Classic Pin-up on the Battleship New Jersey
In July 2023, Lerro Photography sponsored a two-day, vintage pin-up photo shoot on the Battleship New Jersey. Each day, our small group of participants got to photograph the lovely ladies in various parts of the ship. While shooting both inside and outside, I provided LED lights as well as posing suggestions and camera settings. The participating photographers were able to learn these techniques and practice their new skills throughout each day of shooting.
On Saturday, we started off taking photos of the ladies with the ship in the background from the adjacent park. We then walked over to the visitor center where there is a 16-inch gun barrel that the ladies were able to pose on and inside of. Our goal was to photograph the gals from specific angles so that we could photoshop out the background and add in the superstructure of the ship.
After we finished having fun taking pictures with the 16-inch barrel, we made our way onto the ship. The first scene was the classic view looking down the long corridor known as Broadway. The second location was the projectile room where all the 16-inch projectiles are kept within the turret. Our third shot of the morning was recreating a 1940s shot of Rosie the Riveters walking along the deck of the ship as Navy sailors watched on.
During our midday break, most of us went out to lunch together, which was great because both the photographers and reenactors were able to interact and create camaraderie with each other. The afternoon session started in the plot room which featured a wall of knobs and gauges, various vintage computers as well as a window hatch that the ladies loved to pose with. The ladies also had various props such as radio headsets to help complete the scene. Once it stopped raining, we made our way outside and photographed the gals with the 40mm Bofors guns as well as in front of the 16-inch gun turrets as the sunset.
Since we had both repeating participants as well as different participants each day, I had to repeat a few key scenes as well as do different shots. The weather forecast called for rain all Sunday afternoon so we decided to do all our planned outside shots in the morning.
We started Sunday off back in the park with shots of the ladies posing with the ship as well as with the gun barrel in the parking lot. Once we were onboard the ship, we took photos around the 16-inch gun turrets with various props and different poses than the day before. The rain showers moved in earlier than forecasted and chased us inside. We took shots in the windless room as well as in the bunks towards the bow of the ship. With the rain shower over by then, we then made our way back outside to the 40mm Bofors gun, where we recreated a vintage scene in which a few ladies sunbathed in front of the gun as Navy sailors looked on. As always, there were several impromptu candid shots that are always fun to shoot.
Sunday afternoon started with everyone climbing to the ship’s bridge. Along with the inside shots, since it was not raining yet we were able to have the gals pose with the signal equipment. As the rain moved back in, we made our way below deck. Our second afternoon scene was in CEC, the Combat Engagement Center. While it’s a modern computer control room for radar and the Tomahawk cruise missiles, it still made for great photography with all the different colored lights and contrasting computer screens.
With a heavy rain shower ending our chance of outside shots for the day, we descended to the bottom of the ship in the engine room. We set up several poses in the area, including on top of a steam turbine, in front of various control stations and on an escape ladder. We then went to the projectile room as well as the magazine powder room for the final shots of the shoot.
The photographers and reenactors really enjoyed their experience on the Battleship New Jersey. The museum and their staff were great hosts for our photo shoot as always and we look forward to working with them again.