Photos: American Civil War Reenactment….in California!

True, there weren’t very many significant battles fought in California.  We didn’t have The Sacking of Sacramento, The Battle of Van Nuys, or the Massacre at Moorpark.

Although the Civil War Reenactment in Moorpark, California is the largest American Civil War Reenactment west of the Mississippi, the battle was a recreation of the South Mountain Battle in Maryland.  South Mountain is also known in several early Southern accounts as the Battle of Boonsboro Gap, September 14, 1862, as part of the Maryland Campaign of the American Civil War. This was the 150th Anniversary, and the reenactment took place in Moorpark, CA in what is the largest Civil War battle reenactment west of the Mississippi.

In fact, this event at Moorpark actually recreates five different battles over the course of two days.  And it has large camps, battle music, and much more, with much of the spectators also dressing in period clothing.

The reenactors did a great job in recreating the time period.  And as a photographer, I felt that I could enhance this even more through an antique paper and sloppy border appearance, giving it the feel of the 1860s in a way that color photos might not be able to achieve.

I checked out one of the Confederate cannons. Made in 1862, 150 years ago. As it turns out, this was actually made by the Union Army, but “acquired” by the Confederates in battle.

The battle photos were taken with a Nikon D90 and a Nikkor VR 18-200mm lens, while the up close cannon shot and the soldier smoking a cigar were taken with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, which is great for portraits and anything in which you want to have a narrow depth of field and highlight the subject.

If you want to learn more about how to achieve this antique paper and sloppy border appearance, click here for a tutorial.

And here are more photos from this Civil War Reenactment in Moorpark on my Virtual Photo Album.


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