Tuesday, June 5, 2018

ANDERSONVILLE - Photographing the Civil War in Georgia

From John Frankenheimer's Civil War docudrama "ANDERSONVILLE." A platoon of Georgia Civil War re-enactors

 I was reminded of a great photographic adventure in Georgia; photographing John Frankenheimer's Emmy winning, Civil War epic Andersonville; The story of the Union Army's notorious prison camp for Confederate soldiers. A challenging, period stylish project for my friend, legendary director John Frankenheimer; and commissioned by a creatively open  minded Barbara Griffin, Director of Photography for TNT. 

Everything was shot with Polaroid T55 pos/neg film to produce a Civil War era style photograph.  The only possible camera had to be hand held because of all the action with horses and soldiers; that was when I became familiar with the Speed Grafix press camera, a 4x5" camera from the 1940s with range-finder focus. The Polaroid T55 was a pos/neg film developed by Ansel Adams and Dr. Land in the 1940s. This amazing film is no longer manufactured, causing much sadness to a distinct group of photographers. The negatives had to be pealed away and processed in a bucket immediately, on the spot. Producer Connie Conway kept our little photo train on track.  

Director John Frankenheimer - T55 Polaroid, silver gelatin print

The pictures looked so authentically period. Subsequently two large public exhibitions of the photographs were presented, one at the Director's Guild in Hollywood and another at TNT in Atlanta. 

A Union company engaging - T55 Polaroid, silver gelatin print

 #photography #civilwar #Polaroid #film #Onassignment #fineartphotography #Branding #largeformat