, I'm going to review and comment on the 9 American Revolution reenactments I've photographed in 2019, visiting a historic site and participating in a reenactment wedding. It's been quite an exciting year! 

As a photographer, our goal is to try to make our photos interesting & unique. After reviewing last year's portfolio I incorporated more new ideas & techniques into my photography. Many more images now have blur, motion, combining photos together, panoramas & an occasional video than in previous years. Also, my photos weren't all posted 8 x 12.

This is my favorite image of 2019, photographed at Washington's Crossing practice event. It's George Washington, viewing the Delaware River through his spyglass. I believe the reflection is what makes this photo so special.

For me, having motion & blur in a photo enhances it further. Here are 2 examples from the Battle of Germantown reenactment.

The photo below from the Battle of Newtown reenactment was not planned. As I was reviewing my photos I noticed unconsciously photographing both sides of this reenactor's war-painted face. Combing these 2 photos together is a stronger image than separately. Photographers are lucky sometimes too!

I enjoy incorporating panoramas in my galleries. They provide a broad perspective of the event & scene. Usually, I'll stitch between 3-5 photos together in photoshop. Below is from Ft Mifflin. It shows the size & scope of this magnificent historical fort.

The highlight of the year was visiting the Fort Boonesborough replica site & photographing the reenactment wedding in KY.

I added a few more videos than in previous years. This is an area I need to develop further. A video provides a quick overview of a reenactment, especially a battle. Here is an example from the Battle of Germantown.

After reviewing my portfolio from last year I'm pleased. I experimented and tried new techniques that overall has made my photography better. Looking forward to 2020. Here is a sampling of some of my favorite photos of 2019.

Thanks for reading. Blog # 20will be posted in February 2020.

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Newtown British Army Crown Forces Fort Boonesborough Ft Mifflin George Washington Philadelphia photography reenactment wedding Reenactments the British Brigade The Continental Line Washington's Crossing https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2020/1/american-revolution-photos-2019-recap Wed, 08 Jan 2020 18:00:59 GMT
PhotoPlus Expo 2019 in NYC https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/12/photoplus-expo-2019-in-nyc This blog will be different than all my others! The previous 17 all focused on some aspect of the American Revolution. Not this time. Recently, I attended the PhotoPlus Expo at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on Saturday, October 26. It's probably been over 5 years, don't remember exactly, since I last attended? I'm originally from Long Island so it felt good to be back in the "city". So what is the PhotoPlus Expo?

Beginning in 1983, it's the largest photography and imaging event in North America. There are over 200 exhibitors and brands displaying thousands of the latest equipment, products, and services. Most of the major camera companies are represented. Think of this expo as Disneyland for photographers!

I knew this would be a long trip because it involved taking both the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) & NJ Transit trains from the Philly suburbs. The earliest first SEPTA train to the beautiful 30th Street Station was at 5:30 am.  I'm used to the commute. Every weekday I take the train to work.

From 30th Street to Trenton, NJ.

Once at the Trenton Transit Center, I boarded the double-decker train to the NY PENN station, about a 2-hour trip. When closer to Manhattan the train became packed.

It was about 10 blocks to the Javitts Center. I arrived around Noon.

It took only a few minutes to activate my registration. Once inside, I was immediately immersed in photography-related products and award-winning photographs displayed everywhere. My first stop was the Nikon booth near the front entrance. I've always had Nikon SLR cameras & I'm in the market in purchasing a new one hopefully soon. Oh, if money wasn't a concern! So many great cameras, lenses, & accessories to choose from. This hobby can get very expensive. How much do those big lenses that photographers use at sporting events cost? Easily, over $10,000!

I walked the hall to view the different vendors; it was less crowded than I remember. At the Skink Ink Fine Art Printing booth they had a promotion for a complimentary 8 x 10 print. Fantastic, I believed the photo below photographed at the recent Battle of Germantown 2019 reenactment would look great printed/framed. Thank you Skink Ink Fine Art Printing!

Because of smartphones, folks today have fewer printed photos than in years past. Print, frame & mount your photos; they have so much more impact.

After staying for about 4 hours it was time to go home. Reviewing all the vendor's literature made the trip feel quicker. Next year try to attend the PhotoPlus Expo. For photographers, it's a wonderful day to review & compare products plus dream!

Happy Holidays!

Thanks for reading. Blog # 19 will be posted in January 2020.

