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cameras-msg - 3/17/08


Use of cameras in the SCA. Hiding cameras.


NOTE: See also the files: p-cameras-msg, SCA-PR-msg, recruitment-msg, SCAguests-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: garwood at milo.UUCP (Berwyn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: RE: Cameras at events

Date: 17 Jun 1993 02:25:33 -0400


At our last event there was a fellow wandering around with a bundle of

sticks on his shoulder.  He appeared to be a traveling stick merchant or

something, but concealed inside his bundle was a camcorder.  His bundle of

sticks has provided some excellent footage for our demo table.





From: Dave.Aronson at f120.n109.z1.fidonet.org (Dave Aronson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Cameras at SCA events

Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1993 20:39:52 -0500


ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman) writes:


ddf> If people are

ddf> trying to maintain a medieval atmosphere, than using something as

ddf> noticable and strikingly out of period as a camera on a tripod

ddf> (unless you are very clever about disguising it, or shooting from

ddf> inside a tent where you cannot be seen, or something similar)


Which brings to mind a neat trick I saw a few Pennsics ago.  Someone had a

camcorder hidden inside a small barrel that he carried on his shoulder, with the

lens aimed out a hole in the lid.  If it weren't for the bit sticking down in

front of his eye, and the fact that his hand went inside the barrel (which could

be kluged off by a fake hand on the outside), one would never know.



From: salley at niktow.canisius.edu (David Salley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cameras at SCA events

Date: 18 Jun 93 14:39:21 GMT

Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208


In article <740371074.AA06809 at blkcat.UUCP>, Dave.Aronson at f120.n109.z1.fidonet.org (Dave Aronson) writes:

> ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman) writes:

> ddf> If people are

> ddf> trying to maintain a medieval atmosphere, than using something as

> ddf> noticable and strikingly out of period as a camera on a tripod

> ddf> (unless you are very clever about disguising it, or shooting from

> ddf> inside a tent where you cannot be seen, or something similar)


> Which brings to mind a neat trick I saw a few Pennsics ago.  Someone had a

> camcorder hidden inside a small barrel that he carried on his shoulder, with

> the lens aimed out a hole in the lid.  If it weren't for the bit sticking

> down in front of his eye, and the fact that his hand went inside the barrel

> (which could be kluged off by a fake hand on the outside), one would never

> know.


Lord Robert of Hazeltine from the Barony of Rhydderich Hael is the inventor.

It's not a real barrel, he found a real barrel to be too heavy after awhile.

He used the barrel as a mold to make a paper-mache barrel which he then

reinforced with chicken wire on the inside.  The outside was painted to look

like wood.  The barrel is hinged on the bottom so it opens like a suitcase

to give him access to the camcorder.  The entire inside of the barrel is full

of carved styrofoam which holds the camcorder in place. He also carved a

few small niches in the foam to make slots to hold the various accessories.


It's astonishingly realistic looking.  Most people don't even realize that he

has a camera much less that he's filming.  You have to be within two feet of

him to realize the knothole is a lens and that the viewfinder is sticking out

the side.

                                                       - Dagonell


SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr

Habitat           : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony

Disclaimer  : A society that needs disclaimers has too many lawyers.

Internet    : salley at niktow.cs.canisius.edu

USnail-net  : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029



From: "Andrea B. Gansley-Ortiz" <ag1v+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Filming at Pennsic (searching for advice - please read)

Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1993 15:54:10 -0400

Organization: Information Networking Institute, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA


I am posting this message for Mistress Ts'vee'a bas Tseepora. Please refer

to the address at the bottom of this message if you are interested in

finding out more about Filming at Pennsic.  -ag


       ***           ***           ***           ***            ***


I am sure it will be possible for you to shoot your project at Pennsic, with

a little pre-planning.


First, the Pennsic War is complicated for novices, even with prior SCA

experience and a group of people to camp with.  Since you are not in the SCA,

there are a lot of details you might not know to take care of prior to your

arrival. Try to talk to your friend not just about the particulars of garb

and a tent, but the mores of the Society and a description of the Pennsic War

in particular.  (I really don't recommend the Pennsic War as a first event,

it can be overwhelming to say the least.)


