It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been photographing American Revolution reenactments now for over 10 years. On my photography website AmericanRevolutionPhotos.com there are over 5,000 photos and 12,000 visitors. I’m fortunate to live in the Delaware Valley region where so many Revolutionary Era events are held annually. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel from Boston, MA to Greensboro, NC photographing other reenactments. Many of my photos have been published in numerous books and magazines including Popular Photography magazine. How did I start focusing on this type of photography?
Since I was young, I’ve always been interested in studying the American Revolution. This period of history has always just fascinated me. When I first moved to the Philadelphia region and started attending reenactments, I reviewed numerous American & British regiments websites. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the photographs posted. I knew I could do better. In the beginning, I was just hoping to catch a few musket or cannon flash photos at these events. After so many years of practice, it now occurs almost every time. Above is an example.
When I reviewed this photo from the recent Battle of Monmouth, I was still thrilled. I’ve been asked often, how do you capture these images? I honestly say, don’t know. My camera allows me to shoot in rapid fire, almost 8 shots a second! But I’m definitely doing something right. It’s fun to hear the camera continuously clicking, in rapid fire mode, when I hit the shutter release button. But, I recognized eventually that there is more to the reenactment experience than the actual reenactment itself.
About 5 years ago, I was speaking with one of the ladies cooking lunch in the Continental camp. She was familiar with my website and her first remark to me was a quote from Abagail Adams “to remember the ladies.” I understood immediately what she meant! I was only photographing the reenactments and missing the camp life experience. From then on, I made sure to visit both the American & British camps when I first arrived at any event.
Plus, it’s important for photographers to try new and interesting artistic techniques. Should the photo be in color, B&W, photo dimensions, panoramas, etc.? Recently, I purchased knee pads (less than $15 at Home Depot) so I could get different angles and vantage points by being low and shooting upwards. Everything appears to be so much larger in the photos. Plus, it’s easier to crop out any unnecessary elements later if warranted. A photo below, while on one knee, of the British camp.
Below is my favorite photo from the Battle of Monmouth reenactment. Why? Before the reenactment started, I conceptualized the photo in my head when I saw the British troops marching in the distant cornfield. The contrast between the green field and British red uniforms makes this image unique. Plus, it’s also colorful and one of a kind photograph. Do you agree? I’m lucky too. Not everyone has the essential equipment to capture this photo. When I attach my 1.4 teleconverter (extends lens distance) to my long 80—400 lens it becomes an 840mm. I'm capable of photographing almost anything very far away!
Thanks for reading! Blog # 3 will be posted in September, 2018!