Jan 31, 2011

More dead stuff — Bones & Bugs

Another week, more dead stuff

Life feature this week is on Debbie Huddleston who has started doing European taxidermy in her spare time. Whats that you say? You thought taxidermy was about preserving the OUTSIDE of the animal? Not necessarily. The European style is the exact opposite, preserving the INSIDE of the animal.

But how does one go about getting to this inner-parts? Why with flesh-eating beetles of course! They're tiny, but they eat a lot.

This was the scene inside the shed she uses for the decomp before boiling and bleaching the bones. I have to tell you honestly that I have never come across a smell more heinous than this. Upon stepping inside the first time I quickly fell/leaped out again to catch my breath. Debbie said that sometimes she'll be out there working for an hour or two and then run to the store for something and wonders if people can tell. Yeah, pretty sure.


Jan 27, 2011

Spotlights and dead things

Couple things I shot in the last week had similar results thanks to similar lighting
Tuesday night Ilwaco hosted their second dual wrestling meet of the season — you can see the results of the first one HERE — and once again they deployed the the singular lamp over the center the ring for lighting. And once again it was very dramatic. This time however the team prepped prior to the match on the gym floor, including applying what I can only guess was Nair in single file (above), then watching the jv matches (below) before they got underway.

A few nights earlier I was in Naselle for a community variety show, where the performers onstage were lit with similar dramatic effect.

And then there was all the dead stuff... I Monday I went out to shoot some pix at the Willapa Wildlife Refuge HQ, and to my surprise, and somewhat to my amused delight, there was no shortage of dead, stuff animals everywhere. I believe that
I asked Charlie Stenvall (above) if they did their own taxidermy in-house. He said no, but noted that some of the older, more crude-looking ones downstairs may have been by one of the staff some fifty years ago. "Where's that one paper I needed?" "Oh, in the filer, under the owl"


Jan 14, 2011

13 (pix) for 10 (days since I last posted) for 11 (as in 2011)

So here we are once again, start of a new year and it takes me half a month to post something new. I don't know why January always feels so slow to me. So here's a bunch of stuff from the first few weeks of 2011.
Yesterday I went along with a small group of students from the Highly Capable Program (or Hi-C), including Kenz, on what is likely their last field trip. I was shooting it for a story about cuts to school funding, which includes the Hi-C program, even though the whole thing runs on a $8,000 annual budget. Anyway, the trip was to investigate some historic buildings in Astoria that were supposedly haunted, including the Flavel House and the Hotel Elliot.

Last Saturday I got pretty lucky with the weather and the sun actually came out while I was shooting the annual new years beach clean-up. Also ran into my man Wags from the Daily News, who I always enjoy seeing.

But most of my time has been taken up with basketball, a seemingly endless supply. I do love it, but it is the longest sports season of the school year and there isn't a lot of variety otherwise — during the fall and spring sports seasons you have some variety in athletics, but save for the IHS wrestlers who don't have many home meets, it's all hoops all the time.
Once again, as is my custom I guess, I'm shooting hoops in a different way this year. Unlike years past (like the last four or five), I'm not using remote lighting. While it had its benefits, it also had a lot of problems. So this year I'm shooting existing light. Of course this never would have been possible until this year when the lights in the Ilwaco gym were finally updated and changed.

Speaking of hoops, here's one from Kenz' practice the other day. Yeah she got mad hops!
And here's one of Kenz taking a little snooze in my bag at the end of the Ilwaco Holiday tourney couple weeks back. And yeah, she's wearing a vintage Jim Zorn jersey from when I was her age.
And here she is once more, amongst the ornate-ness of the Flavel house porch.


Jan 4, 2011

Where'd we go?

For those of you that have been looking for the blog on the new Observer website, well, its not there anymore (at elast for now) as the new site won't fit the frame of the blog. So until that can be fixed in some way you'll hafta come straight to the source here. Otherwise your search will look something like this...
The road to nowhere (or Astoria) via my blackberry.