Monthly Archives: July 2009

Another Spider

Spider in Shoe

Spider in Shoe

It doesn’t take the spiders very long to make themselves at home! This morning when I went to grab my old tennies (worn the day before) I found a cellar spider had already decided my shoe was the perfect place to live. He/she was hanging out on a fine web inside my shoe. I had just taken the shoes off about 8 hours earlier.

It makes me wonder how a spider decides a certain place is the right spot for a web. We often see them wandering from one place to another, so how do they know it’s time to settle down?

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Fire Arts Festival in Oakland

Epiphany by Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito at the Crucibles Fire Arts Festival

Epiphany by Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito at the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival

My son and I attended The Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival in Oakland a little over a week ago. It was a bit pricey, but we felt the money went towards a good cause. The Crucible sponsors classes and shows in many fire-related arts and you can learn more about them here.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. We bought our tickets and waited in a long line to get in. I was feeling depressed because I’d seen a sign about no photography. What?!? That’s why I came! After several minutes of feeling rather disgruntled, I finally asked in the media tent and learned that all I had to do was sign a use agreement and then I could shoot pictures. Whew!

There was a lot going on at the festival and we didn’t get to see it all. There were huge sculptures that breathed fire, live entertainment, crafts for sale, a life size mousetrap (remember the kid’s board game?), a flamethrower shooting gallery (that’s probably what enticed my son to this more than anything), displays, and demonstrations. Many of the scupltures were interactive, which added to the fun of it all. I thought we might stay a couple of hours, especially since I was expecting a very long day the next day, but we kept finding fascinating things and hung around until 11:00. The Fire Vortex (by Nate Smith) was the coolest, er… hottest thing we saw.

Fire Vortex by Nate Smith

Fire Vortex by Nate Smith

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Dancing at the Fair

Diablo Mountain Cloggers dancing at the fair.

Diablo Mountain Cloggers dancing at the fair.

On Saturday, my group, the Diablo Mountain Cloggers, danced at the Alameda County Fair. It was a nice day for the fair… not too hot! There were 11 dancers participating. Thanks to all. Here are a few photos.

Thanks again to Bob Michaud for shooting the pictures of us dancing.

Clogging Express dancing the routine, Cripple Creek

Most of the dancers who were at the fair.

Most of the dancers who were at the fair.

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A Friend’s Passing

Doug Chin

Doug Chin

Northern California lost a terrific clogger and friend July 5. I first met Doug Chin about 1979. He was just 19 or 20 years old and eager to do as much clogging as he could. That’s one thing about him that never changed, his love of clogging. We shared an interest in photography and he also loved cooking. Doug always had a smile on his face and was too busy having fun to ever be unkind to anyone. He supported all the clogging events in Northern California and surrounding areas whenever he could and was always on the dance floor until the very end.

Doug danced first with the Young Rebels in Oakland, then also with the Diablo Mountain Cloggers, the Blossom Hill Cloggers, Hillbilly Cloggers, and the Barbary Coast Cloggers.

He’s left behind many friends who are in shock. He had just performed with the Barbary Coast Cloggers at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in June and celebrated his 50th birthday. Doug made it possible for me to finish my SoFoBoMo project by generously loaning me his Canon 20D camera when mine died.

Thanks for your smile and friendship, Doug. You will be missed.

You can read Matt Ellinger’s tribute to Doug here, plus a gallery of photos.

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Fireworks at the Fair

Fireworks at the fair

Fireworks at the fair

The great thing about photographing fireworks is that although you never know what you’re going to get, you always get something interesting. On Friday, some friends and I were at the Marin County Fair. After sundown the fair puts on a nice fireworks show over the lake. I took my little travel tripod to photograph them (a tripod is a must) and although it’s really a pretty poor tripod, it did well enough for me that night. The pictures turned out better than expected. Here are a few of my favorites. Oh yes, it was also the first time I’ve shot fireworks with the moon as a backdrop. The moon is overexposed in all the shots, but it still adds a different element to them.

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

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Filed under Miscellany, Photography