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Civil War reenactment ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by biggstr6, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. biggstr6


    Apr 26, 2005
    Anybody shot one of these?

    Ive never been to one ,am I right in guessing I should take the big lenses ,in case you cant get close enough?
  2. Boy, you are in the thick of it for re-enactments! I really envy you the historic possibilities in the area.

    But, believe it or not, we have re-enactments here in Arizona, too. There actually was a tragic little dust-up at Picacho Peak, about 70 miles south of here, where two small contingents from each side accidently met up.

    After some fighting and some dead, all of which made no difference to anything whatever, the detachments went on their way.

    Anyhow, the following image was taken at one of the re-enactments of the Battle of Picacho Peak about two years ago. I found the 70-200 to be very useful for pretty much all images. The 200mm end was plenty long enough to get close enough to some of the artillery demonstrations to be able to photograph them fairly satisfactorily.

    This particular image is helped by some of the residual smoke from the artillery (trying not to say canon here), which I think lends an air of disorientation. The image is also helped by my removal of a Saguaro cactus from its middle. While historically accurate, it kind of dominated the scene.

    70-200 mm at 150mm, f/8:

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  3. Another one . . .

    Here's one from the artillery demonstration at the same re-enactment. Saguaro left in this time.

    The original exposure was virtually black because I'd used center-weighted metering by accident, and it took its reading from the blast. With some work in NC and Photoshop, a visible image came out.

    (Appears from this image that some of these re-enactors don't miss too many meals.)

    Original exposure: 70-200 @200mm f/6.1 @ 1/1500

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  4. I had the opportunity to attend a Revolutionary War reenactment last March, and the conditions were such that moderately long glass was pretty much a requirement. I would expect 200mm at a minimum, something like a 200-400 range would probably be ideal. Mainly due to the fact that the crowds have to be kept at a safe distance from the action, and the wider angle views of shorter glass tend to minimize the actors to the point of obscurity sometimes.

    Here's a few shots I got with a 70-200 VR + TC-17 combo:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 10165
    View attachment 10166
    View attachment 10167

    Wider angle shots are always possible, but they end up flattening the subject too much in my humble opinion and make it difficult to see any detail (which is usually interesting in these shots). Here's an example:

    View attachment 10168
  5. Those are great shots. Would this have been the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in Greensboro?
  6. Biggs,
    I plan on joining you saturday afternoon and will likely be sporting the 200-400 vr lens on tripod.
  7. Hi Pa:

    You're exactly right! Hadn't ever been to one of these before, and it happened to occur right about the time I had a chance to try out my new D2x and TC-17. Figured it would be a good test. While these shots may not show it very well, there's actually a fair amount of detail in them. It was a lot of fun.
  8. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    I've done a number of them plus my first Revolutionary War one last month. I find the 80-200 best for most battle scenes with a little of the 300 mixed in. Camp scenes and drills, I use the 28-70. Wide angle not really useful under 28mm. Cannons are a blast (no pun) to catch the fire coming out of the tube. The best way to catch one is to set camera on Continuous Mode and start shooting fast on the command "fire". The reason for this is that there is no timing from the command to the actual firing. Those fuses go off when they are ready and if you try to time your shot with one shot, most will be misses. The fire ball only lasts for a second or less.
  9. great insight Larry. I think I will opt for the 70-200 then. I will have TC's along and the 17-55 for the camp stuff. Is a tripod hard to deal with at these?
  10. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    The problem is trying to get too much in all at once or just one or two riflemen. I found that shooting into the heart of action looking for composition gave the best look. Close in where ground troops are packed close, flags in composition, calvery charges in close, close in shots when formations leaving battle. Hopefully the reenactors will have "game faces" on. Nothing worse than a ruined shot because someone is laughing or smiling. Good somber facial expressions make the shots. Working the wounded and dead into the composition makes great scenes as well as the upper brass having their meetings on the battlefield. Closeup shots of uniform details and accessories a must.
  11. biggstr6


    Apr 26, 2005
    Thanks for the info.

    Dave I was thinking the 200-400 as well. I think with that and a 70-200,17-35 & a 1.4 I should have it covered .I just hate to lug that much around ,but I guess its best to be prepared.
  12. gho


    Feb 7, 2005
    Those are cool shots.
  13. civil war reenactments

    You guys are making me itch to get back to Gettysburg, and buy that 70-200 VR I have been itching for, I am over 3grand this year, i'm going broke, save me! CS Dayan
  14. if it is any consolation (which i doubt) I am over 10x that much this year and still aint satisfied.
    I sold out of another hobby (bird dogs and horses) so I simply transferred the funds to this hobby but it is still an unreal investment.
  15. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    Re: civil war reenactments

    Can't save you. You picked a good lens for the job. Besides, I've more than doubled you this year and I love company.
  16. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    Made me feel better. I can always tell the wife,,, see there!!!!
  17. LOL, I know that ploy.
  18. Larry, you would get better mileage if you did not show the second sentence of that quote.
  19. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    Gee, we could fix up one dummy category with a few dummy threads to use for wife referrals. What a NC service that would be!!

    A second category might cover all the ploy techniques used.

    I actually don't have the wife problem. A pro photographer in town asked her a few months back if I was really going to get the D2X. Her reply to him was that Larry gets the tools needed to get the job done. I think he was testing her to see if she even knew that I was getting the D2X and perhaps stir in a little trouble (he also told her the price). In a way, he actually helped.
  20. civil war reenactments

    Well if I was not shelling out to go to China this summer, I would have the lens by now. I won't take the 70-180 micro I just bought, but I will take the 12-24nikkor. CS Dayan
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