Sneak Peeks: Alexa & Clayton at Battle of the Hook

So, when I was at the Battle of the Hook back in October, I had two sets of couples sign up for portrait sessions.  I really love doing these reenactor portraits, as it’s a really unusual take on the typical “engagement” or “couple” photos that you see floating around everywhere these days.  They’re fun because they combine two people’s passion for their hobby with their love of one another, and I find that to be a beautiful thing.

Without further ado, here are some of my shots of one of the couples, Alexa and Clayton:


The Germans are coming to New Oxford

A couple weeks ago I attended “The Liberation of New Oxford” in New Oxford, PA.  For this WWII event, the small town dresses itself up as a wartime French village.  Locals and visitors alike gather in the town square as an invading force of Germans eventually arrives and takes over the town.  Almost immediately they start getting pushback from local resistance groups, and eventually a large force of Americans arrives and helps overthrow the German occupation of the town.  This was my first time attending the event and I was impressed by how well it was done.  Huge numbers of reenactors, multiple fly-bys of a C-47 that was “dropping paratroopers”, well over a dozen vehicles, and the whole thing was generally well-orchestrated.  I would highly recommend the event.

Next year I will take a different, less centralized position for my photos (perhaps even joining in with the French Resistance unit I belong to that attended the event), but I am still really happy with what I got this year.  I hope that you enjoy them!  As always, just click the image to see a larger version.


Defiance & Independence at Fort Ticonderoga

Early tomorrow morning I am heading up to Fort Ticonderoga for my yearly expedition to shoot their biggest event of the year.  Ticonderoga is one of my favorite sites.  The fort itself has been preserved, maintained, and restored in a wonderful fashion, the setting is to die for, the staff is friendly, helpful, knowledgable, and well-organized, and I’m given pretty much free rein as a photographer.  They all make my job easy, so I try and give them equally great work.

Though I’m not looking forward to the 10 hour drive ahead of me, I am definitely looking forward to the shots I’ll get this weekend.  To celebrate, here are some of my favorite shots from last year’s “Defiance & Independence” event.


Sully Plantation’s WWII Weekend

I originally thought that I wasn’t going to be able to attend the WWII living history event at Sully Plantation this past weekend, but a coworker of mine decided that he wanted more hours and offered to take my shift for me on Sunday, so that I could attend the event.  Marc and I were only there for four hours, and we were actively participating for most of the time, so I was only able to shoot for a few minutes, but I do like some of the shots I got.

Once again, I shot using my “free-lensing” technique that simulates a tilt-shift lens.  I really, really love what tilt-shift does for portraits, and I honestly think that a legitimate tilt-shift lens is probably in my future somewhere.  I really enjoy portraiture, and this technique has developed into something of a “look” for me, and having a real lens would make it just that much easier.

So, though I don’t have all that many shots, most of which are of my own French Resistance unit, I hope you enjoy them.

While I’m generally the one doing the shooting, Marc does occasionally pick up the camera for me.  He was generous enough to take a couple shots of me in our friend Hooper’s WWII vintage Jeep:


Mini-Session with the 43rd Regiment

One of the things I’ve been trying to focus on more with my work is booking sessions with specific units.  During Under The Redcoat, an event I attended a couple weeks ago, the 43rd Regiment of Foot had asked for some coverage of them at the event.  Unfortunately, due to a few things out of my control, I was only able to shoot them for about half an hour (and I will be making up the difference to them at this fall’s Battle of the Hook), but I’m very pleased with what I was able to get in such a short period of time.

I’d love to do more work like this in the future, so if you or anyone you know is looking to have some good PR shots taken for their unit, whether for personal use or for the unit website for recruitment purposes, please let me know.  It’s fun to do, and it can really help boost a unit’s image.

But enough about that, here are a few of the shots I got:


Biplanes & Triplanes Sneak Peeks!

I’m far from finished editing the photos from last weekend’s Biplanes & Triplanes event at the Virginia Military Aviation Museum, but I figured that I should post a few early favorites.  I had a great time at the airshow, despite high winds preventing any flying on Sunday.  I hope you enjoy these few shots!




The Light Photographers Dream Of

I once heard photography described as “the art of bending light to your will”.  I have always felt it was somewhat the opposite – that it is in fact the art of making the best of what nature (and physics) provides, of working *with* the light.  This viewpoint has shaped my photographic style from the proverbial Day One.

Different photographers have different approaches to light.  Some prefer the 100% controllable environment of an indoor studio, some prefer to use natural light but modify the scene through the use of reflectors and flashes, and still others eschew artificial light entirely or nearly so.

I fall into that last category.  I do own a good flash, and it does get used on rare occasions (dark, nighttime indoor work), but for the most part I really prefer to try and find ways to work with the light available to me.  Often times, I really have to work to get a good shot.  Other times, mother nature provides lighting so spectacular that it’s hard to take a bad shot.  I had one of those days while shooting this past weekend on Maryland’s eastern shore.

This past weekend I accompanied Marc to Providence Farm, an 18th century farmhouse that is being renovated and turned into a private residence.  The Queen Anne’s County Historical Society had asked for reenactors to come and act, essentially, as set dressing during a fundraiser hosted at the site, and Marc and a few other members of the Queen’s Own Loyal Virginia Regiment gladly obliged.  As the afternoon wore on, I noticed that the light was starting to do some unusual things, and lo and behold, by the time that our demonstration time was over, the light was the stuff of photographer dreams.  Dark semi-stormclouds darkened the sky overhead, while the rays from the sunset pierced through at the edges, bathing the ground in a beautiful golden light and tinting the clouds with whole swaths of purple.

Here is what resulted:



I am forever indebted to Marc and our friend Kurt for putting up with me clicking away incessantly for the 15-20 minutes that the light lasted, and I am extremely pleased with the shots that I got.  As I was editing them, I felt like rolling around on the floor with joy like a dog with a ham bone.  The best thing about good light is that it makes editing so much faster, because there’s less of it to do.  Shockingly, these shots are only minimally edited – a little boost to the saturation and some occasional dodging (lightening) of the faces is all I did.  All of these shots were taken with no artificial lighting – no flash, no reflector, nothing.  For the shots facing into the sun (such as the last two), the house was behind my shoulder acting, for all intents and purposes, like a giant, if subtle, reflector.  I used the terrain and my surroundings to make the best use of the glorious spectacle that mother nature had already provided.  I’m just glad I had my camera!


Triptych: Tank Farm Portraits

I’ve been re-processing some of my photos from the Tank Farm event after reading Piet Van den Eynde’s The Power of Black & White, a Masterclass ebook on working in B&W in Adobe Lightroom.  I didn’t shoot much at that event, but I am really happy with some of the portraits that I got, especially these three.  I processed these using the new techniques I learned, and I think they look amazing in black and white.  What do you think?


Click the image for a larger view of each.