Veteran's Memorial Marker

Attended an event in Erie, PA on Father's Day to dedicate a Veteran's Memorial Marker for a Civil War soldier who was killed in action.

Private Frank J. Krug, Co. G., 53rd PVI

Private Frank Krug, a 21-year member of the 53rd Pennsylvania Infantry, was killed in action on May 12, 1864 at the Battle of Spotsylvania, during the horrific 22-hour struggle at the Bloody Angle.  This is regarded as some of the most horrific fighting of the war.  His death was documented, but in the chaos of the battle's aftermath his final resting place was never identified.  It is believed his remains lie in one of the mass graves of unknown soldiers at Fredericksburg National Cemetery.

150 years after his death, the U.S. Dept. of Veteran's Affairs has provided an "In Memory Of" marker which has been installed at Trinity Cemetery in Erie, PA next to the graves of his sister and other family members.

It was an honor to attend this dedication ceremony for a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice and to celebrate as his family finally "brought him home".  The event was well-attended by fellow re-enactors and friends.  

Prayers were offered and the gravestone was blessed with Holy Water.  A certificate signed by Barack Obama recognizing Frank's sacrifice was given to the family.  President Abraham Lincoln recited "The Gettysburg Address".  

Tom Schobert, a relative of the deceased had traveled to the location where Frank Krug was killed in action and collected soil from the site to return to the Erie gravesite.  He believed that blood was still in the soil and by carrying a sample of this dirt back with him, was as close as he could come to bringing his relative's remains home to lie with his family members for all eternity.  The traditional 21-gun salute was offered as well and "Taps" was played on the bugle.  

It was a very moving event.  

More images are in the gallery "Veteran's Memorial Marker - Krug".

 

Krug Memorial Marker-375.jpg

Springville Civil War Event

Yesterday Company A Engineers attended a Civil War Camp in Springville, New York as part of the WNY Dairy and Agricultural Festival.  There were many events throughout the day which included a parade, games and rides and a Civil War camp.  There was a blacksmith and Company A demonstrated  loading and firing the Enfield rifle and the art of map-making.  There was a short memorial service followed by a 21 gun salute.  Re-enactors were camped throughout the main town circle.  The BBQ chicken was especially delicious as well!  See the "Springville Civil War Event" gallery for more images of the day's events.

Harnessing the power of the sun to make a map.  The first ever Xerox machine.

Harnessing the power of the sun to make a map.  The first ever Xerox machine.

21 gun salute.  

21 gun salute.

 

Fiddle and Banjo during some down time.  

Fiddle and Banjo during some down time.

 

My attempt at a "wet plate" image.

My attempt at a "wet plate" image.

Medina Civil War Encampment

The first Civil War encampment of the season was in Medina, New York.  

The weekend was filled with constant rain and cold temperatures but these conditions did not dampen the spirits of the re-enactors or the visitors to the camp.  

Events included a parade through downtown Medina to a cemetery a mile away for dedication ceremonies with President Lincoln, breakfast with Generals Grant and Lee, demonstrations on camp life, two battles including artillery batteries, cavalry, and infantry, and Civil War era medicine including a wounded soldier's leg amputation.  There was hot food provided by the GCC college staff and food vendors.  

It was a tough first-outing of the season but much fun was had by all.  

Please visit the gallery "Medina Reenactment 2014" to view images of the event.  

Parade through downtown on the way to the cemetery.

Parade through downtown on the way to the cemetery.

US Engineers Company A

US Engineers Company A

Taps.

Taps.

Digging in.  Preparing the trench.

Digging in.  Preparing the trench.

Union artillery.

Union artillery.

Repel the Rebels at all cost.

Repel the Rebels at all cost.

Casualties.

Casualties.

We can't save the leg.

We can't save the leg.

Memorial Day Remembrance

Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies were held on Saturday at Concordia Cemetery and on Sunday at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.  Several Civil War Union reenactment groups participated in the events to honor those who gave their lives for their Country.  We were honored to be part of these important events.  

Please honor those soldiers by visiting the galleries - "Memorial Day - Concordia Cemetery" and "Memorial Day - Forest Lawn Cemetery" and taking a moment to remember that freedom is not "free".  

Civil War reenactment season is upon us once again

Spring is here and the Civil War re-eanctors are gearing up for a busy season including trips to Gettysburg and Manassas.  Company A Engineers began this season with activities at the event in Medina, NY.  Over the course of the event it was cold and rainy causing conditions to be less than ideal with standing water throughout the camps.  The lousy weather did not dampen the spirits of the participants and there was a good turnout for the battle.  Here's a photo of the Battalion with more to come.

Be Back Soon...

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted anything to this blog but I've been extremely busy.  I will be posting again on a regular basis shortly.  Please stay tuned...

Company A training day...we get to SHOOT!?

What more could boys ask for than to get a chance to fire a gun?  An opportunity to learn how to load and fire a replica of a historical weapon.  The Company A US Battalion of Engineers did just that during a recent training day exercise.  Captain Ray Ball bravely and safely instructed the recruits by running them through loading, reloading and firing exercises with the Enfield Rifle.  It takes skill and attention to detail to load the muzzle-loader weapon.  As Captain Ball says, "There's nothing like the taste of gunpowder in the morning!"  See "Company A Training Day" gallery for more images.

Talking about ammunition.

Talking about ammunition.

Our commanding officer giving instruction.

Our commanding officer giving instruction.

At ease.

At ease.

