My photography began many years ago as a hobby, then laid dormant for a couple of decades before I picked up a camera again, intending to shoot for my own enjoyment. I still take pictures for pleasure, but my hobby has begun developing in ways that I would not have expected. A good case in point is the time I have spend at Historic Brattonsville over the past year.
To be clear, I’m not out there that often. I started last summer at the Battle of Huck’s Defeat. At this point I show up for special events and the odd hour here or there. I intend on spending more time when the site is less busy to shoot it as a landscape subject, attempting to catch it through various seasons and settings.
In the meantime, though, photographically speaking, Historic Brattonsville offers some opportunities for interesting event and portrait photography. For those that don’t know, Brattonsville is a living history museum and working farm, interpreting life in the 18th and 19th century through the story of the Bratton family and the surrounding community.
Educationally, they host school groups throughout the year and even have an academy program to give children a taste of education from another time. A few weeks ago I was there for their annual Home School day, photographing the interpreters, children and families who spent the day together.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day. Click to enlarge them. If you’re interested, there are more pictures from the event here.
Then a few days later I returned for their Sheep Shearing event. No electric clippers here. Just old-school shears that required constant sharpening and a persistent user.
More of my favorite shots. Again, click to enlarge or go here to see more images from the day.
For the photographically curious, I’ll mention that when I’m processing pictures from Historic Brattonsville, I generally desaturate the colors a bit. It seems more in keeping with the period. Yes, I realize that, strictly speaking, “period” photography would imply no color at all. (And no photography when we are talking about the 18th century!) When shooting more journalistic photos, including guests, etc., I do very little processing at all.
So why do I shoot at Historic Brattonsville? Obviously there is some great subject matter! People, buildings, farm life, nature, landscape and macro are all available. But I think there is value, too, in participating in the community, of working with a worthy organization, and doing something – that at least on some level – is for the benefit of someone else.
You won’t see all my photographs from Historic Brattonsville here, or in my galleries. Just some of my favorites. They are all given to the Cultural and Heritage Museums, who operate Brattonsville, to use as they like. There’s probably something you could do for them, too. Or your child’s school, your church, a local shelter or any other cause that you feel strongly about. I’m sure someone could use your help, or your camera, or your hammer, or just your smiling face.