Today was the start of Photoshop World 2012 East Coast edition. As with the past several years, I came in early for a pre-conference with Moose Peterson and Joe McNally and their very fun photo safari. Like conferences past, Joe and Moose took some time to show some of their latest work and answer any questions we might have about photography, life as a photographer or life in general . This year I learned something new that I didn’t know about Joe. Joe knows that HDR really means Hot Dogs and Ribs.

Joe and Moose also had a couple of things that I will keep in mind with my shooting in the coming year. First Joe reminded us that “You are responsible for every pixel in the image.” I think this is is something that will really help remind me to check my corners, spend time with the composition and think for just a second more before creating the shot. Moose reminded us that “When you go click it is not a summary of your photographic experience, but rather your life’s experience” He advised us to keep this in mind as we create new work.

So you might wonder where we were off to this year. Well, they lined up a trip to the Sully Historic site in Virginia with a a troop of Civil War reenactment group. Even a long bus ride out of DC due to construction couldn’t dampen our spirits on they way out. I was one the bus with Joe and he was a gracious as ever sharing insights and tips on how to make the most of our visit.

Once we arrived, we came around a bend in the road and there was setup a group of tents and our models for the days events. The coolest part of our models is that they weren’t really models. They were a group of amazingly warm and wonderful people who  are an actual Civil War reenactment team that was willing to come out and share their experience of what they love to do with us.

Unlike some reenactment troops, our troop were character actors meaning they actually portrayed real people from the Civil War. They knew all about the persons life, events and participation in the Civil War. They dressed to the period and had the most wonderfully amazing costumes. It was like getting a real life history lesson from a person picked out of time.

Everyone we so supportive of our pointing cameras in their face and willing to do pretty much everything we asked them to do. They were great as we learned new ways to light and pose people. I only hope that we provided them a little entertainment as well. I won’t soon forget my trip to Sully and the generosity of Moose, Joe, the troop and my fellow precons. I wonder what Joe and Moose will have in store for the next precon Safari in Veags in September. If you are coming out to PSW in the fall, it would be worth your time to spend an afternoon with some of the best people around.

The images in the post are from the days event. I processed them in black and white and then toned them to look a little like a platinum print. All images were taken on a Nikon D700 with 14-24mm f/2.8 or 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on Lexar media. The interior is from one of the buildings at the historic site.