In a New York Minute

I went to see a friend's band last night.  The band is called "New York Minute".  They play a wide variety of music from 60's to recent, pop, country and everything in between.  They play a very diverse set list and are a joy to watch.  Very talented musicians from WNY.  I highly recommend going to see them play live!  Here are some images from the show.

Fuji x-t1_20140307_0126.jpg
Fuji x-t1_20140307_0119.jpg
Fuji x-t1_20140307_0112.jpg
Fuji x-t1_20140307_0123.jpg

We got close, then....CRACK!

Noah and I took the opportunity to get close to my favorite grain elevator to try and get some interesting images from the water while it's frozen.  We saw several ice fishing huts and it's been VERY cold over the past few weeks.  We walked up very close the nearest barge and I set up my tripod to take a panorama when we heard a VERY LOUD CRACK, which sounded like a gunshot.  At first we thought the barge had struck against the rocks but then realized that the ice had cracked beneath our feet!  We quickly made our way along the shoreline back to the rocks that we had climbed down from.  YIKES!!  I'm not sure how much of a close call that was, but our hearts we're pounding when we reached safety.  Then we both laughed out loud about our adventure and good fortune.  Here's a hand-held sweep panorama I took - this one from shore...

Grain Elevator-325-Edit-Edit.jpg

C-C-Cold!!

I love going to Niagara Falls to take pictures during the winter.  It's so quiet and serene and there are very few people around.  The ice can make for some beautiful images.  The thermometer read 12 degrees, but I can honestly say that after about twenty minutes outside I was FROZEN to the bone!  Here's a couple from the other day...

Niagara Falls-278_80_82_84_86_tonemapped-Edit On1 DE.jpg
Niagara Falls-420-Edit.jpg

Night Lights at the Gardens

I spent Tuesday evening at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens for the Night Lights at the Gardens event.  This is the second year I attended.  It's a display of color unlike anything else I've seen.  Dancing lasers, animated colors all to soothing music make this an exciting event.  If you haven't experienced it, you should!  You don't know what you're missing...

See "Night Lights at the Gardens" gallery for more images.

Night Lights at the Gardens 2014-303-Edit.jpg
Night Lights at the Gardens 2014-263-Edit.jpg
Night Lights at the Gardens 2014-329.jpg

"Mums" the word

One of my favorite places to shoot is at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens.  Here are a few images from the Mum Show.  See "Floral" gallery for more images from this shoot.

Oly-279-Edit.jpg
Oly-415-Edit.jpg
Oly-300-Edit.jpg
Oly-395-Edit.jpg

Model Shoot Using Natural Light

I attended a class at  Advantage Media Productions Studio in North Tonawanda for Natural Light Photography.  Doug Hansgate instructed us on how to make the most of available light using reflectors and indirect soft light or direct hard light for different looks.  No flash was used in any of these images.  Thank you to Doug and Madison (our model) for a day full of learning.  This was the best class I've taken yet!  See "Model - Madison" gallery for more images.

Window Light

Window Light

Natural Light Portraiture-281-Edit b&w.jpg
Natural Light Portraiture-371-Edit-Edit.jpg
Natural Light Portraiture-294-Edit.jpg

Historical Sunset

These are images of the sunset at the Buffalo Historical Society and the Albright Knox Art Gallery.  There's also a couple of images of Rockwell Hall at the Buff State Campus.  See Sunset gallery for more images... 

Buffalo Historical Society 2-268-Edit.jpg
Buffalo Historical Society 2-353.jpg
Rockwell Hall - Buff State College

Rockwell Hall - Buff State College

Kelby World-Wide Photo Walk

On Saturday Oct 5th I took part in the Scott Kelby World-Wide Photo Walk.  This event was organized by the National Association of Photoshop Professional's president Scott Kelby.  All around the world groups got together to walk a planned route and take photographs for two hours.  The walk I attended was in the Allentown district of Buffalo, NY.  It rained very heavily through the night before and into the morning but the rain stopped just in time for the event.  This provided some nice reflections and over-cast skies for diffused light.  It was fun meeting other photographers and shooting along side them for the morning.  See the Buffalo - Allentown gallery for more images... 

Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2013-256_7_8_tonemapped-Edit-Edit.jpg
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2013-445-Edit.jpg
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2013-361-Edit-Edit.jpg
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2013-516_7_8_tonemapped-Edit.jpg
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2013-515-Edit-Edit.jpg
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2013-356-Edit.jpg

Angelica NY, Civil War Reenactment

On September 27-29th a Civil War reenactment was held in Angelica NY.  This was a pretty large event with many tents and camps to visit and included several battles throughout the weekend.  Artillery fire and infantry rounds sent echoes of days gone by through the encampment and the village.  With a thunderous boom you could feel the ground shake as the canons from the Union and Confederate Artillery units exchanged fire from across the open field.  The Union Calvary and Infantry had their hands full with the heavy advance of the Rebel forces and were driven back during the final battle on Saturday afternoon.  The reenactment gave on-lookers a sense of what it would be like to be engaged in a Civil War era skirmish including the sound of the bone-chilling Rebel Yell.  I had the opportunity to speak with several of the reenactors from both sides who were all very passionate about their roles in bringing this experience to the crowd of excited spectators in as realistic a fashion as possible.  VERY WELL DONE!!  Thank you to all who give their time to make sure that this time period and the people involved in it are not forgotten.  It is important that we learn from history and the sacrifices and suffering of those who came before us.  See the gallery for more images...    

Union Calvary do their best to hold back the advancing Rebels.

Union Calvary do their best to hold back the advancing Rebels.

Confederate Artillery Battery.

Confederate Artillery Battery.

Union Camp.

Union Camp.