Posts Tagged ‘geek housecalls’

We hadn’t gone to the Marshfield Fair in years (over a decade I’m certain) as Sue and I had grown weary of hauling our burgeoning load of young children through the carny scene.   So when we were trying to decide what to do this past Saturday afternoon and Jessica suggested that the Fair was in town, we agreed to pack up our now mostly teen-and-older-no-longer-needing-to-be-hauled kids and go.  Turns out, it was cleaner, better organized and less stressful than I remember, or maybe this was just the difference between being independently mobile compared to the days of packing multiple strollers and diaper bags and all the acoutrements of young familyhood.  What’s more, either the fair just isn’t as popular as in years past, or we got lucky and went on a day when much of the rest of the local population decided to go elsewhere, the result being that there were no dense crowds or long lines to speak of.  And finally, we were delighted to find that Fiesta Shows, although still offering all of the old classic rides like the zipper, flying bobs, and swing-ride, had updated their repertoire with some truly impressive high-tech additions.  Even the drive down rte 3 to Marshfield wasn’t bad and making the quick loop around the high school to come into the fairgrounds on 3a from the north proved to be traffic-free.  We parked in the lot that supports the Marshfield School Music Boosters (of course!) and headed into the fairgrounds, lead by our noses  to the tantalizing aromas of Fair food.

marshfield home computer service

Jess, Jelisha and Jay pose with the french fry bucket pirate.

bump bump baby

Yours truly taking a spin on the bumpers with Jay. Photo by Jess.

grandstand seats for the truck pull

The fam has the best seats in the old-school wooden grandstands for an all-american event - the truck pull.

big bright and fun

Jules and Hayley took a spin on this colorfully lit piece of high-tech machinery.

panoramic view of Freak Out ride

Jules and Hayley took a ride on Freak Out, unquestionably the most popular ride in the midway featuring thumping dubstep music including fam-favorite Skrillex. While waiting in line, Jules and Hayley had to make way for the exit of Aerosmith Rocker Steven Tyler who went on the ride before them.

mona lisa smile

Jess notices the camera pointed her way and flashes a Mona Lisa.

keep on shuffling...

Anonymous turtle-shell backpacker spotted on the midway disappoints all by failing to shuffle.

I often find myself, camera in hand, glued to the front of my fish tank.  Can never get enough of the constantly changing interplay of color set against that lush green background.  I find the real challenge when shooting the fish tank is getting enough light to capture the constantly moving fish without blurring.  This despite the fact that the tank itself is equipped with four 4′ florescent high-output lamps, half full-spectrum, and half actinic-daylight.  As it turns out though, despite all those lumens, the best shots ultimately come when the fish pause momentarily, and in that same moment I get lucky enough to be pulling the trigger.  What does this mean?  It means that to get pics like the ones below, typically takes me 20-30 shots while I wait for that lucky pause 😉
nom! nom! nom!

Pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus) gnawing on aged White Pine driftwood (yummy!) in my 70 gallon planted tank

Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) in my 70 Gallon planted tank

An unknown species of Killifish (unknown to me that is, not unknown in the scientific sense) in my 70 gallon planted tank. This is one of several "surprises" that Justin picked up at a Boston Aquarium Society auction and sneaked into my tank during the night...

Dropping your mobile phone in the fish tank is never a good thing.

An overall view of my 70 gallon planted tank. You can see a little bit about how the tank is custom built right into shelving in the livingroom so it's a little more like part of the house and a little less like an elephant in the room.

70 gallon at the surface

For a while, I kept Salvinia, a floating surface plant like duckweed on steroids. Was beautiful to see, and from below was practically mystical, but in the end, I had to hog it out as it spread so fast and so thick, it blocked much of the overhead light which impacted the rest of the submersed plants.


One of my all-time favorite fish (notice I said "one of", it's really not possible to pick just one!). Here a small school of Rummynose Tetras (Hemigrammus rhodostomus) hovers in front of a giant Crypto in my 70 gallon planted tank.


My choice of subject for 2009? You guessed it, the “usual”.  I can never get enough of lighthouses, and Minot is no exception.  I went with a photo that I shot from mid-Sandy beach at low tide in early spring.  My square (sponsored by Geek Housecalls) was on some side street with a pretty coarse surface, so not nearly as finger-friendly as last year’s smooth concrete  ice-rink surface.  On the other hand, the coarser surface worked really well at the finish when I was working in the salt spray and was able to accomplish it easily by skimming the pebbly surface.  Below is a sequence of photos showing the progression of the artwork:

First things first, a grid on the ground helps with transfer from the original image

with the basic layout in place, you get an idea of how coarse the sidewalk is as a media. All the chalk lines will be blurred and blended. Some use paintbrushes or sponges. I prefer the fingertips although it is a little hard on the prints...

You can see how it starts to come together as the colors are blended. Soon it becomes difficult to see just how coarse the surface is.

With the bulk of the lighthouse itself complete, it's time to focus on the rocks and foreground ocean.

Midway through. Took a break and walked around with James, Jay, and Jules to check out other artwork

Foreground rocks and water in place, time to move on to details

tweaking the sky, adding more seagulls, and spray on the rocks...

As the sun dips low in the afternoon sky, the finished artwork is dappled. How long did it take? About 6 hours. How long will it last? Only until the next rain...

The artist's signature...