Li Zhou at Smithsonian Magazine:
Two hundred years ago, the Battle of Waterloo marked a historic turning point in European history when French forces, led by Napoleon, fell to the British and Prussians—ending French reign of the region and two decades of war. As photographer Sam Faulkner points out, the battle was also the last major European conflict to take place prior to the invention of the camera. As such, no photographs exist of the event or the soldiers involved beyond the imagined ones.
Faulkner’s new book, Unseen Waterloo: The Conflict Revisited, envisions what those photographs could have looked like, featuring portraits of Waterloo re-enactors, clad in ornate military garb and staring straight into the camera after they’ve just come off the battlefield. The photos were shot in a pop-up studio on the field in Belgium where Waterloo was fought, taken during annual reenactments over the course of five years, starting in 2009.