Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Well, I did it. I splurged all of my savings on a Canon Digital Rebel! At first I was very frustrated with it, it's a lot more complex than my Canon A40 point-and-shoot. After spending some time with it, I am discovering that I can do a lot of cool things with it.

Thanks Kim and Beth for your web hosting suggestions. I actually was able to get around it really cheap. I already had a free account set up at mysitespace.com and I just paid $12.95 for a domain name that is routed to my free account. It's all I really needed for right now. I'll need something a bit more complex if I should start selling my photos on my own.

So, I spent a good portion of my day designing my website, SnappyStock.com. It was really hard to choose a name since every good one that I came up with was taken, I choose SnappyStock since I thought it was catchy and Snappy is like a combination of "snap happy" (which I am!) and stock is for the type of photography that I sell. I am pretty much happy with the design itself. I am not a big fan of web designing. I find it very frustrating. I do understand small bit of HTML but I rely heavily on FrontPage to get most of it done. If you get a chance, take a peek and let me know what you think. (or, if you see any bugs!)

Posted by Sharon     Return to Sharon's Cyber Scrapbook

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Ghost Stories

If any of you have ever read my ghost page, then you know that I am a believer in the supernatural. I love a good ghost story and I also love to capture what could be ghosts on film. It's only happened to me once. I have also had an orb appear beside me in a picture. The ghost picture that I took at my grandmother's house was not an orb, it's some type of orange figure. On our revisit to her old house last year, my mother and father both got a lot of orbs on their pictures. One had a digital camera and one had a film camera. For some odd reason, nothing turned up on my film at that time. I have since read up a bit on orbs. It seems that they very commonly show up in people's photographs. I have also read that orbs can be easily created by spraying a water bottle and snapping a photo with your flash on. I tried it, and it works. However, when you use a spray bottle, you end up with tons of orbs. Not just one or two. There are other explainations for what they could be, but I happen to believe that they can sometimes be related to the supernatural.

The reason that I bring this old favorite topic of mine up today is because I recently took a picture of my husband playing with our friend's son. A very noticeable orb showed up in the picture. To be honest, I didn't consider it to be supernatural at first. I just kind of wondered to myself what could have created this orb in my picture. Well, just today I read our friend's blogger and learned that they have been having some ghostly activity in their house! (the things that you learn about your friends through their blogs!) I immediately thought of the picture and sent it off to her. She was quite freaked out by it since her son is always speaking of a "friend" whom they cannot see. Here is the picture, I have a green arrow pointing to the orb and the second photo is the orb cropped from the photo.

Pretty crazy stuff!


Web Hosting & Domain Names

I need some help! Soon, I am going to be starting a new website to promote my photography business. I have been browsing around for the best prices on web hosting and domain names. It seems that prices can range from a couple of dollars to a ton of money. I don't need much web space right now, so I am mostly interested in the domain name and a small amount of web space. If you have a website and a domain name, please leave me comments as to who you are using, if they are reliable and if you like using them. I'm just afraid to pick one of these companies out of the blue incase they should shut down the next day! Thanks!

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Thursday, October 16, 2003
Blue Mist Road

A friend of mine invited us to go on a haunted castle tour in the local area. Unfortunately, we are not available that night, but I decided to surf the web to find more information about it. I haven't heard of too many famous haunted places in this area, at least not as many as Beth finds in her area... But I was surprised when I found this link to several local haunted locations and the first one to appear was Blue Mist Road. This brought back quite a memory for me and I thought that it would be a good story to share here.

It was a long time ago, I was a mere 18 years old. I was out with my friend Chris, her sister Amy and her cousin Margaret. Chris was driving and we just out cruising, not really having anywhere to go. We were in the area of Blue Mist Road which was also referred to as Devils Road. There were all kinds of silly stories that Satanists lived in the woods on this road and that there was a hanging tree that you could pull under and honk your horn three times and your car would die. You know, the silly urban legend type of stuff. It was a creepy road due to the fact that there were no street lights or houses and not much pavement if I remember correctly. I suggested to Chris that we drive down that road, just for the fun of it. It was still light out, so there was no reason to be scared. So she obliged. Everything was all fine and dandy until I suggested that she make a left turn up a dirt road. It looked like it may lead to somewhere. (mind you, we are surrounded by nothing but woods at this time) As she goes up this small hill, we realize that there is a gate blocking the road so we cannot go any further. She puts the car in reverse and backs up right into a ditch!!! It was in the middle of fall and the ditch was filled with mud and wet leaves. There was nothing that we could do to get the car out and nobody travels on this road! And of course this was many years ago, we had no cell phone!

