30 Day Photography Challenge Day 20 – Bokeh

Bokeh

Day 20 - Bokeh

This is my first attempt at trying Bokeh.  I had to look up tips so I can get my camera, which still has the stock lens kit, to create a beautiful Bokeh effect.  This photograph is a sample of my rosary making skills, this was one of my first attempts and I’m very proud of it.  I like the way that the beads of the rosary give off that lovely bokeh lights, and how the crucifix is in sharp focus.

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 19 – Your Shoes

Your Shoe

Day 19 - Your Shoes

Unseasonably warm weather, results in awesome shoe wearing to the mall.  I can’t live without my Juliet 2 shoes, they are so comfortable that even a sunny day to church wouldn’t put any stress on my already hurt foot!

The Photo-maniac

So, as you know, I like taking photographs, while I am certainly not the best a photography, I make up most of it in Photoshop skillz….well not really, but if there is one thing about me, is that I try really REALLY hard to make sure each photograph and manipulation are better than the last.  I also like this Photo Challenge because it pushes the bar to where I try new things I thought I would never do with my photographs.  In fact, I’m carrying my camera more now just to get a nice shot for one of the challenges than I have before.  I’m also considering about starting a series of Photographs regarding the creepy dolls I’ve encountered in my mission to find comic books for cheap.

Anyway, aside from my love for anything photography related, I wandered onto this website from PuglyPixel and A Beautiful Mess, and I haven’t been able to stop drooling over it!!!  PhotoJoJo is a great place for anything and everything photography related, and gives me some nicely priced items to look at.  Below are several things that I’ve been currently looking at lately:

Wide Angle & Macro Lens Adapter

White Balance Lens Cap

Pop-up Flash Bounce

Also, I’ve been wandering to several pawn shops lately, and I found at one a nice Nikon 78 – 300 zoom lens.  The best part?  It was priced at $160!!! I have it on layaway right now, so I’m determined to get it as soon as possible!!

That’s it for me at the moment, those of you who do have cameras, what brand do you use?  What are the items that you can’t live without?

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 18 – Something Orange

Something Orange

Day 18 - Something Orange

I wanted to do another trip to the Antique Mall today just to take a photo of a nifty item that is orange, but alas, I have no means to take myself all the way out to Spring to take a photo of such an item.  So, in my own way, I decided to scavenge all 500 orange items in my room to see which would be the most photogenic (I have a problem with orange).   I ended up with this nifty little number you can purchase from Hobby Lobby for $9.99.  It takes a single AA battery, and it comes in lime, pink, orange, blue and black.  I got mine in orange because my room is an agglomeration of colors (mostly pink, yellow, green and orange) and objects that I find fascinating.   Enjoy!

A Paranormal Library – Ghosthunters:

I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public.  I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure.  The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating.  Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase.  I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage.  Happy reading Dreamers!

This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.”  My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens.  If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal.  So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.

Copyright Career Press, Incorporated, 2007

Ghosthunters: On the Trail of Mediums, Dowsers, Spirit Seekers, and Other Investigators of America’s Paranormal World by John Kachuba

John Kachuba is a writer extraordinaire!  Having received advanced writing degrees from Antioch University, and Ohio University, he has been published many times in short story magazines and books.  He has also taught the subject of writing at Ohio University and The University of Cincinnati.  John is also an avid lecturer having appeared at such conferences as the Columbus Writer’s Conference, Florida Suncoast Writers Conference, Haunted America Conference, and Ghost Hunters and Spirituality Conference.  John has also been featured on many television and radio programs in the United States and internationally.  His book titles include: Ghosthunting Ohio: On the Road Again, Ghosthunting Illinois,Ghosthunting Ohio, How to Write Funny, and Why is this Job Killing Me? He currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife.

Taken from Ghosthunters: On the Trail of Mediums, Dowsers, Spirit Seekers, and Other Investigators of America’s Paranormal World by John Kachuba:

Facts and Trivia about ghost lore abound.  What do you know about ghosts? Take this short quiz to test your knowledge. The answers to these questions appear [at the end of this post].

