Battling for Photos

Over Veterans Day weekend I was able to participate in a World War II reenactment battle held in Waxahachie TX.  This was an experience that I enjoyed very much, being a big WW II history buff.  Each year, the Texas Military History Society has several events during the weekend.  The town has opened its arms to a great group of folks that participate in static displays of WW II vehicles and weapons and perform a reenactment of the Battle for Nancy, a real WW II battle that took place in France during September 1944  (http://www.thebattlefornancy.org/?p=35).

I had attended the event in prior years, but last year found out that a group of DFW photographers were working with the reenactors to take photos before and during the battle and providing their photos on a special Flickr group to the reenactors.  The photographers that dressed in military uniforms similar to the WW II era were able to actually take photos in the midst of the battle.  So I took my small uniform budget to Omaha Surplus in Fort Worth and found the closest thing I could find at a reasonable price that would pass for “official photographer” duds and headed down to Waxahachie.

It was great being there and playing the role of official photographer both before and during the battle.  It was during the battle when I had the most fun.  In prior years, I took some photos from the sidelines, but this time, I was right in the middle of it all.  Guns, smoke, noise, running soldiers and vehicles.  What a rush it was, and LOUD too!  The hardest thing to deal with as a photographer was selecting a subject to shoot with guns blazing and soldiers moving all around me.  You had to be quick to focus and use continuous shooting to get satisfactory shots.

These reenactors were shooting blanks and it was scary.  I cannot imagine what went through the heads of the battle photographers that did this during the actual war, when live rounds were zinging by their heads.  I think I got some good shots and made some new photographer friends while I was at it.  I am already planning to be back next year.

I am showing some of my photos below as well as a link to the Flickr group page (http://www.flickr.com/groups/waxww2weekend2011/pool/with/6380939011/) that has photos from all of the photographers.  You will see all kinds of processing, from normal color to black and white and all kinds of vintage looks in between.

9 thoughts on “Battling for Photos

  1. Nice work Mark. The vintage look processing really locks in the time frame. I especially like the airman with his arm on the jeep and the pipe in the pocket – he looks like he could tell quite a story.

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  2. Mark it sounds like you had a blast! I can’t imagine what the photographers during WWII must have had to endure. You did a great job of taking back to that time for just a few minutes. The pictures are terrific, especially under the circumstances. Great job!

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  3. Mark, great photos. Thanks for sharing. And, I love your processing!!!! The desaturation is just lovely and perfect for the historical feel. Great job.

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