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Germantown Battle of Germantown Reenactment Javits Convention Center Manhattan NYC PhotoPlus SLR https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/12/photoplus-expo-2019-in-nyc Mon, 09 Dec 2019 20:20:13 GMT
The Battle of Germantown Reenactment https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/11/the-battle-of-germantown-reenactment Ever heard of The Cliveden House in Germantown, PA? It was built between 1763 to 1767 as the summer home for Benjamin Chew and his family. It played a pivotal role in the outcome of the Battle of Germantown on October 4, 1777.

Washington was desperate for a battle victory after the catastrophic defeats at the Battle of BrandywinePaoli & the British capturing Philadelphia in September 1777. He was hoping, with his larger army, to strike Howe and smaller force at his Germantown headquarters. 

The battle started well for Washington but eventually, everything went wrong. His battle plan was too complicated, plus darkness and a heavy fog caused a considerable amount of troop confusion. And that house!

 

About 120 soldiers of the British 40th Regiment of Foot barracked & fortified themselves in the stone house. It could have been bypassed. But, General Henry Knox was reluctant to have British troops in the house as his troops advanced. So the Continentals charged and charged again at the defenders. About 70 Americans attackers were killed; they never captured the house!

Painting of the Chew House in the battle.

 

That original house is still standing. Amazing! You can see the bullet holes and indentions left by American cannonballs near the front door of the home. This event is one of the most unique American Revolution reenactment I attend.

It's held the first Saturday in October, commemorating the actual battle on October 4, 1777. I've attended this event since 2008. This year I arrived around 8:30 am when vendors & staff were setting up. It was a beautiful fall being sunny & seasonably mild. I immediately found Don Mehaldo-sutler who I interviewed for the August 2019 blog to say hello. Then I found my photography friends and walked the grounds.

This event is a festival. The streets surrounding the house are closed.

Besides the 2 reenactments, there are historical lectures, children's activities, food vendors, house tours, sutlers (merchants), and even a beer garden. Something for everyone.

Because of the large crowd size, I have to change my focus spot for the morning and afternoon reenactments. At the first battle I chose to be outside the main gate to the house. This is where the fighting in the street starts. Eventually the British retreat and the Continental troops advance through the gate & retreat to inside the house. After all the reenactors are all inside the gate, then the spectators can enter and find an open spot in the allowed area. By this time it's hard to find a good photography vantage point.

For the 2nd battle I sit in the area reserved for media. It's close to the house where I get great photos of the Continental troops attacking the house. Always get excellent photos from this spot.

Always a fun day! This is a must-see reenactment event!

FUN FACT: Lieutenant John Marshall of the Virginia Line, the future Chief Justice of the United States, who was wounded during the attack.

Thanks for reading. Blog # 18 will be posted in December, 2019.

Ken Bohrer

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/11/the-battle-of-germantown-reenactment Mon, 11 Nov 2019 17:22:34 GMT
Attending the Battle of Newtown Reenactment again https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/10/attending-the-battle-of-newtown-reenactment-again I haven't attended the Battle of Newtown reenactment in Elmira, NY since 2010. Hard to believe it's been that long! One reason is that the event hasn't been held in years. So I was excited to attend again the weekend of August 24 & 25. My photo galleries from my 2 previous Newtown events in 2010 and 2009 have accumulated the second & fourth most number of web site visitors on my site American RevolutionPhotos.com!

 

This event is to commemorate General John Sullivan's major battle victory over British Loyalists/Six Nations tribes, as part of the Sullivan Expedition, in August 1779. This campaign was ordered by George Washington to destroy towns & crops of the Six Nations that were terrorizing settlers in upstate New York & western Pennsylvania regions.

My GPS stated it would take 3 1/2 hours to drive from Media, PA to Newtown. I left early, around 6:45 am., selecting the major highways to save time. Unfortunately, this was the wrong choice! Highway 81 was closed about 25 miles from Binghamton, NY. A tractor-trailer flipped over causing everyone to exit in a small rural town that became overwhelmed with traffic. I arrived in Newtown almost 2 hours late, after 12 pm.

For the afternoon I visited the American/British and Indian camps. Late in the day was a reenactment in the woods close to the Indian village. But it was difficult to get many good photos with the reenactors skirmishing in the thick woods.

Around 4:00 pm I was tired; it had been a long day. I had researched what restaurant in the area to eat and chose one off the beaten path, the Maple Lawn Dairy Restaurant. It was a pleasant meal and the waitress provided me with directions to my hotel. I now try to eat at local restaurants on my photo trips. When I arrived at the hotel I crashed.

I was up early on Sunday morning. Had breakfast and arrived at Newtown around 8:30 am. When I first arrived the fog covered the area.

