Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sharp Shooters Camera Club Picnic

Our annual Sharp Shooters Camera Club picnic was held at The Shady Lady in Geneva, Idaho.  Cliff and Kathy price have a beautiful home with a picnic area in the foothills, and they invited the camera club to their place for the evening.  They call their home the Shady Lady, and it is a perfect place for a big group, with a covered picnic area, grassy lawn, lots of aspens, and outbuildings painted like a saloon and livery stable. Everyone brought food to share, then we had an informal photo shoot.
Kathy had some wild hats, costumes, and (empty) booze bottles, and several camera club members got dressed up and posed for the cameras.  My wife, Linda (left), battled with her sister Jo Ann Farnsworth.
Bernice and Bill Parslow looked great posing on the saloon porch.
Lynette and Dave Bower hammed it up to the delight of all the photographers.
 Do these people look like they are having fun?

Someone asked Linda to take their picture using their camera.  Then someone else asked.... then someone else...

You get the idea.

It was getting really dark, and photography was pretty tough, but thanks to flash or high ISO settings available on the digital cameras, we kept on shooting.

The last group of models was Linda Cochran, Connie Hymas, and JoAnn Taylor, and they looked wonderful.

The evening ended with a group photo critique in the picnic area.  It was a good ending to a really fun meeting.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Car Show

Our little town, Montpelier, Idaho, has a surprisingly good annual car show with lots of opportunities for photographers.
Friday evening featured a downtown cruise.  A beautiful Ford was parked across the street from our funky old Centre Theatre.
Several of the show cars 'dragged main", including this wonderful roadster.  The blur was created by "panning" the camera with the motion of the car.
Saturday was the day of the show, and cars were on display at the local park, including a customized Ford Woody. The lawn area under beautiful big trees was ideal for the show.
This Studebaker pickup won best of show. Car shows are usually a great opportunity for close-up photos with spectacular color.
Look for opportunities to use your wide angle lens. Edsels were sometimes called a "Mercury sucking a lemon." The wide angle lens exaggerates this feature and creates a fun distortion. It was a great show despite an afternoon thunderstorm, and I hope a lot of the car owners return next year.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Home Town In Connecticut

Linda and I recently traveled to the east coast for my 50th high school reunion, so of course I explored my home town.  As expected, a lot has changed, but some things that are important to me haven't changed too much.  My home town is Sandy hook, Connecticut which is a borough of Newtown.  I graduated from Newtown High School, so in a sense, Newtown is also my home town. One of the first things you notice about Connecticut when you arrive from the west is all the trees. Everything is almost overwhelmingly green.
This was the house where I grew up in Sandy Hook.  In those days, this was J Appleseed Farm, and we had  a big apple orchard.  In fact, I have heard it was the biggest golden delicious orchard in the state at the time. The apple trees are gone now, but the house, built in 1742, and barn are still there.
This used to be Warner Store, or simply the Brick Store, and my family did most of our shopping here.  It was the centerpiece of the tiny town of Sandy Hook. It was run by my Godfather, Hawley Warner and now has been beautifully restored and turned into a restaurant. I got a tour by Michael Porco, the current owner. The Hook has really been dressed up and is a beautiful community now.
This is the main crossroad in Newtown, and it is famous for its flagpole in the center of the intersection. It makes for tricky driving, but is a magnificent sight. The church is now known as the Meeting House, but I was a member there when it was a Congregational Church. I once worked at the "Flagpole Fountain", a sort of 1950's C-Store that was located in the building on the right.
This is the center of Newtown from Castle Hill, showing (left to right) the new Congregational Church, flagpole, Meeting House, and Episcopal Church.  This scene showcases the beauty of New England architecture and trees stretching to the horizon.  I feel fortunate to have grown up in such a wonderful place, but now I am a westerner at heart.

Newtown High School Reunion - 50 Years

Linda and I just returned from a trip to the east coast for my 50th high school reunion at Newtown, Connecticut. Why on earth would I go all the way from Idaho to Connecticut just to go to a high school reunion?  I didn't even like school very much.  The answer might be in something my old college roommate, Mike Mele said.  When we get older and attend events like this, we just have a good time reacquainting ourselves with people that share something in common from our past.  All the old cliques are gone, and everyone seems to be more relaxed and mature.  Or maybe it is something classmate Tom Kretsch said.  Newtown was a wonderful place to grow up, and it draws us back.  I found both statements to be true.
Newtown High School, Class of '62 (me on the left)
Photo by Linda S. Walker  

I had a wonderful time at the reunion dinner and at the picnic the following day.  I am pleased to see that so many of us turned out OK.  People came from Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, California, and many other distant areas - even Israel!  Others were content to stay right there in the Newtown area, and more power to them.  It was a memorable occasion and the reunion committee deserves a big thank you.