Bryan Peterson spent 31 years of his working life in various fire services, spending the last 10 years in fire incident investigation where he received training in forensic photography. Having been interested in photography since high school, it was natural that Bryan should open a fine art photo shop after his retirement (see some samples of his beautiful photographs here).
Bryan's great-great grandfather was the Captain of a colored infantry company during the Civil War. Bryan is a member of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, but you will more often see him on the field and in camp portraying photographer A.D. Lytle.
Photography during the Civil War was far different than today. The technology was fairly new and was at a more primitive state of development. The chemicals used were costly and their supply was limited. Military photographers were usually assigned to engineering units and a crew with a minimum of three people was necessary to take a photograph; one to set up and operate the camera, one to do the necessary chemical processing, and another to handle the rest of the gear. The exposure times required by the photochemical processes used dictated that there were no "live action" shots ... only staged or still life photographs could be taken. Because photographers took their photos after the battle or in camp, they were not exposed to enemy fire very often.
Most of the illustrations of the war that appeared in periodicals of the time were made by sketch artists. Sketch artists not only could capture action scenes better than photographers but also were far more economical to field.
Bryan Peterson has researched his portrayal of photographer/spy A.D. Lytle very well and has many interesting and true tales about A.D.'s exploits to tell. Visit him in camp and check out his website at wandering101photography.com.