Brian Swinyard, PPSA  

 Battle of Tewkesbury by Brian Swinyard, PPSA

September 2023 - Battle of Tewkesbury

About the Image(s)

The original Battle of Tewkesbury took place in 1471 and was one of the most decisive battles in the Wars of the Roses in England when King Edward IV and his forces loyal to the House of York defeated those of the rival House of Lancaster. Many years ago, I attended a re-enactment of the battle in Tewkesbury and took many images, some of which you can see today. After the event, I wanted to create a composite that told a visual story of the two opposing forces advancing to battle. I wanted to give a sense of the turmoil of battle and chose a close-up image of the marching troops for the background which I changed to monochrome and added a touch of solarisation. I then chose the five colour images as shown and arranged them such that they overlapped individually yet were separated into the two groups to create the illusion that they were about to engage in battle; the space between the groups was so important. The five colour images were all in-camera shots with little post-event work done on them; limited to tweaking the exposure and adding an off-white stroked line to make them pop from the background. The creativity in this composite is arranging them in such a way that they tell a believable visual story.

6 comments posted

Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Brian, You've effectively created a collage focusing our attention on various details of battle. I find it well done but not compelling as an art piece. I can see this image nicely fitting into a textbook of British history.   Posted: 09/15/2023 15:42:45
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Brad, Thank you for your comments which are much appreciated. I agree with you that this image is very much in the mind-set of a collage; arranging the images in such a way (without any fiddling and diddling) to create an acceptable storyline.   Posted: 09/21/2023 09:04:21

Tom Kredo   Tom Kredo
Hi Brian,
This is like our civil war reenactments that happen every summer. Clever use of the collage method to focus on the details of the battle.   Posted: 09/16/2023 09:54:22
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Tom, Thank you for your kind words which are much appreciated. I tried to choose individual images that reflected snippets of the day and let the visual story unfold in the mind's eye of the viewer.   Posted: 09/21/2023 09:07:41

Nadia Trevan   Nadia Trevan
Hi Brian, I think you're on the right direction with this image. My comments are that the background could be more visible as it's hard to see the "battle." The pieces of collage could be smaller and also cut out the background to eliminate the distracting elements, especially so of the pieces of the two men. I would also add more of the sword of one of the hands. Would you consider having the pieces of the two men facing each other instead of one of the bottom left and the other on the top right? Then bodies and hands? That would suggest that they are facing for battle with the background more in view?   Posted: 09/19/2023 04:39:45
Brian Swinyard   Brian Swinyard
Nadia, Thank you for your constructive comments which are much appreciated. My choice of large colour images was deliberate to create the illusion of the closeness of the troops not only in the marching to battle but also in the close combat of actual battle. You make a good point about reducing the confusing background of the two men facing each other. I tried to minimize that to some extent by the way that I overlayed the images. I thought about extending the sword but decided against it as this would have introduced confusing background. Interesting that your preference was to have the two men facing each other and on the same level. My reason for showing as above was that I wanted the two men to be seen 'behind' their troops and that the House of York on the right had the upper hand. Having said that, I quite like your idea of the two men 'facing off' each other.   Posted: 09/21/2023 09:08:57


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