After taking the photo above I noticed 2 reenactors near the Newtown Battlefield Monument. Knew it would make a good photograph.

Early in the morning was the church service.  For Sunday reenactment events I'll try to attend. It's good for the soul.
 
Later in the morning was a new British soldier induction ceremony. Best wishes!
 
 
My favorite event was the woods walk. Continental soldiers escorting refugees through enemy territory.
 

Late in the day was the reenactment battle. It was fun because the action was nonstop; on both sides of the road.

Need to be careful in the woods!

Thanks for reading. Blog # 17 will be posted in November 2019.

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American History American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Newtown British Army Crown Forces John Sullivan photography Reenactments the British Brigade https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/10/attending-the-battle-of-newtown-reenactment-again Thu, 03 Oct 2019 20:26:22 GMT
Interview with Bryn Kelley-Bride https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/9/interview-with-bryn-kelley-bride  

In my June Reenactment Wedding & July Locust Grove Encampment & Wedding/Reception blogs I described the American Revolution reenactment wedding that I was privileged to photograph in late April at Locust Grove in Louisville, KY. It was a fantastic experience to be part of Bryn Kelley's and Greg Hudson's special day!

Contentment!

I had asked Bryn to be interviewed for a future blog before the wedding. She gladly accepted. I knew this event would make for a great interview.

Interview with Bride Bryn Kelley-

BEFORE THE WEDDING

1) How long have you & your husband become active in American Revolution reenacting?

We have 38 years combined experience. My husband was born into the hobby, so he has been doing this for 31 years. I, on the other hand, have been reenacting for about 7 years.

2) How many events do you attend yearly? Do you have a favorite?

We typically attend seven or eight events a year. One of our favorites is definitely the Spring Encampment at Locust Grove, where we were married this year; another favorite is the Vermillion Valley Encampment at Forest Glen Nature Preserve in Illinois.

3) When did you decide to have a reenactment wedding?

From the minute we knew we were getting married we knew it would be a reenactment wedding, it just seemed perfect. Reenacting is how we met and has been important in many big steps in our relationship.

The beautiful bride on her day.

4) What was your families & friends reaction to this idea?

Admittely, most of our friends who were not reenactors were a little confused. Once we explained it, they thought it was really unique and exciting. Our friends who do reenact were very excited to see what we were going to do with our wedding. Our family thought it was a lot of fun and enjoyed putting together their outfits.

5) How long did the wedding preparation take?

The wedding planning took roughly 14 months.

Proud Father-Law!

AFTER THE WEDDING

1) How was your wedding day?

It was wonderful and exhausting. It meant so much to have people there who love us.

2) Did everything go as planned?

While weddings never go as planned and it rained, it all made for fond memories

3) Would you have planned anything differently?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Cutting the Wedding Cake.

4) What was overall reaction afterwards from your family/attendees?

Everyone was tired but had a really good time, they were all very happy for us and excited that they got to partake in the celebration.

5) If another couple was planning a reenactment wedding what advice would you give?

Hire a day of coordinator that is not family. We didn’t and it would have been nice to have.

The Wedding Ceremony.

Thanks for reading. Blog # 16 will be posted in October 2019.

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American Clark George Grove History KY Locust Louisville photography reenactment reenactments Revolution Rogers The North West Territory Alliance (NWTA) wedding https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/9/interview-with-bryn-kelley-bride Tue, 03 Sep 2019 13:09:19 GMT
Interview with Ron Mehalko-Sutler https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/8/interview-with-ron-mehalko-sutler What is a sutler? Ever heard of the word before? From the Oxford English Dictionary, it means "a person who followed an army and sold provisions to the soldiers." At many American Revolution reenactment events, besides being exposed to army camp life and battle reenactments, you will find merchants selling their merchandise. Some cater to reenactors and others such as Ron Mehalko founder of Revolution Wear focus mostly to spectators.

I've known Ron since I started photographing American Revolution reenactments. I believe we met at a Battle of Monmouth event? He was setting up his table early in the morning. I introduced myself and mentioned being a photographer. Since then at different events I would always visit & say hello.

Ron's  spot at the recent Battle of Monmouth reenactment!

I asked Ron to be interviewed a few months ago. He graciously agreed. To fully appreciate the reenactment experience spectators should wander around the merchant's tables. You'll always discover interesting items/souvenirs.

Interview with Ron Mehalko of Revolution Wear-

1) How long have you been a sutler (merchant) at American Revolution events?

I actually started out selling wholesale to Revolutionary Historic Sites and then pursed the idea of also selling retail at reenactments? Attended my first reenactment in the spring of 2002. It was a tough start but was able to convince those in charge and other participants that what I wanted to do was a good fit.

