Atietam Battlefield Luminaries

 December 4, 2010 was the occasion of the lighting of the luminaries in the Antietam Battlefield National Park.  There were approximately 23,000 luminaries placed and lit!  I can’t even imagine the amount of effort and coordination that went into that!

When we arrived there about 4:00 p.m., we were very excited to get out and take pictures.  In retrospect, we should have just walked the area pre-planning our shots and then went back to the car until it was dark enough for the luminaries to glow.  That way we would have been warm.

It wasn’t all that cold; probably around freezing.  But standing out on the damp ground is a slight breeze made it feel much colder.

Oh, well, at least we were able to chat with other photographers.  I love to chat with other photographers.  I want to see how they see things; how they approach their shots.  Who knows, I might learn something useful.

After darkness descended, the auto focus did not work.  Even when I tried to focus, there was not enough light to see if the focus was good.  So I had to guess at the focus.  I just rotated the focus ring to infinity and backed off a wee bit.  Pretty crude!  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Anyway, here a four pictures from the shoot.  I hope you enjoy them.

This first one was shot near the park headquarters building looking down towards the Dunker Church.

 The shot above and the shot below are of the Maryland Monument.  I lucked out in the photo above.  I didn’t know that the other photographer was going to light paint the monument.  It just happened during my 30 second exposure.

This was my last shot of the evening.  As we were walking toward the car, I stopped and climbed up the bank in front of the Dunker Church and planted by tripod.  Since the tripod was already collapsed, I got down on my knees to frame this shot.  I was really cold at this point, so I was in a hurry.

I told the guys that I was with that this Luminary shoot would be great fun…in June!