In order to shoot video at Pennsic, you should make arrangements with the

Autocrat, who for Pennsic XXII is Lady Elena de Vexin. There is an

Autocrat's Point in the location known as St. Aiden's Square.  It will be

open during the day.  Stop by there when you arrive at the War.  You will

need to discuss your plans with Lady Elena, as there are places and

activities that you may _not_ shoot, and she will discuss this with you.  She

may want to arrange an escort for you, especially as you are not well versed

with SCA customs.  She can also help to make arrangements for good locations

to shoot other activities such as courts, etc.


Regarding shooting the battles:  you will need to discuss this with Sir

Bardolph Windlaufer, Pennsic XXII Marshal-In-Charge.  As Duke Sir Palymar has

told you, you will probably find him the most easily on the Battlefield.

Check the event schedule in the Program for 'Armor Inspection' times (I think

from 10-4 weekdays).


How large of a battle does your project need?  You might find it a whole lot

easier to shoot one of the non-War point battles (there are at least two that

are melee oriented) being held earlier in the week than to try to shoot the

War points.  The Program contains descriptions on the 'Battlefield Schedule'

that will help you to decide if a particular battle is suitable to your

needs, both for the melee shots you need and for individual combat.  Please

obtain permission from the contact person or sponsor before setting up to

shoot, as this is only courteous.


It is extremely unlikely that you will be allowed to do something so unsafe

as try to videotape during the woods battle.  There is a woods activity on

Tuesday, being run by the Dark Horde.  If you need footage of fighters

running through the woods, they might be able to help you much more safely.

Go to the Horde Camp and ask for Semaj.


Other activities that you might find useful for your project: the balls and

other dancing, fencing, archery, classes, marketplace, courts, and (maybe)

parties.  I would be happy to discuss the schedule for Pennsic and help you

devise a list of contact personnel you may wish to approach.  As editor of

the Program, I would be glad to help you with places and times of various

scheduled activities.


Regarding legal issues:  The Pennsic War is a private event, held by and for

the SCA.  It is not open to the public.  If you were planning to sell your

video, you would need to obtain waivers from the people you shoot, even crowd

scenes.  Not doing so leaves you open to a lawsuit.  Of course, since the

video is for your private use (as a classroom project with no distribution

intentions) permission from your subjects is less vital, but still important.

You should ask permission before shooting anyone up close, even in a group of

other people.  Please discuss the legalities with one of your professors or

you might try to find a lawyer who specializes in 'Arts and the Law.'  (You

might be able to get some free advice from the law school at your university

- my father, an attorney, occasionally gives lectures on this topic at our

local university)  If someone tells you they do not wish to be taped, please

respect their wishes, no matter how good a shot it might be.


Video tips:  in order to find 'reasonably realistic weaponry' - buy a roll of

metallic silver duct tape before the War.  Offer it to the fighters you use

for the one-on-one footage to wrap their swords before the fight.  On a sunny

day, the glints of light off the tape will seem more 'realistic' than plain

duct tape.  Fighters will probably be amenable to rewrapping their swords for

your project.  I don't know how many swords a roll will cover, but you should

get at least two.


You could also talk some fighters into letting you shoot an 'armor repair'

session - I find a bunch of half-armored guys fixing popped rivets and

leather straps to be very photogenic, and a good pre-battle activity.  If you

can afford to buy a case of beer to share with the fighters, this would be a

much appreciated good-will gesture.


If there is any other help or advice about Pennsic I can provide, please do

not hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at (412) 361-6754 or 206 S.

Pacific #2, Pittsburgh, PA 15224.  My e-mail address is only good until

September, but it is: galst5 at vms.cis.pitt.edu


In service,

Mistress Ts'vee'a bas Tseepora Levi

aka Gail Lefkowitz

    (BS in Video Production, Northwestern University)

    galst5 at vms.cis.pitt.edu



From: alberic at infinet.com (Brian Meek)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Things we tolerate

Date: 24 Aug 1994 19:47:06 GMT

Organization: InfiNet - Internet Access (614/224-3410)


Greetings all;


On the subject of cameras and other oddities, I saw a neat device at Pennsic

this year.  (actually 2 neat devices..)

the first consisted of a small wicker basket with a little piece of deerskin

as a top cover.  The deerskin flopped over the sides a small distance, thus

neatly concealing the two camera ports cut into the sides of the basket.

