My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

” Remembering the Cause “

The Fog of War

“The Fog of War”

CAUSE… one definition really sums it up for me : “a principle, aim, or movement that, because of a deep commitment, one is prepared to defend or advocate.

In any country the mention of the word WAR brings up many opinions and emotions but mention “Civil War” and you get a deeper connection to it, be it via history, location or DNA. My visit to New Market, VA brought on a combination of all three.

My initial plan, born out of dreams of being a photo journalist at one time, was to really give a feeling of the loss and grittiness of war in this place. To shoot alongside the soldiers on the battlefield…. (sound of screeching tires)… I was abruptly awakened from my dream of grandeur when I had to inquire about the yellow tape and fences that seemed to prevent me from my task. A man dressed in official period garb informed me that this re-enactment was as true to what actually happened and, unless I was of period dress and carried a working camera from that time, my place would be on the sidelines. As it turned out, the sidelines rekindled in me a vision of curiosity and, with my gift of gab I proceeded to stop and question various people dressed in full period clothing. What I received was everything from, hey what kind of camera is that, to where are you from and everything in-between. This personal type of interaction forced me to envision portraits and open up my subjects to create a history lesson about the time and place. The more I shot and listened, the more this place came alive, helping me realize this battle was one of the last Confederate victories and that control of this area had to do with food to feed the vast amount of troops there and in the future. I was treated throughout the day to a living history that would have been lost within the benign pages of a high school lesson. The conversations enlightened me to the loss and courage that had occurred just yards away. Eventually the barriers melted away and vignettes appeared, punctuated by the cannon’s deafening fire.

The thinking of which side one was on, quickly disappeared, once I fully immersed my self into the personal side… the side that today is only talked about and remembered after so many years of loss… the cause seems to almost disappear when the lens captures faces, actions, and sometimes even the whispers that are interwoven into a reenacted part of our history.



33 responses

  1. Another wonderful set of images. I cycled thru them several times to try to pick some favorites … difficult because they are all excellent. I love the smoke of the canon in 16, and the powerful blast in 19, the serious look of the soldier in 21 and the wonderful composition and story in 17.


    December 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

  2. Pingback: Shooting War – A New Project | Painting With A Camera

  3. This is new: live grunge.
    A splendid set of images, per se and as symbolic of a terrible era. I think they’re nifty, Mike. Potentially a museum set.


    December 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    • I like “live grunge” kinda sets the tone for most of the comps… thanks Ralph for keeping up with the blog.


      December 3, 2014 at 2:01 am

  4. Carolyn

    Loved your set of pictures of the re-enactment. They are outstanding! You know, Mark & Sally Crosby . . . they are the parents I’ve had in my child care when I had Meggie & Breezy. They participate in re-enactments. I know they would enjoy see these photos. You amaze me with your work.


    November 28, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    • See … everyone is doin it… big smile!!! Thank you so much for keeping in touch with what I do.


      November 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm

  5. Amy McRae


    Your images always amaze me! Thanks for posting


    November 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    • Thanks Amy… I will try and keep you looking 🙂


      November 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

  6. Your images did such a splendid job of this re-enactment that it really takes you back to that period of time. Great post and portraits.


    November 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    • Thanks Larry…. just walking and taking it all in really does bring you back when surrounded by history.


      November 26, 2014 at 2:47 am

  7. Sharon

    WoW … great pixs… this is a whole new direction for you…Keep it coming!


    November 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    • I will and thanks for stopping by!!!


      November 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

  8. Pat

    What a fantastic series, Mike. It’s as if you stepped back in time.


    November 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    • So glad you felt that way… thanks.


      November 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

  9. Reginald Wickham

    One of the best group of pictures I have ever seen.


    November 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    • Coming from my portrait mentor… that means a lot!!!!


      November 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm

  10. Great series. There are some real beauties here!


    November 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

    • Hey Jeroen… thanks for taking the time to comment… it is appreciated!!!!


      November 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  11. Barbara

    I love all your recent collections. I particularly love the ones for Oregan.


    November 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

    • Oregon was a special place for me also Barb!!!!


      November 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

  12. I am always intrigued by the sense of appreciation and curiosity laden in your images that inform a story.


    November 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

    • Thanks Marie so happy they spoke to you too!!!


      November 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

  13. Big thanks Linda for the comment… you would have had a blast there!!!


    November 24, 2014 at 12:57 am

  14. Mike,

    Very well done.



    November 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

  15. Wow. So many great portraits that look so authentic. The overall collection is magnificent but I think my favorite is the soldier in the field with the binoculars.


    November 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    • Liz… when that one came up on my grid I just was drawn to it also… thanks!!


      November 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

  16. Amazing portraits and what an incredible story. I am sure this was one hell of an experience- one that I would have enjoyed! Great job again Mike!


    November 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    • Sometimes you never know… my first reenactment and all went really well in the end. I am sure this would have been perfect for you and Dan. It would have been a neat experiment to shoot it and then compare your 2 diff views… 🙂


      November 24, 2014 at 12:55 am

  17. Stunning work Mike. Even though these folks are re-enactors, you blur the line between what is real and what is being acted out.


    November 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    • You are so right Rich… when post processing that vibe kinda took over with some of the pics.


      November 24, 2014 at 12:56 am

  18. Linda Kamholz

    What a wonderful collection of images. They allow us to step back in time and catch a glimpse of a seminal moment in our nation’s history. Well done, Mike!


    November 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    • Thanks Linda… you would have loved it there!!!!


      November 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm

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