Last weekend we went to the English Heritage History Live 2013 event at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. I think I’m right in saying that this is the largest gathering of historical re-enactors in Europe. It’s certainly on a very large-scale – there must have been a few hundred participants at least and a few thousand spectators. Of course I was there purely for the photo opportunities…….;0).
Actually from a photography perspective this was quite a frustrating event – and I think this shows in the quality of some of the shots. The action mainly took place in the middle of two large arenas and so even with a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 tele-convertor, on a crop-sensor camera, I was still wishing I had more reach. It was possible to get close to the edge of the arenas but only if you sat down so that the crowds behind could see. The problem then was that it proved difficult to get a clean shot from such a low angle because of the way the arenas were double roped-off for crowd safety.
The main problem though was that because the crowds were often 10 to 15 deep around the edge, once you had chosen your position you were basically stuck with it! Unfortunately you had no real way of knowing, before the action got underway, whether your choice of position was a good one or not. If you tried to move to improve your chances of a good shot then you ran the risk of not getting a shot at all….!!
© Mark Simms Photography (2013)