(a lady's hand basket)  the two cameras sat back to back,one had a 50MM lens,

and the other had a 28, both had 'silentwinders', and a pair of cable

releases running up into the handle of the basket.  For the ultimate in

stealth photography...  (for the curious, one of them was a Zeiss Ikon,

and the whole mess was rigged by an ex-fed.)  the other neat trick I saw,

besides some ingenious methods of dealing with rain and mud involved the

use of a small wine cask to conceal a videocamera....the lens peeked out

of the bunghole.  (of course) The cask was shoulder held most of the time.




       Alberic at infinet.com -or- Alberic6 at delphi.com

                    Speaker to Machines.  




From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Things we tolerate

Date: 25 Aug 1994 15:06:32 GMT

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS



        Concealed cameras do have their negatives.  A friend of mine

was down at the Classic Swimming Hole when someone was discovered with

a concealed camera.  The gentles who discovered it removed the film

from the offending device.


(and yes, I just noticed the pun in the first sentence!:-)




Canton of Eoforwic

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: corliss at hal.PHysics.wayne.EDU (David J. Corliss)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Flash photography

Date: 26 Sep 1994 16:54:41 -0400

Organization: the internet


Master Arval writes:


> There is a rule in the East and perhaps elsewhere against flash photography

> during the main activities of an event.


In informal situations, I can see no problem with flash photography. It is

neccessary to use careful and courteous judgement, which is why there are often

problems. Think first of the others around you: will the intended subject or

others in your company be offended by the flash? Remember that when flash

photography is used, you are extended a courtesy: do not abuse this.


Some years ago, I was playing at a Scottish Highland Festival in Orlando,

Florida. This was not an SCA event and cameras were common and widely accepted.

At one point, I was performing at a Ceilidh in front of a couple of hundred

people who had nothing to do at that particular moment other than listen to my

harp. Although I had positioned myself so that any flashes from cameras in the

audience would not distract me from my performance, one person maneuvered

around to the side of the stage and set off his camera flash directly in my

face from a few feet away. While the discomfort to myself was considerable, the

resulting faltering in my music was a discourtesy to all present, who had come

for the sole purpose of hearing people play. I have seen this kind of thing

happen at SCA events: when I saw King Dag ambushed by cameras when he placed

Stephen Egermont on vigil before his knighting, I recoiled at the memory of

what Dag was experiencing at that moment.


Beorthwine of Grafham Wood



From: djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: newcomer querys

Date: 24 Sep 1994 02:24:35 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


(Hal posting from Dorothy's account...)

In article <35thsu$9rh at netaxs.com>, theo <tubright at netaxs.com> wrote:

>sarah davitt (sdavitt at ub.d.umn.edu) wrote:

>: 2)Are there any rules to taking photographs?


>        The only rule about photography that I'm aware of is no flash

>photography during court or feasts. (this may only be an East realm

>edict, but I consider it basic manners)


As a specific *rule* that is not universal.  As a general

practice, it's an excellent idea.  I have yet to see an event

that is so dark that no image can be recorded--but I've been known

to use 5-minute exposures on occasion.  Fast film (color print

film is available up to 3200 and I don't know how far Tri-x or

T-max can be pushed, many thousands at least), fast lenses (two

companies make 50mm F1.0 lenses), and then slow the shutter until

you get what you want.


        --Hal Ravn

         (Hal Heydt)



From: gdfirt at aol.com (Gdfirt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Publication photographs.

Date: 11 Apr 1995 17:54:30 -0400


To respond to what was said about taking press photos at events:


A photojournalist can take a photo and publish it of anyone if they are in

a public place. Ethically a photographer should ask permission to use the

photo after it is taken.  


An event is a private affair and all photos taken should not be published

unless taken by private citizens and given to the press WITH the

permission of the people photographed and the events organizers (ie-SCA

Corporate since they have to deal with lawsuits and insurance, and the autocrat)

If it is a public demo where non-SCA people are welcome to come, or it is

advertised in a public medium (newspaper) then it is considered a public

place and all photos can be published.


This is Federal law.  Each state also has different privacy laws.

As a photojournalist I have never published a photo of someone if their

permission was not given. Most newspaper photographers follow this ethical

rule, except in cases of the rich and famous.


I take at least one roll of film per event that I go to document it.