  1. What is the name of Casper the Friendly Ghost’s girlfriend?
    • Boolinda
    • Wendy the Good Little Witch
    • Morticia
    • Lucy
  2. How did Marian and George, the ghosts from the 1950s TV sitcom Topper, die?
    • avalanche
    • car accident
    • suicide
    • drowning
  3. What type of vehicle did the Ghostbusters drive?
    • Hummer
    • station wagon
    • ambulance
    • hearse
  4. How many ghosts visited Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol?
    • 2
    • 1
    • 4
    • 3
  5. Who played pseudo-psychic Oda Mae in the1990 film Ghost?
    • Cher
    • Margot Kidder
    • Demi Moore
    • Whoopi Goldberg
  6.  According to legend, which one of these can’t a ghost cross?
    • running water
    • a highway
    • a cemetery fence
    • a mountain
  7. A “noisy ghost” is called a ______.
    • wraith
    • phantom
    • medium
    • poltergeist
  8. Which phrase appears in the Gordon Lightfoot song “If You Could Read My Mind”?
    • “about a ghost with a story to tell”
    • “about a ghost from a wishing well”
    • “about a ghost condemned to hell”
    • “about a ghost whose feet don’t smell”
  9. The spooky attraction at Disneyland is called _____.
    • Mystery Manor
    • Hill House
    • Haunted Mansion
    • Fright Mansion
  10. What do the letters T-A-P-S from TV’s Ghost Hunters stand for?
    • Trans Atlantic Psychic Society
    • The Abnormal Psychical Society
    • The Associated Parapsychic Society
    • The Atlantic Paranormal Society
  11. Who wrote The Exorcisti?
    • Stephen King
    • William Peter Blatty
    • Peter Straub
    • Dean Koontz
  12. A Person who can hear ghosts is said to be a ­­_____.
    • ghost whisperer
    • crazy person
    • magus
    • clairaudient

If you are able to answer these questions, post your score “x of 12” in the comment section!!  Answers will be at the end of the post!!*

So, how did you do?  Were you able to answer all the questions correctly?  Were those that you answered correctly from TV or Movies?  See, the purpose of this mini quiz was to establish the fact that most of what we know today about ghosts is information from “pop culture”, but some may have trouble with the information that are actual facts with the paranormal, such as questions 6, 7 and 12.  This whole first chapter discusses the basic information regarding ghost hunting, and who are these people that are ghost hunters. Basically, John Kachuba started this book to give answers to those people who question the validity of ghost hunters in various forms.  The book basically describes the different forms in which people go out to investigate the existence of ghosts.  For example, John describes the process in which the League of Energy Materialization and Unexplained Phenomena Research (L.E.M.U.R.) investigated the Smith-McDowell House in Ashville, North Carolina. Founder Joshua Warren has his group work with EMF meters which are designed to measure the electromagnetic radiation in the air, usually given off by TVs, radios, Computers, Cell Phones, etc.  Aside from John Kachuba’s research, in my own, I have heard that these meters can detect paranormal activity based on the premise that ghosts are made up of energy and these meters can detect that energy. Also, L.E.M.U.R. uses video and audio recordings in hopes anomoulous images or sound.  The point that John Kachuba makes with this chapter on L.E.M.U.R. is that more often than not, nothing spectacular happens on every ghost hunt out there, in the example of the book, all the team received were high EMF readings as the investigated, but even still, data is data, and according to Joshua Warren in this chapter, “’Sometimes it takes a long time, a lot of data, before you can say what’s going on at a particular location.’”

Another chapter focuses on demonology, or the study of demons and inhuman spirits. David Considine, who has been mention in several episodes of Discovery Channel’s A Haunting, is the founder of Phantasm Psychic Research (PPR) where they help those who are plagued with demonic infestations to the friendliest of ghosts.  In some cases, they have even taken objects from homes due to the fact that there are negative spirits inside them.  PPR has helped dozens of families, many of whom needed an exorcism on themselves or objects.  They see their work as social work due to the fact that many of these people need help, and they establish the fact that those who decide to go into this line of work need to be patient and also compassionate to those who ask for their help.

