I have determined that The Little Studio will do WW1 re-enactor’s portraits this year. Pictures that might have been taken in photo studies before the various British, French, German, or Russian troops were sent away to be made into dead people.
It is nowhere near as romantic as making pictures for the RSL for the 100th Year Apotheosis Of Gallipoli, and it won’t attract any money. But it will be one thing that has not yet been done for the 100th year anniversary of Europeans killing one another.
Oops, should have said Europeans and Japanese and Colonials and Americans and South Americans there. Must be accurate, if one is to avoid the slings and arrows of the righteous.
To this end I have experimented with the Fujifilm X system and fond that the X-E2 equipped with either a 27mm or 35m lens will make an acceptable image. The geometry is right for studio use and the results can closely mimic the authentic pictures seen on the net. With re-enactors you can pretty much bet that they are going to be wearing the correct garb and insignia. The original troops in the battle at the time might have been wearing the wrong thing, but the re-enactors can put them right.
To aid with re-creating the atmosphere of the shoot, I have cued up appropriate marching songs for the sitters – the Germans get ” the Königratzer Marsch “, the British get ” Colonel Bogie ” , and the French get ” I Surrender, Dear “.
I have also decided to make the camera look more authentic. The original plan was to make it look like a trench mortar but that fell through with the local firearm laws. So I decided to place it in a dedicated housing as the ” Moriarty Portrait Camera ” and put it on a counter-balanced central column. If I ever get a Russian Petzval or Daguerreotype lens, it can poke out the front, but then that will be a signal that I have lost my mind…at the price of those things…and you can ignore further postings.
Here is a picture of the new camera stand in construction. It is in the white undercoat – all the parts are home-made and the price including new paint brushes is going to come in under $ 30 AUD. It has the charm of novelty, exclusivity, historicity, and miserliness.
My kind of project.