Where as my friends complain at the time, later on they like to see how

they changed over the years.


Sorry this is so serious-




From: djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Photography Question

Date: 24 Jan 1996 15:45:49 GMT

Organization: University of California at Berkeley


In article <4e4gmh$cld at azure.acsu.buffalo.edu>,

TRISTAN CLAIR DE LUNE/KEN MONDSCHEIN <v081lu33 at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu> wrote:


[I accompanied my magazine article with SCA photos I took myself;

was that wrong?]


Hal has been taking photos at every event he goes to since about

the year Five.  Nobody has complained yet.  He's provided photos

to various magazines and newspapers who were doing articles on

the Society.  Nobody complained about that.  He showed up at BART

practice last night with several hundred prints for a reporter

from a local paper to choose from.  Hilary of Serendip encouraged

him to do so.


The only thing you would want to be careful of is close-in,

recognizable pictures of an individual.  In that case, I'd get

the subject's OK before giving the photo to the publisher--who in

any case, if it is a respectable publisher, would want to get a

release from the subject before publishing such a photo.


If your photos are all nifty-looking group shots, wherein nobody

who didn't know them would recognize anyone if they met them in

mundanes, I wouldn't worry.


Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin          Dorothy J. Heydt

Mists/Mists/West                   UC Berkeley

Argent, a cross forme'e sable           djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 10:27:02 -0700

From: Heather Senkler <wl835 at victoria.tc.ca>

Subject: Re: Photography


On Tue, 14 Jul 1998, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> There are a number of ways to make a camera unobtrusive.


How about a basket? Wicker is light and easily cut-up-able.


                Ekatarina (thinking about cutting a hole in my shield for

                        a "throw-away" camera to get taped to)



Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] help.. ideas please for camera w/tripod camaflouge

Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 12:01:51 -0500

From: "Elizabeth Crouchet" <ecs at io.com>

To: <bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org>


While it may not work for a camera I once saw a video camera on a tripod

disguised to look like a very skinny woman in a skrit and wearing a hat. She

had her arm stuck out to the side all day (where the handle was) . It was

very clever. The man standing behind "her" looked like her was nuzzling her

hair. Some people even excused themselves when they got too close to her

before they looked directly at her. It was really great. Kinda of like

talking to a Department store dummy.


If you are not going to use a tripod, just keep it in a basket until you

need to use it. Then just use it and put it away. Actually, the less

attention you call to it the less obvious it will be.



-----Original Message-----

From: Steve Hemphill <producer at us.ibm.com>

To: bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org <bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org>

Date: Monday, July 02, 2001 11:19 AM

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] help.. ideas please for camera w/tripod camaflouge


>Stefan mentioned:

>"While neat, I think walking around holding an owl might be as intruding as

>the camera. Maybe a hawk, perhaps."


>To which Eule responded:

>I wouldn't recommend that either! ;-)


>Now, I've just realized that I may be misunderstanding your use of

>camouflage.  I was originally thinking camouflage for some sort of nature

>photography (I've used "gilly suit" type material just draped over

>everything.  You can get it at Academy.).  But if you mean for use in the

>SCA, an owl, hawk, falcon would be *really* clever.  Of course, once you

>raise it to your face to take a picture, someone might think you were being

>attacked by the nasty beast! ;-)





Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] camera w/tripod camaflouge

Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 14:52:43 -0500

From: "Yeates, Jay" <jyeates at idmp.com>

To: "'bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org'" <bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org>



seen this one *years* ago that worked pretty good for a old-style SLR



go down and buy a cheap mini tripod ... remove the section that

screws into the camera base ... make a staff and secure this piece to

one end (a threaded metal reciever insert to match the size &

threading of the mounting piece) - cut staff so camera is eye level

when mounted .... step one produces camera on a "monopod" (and when

camera is removed) a good walking stick.


