My family attended the Moorpark Civil War Reenactment this past weekend – and what a great time we all had! We went with several other dear family friends and cooked over an open fire, slept in a canvas wall tent and wore hoopskirts. (Well, just the ladies.) My husband and girls even had the opportunity to play for Abraham Lincoln himself! But one of our most interesting experiences was to have an old fashion Ferrotype or “Tintype” photo taken of our family. The photographer was Will Dunniway, and you can learn more about this type of photo at www.collodion-artist.com.

Through a wet emulsion process, a photo is made on a piece of black enameled iron. Some interesting characteristics of this photo are that the image is the reverse of how we actually looked in front of the camera. Also, this process doesn’t pick up the color blue, so everything that is in the photo that was blue appears white. That made for some odd looking eyes for my daughter and I! And the varnish they use for the tintype is made with lavender oil, and I catch a whiff of it every time I walk by the photo.

As the keeper of my family’s genealogy and old photos, I have old tin types of two of my great-grandparents as children that were taken in the 1800’s. I also have tin types of my great-great-grandparents’ wedding photos. I will treasure this new/old tintype of my own family for many years to come.

Also at Moorpark, we attended a wonderful Saturday evening dance for the reenactors where I learned several new dances that I will be sharing with our group at our upcoming Civil War Balls. There is always something new to learn and new to do!

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