I don't usually start this way, but here's a little back story on this post.
I attended the Center for Civil War Photography's 2012 seminar at the Antietam National Military Park. I had missed attending for several years, as the fall is the busiest time of year for our studio. This year, just weeks after the 150th anniversary of the battle, they went back to Antietam. And so did I.
When people asked me how it was, I can only describe it as a GeekFest for Baby Boomers. Everyone was consumed with the Civil War and photography. For many it was more one than the other, but in most cases it was both. I met collectors, curators, archivists, teachers, photographers, researchers, students, museum directors and the garden variety geek-of-all-trades. One guy even took a bus from Cadillac, Michigan to attend. And he’s done that for ten seminars.
For the most part it was a study of the battle and the photographs made in the aftermath of the battle by Alexander Gardner, an employee of the famous Matthew Brady. Most of the photos taken during the Civil War were made in stereo, a parlor craze at the time. Most of the photos you see in books today are reproductions of one side or the other of the stereo image. Countless hours (and books) have been dedicated to these photographs, finding the exact locations of where the photos were made. Some have studied in which order they were made, and others the precise time of day based on shadows. Tell me that’s not geeky.
Accordingly, the evening presentations at the hotel were made with 3D slide shows, where we all donned our paper glasses with red and blue lenses. On the battlefield tours, we walked with a new book, Antietam in 3D that presented all the known images taken immediately after the battle. And yes, we wore our glasses as the tour progressed, lining up the photos with the present day location.
It was such an eye-opening and rejuvenating experience for me. I brought all sort of camera equipment. I took my pinhole and 35mm digital equipment. But I ended up using was my new Nikon P7700 and my iPhone. I was too busy paying attention to the visual/historical/community of it all, that I felt I could only made superficial photos. But I think I got lucky on a few, shown here.
Get your geek on. Don’t miss the opportunity to do what you love.
Special thanks to my personal blog editor, Vernest Lambert Watkins. I couldn't have done it without their contributions in fixing my stupid mistakes.