now comes the fun part ... get out your wood carving tools and design

and carve a staff "ornament" that covers most of the camera but

allows hands to get to critical controls (focus/zoom & capture button

for example).  paint ornament same color as the camera body - eye

will be drawn to the ornamentation and not the camera, and at

distance camera will all but dissapear ... ie, a camera "mask"


the one i saw done well was only obvious as a camera when you got

close ... from a distance it was a really fine looking interlocked

double dragon (the interlocking / knotwork tends to grab the eye

*away* from the single glass element in the center ... was done so

well, the lens looked like a natural part of the design (rear had a

small curtain to shield the back when it was not being used)


carry one step farther ... take a spear head, fill in socket and

install a matched insert ... when camera is off staff and it's not

being used as walking stick / camera base, it becomes a break-down

assegai (g)


downside of this rig, when you have it camera mode, they'll think

you're a herald or in cahrge of something ... and in heat of battle

someone might grab it as a marshalling staff (grin)





From: quester at infionline.net (Harold Groot)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: OT: Digital camera for Pennsic

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 11:37:42 GMT


>> In article <bsj7ib$dm3$0 at>,

>>  "Jeff Foehringer" <degan at ccia.com> wrote:

>> >     I'm writing to beg for a little technical advice from my SCA brethren.

>> > I have been looking for a digital camera. One of the things I want to do is

>> > take photographs at Pennsic at night without a flash.  I also want to take

>> > action shots on the battle field.   I know that with a conventional camera,

>> > I would think about using high speed film, opening the aperture and perhaps

>> > changing shutter speed.  My question is, do digital cameras also have

>> > shutter speeds and apertures, or do they handle low light conditions in some

>> > other manner?  What features would I look for on a digital camera to do low

>> > light or capture people in motion?

>> >

>> >    I do plan to do a little research next week on digital photography, but I

>> > would love some advice from those who are experienced with digital cameras.

>> > What model cameras have some of you gotten good results with in such

>> > situations.

>> >      My sister gave me a Sony DSC-P10  Cyber Shot for Christmas, along with

>> > the receipt and permission to exchange it for a better camera if I can find

>> > one (she knows even less about digital photography than me).  This camera

>> > has a feature called Burst Shot (3 shots) which I assume is for action

>> > photos.  It also has a feature called MPEG Movie VX, which I assume is for

>> > use with  digital video editing software.  I assume this camera can be

>> > hooked up to my computer for downloading images.  I hope someone can give me

>> > advice on whether this is a good camera or if there is something better on

>> > the market.


The first thing to do is decide what it is you really want to do well.

For example, are you are looking for that perfect action shot (and

could accept less detail) or are you looking for crisp shots that can

be enlarged well?  On those night shots - are you looking to document

what is happening at parties or are you looking for artistic, shadowy



=IF= you are primarily concerned with getting that perfect action

shot, a mini-DV camcorder may be your best choice.  You can film an

entire combat sequence and then go through it frame by frame to catch

the perfect pose.  If you want to catch the rattan sword actually in

contact with the helm (being bent by its own momentum) as the killing

blow is struck, even the burst mode of a camera is not likely to catch

it.  If the dancers are doing intricate moves, you don't have to worry

about them facing the wrong way or cutting in front of one another -

film the whole thing and find the perfect composition on a single

frame or two.  The downside is that the typical frame will be a 640 x

480 jpg, so you don't get super crispness and can't enlarge it too



The same tradeoffs happen with night photography.  If your primary

purpose is to document what's happening without disturbing others with

a flash unit, you can get a videocam that shoots by infrared light at

night.  This can work even in literally zero external light.  Very

unobtrusive, but your pictures will be in black-and-white (well,

green-and-white).  In low light you can also shoot in color at very

slow shutter speeds, but unless you are shooting from a tripod the

motion of the camera itself can dominate things.


If you're looking for beautiful photography, go with a camera.  If

your looking for beautiful composition of action shots, a camcorder

may be better.  And don't overlook what can be done in the digital

darkroom.  A program like Photoshop Elements can often make major

improvements in marginal shots.


My own needs have usually been to get that perfect composition.  For

example, I shot a birthday party in a hotel room with a lot of kids

using just available low-level indoor light.  Very unobtrusive, the

kids paid almost no attention to me.  I got dozens of great candid

shots when the kids had that perfect smile, etc.  Somewhat grainy, but

great composition.  It was a great tool for that job - but I wouldn't

have wanted to use it for a formal portrait.


So decide first what type of pictures you want to do well - then you

can get the equipment that handles that situation the best.  If you

have several types you want to do well, you will be making tradeoffs

and will have to judge what it is you want - fairly good results with

everything, or great results with one thing at the cost of poor

results with something else and so on.  


