Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hagen

Fall is in the air & in the background too. When we did Hagen's 1 year session, the fall scene made a great backdrop. We've been doing photography for this family for many years & glad they continue calling us back to document Hagen as he gets older.




The Edits #42

Here's a behind the edits look at one image.
Notice in the above photo the drool abound the baby's mouth & on the backdrop. I removed it below as well as the paint chips from the boxes. In the edited image I added a lot of contrast to bring in detail to the boxes & feathered out the edges to black.

With this version I added a texture overlay & made the photo antique.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hurricane Honeymoon


On October 22, 1998 off the coast of Honduras, tropical storm Mitch was quickly gaining strength.
Throughout the next couple of days while still off shore, the storm began to strengthen but still thousands of miles from landfall.

Meanwhile back in Texas, October 24, 1998 was big day for Cari & myself. After a 4 year courtship & 9 months of wedding planning, it was finally here. Our nuptials took place at Northside Baptist Church. Don Emmitt officiated our wedding who at the time was the pastor of the church. Everything went as planned as all our friends & family filled the sanctuary to witness me marry my best friend. In true Felts fashion, a big reception followed with food & dancing. Most of the night was really a blur but thanks to photos we got to see everyone who came & made the night so great. That next morning we caught our early flight to Cancun for our Mexican honeymoon. In the days prior to us leaving, we had been following the weather regarding the depression forming many many miles south-east of Mexico. Weather is very unpredictable & even the experts can't tell 100% what they will do, but we made the decision to proceed on to Mexico & not let the storm ruin our getaway.

Just a day after we arrived on our honeymoon, the beaches were much to dangerous for anyone to swim so they closed & we only had access to the pools. Even though the eye of the storm was hundreds of miles away we had constant 40 mph winds.






By Monday the 26th, the storm formed into a full blown hurricane with catastrophic winds peaking at 180 mph. The Weather channel was reporting that the path of the eye headed directly through the Yucatan Peninsula & straight toward Cancun. This monster had changed directions & was headed north west toward Honduras. This category 5 hurricane pushed onto the coast of Honduras with devastating effects.

Despite having straight line winds, it actually didn't rain the entire time. We were able to walk the short distance into town & visit the other Cancun Palace resorts that were close by. We made the best of the situation. It began to get pretty scary when hotel staff began boarding up windows & sliding caution flyers under the doors of each room with evacuation plans & procedures for all the guest who were still staying there.  Wow, this is crazy, what did we do, why did we still come here? Having made many expensive calls home, the family agreed we should cut the trip short & fly home immediately. The only problem was everyone had the same idea. All flights were booked to leave Cancun. Our hotel room TV was permanently stuck on the weather channel so we could get the latest on Mitch and his route. We just prayed hard that the hurricane would stay south & not move any closer. After drifting southward & weakening, the hurricane hit Honduras as a weakening hurricane.



Notice the light pink area when Mitch changed direction & headed toward Honduras.

From Wikiapedia:
Hurricane Mitch dropped historic amounts of rainfall in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, with unofficial reports of up to 75 in. Deaths due to catastrophic winds, flooding & mudslides,  Mitch is reported to have killed nearly 18,974 people total &roughly 2.7 million were left homeless as a result of the hurricane. The flooding caused extreme damage, estimated at over $5 billion (1998 USD, $6.67 billion 2010 USD)

It was no doubt that we underestimated the severity of this monster. This storm could have continued on it's path & wiped out Cancun so easily. Cari & I knew that whatever happened, we were together. We made it through our honeymoon alive unfortunately all the lives lost is beyond devastating.

13 months later we delivered our baby boy we named Mitch....not really although some say we should have. Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife Cari!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Greeting Cards

That time of the year is approaching fast when everyone starts thinking about greeting cards. I've posted a few of our latest designs we will be offering this year. You can check out an album of all our samples on our business FaceBook page. Click here & like our page for all of our latest updates.









Sunday, October 17, 2010

Redrum

It's that time of the year again when horror movies from the past to the present are watched more than any other time. While growing up I was always anxious to see the latest scary movie that was out, but really enjoyed the classics too. One of the all time best horror films has to be Stephen Kings 'The Shining'.

"Heeeear's Johnny".... just one of the few standout lines from this chilling 1980 blockbuster. Jack Nicholson plays a seemingly normal father who moves his family to undertake an isolated hotel for the winter. The Torances' suddenly realize that evil & spiritual presence influences Jack into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past & of the future.