2) How did you create Revolution Wear and start your business?

I started thinking about the number of historic sites I visit and how disappointed I always was in what was offered for sale in the gift shops. I thought I could provide a better alternate and it seemed to work gauging from the feedback and reorders I received.

Setting up early in the morning!

3) Why did you focus on US colonial history?

My dad gave me a book on Thomas Jefferson and once finished my daughter and I took our first trip to Colonial Williamsburg. After that one visit we were hooked. The Revolution and 18th century culture have been a huge interest of mine ever since. All of this started me on the path to thinking about #2 which lead to #1.

4) How many events do you usually each year?

Typically about 6-8 events each year.

The sutlers area.

5) How do sutlers add to the reenactment experience?

It allows the public to see up close the type of clothing and accompaniments which the soldiers use day to day and for battle. There was always an 18th century solution to all the little problems just as today. I however focus on the history of the revolution using symbols and flags on my apparel as a reference point. I enjoy talking to the visitors about the symbols and how it had an impact on the soldiers and public.

6) Are spectators surprised that vendors particpate in reenactment events?

Not so much surprised but there is a general lack of knowledge of what a sutlers ‘job’ was and how they were a benefit to the soldiers. I often point to the Civil War (which most people seem to have a better grasp of) and how the photographers followed the army to provide a service and I will say we have the same function just different.

Busy with customers!

7) What items do you stock? Which ones sell the best?

My sutlery is very different than all the rest. I do not sell 18th century items which meant Revolution Wear was not readily accepted. But eventually it was which I think was due to everyone seeing that I sold quality merchandise very pertinent to the Revolution, the public was interested in what I sell and had to say and the openness and good will of the other sutlers.

8) Do you create your merchandise designs?

Yes, and no. I started out using flags from the Revolution as the basis of my designs on the hats. That evolved into using the same basic designs on tee shirts and polos. Having the tee shirts as a ‘pallet’ allowed me to expand to new printed designs but still all based on the American Revolution. I have always shied away from altering the symbols and having oversized multi-colored designs as many others offer.

       9) How many of your customers ask you questions about the American Revolution? If yes, what was the most unique question you were asked?

I do get a number of questions, mostly about the symbols which are on the shirts and hats and I always take any opportunity to give an explanation and many times a bit of the back story of the who and why. Most times I have to stop myself from going on and on. To educate the public in any small way has always been a goal of mine and I enjoy it a little too much.

10) How do view the future of American Revolution reenacting?

I am concerned about the future of it all. I see the soldiers getting gray but do not see many younger recruits to take their place. It most likely is not as bad as I see it from standing under my fly as they march by but from what I have heard it is a concern in general.

Thanks for reading. Blog # 15 will be posted in September 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (American Revolution Photos) American Revolution American Revolution reenactments Battle of Monmouth Colonial Williamsburg merchant Reenactments Revolutionary Historic Sites sutler the British Brigade https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/8/interview-with-ron-mehalko-sutler Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:37:04 GMT
Locust Grove Encampment & Wedding/Reception https://www.americanrevolutionphotos.com/blog/2019/7/locust-grove-encampment-reenactment-wedding In last month's Reenactment Wedding blog post I shared my excitement in photographing a reenactment wedding in KY. For this blog, I'll recap that special day.

I arrived at Locust Grove, the 55-acre 18th century restored farm site, around 9 am on a beautiful spring morning. Many of the reenactors were still setting-up; so I met with them & walked the grounds and outbuildings. Others were preparing breakfast.

The Locust Grove Revolutionary War Encampment is an annual event. The bride and groom met here a few years ago. These reenactors are part of The North West Territory Alliance (NWTA). This is an American Revolutionary War reenactment organization located in the Midwest. 

The day was for the public to meet & greet with the soldiers and camp followers. Later in the day, there was a solemn salute at the cemetery for the Locust Grove descendants and a tribute for a recent reenactor's death.  In the late afternoon was a small tactical demonstration.

Below is Lieutenant Greg Hudson (groom) of the Illinois Regiment of the Virginian State line.

The weather was perfect ...until about 2 hours before the wedding. Later in the afternoon, it got cloudy and then a light shower started. The ceremony was delayed for almost an hour. The wedding commenced Around 5:30 pm outside in front of the house.

The beautiful bride and her parents!

The wedding Ceremony.

The bride/groom plus bridesmaids/groomsmen and their children.

Outside reception & wedding cake.

And of course some dancing after dinner!