Of course, you may decide that capturing the motion and the sound is

more important than you originally thought, that a camcorder

experience may be more important than those single shots you are

currently thinking about.  The MPEG Movie is probably limited to very

short durations.  A lot of digital cameras are also limited to 2x or

3x magnification.  Most camcorders will have 10x optical magnification

(ignore digital magnification numbers like 400x - you're just

magnifying the blur on that).  If you want a good shot of your Baron

in the middle of the field battle, that extra magnification is really

good to have and shooting the whole thing is good too - because much

of the time he'll be obscured by other people.  By staying on him

you'll get the good moment that would be very easy to miss with a

still camera.  Getting that bardic circle or bellydancing contest goes

better with sound and motion.  Getting the night fog over the lake

goes better with a still camera.



From: "David W. James" <unend at aolDAMNSPAM.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: OT: Digital camera for Pennsic

Date: Thu, 01 Jan 2004 19:03:44 GMT


I liked Harold's suggestions regarding a camcorder vs a camera; I have

used both when at auto races, and each has its advantages. But a

camcorder can't be beat when it comes to getting those action shots.  

Note that some of them go as high as 20x optical zoom *and* have image

stabilization, which is a great boon when shooting long range.  These

aren't the tiny ones, though they aren't nearly as large as the old

camcorders were.


As far as the digital camera is concerned, what everyone else has said

about the importance of an optical zoom is correct. However, with the

better digital cameras you are not limited to what the camera can do

alone.  Several, including most of the Nikon Coolpix line, several

Olympus and some Sony's, can take an external telephoto or wide angle

adaptor.  For long range shots these tend to be either limited in

increase (the 3x adaptor for my Coolpix is as heavy as the camera!) or

in speed (I have very portable 6x and 8x adaptors; but they eat a lot of

light, so their use for action photography is very limited.)


For the low-light shots, make sure that the camera you use has the

option of an external release; being able to set the camera on a padded

pouch and trigger it without touching it can make a world of difference,

and is both portable and unobtrusive; both good for events.  Using the

camera's time delay can substitute in some situations, but eats a lot

more time (3 seconds seems to be the shortest delay I see, and most are

10 seconds.)  Some newer digitals allow for extremely long (for digital)

releases; up to 30 seconds isn't that uncommon, and a few have a 'bulb'

setting that will allow for several minutes.  Nighttime event landscapes

might be the only common use of this, but I suspect there might be some

neat abstracts available for a long exposure of a dimly lit dance.


The newer cameras tend to use dedicated batteries.  The smaller cameras

especially, and the small, custom (or nearly so) batteries are often

also of smaller capacity.  There are external battery packs; Quantum

makes a line of lead-acid externals that can power a digital for days,

but they are expensive and relatively heavy.  If your camera can take AA

or AAA batteries, there are solar rechargers on the market that were

made for camping and events like Pennsic.  I have seen some that claim

to work with other batteries and chargers, but I haven't tried one yet.


Note: I suggest doing your battery recharging in your car, if possible

(mind the heat!), or finding some other way to disguise/hide your

recharger in camp.  I think solar panels are a lovely blue, but they

practically define 'obtrusive modernity.'


You can either bring a lot of memory cards and check things when you get

home, bring a laptop and troop out to the car to download and check

things periodicly or you can find a portable HD that reads and stores

files from memory cards.  Each method has its advantages and

disadvantages.  All memory, check it later can run out of storage and

won't allow you to catch a systemic problem that can render all the

images unusable.  The laptop is more general, but you need to keep it

powered up too (though if it stays in the car it may well run the week

of Pennsic without a problem.) The mini-HDs can be expensive.  There are

several on the market, with prices ranging up to $800 or so, that do a

fine job and can store 10 to 60 gig.  Most double as MP3 players and/or

portable disk drives.  I have heard that there is a Compact Flash

adaptor for the Apple iPod that will allow it to do this, but I haven't

seen it, so it is even possible that you already own something that can






From: Richard Threlkeld <rjt at softwareinnovation.com>

Date: September 11, 2007 2:11:44 PM CDT

To: "'Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.'" <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events


-----Original Message-----

From: ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org On Behalf Of Mike Dudley


I know, for the most part, photography is one of the anachronisms we accept

in the SCA since we all like to look at the pictures. Though I would like

to disguise my camera bag, and possibly my camera a bit better.  (ideas

welcome here)


A couple weekends back, I was at an event, that the use of my flash was

needed to insure acceptable pictures.  The whole time hoping I wasn't

offending/annoying anyone popping off my flash every time someone received

an award (was during evening court, under a  pavillion). Most of the time I

can make use of existing light, but as evening approaches, or worse, things

under large pavilions require the use of some fill flash.