During my stay in Estes Park, Colorado I immediately noticed a huge hotel that sat at the base of this mountain range.The Stanley Hotel was built in the early1900's, & is known to be haunted. The Stanley Hotel's original owners, F.O. and Flora Stanley, are said to haunt the hotel as well. Mr Stanley's ghost is said to play the piano in the music room, and frequents the billards room and the lobby.
Room 418 seems to have the most ghostly activity reported. In fact, the entire fourth floor of the Stanley Hotel (formerly the servants quarters) is quite active. Often, the sound of children playing in the halls of the Stanley can be heard, even when no children are present.
In 1977 a young relatively unknown author named Steven King used the chilling stories told in The Stanley for his inspiration for his book "The Shining". King supposedly wrote the book while staying in room 217, where most of the occurrences take place in the film.
The movie was actually filmed at Mt. Hood Lodge in Oregon. Not filming the movie at The Stanley had apparently annoyed Stephen King since it was the real influence for the book. So for the 1996 TV mini series, The actual Stanly was used for the "Overlook Hotel". Also, all of the interior shots from the movie were built on a sound stage in England.


Watch as Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and the TAPS team explore The Stanley Hotel for evidence of paranormal activity. Some of these videos show some very strange paranormal activity. In Part 1, Bill Ward, the Concierge at The Stanley Hotel, explains some of the unusual activity that has been reported by guests and employees at the hotel.


n Part 2, the TAPS team begins the initial stages of the investigation, and captures evidence, including EVP recordings, and thermal and digital video recordings. Jason has two unexplained events happen in his room while he is sleeping (both caught on film).


In Part 3, Grant & Kendall have an uncanny experience in Room 1302 after asking, "Can you give us a sign of your presence?"


In Part 4, Jason and Grant try to find a reasonable explanation for the events that happened in Jason's room. The technical team analyzes the evidence that has been captured, and Jason and Grant present the evidence to representatives of The Stanley Hotel.

Jason and Grant conclude that The Stanley Hotel is definitely haunted.

What are your thoughts on how The Atlantic Paranormal Society handled this investigation? The evidence from Room 401 (Jason's room) was nothing short of amazing. It's hard to explain the broken glass and closet door activity. Based on these videos, it seems The Stanley Hotel has both residual hauntings (children on the stairs and party guests in the Concert Hall), and intelligent hauntings (the closet door ghost in Jason's room, and the ghost that moved the table/chair in Room 1302).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sticks & Stones


There has been much attention in the media lately regarding bullying among young kids. After reading many articles about bullies & the effects it causes to our developing children, much needs to be done.
Most of us have had situations in our childhood where we felt bullied or mistreated by our peers. Most of us have also witnessed someone being bullied & stood back & let it happen. Maybe you stood back & laughed at remarks directed at the victim. To stand back & laugh is just as bad as actually initiating the act. Laughing & encouraging the bully feeds that monster ego & tells the less than fortunate kid that those harmful words are true.
We need to do something to let our younger generation that acting this way is dangerous. Not only can squash someones self esteem forever but worse lead to teen suicide. I have a friend who wrote a great article about this subject. Click to read Shari Geller's article on bullying.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chandor Family Portraits

I shot this session of the Thompson family at Weatherford's Chandor Gardens.




The Edits #41

From time to time I will give a "behind the edits" look what photographers do to make their photos shine. This was one the better shots with Jesse smiling the best. The only problem was he had tilted his head a bit too much. Thank goodness for photoshop! Using the cut & past tool, I angled his head back just enough. All conditions were just right to use this technique.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Visit To Colorado

About a year ago I received a call from my Aunt who lives in Colorado in regards to photographing my cousins wedding. I jumped at the chance to shoot a wedding deep in the heart of the rocky mountains....in the Fall nonetheless. I just returned from my work/vacation this last week with tons of images to share. It will still be a few weeks until I have the wedding photos to show, but I wanted to post a few mountain shots I took. Some of my favorites were taken during our 11,000 ft. climb into the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Notice the smoke in the top of the photo. This summer lightning struck in the forest near Estes Park & smoke still visible from the contained smoldering fire.
Estes police was having his photo taken (photographer not pictured)

Here's a distant & close up shot of Estes Park from a few miles away.

This is the perfect time of year to visit this town to see the leaves changing colors in the mountains.









I said to my family over & over how these photos wouldn't be near a good if all the clouds weren't here. The different variations & colors added such dimension to the scene.






At this point we were above tree level. Over 11,000 ft. made it harder to breath & not enough oxygen for trees to grow.




During our stay for the wedding, it happened to be the Elk Festival in Estes Park. Tons of elk can be spotted in town.
This elk was alone in the yard of one of the cabins at the Black Canyon Inn.



The Suburban rental we had during our stay. Not too shabby!
We had such a blast while in Colorado. I had only visited this state years ago when I was in grade school. As a photographer I was in heaven & now that I'm an adult I can appreciate the beauty of the mountains. Most of the family & friends who attended the wedding were from Colorado & are used to the surroundings of the multi colored mountain terrain. The entire stay, I was in awe of the sights & couldn't believe my eyes. A change of scenery was refreshing to me. I will definitely post some of my favorite images from the wedding as soon as I have them edited & ready to show.

A couple of months ago we had Kat's bridal session scheduled at Willow Lake Gardens.  There's a lot of planning involved with a b...