I appreciate your input, Ray.
What appears to be a "bare bones" setup is paradise to me, compared to what I was working with in WWII living history; and I don't have the added distraction of being "shot" at by Germans, a huge plus.
The sizes I am currently offering at the wagon, taken with two different cameras, are 1/2 plate, 4x6, 4x5, 1/4 plate, 1/6th, 1/8th and 1/9th plates. I only shoot on glass at certain events, mostly western history related, etc and will not really be offering it at CW events too much. I don't really enjoy shooting on glass that much and try to reserve that for work at my studio, mostly for my boudoir work.
In WWII reenacting, especially at public events, it was not uncommon to have a LOT of people waiting for their photo to be taken and I learned early the advantage of working with a pace. Although I now offer a lot of different sizes of image (unlike in WWII), I know that perhaps two of them will be the most popular. But there is a lot to be said about offering the customer variety. Either way, I have all the sizes pre-cut and ready to go so no time in lost in preparation.
WP, as many have said, is all a matter of practice; something that I am able to do with some amount of frequency which thankfully speeds up the learning curve a bit. In exhibit work you have to be a very quick study and it is something that evolved from years of building exhibits about subjects I was not familiar with but had to learn every single thing about within a matter of weeks in order to properly design the display.
Currently my chems seem pretty well balanced and have spent the last two days producing some nice plates for the sample board, etc. I am concerned a bit about cooling but the wagon was designed with a cooling system in mind. I will have to wait until the heat hits before I can test it. It should in theory work though, it is a simple design based on period examples for chemical cooling.
The pace/procedure I will be working at is not unlike the one I did in WWII LH with the film loading, labeling, field developing and careful monitoring of temps and chems taking the same kinds of procedures and time (actually a little more) that dealing with WP does. Yet I also had to deal with contact printing and enlarging in the field with original equipment. I fought not only chems, but also equipment that was constantly breaking down and is far more elaborate then any WP equipment and far less open to field modification/repair. By comparison a WP camera is a remarkably simple device, especially when compared with a damaged folding US Army field enlarger or misaligned Kalart photographic range finder. I don't miss working with some of that gear.
My website has had a recent redesign and now features some of my WWII work, feel free to take a look. The sample images on the site are not my public/customer based images but were all taken in the field at tactical combat events. Running around loaded down with Army issued photography gear as well as full combat gear and a carbine while trying to take pictures during simulated combat conditions is something I recommend anyone who enjoys photography and history try at least once. It is a lot of fun, but exhausting!
I'm looking forward to a great season and hopefully the opportunity to capture some nice images. It will be a lot of fun to work in a different historical setting.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2011 04:59AM by Yaquina.