My question is, how do you feel about the use of flash at events?


- Mike (aka Collwyn)



I take a lot of pictures at events. I really try to avoid the use of flash.

That means I only get a few good pictures from most evening courts. I

usually ask the noble presiding about their feelings on flash. I point out

that I will not be able to get many pictures of any quality without it.

Sometimes they will ask you to only use it for major activity like

elevations. Other times they may ask you to not use flash at all.


To some extent it depends on the attempt they have made at making a period

court. If they are outside with only torches to light the area and are

really trying for a certain mood, then you should probably not use flash as

it will destroy what they are trying to achieve. If you are in a modern hall

with overhead lighting and they are using an electronic sound system, then

there is no mood to disrupt.


Use some discretion and get some rules from the noble.


Caelin on Andrede



From: Gwynafwy Sinclaire <gwynafwy26 at yahoo.com>

Date: September 11, 2007 3:30:20 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events


Yes, a flash can be obtrusive at times but it is a

necessary evil at times as well.

Take it from me - a photographer in my mundane life.

I intrude with my camera and flash everywhere.  LOL

I have come to the realization that someone in the

future (near or far) will want this or that picture -

that they "will" just have to deal with the flash. I

have people request pictures from me all the time and

visa versa.


The reasoning behind this is:

  1.  If you don't use a flash what is the use of

taking a camera in the first place - other than taking

day time pictures.


2.  If you don't use a flash and take night/evening

pictures anyway "people" will be upset that "their

picture" or what they think is a very "memorable

moment" will be dark, grainy and/or blurry.  In other

words yucky! - and again why bother.  I know this from

personal experience. :)


I wish to say sorry now to those that may disagree and

want to keep closer to the reason why we play - I

understand and agree with that idea.  But please

understand that we, as a whole, also need to keep a

record of "our way of life" for future generations.


My suggestion to you, Collwyn, is to limit how many

pictures you take during, lets say an evening Court,

and/or maybe talk to a member(s) of the entourage and

let them know what you will be doing so when the time

comes any Royalty and staff will not be taken by

surprise by the flash.


I hope that this will help ease your mind abit about






From: Alden Drake <alden_drake at sbcglobal.net>

Date: September 11, 2007 3:42:33 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events


Gwynafwy Sinclaire wrote:

> I wish to say sorry now to those that may disagree and

> want to keep closer to the reason why we play - I

> understand and agree with that idea.  But please

> understand that we, as a whole, also need to keep a

> record of "our way of life" for future generations.


If you want another way to keep memories alive, you could always

commission a bard to compose a tale, poem, song, etc. that pertains to

the occasion in question. :)


Alden Drake



From: Chris Zakes <dontivar at gmail.com>

Date: September 11, 2007 4:19:02 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events


> Mike,  You may as well be damned for poop as damned

> for stinking.  If you can accept the use of the

> camera, you may as well accept the use of the flash.

> Additionally, in any group you are sure to offend

> someone, learn to accept that as well.

> Pavel


I disagree. A camera can be pretty unobtrusive, if done right, but a

flash going off is obvious to *everybody.* Saying that the flash is

no more unacceptable than the camera is kind of like saying "well, my

shoes aren't period, so I may as well wear a Led Zeppelin T-shirt

instead of a tunic."


Personally, I don't like flash photography at events, and would

rather it didn't happen.


          -Tivar Moondragon



From: robert segrest <aumbob at yahoo.com>

Date: September 11, 2007 4:48:28 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events


Collwyn said:

"My question is, how do you feel about the use of flash

at events?"


The general responses seem to be that flash

photography is an unavoidable requirement of good

pictures and that pictures are desirable or downright



Although I am rarely personally offended by

anachronisms, even those more egregious than flash

photography, it seems that this discussions points out

something easily overlooked about the recreation that

we are pursuing.


