Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Civil War Reenactment - Frederick Maryland, Shot with Lumix DMC-G3

Union Troops Emerge From Cornfield, by Reed A. George
Union Troops Emerge From the Cornfield, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6 at 188mm
iso 400, f5, 1/1000 sec
We're well into the sesquicentenial of the US Civil War, and there are lots of great events in my area. Northern Virginia was a center (the center?) of activity, as neighbors and even brothers within the same family picked sides, sometimes opposite sides. It's a great time to take on a project in photographing civil war history and reenactments.
My latest, shown here, are from an event at Rose Hill Manor Park, in Frederick, Maryland. In this case, they were reenacting a battle that actually took place up the road in Sharpsburg (Antietam). One of the famous landmarks of that battle is "Bloody Lane," a sunken farm road and split-rail fence line that was hotly contested and finally won over by Union troops.
Flag Against Flag, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6 at 136mm
iso 400, f5, 1/1600 sec
I was able to walk directly onto the battlefield, well inside the spectator lines, for two reasons: 1) I arrived early, and 2) I was careful to be courteous, staying out of the way of the reenactors and out of view of the general spectators. This provided me with an excellent vantage point from which to shoot.
The reenactors were characteristically helpful, and even told me what to expect to see in the battle, including the final confederate retreat. I appreciated that very much.
Confederate Dead on the Fence, by Reed A. George
Confederate Dead on the Fence, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6 at 150mm
iso 400, f8, 1/640 sec
On the photographic details, first off, I made a mistake. Planning to go very light, I grabbed what I thought was my Lumix 14-140mm f4-5.8 zoom, and Lumix 20mm f1.7 lenses. Upon arriving, I realized that in fact I had brought the Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6. So, I had an enormous focal length gap, from 20mm to 100mm. In the end, I think it worked out pretty well, but that was lucky. The only real problem was that during the retreat, I had to change lenses quickly in order to capture the soldiers running right by me.
I was able to carry a single DMC-G3 body, both lenses, batteries, and cards in a small belt pack (Lowepro Photorunner). I did not take a tripod, since it was a very bright, sunny day. Oh yeah, I also carried two bottles of water in my pockets.
I was able to set the camera at iso400, aperture at anywhere from f5-f8, and use aperture priority.
These Eyes Have Seen War and Defeat, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 20mm f1.7
iso 400, f2.5, 1/1250 sec
In post-processing, I converted the raw images to black and white, used a lightly saturated reddish tone to the highlights in split toning. I also added some grain to give a nice texture.
I hope you enjoy these images!