Week 23 saw me shoot my 41st and 42nd rolls through the 16th different camera of the project. The subject matter was the Great Central Railway’s World War Two weekend.
The GCR is the UK’s only two-way, preserved steam railway and runs between Leicester and Loughborough. Despite living nearby until a couple of months ago, I never really took pictures there before this year, but the nature of the place seems to lend itself to using old cameras there (as I did with a Lubitel in week 4, and my Nikon F2A in week 5).
Once a year it hosts a World War Two reenactment weekend. Each station along the line has a different country’s forces camped out for the weekend with the Americans in Quorn, and the Germans in Rothley etc. The people involved seem to take it very seriously with perfect period outfits, weapons and vehicles. There are women and children in 1940’s clothing (and hairstyles) oh, and some steam locomotives too.
As usual, despite the event having been on the calendar for a month, I didn’t actually make it to Rothley station until late on Sunday afternoon, about 30 minutes before the three days of action came to an end. While that meant was that I may not have been close to the German camp being overrun by heroic Americans (I heard the shooting and explosions), I did catch the troops in their downtime in the immediate aftermath, as they began to plan their trips back home.
(Click on the smaller pictures to see them full screen)
The Conquering Americans.
The German Camp.
I tried hard to keep modernity out of the pictures, hoping that they’d look like they were shot in the ’40s. They don’t of course, but I do quite like the results, especially of the guys in the Jeeps. I just wish that I’d guessed the exposure a little better so that I’d got a bit more detail in the shadows.
The Fujica proved its awesomeness once again. The huge negatives render massive resolution (don’t worry, I shrunk them before uploading) and are like see-through postcards. The reason I don’t shoot it more often though is the 8 shots per film; it gets expensive…
I used my Fujica GW690ii and more Fujifilm Neopan Across, processed the films at home in Ilfotec HC and scanned the results on an aging Epson v500. As usual, I guessed the exposures and got them wrong, particularly the shots of the ‘Americans’ under the trees.