Battle of Trenton 2023

February 29, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

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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