What can I say, but wonderful pictures. Its great to see a lot of guys costumed up and looking very accurate. Looks like you have about a squad sized unit. Its so difficult to pull together a couple of guys to participate in a reenactment let alone have them adequately equipped and armed. How long did it take you guys to complete your gear? I myself am still trying to complete my own set of equipment. Congratulations to all of you. The pics look like the movie stills you would see in the lobby of a movie theater. I like the one with the officer giving the wounded scout a drink from his canteen.
How did you guys manage to dirty-up you uniforms? We tried doing it during our Louisa Tactical Reenactment. We practically lived in our uniforms for about 22 hours. We crawled in the dirt, rushed through the brush, hugged the trees and foliage, crossed a stream, rushed up and down a hill - but our D-i-c-k-i-e-s uniforms seemed to repel all the dirt. After the tactical our uniforms still looked nice and clean in the pictures.
Would there be a chance that we could see the pictures in color?
@ VeeVee, hehe... that's right, you got my boots and a whole lot of other things too As for the picture book, we're thinking about it. And if ever we do it, we'll make new PS pic for that.
milspec, thank you very much for your comments. It took us about a little over a year to complete our gear. Of course we had some help from Vic and kalbs and other friends in acquiring some of our gear from ebay and other military surplus stores online. Those team members who have spare gear lends them to the ones that don't have. So we have developed this list of gear for who gets what from whom... it helps locate lost gear after every shoot.
I agree with you that these uniforms are very hard to put dirt on them... and yes, we have tried to do that too but the result was futile. The dirt on our uniforms here in the photos were mostly done in 'photoshop'. There's one thing i noticed though when we were doing Don's filming, it rained that day and our uniforms were all soaking wet and so some dirt just sticked to them naturally plus the color and look of the fabric and how it falls looks so old and used.
From this experience, i'm thinking that mud might do the trick... the more the better. And one other way that i was thinking of was to put oil (motor oil maybe?) that will look like coffee stains... but this will be good for your second set of uniform as this weathering process might be more permanent.
"Would there be a chance that we could see the pictures in color?" Most of these photos were taken in Black & White setting.... it was an experiment actually, doing it in B&W means there's no turning back.. we have no choice but to see it in this format, just like back in the day.
Our photographer's mind set was to make this shoot as if you were there during that time. Even he himself is like reenacting what those WW2 army combat photographer's were doing and how they think in combat. And also he researched on what type of camera and film they used. What setting was commonly used for speed (for action shots) and opening, how was the film developed and why was it developed like that. Understanding all these factors are important because this makes the photos look the way they are during that era. Our goal, is to replicate all that as close as we can.
There were a lot of research and brainstorming sessions among ourselves on how to do these photo shoots and that includes watching the documentary film about combat photographers "The Shooting War" by Steven Spielberg and hosted by Tom Hanks.
Well, sorry for the long story but there's a couple of colored shots in there that i can post for you soon for your comparison.
It must be great to have a big group of guys with similar interest and willingness to acquire and share gear so that everyone will look the part. That is what makes your photographs look so convincing and realistic. To have a photographer who is also a reenactor and is aware of correct or appropriate framing helps a lot too. Not to mention your dedication to finding and going to the appropriate location for the photo shoot. I must commend your group for being a great example to those of us desiring to create a similar group. I reviewed your WWII pacific and Vietnam pictures again. I must say great job on those photo shoots too. You guys must have a ton of uniforms and equipment to pull off those convincing pictures, photo shop aside.
Regarding your suggestion on the dirt and mud. I agree that a liberal amount would add to the weathering. Motor oil on the other hand has a more permanent effect from my experience and is difficult to remove. We experimented once with ground/powdered colored chalk (like sidewalk chalk) to add some dust or abrasion(aging) weathering on uniforms and web gear, kinda like pastels on model figures. We applied it with a firm course sponge to highlight edges and stitching on equipment, or you can brush it on to "dust" your uniform and equipment. This works especially well on dark green equipment and camouflage uniforms. It looked OK and was washable. We also used shoe polish to simulate grime on the face and hands. But this you can already do with photo shop.