Dark Ages photo shoot in Norfolk

We burned some white smoke pellets (normally used to test chimneys). They are supposed to be either non-toxic or almost non-toxic, depending on what label you read, and produce a good bit of smoke but they do not stand much of a chance against the wind. You can click this photo and the others to see them bigger.

It is not every day that you get teleported back into the Dark Ages. This past Sunday I went to Norfolk with Andrea Thorn and Florian Platzmann. Their passion is dressing up in Dark Age clothes and doing live roleplaying in an imaginary world not too different from what our own must have been. The difference being that in their world gods exist, and some gifted individuals wield magical powers. We drove up to Norfolk in the afternoon, and arrived at Hunstanton beach before sunset.

We started out with some simple static poses by the beach. However I wanted to get a bit of movement in the shots.

Putting on Dark Age costumes is serious business, and not done in just a couple of minutes. There are multiple layers of clothes and armour, but it is worth the effort as you can hopefully see from the photos.

To get the movement I asked them to do a bit of sword play, first to five hits. For photography reasons I asked them to do it by the water. This shot was taken after their fencing, where Andrea decided to charge me. The camera is mightier than the sword, yeah right!
I did some shots with Florian by the water while Andrea went off to change into her second outfit. I think pretty much all the best shots were taken by the water.
The tide was rolling in, which meant more water for us! Here I wanted to have Andrea surrounded by water, and she was happy to do it. I took many photos, and what I like about this shot is the placement of the sun (which was easy to get) and the wave that leads the eye to her from the bottom right corner.


Florian in his druid outfit. He too ended up in the water, which gave us nice reflections and waves also in front of him.
Some final running shots along the beach. When you are wet, you might as well go all the way. I’m sure they got a pretty good workout this evening.
Florian as his alter ego the druid Ciaran, here burning shredded ping-pong balls. You have to be quick, they burn bright, but not very long. Supposedly this is a German pyrotechnical speciality known to everyone.

After sunset we went and had dinner at a nice Chinese restaurant before heading back to Cambridge. It got a bit late, but I’d say the photos were worth the trouble. Great fun! If you have some friends that like to dress up then you have the first ingredients for good photos. Andrea and Florian have gone to a lot of trouble to make their outfits look very authentic which shows in the photos.

– Johannes

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