Every Labor Day Weekend, the Huntington Beach Historical Society host a Civil War encampment and Reenactment. This year, 2014, was the 20th such event. I’ve photographed portions of the annual event on several occasions. This year, I decided to use a micro four-thirds camera — the Olympus OMD-EM5.
One of my goals was to present images that looked like they could have been taken in the mid-1860s. There were three factors involved. 1. Since this was an encampment open to the public, I had to be careful not to include people in modern-day dress. 2. Contrary to my normal goals of capturing sharp, in-focus images, I had to allow for the technology of the day, so I selected a lens that would allow me to isolate my intended subjects from their backgrounds and give a slightly soft focus. 3. I had to apply some post processing techniques that would replicate the vignettes, and other characteristics of 19th Century film processing.
The selected lens was a Zuiko 40-150mm, f4-5.6. I set it to aperture priority at f5.6. It was important, to me, to maintain a constant aperture and create a relatively shallow depth-of-field. f5.6 is not very fast, but by standing back from the subject, and, most importantly, maintaining a distance between the subject and background, I was able achieve the desired DOF. Post-processing included conversion to black and white, adding vignettes, a bit of harshness via contrast and ‘clarity’ or detail adjustments.
The first set of images are from around the encampment.
To see full size images, click here.
The second set of images are of the ‘soldiers’ — some returning from battle, and others resting in the camps.