Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are You Hot In That?

It's been a series of adventures since I last posted. Two weeks ago I went to Civil War Weekend at the Historic LeDuc Estate in Hastings. If you've been around a little bit, you'll recall that this is the same house where I had my photo shoot in July. It's a really stunning historic estate in a charming Mississippi River town. General William LeDuc was a quartermaster in the Civil War, and his home is architecturally significant as it is the most complete intact example of the work of Andrew Jackson Downing. It's just a gorgeous place and the staff are gracious enough to let us use it as their playground.

I generally stay away from hot events, because I just don't handle the heat well, and with a history of kidney stones I try to avoid situations which might lead to intense dehydration. However, I also have a history of being unstoppable, and so in spite of the near-100 degree weather with no breeze and full sun, I really enjoyed my time picnicking and playing games and playing faux-bridesmaid in a faux-wedding.

And this happened:

That's me and my dear fried Ashley, who came all the way up from Chicago for the weekend! Proof that ladies in hoops can pretty much do anything, including hoop-trundling. That happened at the end of the day on Saturday. I have never been quite so happy to go home to running water and take a shower after such a warm day!

Sunday was much cooler and the theme of the day was mourning and death rituals. I was able to put on my new mourning clothes and we decked out the house for mourning, with black crape (or a decent approximation of it) on the mirrors and the shutters drawn. I also gave a really well-received lecture on mourning - I had to give it twice over because they couldn't fit everyone into the parlor to hear it!

We also had the opportunity to have our "image struck" by Dave Rambow. Dave Rambow is a wet-plate photographer, meaning he uses the mid-19th century methods of creating images on glass or metal plates. Dave is, I am convinced, the best at what he does, and it was a real treat to have our picture taken with him. Ashley had sent this picture to me beforehand, with the idea that we should imitate it:

It's such a sweet image, and makes one wonder about the relationship between these two girls. Plus, they look a little bit like Ashley and I. We showed the image to Dave, and he immediately set about staging it. It took three tries to get it just right, because it's not a perfect science and we were the first shot of the day, but we didn't mind because it was so much fun, and the finished product was so awesome:

What do you think? Did we hit the nail on the head? We had to add some seating because I'm a bit taller than Ashley (I'm 5'9 so I'm a bit taller than a lot of people). I think it turned out stunning, even if I did end up with a fat face.

We also did this one. The pose was my idea. I've had plenty of potential captions, such as "Ashley teaches Betsy how to read," or "See? It's right there. I told you!" If you have an interesting caption, go ahead and leave it in the comments!

I like these kinds of poses, the staged-impromptu poses that look like a moment out of time but really take quite a bit of time to set up. It was also a lot of fun to talk with site visitors about the photography process, and I know that plenty of them went home with stories to tell about watching us have our likeness taken.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention: the jumbles were a huge hit! They came out of the oven VERY crunchy, but over time they softened up and never went stale. New recipe in my Civil War wheelhouse!

It's been a busy month since then, with other trips around the state and busy times at work. Next up: a trip east to Civil War Weekend at Wade House in Greenbush, Wisconsin. I've never been to this event, but I've been asked to go for several years, and I'm finally able to make it happen. I get to see some people that I don't often get to see, and hopefully make some new friends. Fingers crossed for good weather!


Keturah said...

My sweet parasols! So nice to see them being used. :) I also like your images.

Betsy said...

I thought you might like that image, Keturah! :)

Bascha Theresa said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures! They turned out quite close to the original I think. Maybe she is reading to you that it's improper to run in hoops? Or play children's games?

The video was hilarious!:) I'm glad you had fun and didn't get into trouble with the heat :P.
~Theresa :)