Jockey Hollow 2024

May 31, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

The encampment for George Washington's troops at Jockey Hollow, with 10,000 soldiers, from the end of 1779 to early 1780 proved to be one of the coldest on record during the American Revolution. It was known as "the hard winter" with seven blizzards. The conditions were worse than at Valley Forge two years earlier. Besides the weather, there was less food, but thankfully, not as many soldiers perished. Why isn't Jockey Hollow remembered as much as Valley Forge? There is this aura regarding Valley Forge, but even today, Jockey Hollow isn't mentioned or even known about. 

It's hard to believe, but it had been five years, 2019 since I attended their spring encampment event. I left the Philly suburbs around 9 AM on a beautiful Saturday, taking the significant highways circling Philly, and arrived in NJ around Morristown about an hour later. These driving trips are relaxing for me.

Now, when I go, it's fun browsing through the gift shop to find where the book Jockey Hollow by Rosalie Lauerman is displayed. Why? Three of my photos are featured. Her book was on the front table when entering the visitor's center. The photo below shows the book.

Reminiscing about the photos in her book gave me an excellent idea for a future blog: to review some of my published images in books and magazines. There is no more incredible honor for a photographer than to have your work featured like that!

Good photos often capture simple moments and tell a story. I noticed this reenactor waiting for drills to start. Everyone else was staring straight ahead. He, though, was looking up at, who knows why? Maybe he was thinking about what is for dinner, or the sun is sure hot today. That's the fun of viewing a photo; we can only imagine.

I like to photograph canteens at these events. There is something unique about them with all their fancy designs and logos. I zoom in as tight as possible when shooting. This one was different because everything else besides the number 5 and the letter P wasn't recognizable.

The re-enactors practiced drilling and firing in formation when I positioned myself directly in front of them as if they were firing directly at me. I always wanted to sense what it feels like to have a musket barrel staring directly at you!

Later, when editing, I cropped as much as I could. I then added a canvas filter in On1 software to create this painting-like effect. 

You get this dark, cloudy, smokey effect from many muskets fired at once—almost like a solar eclipse. All your eyes can identify from the musket explosion is the initial fire blast from the ignited black powder. I have many pictures like this one on my site. I wonder if the reenactors realize the size and power of the musket blasts disseminating from them.

Thank you for reading! Blog #73 will be posted in July 2024.  Be safe & well!

Ken Bohrer




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