Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category


Better Late than Never

November 10, 2008

I had the energy last week to actually post a few of these photo’s over on Facebook, but after that I kinda crashed. I had to attempt to bring my house back from the brink of disaster. It looked like a tornado had come through. It still looks like half a tornado, but we are making progress.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Haunted Barn that we put on again this year. The money we made all goes to my little youth symphony, which makes me very happy. We can stay afloat for another year it looks like. I am posting them in the order they would have fallen in the layout of the barn…

The entrance was awesome this year
As you entered the haunt, we had a creepy guy pointing you in the right direction. He looked so real that he added to the anticipation of the haunt. We had many people asking who was “inside” the waylighter.

The first startle of the night was this guy, who actually proved quite problematic when it came to photos. He had flickering lights inside his head that looked like flames, and he was bathed in an eery green light. As you approached him, his head jumped straight out at you. We dubbed him “Mr. happy”

Just before this prop, we had one that proved too much for me to photograph. It was a creepy head that jumped out of a stump… This witch was used last year, but we put her in a different setting this time. She had a flickering orange glow inside her cauldron, and fog pouring out of it as she cackled at you… so creepy.

After the witch was a stage area that we “fenced” off. Behind the fence was a scene… An organ with keys that moved on their own, and a skeleton organist who’s head moved up and down, and his arms also moved on their own over the keys. These two props were the most difficult to create out of everything we did this year. We dubbed him “Mr. Pib” short for “Mr. Pain in the Butt”! It turned out better than we could have hoped, and we received many comments that it was the favorite effect in the haunt.


Beyond the organist, there was a priest and a flying skeleton. A very creepy scene that broke up the long stage. It was actually two scenes included in one. The fabrics we purchased this year really made this scene.

The graveyard is the only large area in the haunt. At the top of a giant “rock wall” there is a Grimm Reaper that stood over 8 feet tall. The effect was topped off with chilled fog rolling down


At the end of the Graveyard scene was a static prop on one side to distract the eyes. A static prop is one that looks really creepy but does nothing, just to throw you off. Make you jump at nothing…

Static Guy sm

Just after Static Guy was another startle prop we named Jumper, because he jumped up to about 7 feet straight up, moving his arms up at the same time.

Beyond the Jumper was a strobe light hall. This was my most effective place for actors to jump out and scare. We hung cloth strips from the roof of the hall, and flashed many strobe lights throughout. If the little kids made it this far, we usually got them in here… add a little more fog and you have a terrifying area.

The final turn takes us to “superman” we named him this because of the position of his hands, he held them out like superman did in the movies. He jumped up from hidden on the floor to a height taller than I am… he was actually our most effective startle prop.


After superman came the bats. They hung all around and from the ceiling. As you passed them, two of them jumped straight off the wall at you, just as a red flood light burst on. I love these guys, a very easy to build prop, yet quite effective.


The awesome bar near the back provided ample opportunities to frame up photo’s. This guy was named “Fred” by the kids in the Haunt.

Finally at the end of the Bar we found the “Thrasher”. He was half out of a red coffin. His head was on one motor going one way, and his arm was on another going the opposite. He looked like he was trying to escape the confines of his grave… so cool!


This was such a fun haunt. Next year, we would like more help, but then we always say that. Thanks for your patience in walking through this with me, it was fun to re-live it all with you, just by writing this mongo, huge post…



July 18, 2008

I have long wanted to take a Photography class from the university. I thought about it many times, but they would be twice a week and I just can’t afford to drive into town that often. I have tried to learn on my own, but somehow it just wasn’t working for me. I kinda let my photography go, concentrating on other pursuits for a time.

This is why I got so excited when Sultry Husband told me about an e-mail he got through work. The sanctuary employs three full time staff photographers. They have decided to offer a free 6 week course for employees and their family members. We started on Wednesday!

With it being the first class, I didn’t learn all that much. What I am super excited about though is next week when we start critiquing each other’s work. I am supposed to bring my five best shots of people. I have a few that I have taken in the past that I can’t wait to share and have talked about, but I also have a huge desire to take some new ones too. I think that I mostly needed something to inspire me to actually get out my camera. A kick in the pants or something.

The best part is that the class is only a couple of hours long, and SH is willing to keep all three girls home. Even the baby, so I can have a little bit of alone time. To do something that I enjoy, by myself, without a baby attached to my hip. I don’t know if it is the fact that I get to do this class alone or that I have a desire again to take photo’s that makes me most excited, but whatever it is, it is helping me to escape this funk I have been in for so long. Hurray for things to look forward to.


My Day

November 28, 2007

Much happened today, yet none of it would interest you. I had such a busy day, starting with teaching my class this morning… been there, told you about that before. Ok, moving on. I came home from class, cleaned my room a bit, then taught three back to back violin lessons. Man was that hard. Seriously, ever try focusing on three kids that are not yours right in a row? When you are very tired, can’t focus, and definitely can’t stop coughing? Not easy.

I know, you are enthralled with my day so far. Alright, so where were we? Ah yes, eleven o’clock. That was when I rushed to get L ready to go, ran out the door, went to the bank, then met Sultry Husband at the sanctuary to take some pictures of animals. That part was actually pretty cool, but I can’t tell you about it because I refuse to scoop my own husband ūüėČ The stories we covered today will post in a few weeks, I will tell you then hehe.

