Battle reenactments provide the Holga photographer a chance to capture a bit of history through the eye of a plastic lens. Flashback brings his trusty Holga to the field of battle and clicks through classic scenes from American history.
Growing up in the Southeastern part of the United States, I’ve been surrounded by many historical sites and battlegrounds that play a part in our history and landscape of the country. I remember at age 8 experiencing the thrill of a battle reenactment. The crackle of gunfire, booming canons, grown men and women playing soldiers for the day. It was a thrill and seemed like the real thing. Now, many years later, I have found that same experience, by trying to bring a certain authentic feel through the nuances of a Holga.
A typical American Civil War reenactment allows a world of photo opportunities. From the battlefields and soldiers, to the merchants who sell period-style goods. Even the quirky spectators make for interesting subject matter. Many of these events allow you to photograph the soldiers camps, blacksmith, field hospitals and any number of living history demonstrations.
The Holga makes the perfect camera for giving this 19th century event a bit of authenticity with my prints. The quirky and unpredictable nature of the Holga paired with the vignetting and dreamy blurs can give you some of the same characteristics of the cameras from that period.
If you’ve never been to a reenactment, the best place to start is to contact any one of the National Battlefields or state historical sites for event information. Another good place to search for events is on the Civil War Traveler website. So grab your Holga, a few rolls of film and head out to make a little history.