After a few minutes of feeling quite panic stricken, we decided that we had to split up and two of us stay at the car and the other two just walk and walk until we find some type of civilization. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it was late evening at this point and the sun was well on it way down! We decided that Chris and Margaret (who was only 10 at the time - poor girl probably goes to therapy today because of this!) would stay at the car while Amy and I go walking. We had no flashlight, however Amy had this little compact with a tiny little light in it. We used that to try to help us find our way around. We clutched on to each other's arm as we started walking aimlessly through these scary woods. It was quite dark at this point and we even both swore we heard gun shots in the distance at one point. I'm not sure how long we actually walked before we ended up on a residential street. But when we did, we weren't sure what approach to take. We saw a house with a statue of the blessed mother in the lawn and decided to pick that one. We knocked on the door and this little old lady answered. I felt really bad doing this because I would be freaked out if two strangers knocked on my door late at night. I explained to her our situation and I asked if she knew where the closest gas station may be so that we could call AAA. (I just didn't feel right asking if we could come in and use her phone) After looking us over briefly, she invited us in to use her telephone. I still felt really bad at this point for barging in on this poor lady. I called AAA and they were on their way to get us from this lady's house. While we were waiting we started chatting with her. As it turns out, her husband recently passed away. She seemed quite lonely and I think she was enjoying our company. As we talked further, my mind was blown at what a small world this really is! We told her where we were from (which was a good 25 minutes from her house) and she said that she lived there briefly too! When I started telling her about who my family members were, she informed me that she had known my grandfather years ago!! I was astounded. Here we are, a half an hour away from home, we pick a house out of the blue and the owner knew my grandfather!!

Not too long after, AAA showed up with their tow truck. He took us back to the road where the car was stuck and another amazing thing had happened...a tow truck that just happened to be driving down Blue Mist Road saw Chris, Margaret and the car. He pulled it out of the ditch. So the AAA guy dropped us of and we all went home amazed at how the night unfolded!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
How My Photos Are Used

I have been selling my photos on iStockPhoto.com for less than a year. So far, there have been over 2800 downloads of the various pictures that I have in my portfolio. I can count on one hand how many times I have had the opportunity to see how my photos have been used. Since iStock added a Designer Spotlight section to their website, I occasionally get to see how one or two of my photos are being used. Today was the first time in a long time that I got to see one in action. It's quite interesting what the designer did. He and his wife are expecting a baby, so he used my Baby Blues photo to create an interesting pregnancy announcement. (BTW, the expectant parents last name is Storm) Here's the iStockphoto link to see the details about the design, and here's the design itself:

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Monday, October 06, 2003
Amazing Baby

My 20 month-old daughter just amazes me. I guess I really don't know what to expect from each stage of her life as far as development, so when she does something new, it just blows me away! We read tons and tons of books, so I think she picks up a lot from them. We will sit for an hour on occasion reading books. She loves them that much.

We've been going over the ABC's and 123's a lot lately. She started counting 1 to 10 with me and on occasion she would jump a number ahead. Well, yesterday when we were at my in-law's house I wanted to show them how she would say 1 through 10. After I told her to say 1 she just took off and counted all the way to 10 by herself!!! Everyone was amazed that she just did that, including myself! She will also do that with parts of the alphabet. Another thing that she started to do is draw really small things. She holds her pen or crayon just like an adult does. I don't even think that I showed her how to do that. She will make these tiny little scribbles. It's so funny to watch her do that because she looks like she is concentrating so hard.

We've also put a lot of stress on politeness with her. Teaching her "please" and "thank you". We have also taught her "no thank you" as well. Which lightens the load when she tells you no when you want her to do something. Instead of her yelling "NO" when you want her to do something, she'll say, "no thank you, mama." It's too cute!

I just love being a mom. This stage of her life is so incredible. I love watching her develop and grow. It makes me so proud when I see her do something new. She doesn't realize that with every new thing that she does the more she makes her parents feel like their not doing such a bad job! :)

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Friday, October 03, 2003
To Splurge Or Not To Splurge

I have had my eye on a digital SLR camera for a while now. The problem is that it costs $1499. I decided to start saving my money for it and when I had more than enough, I would seriously consider buying it. Well, since then, Canon came out with the Digital Rebel! It's available for around $899 and it has the same amount of megapixels...6.3. I'm not sure what to do, because at this point, I have saved enough to buy it, right now! But the problem is parting with that kind of money! (Yes, I am a cheapskate, I admit it) I should have another check coming from iStockphoto.com in a month or so to help replenish my savings.

Right now, I am working with a 2 megapixel Canon Powershot A40 and it takes awesome pictures. But as far as selling them, I can only provide a 4 X 6 at 300 dpi. People still buy them though. I just imagine that I could sell a lot more with the bigger quality. Not to mention that the Digital Rebel can take all of the lenses that I have for my 35mm Rebel.

My other fear is that all of the serious hobbyists and advanced amateurs out there that were debating on going digital are going to pounce on the Digital Rebel and when I finally reach in my pocket to buy one, they will be sold out.

Hmmm...what to do? What to do?

Posted by Sharon     Return to Sharon's Cyber Scrapbook

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