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Rapiers! Camera! Action!

A week after moving house I jetted off to Helsinki for the photo shoot for the German edition of The Duellist’s Companion, which is being published by Wieland (as was The Swordsman’s Companion, and The Medieval Longsword.) Somewhere in the mists of time the original photos for The Duellist’s Companion got lost, and as you can tell from their work on my other books, Wieland have a very high standard for visuals, so the lower resolution versions I could find just didn’t cut it.

The outstanding Jari Juslin showed up with a mountain of gear, we spent three hours setting up, and then took about 800 photos in the next seven hours. It was a long day, but a happy one, and much thanks go to Jari, of course, and also Maaret Sirkkala, Janne Högdahl (both of whom starred in the original The Duellist’s Companion 13 years ago!), Henry Vesala, and Elizabeth Hohtar. It takes great patience to be a model on one of my shoots, and they all rose to the occasion with sprezzatura.

The original images are enormous- about 40mb each, and over 120 when converted to tiff files as printers prefer. But you can get the idea from the pics in this post. Please note Jari has not tweaked the photos. These are the raw material, not the final version.

In the process of preparing for the shoot I had to go through The Duellist’s Companion with a fine tooth comb, and try to figure out what the hell was I thinking in several places. I think a second edition is long overdue. And with Tom Leoni’s new translation and transcription of the extraordinary Vienna manuscript (MS 381 in the Fürstliche Sammlung des Palais Liechtenstein (Vienna)) clutched in my sweaty palm, shedding new light on some of Capoferro’s more obscure remarks, a second edition taking the Vienna into account would be awesome.

That’s on top of the Fiore Translation Project, the Rapier Workbook Series, and a pretty full travel schedule.

Speaking of which, oh rapier fans of an American disposition: I’ll be in Baltimore in July for Lord Baltimore’s Challenge, helping to run the tournament and teaching a class on the following day. I hope to see many of you there! Follow the link for registration etc.

Ok, now back to work… organising those 800 photos into their proper places in the book. Where should this one go?

I'm sure you have an opinion: do share!

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