Gettysburg Diorama

Gettysburg Diorama
The Gettysburg Diorama in Gettysburg showing the Battle in miniature.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rob Gibson- Gettysburg's Authentic Retro Photographer

I have a HUGE problem with touristy spots taking crappy photos, and then trying to sell them to you later.  Some places actually try to get good photos (Rock City and Ruby Falls in Tennessee do a good job using their park's scenery in the photo's background).  Some places I have visited take a photo of you in front of a fake background, when they could turn their cameras just a little, and actually get a photo of you with the attraction in the background (Graceland and Stone Mountain come to mind).  Some should be embarrassed by the fact that they are STILL trying to sell souvenir photos using green screen!

Anyway, I appreciate a good photo from a road trip.  I always pick up vintage family photos at antique shops and on ebay from interesting locations. 

BUT, I found the coolest, greatest and most authentic souvenir photo you can get on a trip!

I read about Rob Gibson a couple of months before our recent road trip in a "Haunted" Gettysburg book.  Rob actually looks a lot like John Wilkes Booth, and he has played the assassin!


That's not exactly what Rob is known for.  Rob Gibson has a photography studio in Gettysburg.  He photographs people, usually dressed in period costumes.

I know what you are thinking.  That's not an unusual gimmick in a touristy area.  AND, you can get a novelty photo like that just about anywhere.

Well, Rob knows he is in Gettysburg, and people that go to Gettysburg care about history and authenticity.  AND, even more importantly, Rob Gibson cares about history and authenticity himself.

Using a camera from the 1860s, the same time as the Battle of Gettysburg, he takes photos using the same process as would have been used at the time of the battle.  Forget digital, forget a flash, this is REAL VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY!

We did make an appointment- which I think is a good idea all around.  Rob recommends this, but he seemed fine with walk ins too.  Our session was a bit over an hour.

As I mentioned before, I recently discovered my family fought in the Civil War, all for the north- so I wore blue in our photo.

Rob helped us pick out era appropriate clothes from his collection, making sure everything was authentic.  He discussed the process with us from start to finish, and even allowed us to take our own photos and videos of the process!

Mr. Gibson was very generous with his time, discussing the photos, and his many other projects.  He has photographed Bob Dylan, Roger Daltry, Ted Turner, and literally hundreds of others.  He also owns a lens that was used to photograph Jefferson Davis!  He is a humble man though, and doesn't really brag about these many accomplishments; he was happy to discuss them, but his goal is to make YOUR experience perfect!

Oh, and he made an AMAZING tintype of my wife and I.  We purchased some other prints too, and I can say with certainty that we will be back on our next Gettysburg trip!

Yes, this souvenir photo is more expensive than the usual souvenir photo, but you will treasure it MUCH more!

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