Our Pennsic Home - Ron Lutz II ~ Photographer

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Our Pennsic Home

Camp Life Photography

My Pavilion at Night

A Place to Call Home

While the "spectacle" of Pennsic was initially enough to draw me as a photographer to the event it's the people I became friends with that I cherish the most. I've been fortunate enough to have camped with some awesome folks over the years. Silver Phoenix/Estmar, Pentwyvern, and Vlad's Pleasure Pavilion have all given me a place to set up my tent. Each group houses members who I have grown very fond of. At the time of this writing it's been almost five years since I last attended a Pennsic event and it's these people I miss the most. This page is a dedication to those camps.

*Note: Placement of your photo on this page is not an indication of how I feel about anyone in particular. I have a lot of photos of various camp members and simply couldn't put everyone on this page.

My Tent by the Lake

My Tent by the Lake

This is the lakefront campsite I enjoyed that Vlad provided for me. There's nothing as relaxing as sitting alone in your tent watching the moonlit fog roll across the lake. I had been out walking around, looking for things to photograph when my instinct brought me back to my place. It didn't take me long to set up my tripod to capture this self-portrait. One of the really awesome things about camping at Pennsic is how active it becomes at night. Not long after this 2AM photo was taken a group of friends dropped in to spend some time with me.

My Family of Three

Camping at Pennsic with my family was one of the more interesting adventures we've had. While we're not really into the whole "SCAdian" lifestyle as we're not formally part of any group or Kingdom, we do enjoy camping at Pennsic. The process of organizing, setting up, and then living in our tent was exciting for us. It does take a lot of time though, both in preparations and then putting everything away for storage.

Our tent has also become more elaborate over time. It eventually peaked with me building an actual 10'x20' wooden deck on a hillside. Just for a two week trip! All in all we realized it's about a month's worth of work all told. Has it been worth it? When we lived close by in Pennsylvania, yes. It was indeed worth it. There's a certain sense of "home owner's" pride you feel when your tent is "just so."

At the time I'm writing this page (May 2016) it's been almost five years since we've gone. We now live in Wisconsin and getting to know this new region, as well as moving into a new house has precluded Pennsic. Right now we're busy getting things here "just so."

Playing in the Summer Rains

Playing in the Summer Rains

This is our Freja. She was 4 years old.

I've always felt this is one of the photos that best captures our daughter's personality. It was taken on a warm, wet summer day during Pennsic War 40. Running around, covered in mud, just being a high energy goofball, the kid was in heaven.

Our Pennsic Home Life

A Great Adventure for the Kid

When I Don't Have to Walk Far

The past two camps I stayed with ended up having some truly inspiring views at night. When I was able to just relax around my tent, shooting the views I saw from inside camp, I think I was the most relaxed. Unlike photographing everything outside of camp I can usually just do my thing without having to answer questions as to what I'm doing. I'm not saying I get overly hassled by folks out at night. There have been a few occasions where some drunken revel-goers try to interact with me. Generally I just talk as little as possible and move along when I'm hunting a shot. But in my own camp, it's just so special to stay with groups who care about the look/atmosphere of the place. It's as enjoyable as it can get really.

Pentwyvern's Camp Gate

Pentwyvern's Camp Gate

This is the gate we used for the entrance to our camp for a couple of years. I'd been working in the exhibits department for a natural history museum and one of our shows scenery was slated for the garbage dump. While not designed for being out in the elements, it looked great that first year. Besides, you simply cannot beat FREE STUFF! The Moorish arch seemed an ideal representation of the eclectic mix of folks who call Pentwyvern their Pennsic home.

The View from My Tent

The View from My Tent

It was around 1:30AM that I made my way back into camp. I'd spent time out just walking around with my gear but I hadn't taken any photos. My intuition to return to camp paid off. From the wooden deck I'd built into the hillside I could see over my own camp and down to the moonlit lake. The canvas muffled laughter of my friends laughing at each other's stories enveloped me like the glowing mist I saw over the water. My sense of being at peace was so vivid. (And then a drunk dude stumbled up and broke the spell... *sigh*)

There's No Place Like "Home"

Meanwhile, Out Front...

Meanwhile, Out Front...

When I tell people familiar with Pennsic how peaceful my tent was alongside the lake at Vlad's they're usually disbelieving. That's due to most people only knowing Vlad's Pleasure Pavilion from the front end. It was so incredible to be able to walk from the back of the camp into some of the most interesting action to be found at Pennsic!

The Rhythm of the Night

As "family friendly" the camps I stay with are during the day once the kids are all gone, and the clock ticks past midnight, the fun begins. There's a certain rhythm that courses through the crowd as the drums play to the harmonies of various instruments. The fires burn bright and inhibitions are left at the gate. This is Pennsic at night!

They Go to Sleep at Dawn

Vlad's Pleasure Pavilion

Vlad's has to be the most unique of all the camps I've stayed with. Getting to stay here was simply awesome. As one of the centers for nightlife during Pennsic War I often describe as having stayed at the main nightclub where they put on elaborate shows for their audience. With an eclectic cast of characters making up the members who make Vlad's so great I felt honored to be among them during my last Pennsic sojourn.

Vlad & His Minions

In Memory of Christos


Honestly this camp is where we felt the most "at home" during Pennsic. I feel very close to so many of it's members and try to keep tab on most of them via social media. I wish we all didn't live so far from each other as I'd love to sit down with all of you and just talk. I love you all!


Silver Phoenix/Estmar

The initial camp to have welcomed me they helped give me some real perspective on the event as a whole. I have a much deeper understanding of just "what" Pennsic War is to so many people because of this camp. Good times were indeed had, and while their group eventually disbanded into two separate camps it's nice to know I can drop by anytime.

My First Pennsic

My First Pennsic

In August of 2000 Mark talked me into going to Pennsic War 29. Having grown up near where it's held, I'd always been curious to see what went on there. It took Mark basically ordering me to go have fun to get me to finally go. Oh, and also divorcing my first wife who didn't like the idea of me going. Little did I know how I'd go there to play for almost nine years!

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