Well, maybe just one little thing. Ever try to take a picture of a pot bellied pig doing something he doesn’t want to do? Trying to re-capture a moment in time that was amusing, yet being unable to do so? Well, that was my afternoon. After that, I ran home in time for M to get off the bus, taught a few more lessons, and made dinner.

So, can you tell me where I can get a post out of that? Oh wait, I did.

Bored yet? I am… NaBloPoMo


A great day

November 24, 2007

Today was a great day. We met Karen at Zion National Park. Man did we have fun. Karen, her husband, and I spent the day taking pictures of anything that hit our fancy. My girls ran around, and Sultry Husband made for a very handsome driver. We hiked a little, I pretended to be a tour guide (I know that park quite well), but most of all we took pictures. I asked questions, and got some great answers.

I learned how I could better photograph a cliff and not blow out or make the sky too bright. I learned that by slowing down my apeture (yes I know I spelled that wrong, and no I don’t know the correct spelling), I can make water stand still. I learned so much just by watching the two masters at work. Sometimes I would see Karen go after a particular shot, and I would think to try it as well. She has a great eye for composition. I know that I got some great shots, my kids were happy all day, and I got to see a good friend. Man it was fun.

I think that the only downer to the day was when L had an accident. It really was my fault, for one I forgot to have her go before we started down the trail, and two I forgot to bring a change of clothes for her. I felt so bad, but we were thankfully done with most of our wandering by then, so it wasn’t so bad that she was wrapped in a blanket in the back seat…

Over all, a very great day.



The Sacrifice

November 19, 2007

Sultry Husband writes for the website of his employer. He writes all the “news” for the site. Basically he runs around the sanctuary asking all the animal care givers if there are any new arrivals or adoptions, or whatever. One of the big bosses had an idea recently though. He thought that it would be fun to have some more zany and creative stories up on the web. The Photographers are swamped with assignments anyway, so they asked SH if he could carry a point and shoot around with him to capture some of these moments. SH had a better idea, his wife (me if you didn’t remember that heh), has quite a nice camera.

I have had two pictures put up on the web so far. They were far from fabulous, but I plan to learn as I go. The best part though, is that I get to spend time with SH while he is at work. And, I get to feel a bit important as I try to get good shots of the animals and the antics they provide.

This back story brings us to today. We were visiting the bird department today, and we heard that one of our friends there was giving a couple of the Cocatoo’s a bath with the hose. Just a light misting, but they absolutely wave their feathers around, squalk, and just look like they are having a great time.

We asked if I could enter the giant enclosure to get a few good pictures of this misting. One of the birds, Mango by name, was enjoying his bath and just ignored me. I got some great shots of him.


While my back was turned, and I was busy with Mango, the other bird in the enclosure decided that he didn’t like my camera much. I got a great shot of him as I entered the habitat. Anyway, Sydnie quietly snuck around behind me while I was busy. I heard a noise, turned (still holding my camera up), and suddenly had a giant white ball of feathers launching itself at me! He tried to grab hold of my hand with his sizable beak, but I shook him off. He landed on the ground, but instead of giving up the chase, he decided that my feet needed some attention. He bit my shoe hard enough that I felt the pressure in my toes. Man did I ever get out of that place in a hurry.


My hand is still a little sore, but in reality, it could have been much worse. I blame myself, I should have been paying attention to both birds instead of concentrating on the shot. See what I have to sacrifice for my art? heh.




June 22, 2007

I have created a shutterchance photoblog for myself.¬† I have hope that it will allow me to share my pictures with other photographers and receive honest feedback.¬† It is one thing to show the pictures to my husband who tells me how he loves them, it is another to hear things like “if you used a flash here, it would fix the lighting”.¬† I think that I need more of that latter, although praise is always welcome ūüôā

 Check it out if you have a chance.


How Karen saved the day and why I am not surprised.

June 21, 2007

I had thought to just add an edit to my previous post, but then I decided that it deserved more than¬†a quick mention. I changed my plans because Karen is brilliant. I don’t think that any of you would ever argue with me over that, because well, she is.¬† Timber gave me the idea that Karen might have some experience with my type of trouble, so I sent her a message.¬† I had no sooner sent an e-mail with a plea than she give me information on software that could possibly save my Father’s Day pictures, than she sent a quick reply with this link: I downloaded the software and a few hours later, I had my pictures!

I can now give you the Father’s Day post that I wanted to share yesterday.  Sultry Husband wanted to go into the mountains for the afternoon.  We cooked shrimp pasta on our portable camping stove, and basically just played in the quiet forest.  We only saw one other vehicle the entire trip, but that was early on.  We were completely alone.

SH vs Forrest

L was so thoughtful.¬† She wanted to give her Daddy a present for Father’s Day, so she spent quite some time picking flowers for him.¬† She presented him with the gift, with a huge grin on her face.¬† Never have wildflowers been more priceless.

The Gift

M was true to her silly little self.  She spent a long period of time posing and telling me that I should take a picture.  Some of them turned out beautiful.  This one in particular was my favorite. 

Silly M

Phnarph is a very interesting Dog.¬† He is loving and playful, but sometimes he just looks regal.¬† This picture makes me think that he allowed me to take his picture.¬† I feel so privileged…


Most of all I am glad that we turned onto the road that was less traveled.  The entire time, I was thinking about one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost:

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Road Less Traveled