Thursday, October 28, 2010

FMTSO: Spooky

It was a spooky October night. The fury of the storm cast a dramatic glow as we drove home from our weekend trip in the mountains. Had it not been for the fierce lightning illuminating the sky in different hues of blues and yellow, it would have been black as coal.  The roar of the thunder was so powerful that it vibrated the road beneath us and shook the trees lining the steep, curving highway.  All of a sudden something ran out in front of us.  My heart dropped and my husband yelled, "what the hell"?  He slammed on the brakes and the car skidded sideways before coming to a complete stop.  I made sure the doors were locked.  We sat in the car and looked around in the darkness, searching for whoever or whatever we thought we saw.  Before our eyes adjusted to the darkness, lightning provided us with a better view.  And then we saw it.

It looked like the walking dead.  Whatever that thing was, it just stared at us, frozen in its spot.
This can't be happening.  This only happens in the movies.
"Somebody's probably just playing a joke", said Justin.
Some joke, I thought.  I was terrified.  Serial killers lurk in the woods and I sure as hell didn't want to be the next victim.   "Let's just hurry up and get the hell out of here". 
 Justin put the gear shift in drive and sped, not fast enough for me, down the road. 

Whew!  Thank goodness.


Justin slammed on the brakes and again the car came to a halt, not far from a ditch. 
Too close for my comfort.
 "Did you see it?", he asked.  "See what?" 
 "I don't know, but whatever it was, it almost became road kill." 
 "Let's just go.  I don't want to hang around and find out what it is."
I let out a big scream as the thing showed itself to us, scurrying so quick it could have been flying. 
 One second it was there, the next it was gone.

and then these creatures started coming out from behind the trees.

I saw a witch, a ghost of a skeleton and some horrifying vampire looking thing.

I thought I saw a wolf too.

Wow, that was spooky.

Justin gunned the motor, put the pedal to the metal and off we raced.

"What the hell is going on?" we wondered.

Our hearts were racing just as fast as our car was racing down the highway.

"Look!  What's that?"  I pointed my finger slightly to the right.

We were approaching a building that we hadn't noticed on our way to the mountains.

Okay, now things are getting really wierd.

I think we just drove onto Shutter Island.

The insane are much spookier than monsters.

You'll never believe what was next door.

Was this really the Hotel California in disguise, where you can check in anytime but you can never leave?

Well, we didn't want to find out so we kept on driving and I'm happy to say that we made it home safely without incidence, but I'll never forget those creatures.
Those faces are burned into my memory and you can be sure the next time I venture down a dark desert highway and into the woods, my eyes will be searching for the hidden creatures.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Drum Roll Please........

I am very happy to report that my halloween photo did very well last night.

This was a special competition and wasn't critiqued by the judges.
This competition also didn't divide classes so everyone's photos were grouped together.
This included Junior, beginner, intermediate, advanced and master.

The halloween photos are put on display and the members of the camera club get to vote on their favorite.
Once the voting is closed, the ballots are counted and the winners announced.

I'm still riding on a high cloud.
I was told by one of the administrators of the contest that my photo only lost by one vote.
She said they had to count the votes at least three times because it was so close.

I took the original photo when I was on a field trip with my camera club in Rhyolite, NV,
a small ghost town.

I just threw in a few ghosts, changed the color to a scary movie effect, added some lightning and topped it with a very rustic looking cemetery texture.

I really like my picture.

The first place winning photo was awesome too.  It was very creative and colorful and beautiful.
The third place winning photo was also very good.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see all of the halloween photos on display because
I was actually working the entry table logging in entries for the night's competition.

But, I did get to see Gayla's photo and I thought her halloween image was very good also.
I hope she posts it for you all to see.  She did a fantastic job.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FMTSO: Patterns

Wow, Friday sure does seem to roll around fast.
Thank goodness there are patterns in just about every photo I've taken.
In case you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about read on.
Patterns is the theme for this week's Friday My Town Shoot Out.
If you're new to this blog you can click on the link above and learn more about this group.
It's really a lot of fun.

And now for your viewing pleasure,
 I present you with the patterns I've captured with my camera.

Bongos!  I love bongos.  Notice the pattern the leather makes.

Earrings.  Love the colors, love the shape.  Love the pattern.

The black and white squares form a pattern but I love this because it has Route 66 on it.
I am a huge fan of anything Route 66.

Anyone up for the challenge?  I'm pretty good.

