The Yorkshire War Experience is held once a year near a town called Hunsworth. Many hundreds of people meet, together with around 500 military vehicles and other military equipment, to re-enact scenes and battles from WW1 and WW2. There are living displays and equipment demonstrations showing what it was like to live and fight during the war.
A large field is given over to allow battles with many explosives and much blank ammunition being fired between the British-American armies and the German army. Large trenches are dug at either end of the field. It was quite extraordinary how much military equipment was brought to the Experience. There was a large retail area where you could buy anything you need to re-enact, clothing, weapons, ammo, rockets and much besides. It is all very authentic, a wonderful event to photograph.
I wanted to give my photos the same authentic look so I loaded HP5 Plus, exposed at EI400, into the Leica M6 and added a medium yellow filter to my Summarit-M 50mm lens. The film was lab processed in Xtol and scanned. HP5 Plus needs no introduction, it works well under all lighting conditions and is pretty much bullet proof when exposing. In Xtol it has the kind of grain which I think helps add atmosphere to the photos. Colour film or digital images would have been too clinical for me. I found the trenches and living displays the most interesting and tried to avoid anything modern in the photos. Care was taken with the backgrounds and no public in the shots. The photos are grouped into Armies. There are more photos of the German Army because they were the largest and most interesting camp. The question is, did I succeed in my quest for some form of authenticity?
The British Army
THE AMERICAN ARMY
The German Army
Thank you for reading and looking at my images. Phil
Other content I’ve submitted to 35mmc can be found here