Historic re-enacting is something that I have been involved in for well over 34 years. In trying to recreate the past it is interesting just how much study and effort goes into making sure everything is just right. Not just the late night study sessions but the sitting around the camp fires discussing the historic in’s and out’s of any given time period. It’s hard to know just what draws people to try and recreate the past. If you where to line up 500 historic re-enactors you’d more than likely get 500 different variations on the theme. For the most part, as people, we are interested in where we come from because it also helps us to answer the question of where we are going. These are some of the people that I photographed at Stoney Creek Ontario this past weekend who like me are interested in preserving and presenting the past.
Before the advent of modern communications in the military musicians played a vital role. Not just for playing music to entertain or while on the march. Musicians where also the communications network for every military regiment. Every order that regulated a soldier’s life had an accompanying musical tune that told him when to get up, when to eat, when to sleep, and everything in between. The tonal pitch of fifes and drums could also be heard over and under the roar of battle making them vital as a communications system to relay orders and commands. This past weekend I had the joy of photographing one of the finest recreated early 19th century fife and drum unit as well as listen to them play.
The city where I live is small and at one time was an industrial power house. But with the decline of industry and the growth of the rust belt much of that power is now gone. However if you are in reasonable shape and are use to walking then Brantford makes for a good walk with a number of trails or along it’s streets. With the Grand River cutting Brantford in two you can see wild life close to the down town as well as get a number of interesting panoramas. I’ve shot this section of the river many times and each time I can find something a little different in the vista.
Today I found myself wondering around the old canal near where I live. I’ve photographed the area and the canal a few times but it’s nice to go back and look at it again with different eyes. Today was over cast so the light was soft with the threat of rain. I wanted to experiment with some long exposure photography as well as self portraiture. I also have an idea to combine the long exposure and portraiture so I wanted to work out a few bugs and to make sure I could get it right. These are the result of the walk and the experimentation. I was once told that every good photographer should be willing to experiment and push the envelop. I may not have pushed the envelop today but I gave it a nudge.
Sunday is one of those random days my wife and I set aside for walk around an area. Mostly its a day to go for a drive and look for a convenient place to turn around and head home. Cambridge is one of those communities that used to be known as the small towns of, Hespler, Preston, Galt and Cambridge and is now known collectively as Cambridge due to amalgamation many years ago. However if you look carefully at Cambridge you can still see the uniqueness of each small community as well as their history.
In the town where I live is a small treasure. A place that harkens back to the time of coffee houses where you could listen to folk music and look at art made by local artists. The Station House Café sits beside the main rail line that runs through town and is part of the Railway Station complex. Sometimes the rattle and roar of trains interrupts the music or the poetry readings much to the frustration and or laughter of everyone. Mostly the trains add something to the feeling and the ambiance of the cafe, that feeling you get as the music or poetry carries you away to a distant place just as a train does. The Station House Café is old fashioned and has a feeling of being somewhat out of time. But when the music plays and the poet stands before the mic there is a magic.