Cameras, costumes, and craziness, oh my!

It’s approaching midnight once again but as I write tonight, I’m in picturesque Frazer, PA for the 2nd Dress University conference. The conference ended with a wonderful Tiaras & Jampagne Party a few short hours ago and now I’m enjoying a few minutes to reflect on all I’ve learned and seen since Friday evening. Oh… and also putting my feet up and enjoying not wearing uncomfortable period shoes for a change!

One of the amusing (and ironic) things for me this time is that I didn’t wear a single new costume all weekend. All that sewing I had done on the elizabethan/tudor smock & coif… no showing yet! I decided that the kirtle needed some more work so those lovely new linen items stayed packed away. Instead I spent time in 1770’s dress, regency dress, 1825-ish dress and 1840-ish dress… none of which I’m particularly drawn to but I just happened to have plenty to wear!

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A bit bedraggled by the end of the day – but still a fun dress to wear. 1825-ish cotton/silk blend gown based on an extant example at the Andover (MA) Historical Society

Not surprisingly, what was much more fun was seeing what everyone else was wearing… and that of course resulted in some serious costume envy! Seeing all the amazing bustle dresses reminded me that yes, I really do need to try some 1870s & 1880s fun very soon. And B.C.’s parasol class… stunning! Never mind the vintage lovelies that she was wearing – all those parasols were also drool worthy – and her tutorial for recovering them was so easy to follow that I can’t wait to get started.

One of the last sessions today had G.S. & M.D. presenting some costume-shot related camera tutorials and I doubt I’m alone in saying that some of the tips and techniques are mind-blowing and easy-to-do all at the same time.  I often borrow my dad’s Canon Rebel XSi and sitting in on the presentation today made me much more comfortable with the camera. It even prompted me to find a quick video spelling out which buttons are which on my particular model:

I admit I need to practice more (a lot more!) but it was fun taking the camera off ‘auto’ and trying some different settings even if it was just an hour or two of afternoon wanderings and then again at the party.

The clock keeps rushing to twelve and I’m in need of some sleep so this mantua maker won’t be staying up much past midnight tonight! Thanks to V.A. for organizing the conference and the Shenanigan Society Ladies for a great time once again. Look forward to more merriment in the coming month…

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