Part of what makes the SCA appealing to me is the

recreation of oral traditions.  Personally, I would

rather not see a picture of what happened in court (I

know that I am in a very small minority here).  I

would rather hear someone tell me what happened in

court, complete with discriptions of people I don't

know, and pantomime of facial expressions etc.  We are

recreating a time where pictorial reproduction of a

scene was incredibly difficult and reserved for

occassions of great significance.  Even where such

reproductions were made (usually through paintings or

woodcuts), the artist projects himself into the scene

through the methods he uses to reproduce it.


I have heard stories:  Michael of Monmouthshire riding

into court on a shield a la Surfboard, Sir Emrys'

knighting, The Impervious shield of Sir Erasmus, and

others.  Now I do not know, or barely know, any of the

people involved in these stories, but they are

indelibly burnt into my memory.  I'm sure pictures

were taken at the time (maybe not of Sir Erasmus), but

they could not possibly live up to the larger than

life images I have of these moments.  In many ways the

"ephemeral" arts of song and story can outlast the

"permanent" arts of visual reproduction.


I do not wish to denigrate the photographer's art, and

I know that many do want pictures of the important

events of their lives, in and out of the SCA.  But we

might do well to remember that there is more than one

way to make our history permanent, and some of them

are more in keeping with the ways of life we wish to



Fatthiopap Laszlo



From: Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyya <zubeydah at northkeep.org>

Date: September 11, 2007 6:12:19 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events


Fatthiopap Laszlo raises some very good points about the beauty of oral

history, and the 'gosh did you see at court, when...'   Alas, these stories

are lost over time, and as the participation of the witnesses ebbs and

flows. He referenced three stories: "Michael of Monmouthshire riding into

court on a shield a la Surfboard, Sir Emrys' knighting, The Impervious

shield of Sir Erasmus, and others. "  I've been participating for six years

here in Ansteorra -- I've never heard any of those stories.  (I would love

to, btw.)


But when I am able to reference a photograph of what happened in a court,

it's far more likely that I or others will hear those stories - there's a

visual cue for people to respond to, rather than relying on memory or the

telephone game of, "I heard such and such happened".. I've been actively

soliciting such stories for several years now, and it's rare that anyone is

willing to provide such a description. It tends to get boiled down a dry

recitation of awards, and little else.


Take for example, the court at Namron's Beltane.  I could show you:  A bard

was called into court and asked to perform a specific piece. Many in the

audience were visibly moved. Moments after he finished, the Laurels were

called forth. The Crown asked if he would accept a Peerage.  The bard, with

the gracious consent of Their Majesties, half dashed, half stumbled in shock

to where his lady sat nearby.  He swept her up, holding tightly to her

hands. He asked her consent, knowing it would affect her life, too, should

he accept. She granted it, and he embraced her.  Or, I could tell you:

"Finnican was asked to join the Laurels, and it was cool."


I wouldn't have wanted to miss that moment, and through a camera, I was able

to share it with others.  The story is told clearly, in images, and with

additional snippets of words. Shared with all who couldn't make it, who will

never meet anyone who was there, or even from other Kingdoms who know and

care about this bard.


Most courts occur in the evening. Most evening courts require some form of

artificial light. A flash takes all of a second's interruption, to capture a

moment for participants and friends, Peers and others from across the

society. Why rob them of the ability to share in that moment?


Waxing loquacious,





From: "Epperson, Sheryl" <eppersos at oge.com>

Date: September 11, 2007 3:47:40 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Flash Photography at events (Mike Dudley)


So far as disguising your camera bag, you might possibly have someone

simply make a larger pouch that you could put it in.  This could be

either fabric or leather, and decorated if desired.


Personally, while pictures are nice, I would rather have pictures of

myself taken during the day, and not have flashes at court.  I do,

however, understand those wishing to record an event.


It is nice to have pictures of court, especially of awards for those

receiving them and their friends/family.  However, if you could check

with the nobility presiding over court, especially if you're planning on

taking pictures of much of court, they could possibly have someone

(preferably the photographers themselves) do some coordinating.  That

way, hopefully there would only be one or two flashes going off at a

time, and the photographers could also enjoy watching part of court.


Annabelle Fitzsimmons

Barony of Namron


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