A stone wall. 

Colorful striped socks on Fremont Street.

I love the red boxes. 
 It makes the pattern of the sunglasses stand out so much more and the boxes create their own pattern.

Patterns everywhere.  Look up, look down.

Lines, circles,curves and squares.  Yep, that's downtown Vegas.

Bejeweled with metallic colors.

My last field trip with my camera club yielded lots of patterns too.
This log cabin with the unique patterned window treatment, and the logs too with the trees in the background.

 The tree lined road forms a pretty pattern as we drive along.

My town shoot out wants you to participate. 
If you don't feel like participating, but you're curious to see other photos for this theme,

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There are monsters in my backyard

My camera club has an annual Halloween print competition.
So I got this bright idea that I would get some scary costumes,
go up to Mt. Charleston and take photos of us between the trees at night.
That didn't work out because it rained.
Instead of going up the mountain and into the woods, my backyard became my photo studio.
Justin dressed up as a zombie,
and I dressed up as a scary gothic vampire widow with blood running down the sides of my mouth.
I even got Gayla involved.
She came over dressed up as a witch but she wasn't scary enough.
She was a good smiling witch.

I didn't really like any of the photos. 
They were not competition quality at all.

So a little while ago I changed the image to what you see above.
It's way better than what I had but still not worthy of being entered into a contest.

I am happy to say that I worked on another photo and it looks fantastically spooky and competition worthy.
But it didn't come from this photo shoot.
I'll post the photo after the competition.
It seems I wasted money on costumes, at least this year.
On the brighter side, now I have some halloween props for next year.

I'm kind of quirky when it comes to competition.
I don't like posting my entries on my blog or on facebook prior to competition.
I get really superstitious and self-conscious.

But I will share after the fact.

Competition is this coming Friday.

Wish me luck on all my photo entries.

Thank you kindly.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Digital Manipulation on Ghost Town

I love old buildings.
When I first took this photo I really liked it.
It was the first time using my wide angle lens and I was amazed by the perspective.
I thought it was cool.

Then today, I started playing around in picnik with their newest feature, textures.
I tried every single texture they had in every mode.

I was very happy with the outcome. 
Unfortunately, they don't name their textures so I have no idea which one I used
but I know I added the texture in difference mode.


It must be the artist in me because I really like that it looks more like a drawing or painting than a photograph.
Maybe it's just that I'm not as good a photographer as I'd like to be so digital manipulation works for me.

Well don't be shy.

Tell me which one you like.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Art Gallery

I snapped this photo while on a tour bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I thought it was a quaint little place so I wanted to capture the image.

It's not easy getting the perfect shot when you're doing a drive by shooting.


After some processing,

I am happy with the end result.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FMTSO: Chairs

This week's theme for the Friday My Town Shoot Out is chairs, chosen by me.

While I was on vacation I saw lots of interesting chairs and therefore I have many to post.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is an artist's haven and you can see the artistry in the chairs in that area.

I photographed park benches, bus benches, natural seating, restaurant chairs, lobby chairs, swing chairs, throw away chairs, unique chairs and bar stools. 

I love the variety of chairs I captured and I am very satisfied with my photos this week.

I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.

You can click on the photos to enlarge the image.

I think you will appreciate it more if you can really see the detail.

I really like the different characters in this park bench.
This was taken at the Plaza in Santa Fe.

I took the photo above while riding on a tour bus that took us around Santa Fe.
Something about the man caught my eye and I really wanted to capture his image.

All set for lunch.

I saw this good old fashioned chair swing in a trailer park while walking my dog near my hotel.

Colorful restaurant seating.

These pews are inside the Loretto Chapel where the miraculous staircase makes its home.

An empty couch in a long hallway that leads to the rooftop of one of the buildings in Santa Fe.

This bench looks like it belongs in Bedrock.
Imagine Fred and Wilma smooching on their first date.

Someone put a lot of creativity into this chair.
The store where I photographed this chair had many designs such as cowboys, cowgirls, etc.
I wanted to take a photo of all but the store clerks were a little sketchy.
I was fortunate to get the one above.

Lobby Chairs at a national park information center.

An old chair with a a lot of life left.

A stack of chairs at an outdoor mall.

Wooden benches at a national park.

Shoe shine chair and decorative chair in a historical hotel located in Gallup, NM

A natural stone bench.

Look closely.  This used to be an outhouse.  We stumbled across these ruins in Arizona.

