Reenacting Reaction

Uploaded 6 Oct 2010 — 3 favorites
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© Joshua Ball
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

As a native resident of Toledo, I’ve been to the fort numerous times but I hadn’t been there since I started getting serious about photography. As it was already a pleasant spring afternoon, we decided to visit the fort to see if we could capture some unique imagery. Fort Meigs is a well known site and it is a rather popular location for local fine art photographers. Knowing this, I didn’t have a lot of high expectations but it was worth a shot. When we neared the fort, I immediately noticed the unusually large number of vehicles in the parking lot. A banner on the street soon answered the mystery. It was Memorial Day weekend and Fort Meigs hosts an annual battle reenactment.

While Memorial Day wasn’t until the next day, the camp was open for visitors to wander around and interact with the reenactors. The visiting hours were over but my friend and I managed to sneak in through an open entrance that no one seemed to be paying attention to. We were the only people not dressed in period clothing and we obviously weren’t supposed to be in the fort but no one batted an eye as we were both carrying quite a bit of photography equipment.

As we were preparing to leave the encampment, I noticed a stack of rifles near a row of military tents. Someone had rested their hat on top of the stack and I thought it would make for an interesting photograph. The sun was starting to stretch across the horizon and it was difficult to shoot the stack of rifles because of the constant lens flares. I decided that I could use the hat as a sun shield and immediately laid down on the green grass to line it up accordingly. I snapped a few quick shots and although I couldn’t make out the images on the screen due to the sun’s glare, I decided it was time to move on. Later, when I reviewed all of the day’s photos, I rather liked this image and I set it aside for a future blog post.

On the day that this photo was taken, I hadn’t even planned on shooting anything other than the nightclub that I shoot every Saturday night. However, due to a random series of events and a tinge of boredom, I ended up wandering around a reenactment encampment at Fort Meigs. I remember someone once saying that the best kind of camera is the one that you use. While it is impossible to carry a camera everywhere I go, I’m finding it increasingly important to carry it as much as I possibly can. The further down the photography rabbit hole I fall, the more I notice the amazing everyday images in the world around me. While it is often difficult, we should be careful to make conscience efforts to embrace the things that we enjoy. This image reminds me how important it is to just get out and explore that enjoyment. Life is often full of anarchy and stressful experiences, we all deserve some time to do the things that we enjoy. For me, that thing is getting out and taking photographs, even if it is a camp full of reenactment enthusiasts.

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