Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Posts Tagged ‘historical re-enactment

Historical re-enactment at home

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One of the main bits of feedback about my last photo essay (on Napoleonic historical re-enactment) was that although there were some nice single images they didn’t come together as a story that well. They didn’t really have a point besides showing that a particular hobby takes place. If you want to see what this piece of work looked like you when I submitted it you can see the website here.

My strategy with the first iteration of my re-enactment project was slightly misguided. After going through all of the images I had shot I saw that I had three categories of images (portraits, action shots, and anachronistic scenes) and so I decided to make sense of them by presenting them in their 3 simple categories. Obviously this was slightly silly; in effect my submitted piece of work was less an exercise in telling a story and more one in which I simply categorised some images of historical re-enactment. Nice if you want to look at a catalogue  of images, not so nice if you want an actual story about the hobby.

I guess what I’m interested in is giving the viewer a sense of the background on which re-enactment takes place, which is on the lives of women and men with historical interests in the UK. I will be doing this not only through some multimedia videos that I am currently producing but also through a series of portraits that I am doing in and around where re-enactors live. I will be using all of this to add another dimension to the images of the re-enactments taking place. Here are a few that I shot recently with the great Keri Tolhurst.

Napoleonic Historical re-enactment Max Colson Photography Photographs

Napoleonic Historical re-enactment Max Colson Photography Photographs

Napoleonic Historical re-enactment Max Colson Photography Photographs

Napoleonic Historical re-enactment Max Colson Photography Photographs

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The Battle of Waterloo, its re-enactment, and some images of it

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As mentioned in my previous post I went to a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo on the weekend. Here are some of the other images. Rather bizarrely (and annoyingly) the aesthetic and the idea that I had for some of the project run closely parallel to the work of another photographer who has only just been unearthed to me. Not ideal at all. I need to go back to the drawing board and re-arrange my thoughts perhaps…

(yep I realise that there is some dust on my sensor too – haven’t had a chance to cleanse the images yet!)

'max colson' 'historical re-enactment' '94th regiment of the foote' 'old scotch brigade' waterloo deserters

Some deserters

'max colson' 'historical re-enactment' waterloo 'calvary charge' calvary

Napoleon's cavalry charge the English

'max colson' 'historical re-enactment' waterloo 'old scotch brigade' '94th regiment of the foote'

Skirmish in the forest

'max colson' 'historical re-enactment' waterloo napoleonic general

Senior officer from Napoleon's army

'max colson' 'historical re-enactment' waterloo napoleonic general

Peering into the dark

Role-playing

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I just got back from a trip to Belgium where I was part of the re-enactment of the the Battle of Waterloo.

Although I was out on the battlefield with the men I was also living in an 1815 style military camp with the rest of the Allied forces trying to learn the ways of the 1815 military, light fires, follow orders, and hold muskets. Serious thanks to the brilliant 94th Old Scotch Brigade for allowing me to be embedded whilst they were part of the 1000 man re-enactment. Unfortunately I didn’t get to fire any weapons but we’ll have to save that for next time.

More to come but I thought I’d give you my self portrait of me being the action hero first. I have my mean face on and everything:

max colson photographer re-enactment

Self-portrait with musket and 1815 English military 'red coat' uniform

Day out in Rochester for the Dickens Festival

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I went to Rochester a couple of weeks back to take in the glories of the Dickens festival. I find it exotic enough just getting out of London period but one thing’s for sure – when half of any town town have dressed up in Victorian costumes for a three day weekend it’s got to be a pretty amazing place.

I was only able to make it for a one day unfortunately but I still had a laugh.

max colson Rochester old couple

An old couple and a pigeon

Rochester cathedral tombstones churchyard max colson

Rochester cathedral

Punch and Judy Rochester Max Colson

The end of a Punch and Judy show

child playing near a castle Max Colson

Child playing by a castle ruin

dickens festival rochester max colson

Some Dickens fans in front of a parked van

fantasy armoury max colson

Fantasy armoury (with skull)

street photography rochester max colson

Men, waiting

england boy flag and castle max colson

Boy dressed in Victorian costume

bill sykes dickens festival rochester

Bill Sikes (from Oliver Twist) lookalike

Re-creating what happened…

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Although I’m really excited by the work that I am doing with railway enthusiasts at the moment, I’m also becoming fascinated by historical re-enactment. I’m very interested in the idea of using photojournalism to explore the re-creation of the past and capture the collaboration between imagination and reality.

Here’s a selection of images I took last week with some re-enactors. More coming this way soon.



Written by Max Colson

June 4, 2011 at 10:46 am