Bear Chair to seat my husband.  Look at all those bills on the wall.
This place was covered from floor to ceiling and the bartender told us there was about $300,000.00 total.

Saddle bar stools.  I love these. 
Ride em cowboy!
er cowgirl!

A miniature school chair located in a very small museum in Tortilla Flat, Arizona.

Fremont Street in Las Vegas.

To see more perspectives on chairs please visit this link. 
There are some very talented phtographers in this group and it's so much fun to browse their photos.

The Flame

I love signs, especially older signs that have history.

The Flame is part of the Neon Museum here in Las Vegas.

It was resurrected from the Neon Bone Yard and brought back to life, so to speak.

The original sign was born in 1961 and sat atop the roof of the restaurant which was located on Desert Inn Road.  It became a part of the Neon Museum in May of 1997.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trees of History


This past weekend we packed our bags, stocked an ice chest, grabbed our cameras
and headed to Cedar City, Utah.
This was another field trip destination suggested by Nevada Camera Club.
The purpose of this event was to photograph fall colors on a 50 mile long dirt road.
The scenery was amazing and some of the views were as deep as the Grand Canyon.
We didn't see a whole lot of red leaves yet but we saw a lot of yellow.

As beautiful as the area is,
 I was more fascinated by the carvings in the trees than I was in the change of season.
Just about every tree we passed had a name or a date carved into it.
There were thousands and thousands of trees along this long and winding road
and each inch was imprinted with somebody's personal touch.

I wondered about all those people who had stopped along the way and taken the time to leave their mark.
Who were they?

My mind conjured up locals, tourists, lovers, photographers, writers, and vagabonds.
I imagined locals driving this country road to enter Zion National Park.
I imagined tourists driving this scenic route to get away from the fast paced highway traffic.
I imagined lovers driving this way to get away from chaperones, to kiss and make love.
I imagined photographers documenting the beautiful countryside to showcase vivid colors.
I imagined writers coming this way to acquire solitude and gain inspiration.
I imagined vagabonds, lost souls trying to find their way.

Whoever they were, they fascinated my imagination.
Their carvings proved they existed and that some things can withstand time.

After awhile, I began noticing the dates on the trees and that fascinated me further.
The earliest date I noticed was 1933.
I didn't photograph that tree because it was barely readable.
But still, It excited me.
The next one I saw was 1942.
That is the carving in my photo above.



That was during World War II.

I wondered how this person happened upon this road at that time.

It made me think about the war and how much I love my country and what America stood for in those days and what it still stands for, at least for now.

America the beautiful......

Free to be me, whatever that may be.

And those trees... what a time capsule they turned out to be.

That's the best history I've read in quite awhile.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FMTSO: Water,Glass, Shiny Objects, Reflections,....

It's that time again.  Time for the Friday My Town Shoot Out.
This week's theme comes from town blogger.
If you're new here, check out the link to find out more about this group.

Yesterday I got word that one of the photography instructors from College Of Southern Nevada
was having class down on Fremont Street.
After some thought, I decided to go down there, introduce myself to the instructor and participate along side the other students.  After all, it was a public place.
The instructor was nice and she didn't seem to mind that I invited myself along.

So while I was there I snapped a couple of pictures for FMTSO theme. 
All of my other photos for this theme were taken on my vacation last week.

Here I am taking a photo.  You can see the Fremont Street Experience in the background.
No offense to anyone out there, but my legs look dwarfed.

Looking through the window of a souveneir shop also shows the reflection of the tourists on Fremont Street.

Reflection of me and my husband's aunt in the headlight of an old fire truck.
This photo was taken at the ghost town in Arizona which I posted about a couple of days ago.

While on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico my husband and I took a cooking class.
We had so much fun.  We learned how to make green chile and red chile.
I would love to do that again.
Anyhow, if you click on the photo you can see that I took a picture of the mirror above to capture more of the class.  You can see me in the very top left hand corner taking the picture.

This is a reflection of the mountains and a one lane bridge at Canyon Lake in Arizona.

The same bridge at night.

And yet again, with a slightly different angle and longer shutter.

Here is another reflection of Canyon Lake looking the opposite direction of the bridge.

And last but not least, this one from the archives and one I believe I've posted before.
This is Gayla, distorted looking through the wine glass.

If you would like to see more photos of participants from this group CLICK HERE.
You may also add yourself to the list if you'd like to join in on the fun.

Thanks for stopping by.


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