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Wednesday, 12 October 2011


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Nice shot Mike.

Nice shot, Mike. What were your exposure settings?

"What were your exposure settings?"

That would take a while to reconstruct. It's a combination of 3 exposures--one for the moon, one for the sky and treeline, and one for the tombstone and foreground. But it's about as close as I can get it to the way it looked to me in reality.


Ha! I was afraid of the dark until my older brother somehow convinced me to hide in a dark closet and scare the hell out of my younger brother.

Did you notice that the rising moon on the horizon looked bigger to you in person that it did in your photograph?

Two thumbs up for your photo Mike. Another case of photography being the art of being prepared to take advantage of luck. You'd have thought there'd be a headstone with "SLEEP" on it?

Was that shot with the 35/2? How is it treating you? That's the one lens I regret never being able to get my hands on.

Halloween also teaches the little rug rats how to perform extortion at an early age with the complicity of their parents; akin to watching Daddy Dearest cheat on his 1040 long form and then brag about it at Easter dinner.

"Trick or treat" indeed!

Urban residents are somewhat restrained, but in my granddaddy's day back in the hills of Tennessee anyone threatening property damage would get a lesson in ballistics - experiencing first hand the trajectory of incoming rock salt being propelled from a double barreled Winchester 12 gauge.

The "scary creatures lurking in the night" were well described by Walt Kelly:

"We has met the enemy, and they is us!"

However I will once again this year drive my politically incorrect, environmentally unsound, gas guzzling SUV to the local candy shop and stock up on enough sugary treats to make the graduating class of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry start making plans for vacations in Aruba.

On Halloween night I shall turn on my politically incorrect, environmentally unsound, power guzzling, 150 watt incandescent porch light in the faint hope that none of the little extortionists trip on my property and sue me for what little I possess. I will drop treats into their bags, pumpkins, or pillow cases while making appropriate (but totally insincere) comments about how cute the little darlings are. My solace will be the thought of the parents having to shell out their own dollars (presumably earned in some other form of extortion racket at a higher level) in an attempt to fill the cavities their little urchins will suffer as a result of this illegal but somehow tolerated activity.

Except for those trick-or-treaters who are over the age of ten or so; those older children get a special treat. For those who are obviously over the age of fearing things that go bump in the night (primarily because they ARE the things that go bump in the night) I keep a small cooler by the door. In the cooler is a gallon of partially melted chocolate ice cream. Each and every older-than-tolerable miscreant will receive a full scoop of refreshing ice cream dropped into their treat bag.

I wonder if there's time to order in a case of Feenamint gum....

Happy Halloween, Mike.


No Mike, Hallowe'en is not scary, it's just another opportunity for shops to sell junk.

Photographically speaking it has no greater potential than any other day of the year. I'd rather mark the Equinox or the annual festivals that tie in with the seasons (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Neopagan_holidays).

Call me old-fashioned but I'd also suggest that children are much better off if we use other ways to confront their fears than 'spooky' imagery, masks and cheap stunts.

I always thought that it is an American kid festival. Until about 14 years ago when I moved in a Hong Kong group of apartment where this festival is basically the annual festival for kids. We have thousands (literally) of kids running about 15 blocks of apartment with costumes and fancy canny collecting device. Very happy time, even when you and they are dressed up as Darth Vader or have a knife in your head. (As we moved away now, my kids still go back to join their friends still lived there to enjoy the atmosphere.

Your pic is however very frightening though.

Great shot Mike. Happy Halloween to you three.

My favorite holiday. Worries me a bit, that. Still, looking forward to the goblins and ghoulies. Mourn that misinformation has cut down on them, as well as the better treats that used to get handed out.

Btw, anything to do with the nobility frightens me, so I think princesses work.

Ironically, ii most towns Halloween is probably the safest night of the year. With all those people out and about to keep an eye out for others.

Terrific! If you do a print sale I'll buy that one.

"You'd have thought there'd be a headstone with 'SLEEP' on it?"

Well, actually I've known it was there for more than a year and have been waiting for the right opportunity to take a picture of it. There are other Sleeps here and there in the cemetery, too. I don't know anything about the family, though.


Jim Hart,
You're giving me cognitive dissonance. I associate Scroogishness with Christmas, not Halloween....


Well, Mike, recall that A Christmas Carol is a ghost story, so it all turns in the wheel...


(and completely off-topic, may I recommend the version of ACC from the 80s starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. He was so evil David Warner was Cratchit!)

Luckily for us in New Zealand, Halloween is basically a non-event.

Do the people of your town know you walk around graveyards on the full moon, Mike? And did you get a model release form signed?

Funnily enough, on TCM here in Oz last night was Meet Me in St Louis, which has probably the best Halloween sequence I know, short of actual horror movies, where the little kid has to 'kill' the Brockhoffs, a scary family with a bulldog. She has to throw flour on Mr B, tell him she hates him, then run away. Is that normal for H'ween? Another great one is from E.T., of course, but I digress...OT, as I'm supposed to say.

On Halloween of 2004 we were living in a small mountain village in the French Alps, where this holiday and its door-to-door "extortion" are still in the experimental stage. As the token (childless) Americans, we still carved a pumpkin and stocked up on treats and waited... and waited...

At 9PM the doorbell rang and some pre-teens in costumes stood there, mute, with frightened expressions on their faces and little bags sheepishly held out. They just didn't know what to say! ("Trucs ou charité?") I think we stared at each other across the threshold for quite a while, until my wife snuck up behind me and yelled "Boo," scaring all of us into laughter.

Over the next hour every kid in town visited the house as word spread that Americans really do try to scare kids on Halloween before giving them candy!

OK nice shot....now give us the low down on how your going to print (and crop?) that shot...awesome detail in the shadows...


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