There is so much more to this book than what meets the eye. This is a great resource too for those who wish to start ghost hunting, but it is also gives the stern warning that you must prepare yourself intellectually in order to prepare yourself for what may be haunting the areas you investigate.  There are chapters in this book that discuss how you can become a certified Ghost Hunter, how you can sleep with ghosts, and a great interview with the great Ed and Lorraine Warren. I did enjoy this book, there were passages that I found tedious due to the fact that I have a history in photography, and I just cannot wrap my head around orbs.  Its just one of those things that bothers me, other than that, this book was a great read, and definitely be used as a tool for those who wish to learn different tips and tricks with ghost hunting.

Nook

Barnes and Noble

Kindle

Amazon

John Kachuba

League of Energy Materialization and Unexplained Phenomena Research

Phantasm Psychic Research


[*] Quiz Answers: 1.b, 2.a, 3.c, 4.c, 5.d, 6.a, 7.d, 8.b, 9.c, 10.d, 11.b, 12.d.

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 17 – Technology

Technology

Day 17 - Technology

This is the image from my new, nifty, touch screen radio for my Matrix XR.  I had it set on scan where the colors change at random.  Enjoy!

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 16 – Long Exposure

Long Exposure

Day 16 - Long Exposure

So this is my first long-exposure image ever!  I’m not very good at it obviously, so I left the image unedited, except for cropping the image to fit better on my blog!  Any tips and tricks would be lovely, I use a Nikon D3100 and I have little to no money to spend.  My exposure was set to 30 seconds at f6.3 iso set to Hi 1.  Thanks for the help!

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 13 & 14 – 13 Things & Eyes

Day 13 – Yourself with 13 Things

Day 13 - Yourself with 13 things

I guess I’m too busy to remember to hit the “Publish” button every time I create some new photo for my challenge.  ANYWAY, here’s my 13 things photograph, this is actually a shot of a bookshelf I keep my most cherished items displayed for everyone to see.  If you have questions regarding anything in this photograph leave me a message!!

Day 14 – Eyes

Day 14 - Eyes

This challenge was hard for me.  I love taking photos of eyes, but when I take the photos, I have this problem where I manipulate them into something where they tell a story.  So I decided to go ahead and post one of my most favorite images of my eye.  This was based on a series called Amanda Fucking Palmer, and I created images based on my idea of what her songs mean.  This one was based on her solo albums opening track Astronaut.  This is my conception of losing a loved one because he just floated away into space.  Click the image to go to my DeviantArt page for more artistic goodness!

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 11 & 12 – Something Blue & Sunset

Post Edit: I thought I had hit the “Publish” button on Sunday, but I instead hit “Save Draft” SO expect another post very soon for Day 13!!!

Day 11 – Something Blue

Day 11 - Something Blue

This was taken at The Antique Mall on 2920 in Spring, Texas.  This beauty was a Civil War Chess Set that was marked at a whopping $300.  I took pictures because the pieces were absolutely precious and needed to be photographed.  These were obviously the Union Soldiers with their lovely Union Blue color.

Day 12 – Sunset

Day 12 - Sunset

This was taken several months ago at the Texas Renaissance Festival out in Magnolia, Texas.  This was at the Agora with the Gypsy Dance Theater group performing.  I love taking photos of these ladies, their costumes are beautiful and their dancing is hypnotic.  This was in fact taken at Sunset, but due to the fact that my hard drive is acting up and that Today was just a horribly gray day, I used this photo to duplicate the sky at sundown.  This was at their fire show at the end of the day, I highly suggest you see these ladies.

30 Day Photography Challenge Day 10 – Childhood Memories

Childhood Memories

Childhood Memories

10 days already!!! I can’t believe it’s been that long, seriously, so far this project has felt like a whole month.  My schedule is tightening up, and my camera’s SD slot cover broke!  But I am still able to shoot and here are my childhood memories.  Everything you see in this photo are from my childhood, each has heartbreaking memory, happy ones, and ones that signal me when a new text message comes in.  Enjoy!