Category Archives: Photography

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Dreamland Park

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Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Dreamland Park
Hi everyone and happy Monday! This special post in my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series is brought to you by my friend, Les, over at PhotoJournal Of Corker2. This is actually one of my favorite posts that has graced my page in a long while, because I am a horror junkie. I love the literature, the films, the haunted attractions and, of course, a good old fashioned ghost story. Obviously, this guest post is right up my alley and I can’t thank Les enough for it. Take a look and don’t get too scared! 😉

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Dreamland Park

Back in the middle 60’s there was a place called Dreamland Park. It was located not far from me on a two lane back country road. This small amusement park was once the place to be on a Friday and Saturday night. It was not a very big park, but at the time it offered what us kids wanted. It had a main building where you could play bingo and pinball machines. It also had a jukebox to dance to and a picnic area. There was a Band Shell, a Ferris Wheel, and a French Fry Stand where you could buy hot dogs, hamburgers, and candy. It was a nice place for that time. Since I was only there once, I still remember it.
The place was doing quite well. Then, sometime in 1969, a murder took place there and it was never the same again. The story goes, that one evening a couple was up on Skyline Drive, a popular “parking” area that overlooked the city up on top of Neversink Mountain. They were a teenage couple, like most of us. I forget the guy’s name, but the girl was Marilyn. While parked up there, three members of the Pagan Motorcycle Gang stopped at the parked car and started abusing the couple. They took them for a ride around the countryside, traveling the back roads during which time they raped, beat the girl, and then shot her. They beat the boy unconscious and then shot him, too. The Gang ended up in Dreamland Park where they buried both of them in a shallow grave and covered it with leaves.
In the days that followed, the law found out who committed such an atrocious act, and all three were arrested for first degree murder and then sentenced to jail for I don’t know how long. They did recover the bodies of the two teenagers and gave them a proper burial. The name of one member of the Pagan Gang was John Elways. The other two I don’t recall.
After all of this happened, the park gradually started to decline. Profits fell and sometime later, Dreamland Park closed for good, never to reopen again.
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Pictured above is all that remains of the French Fry Stand.

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This is what is left of the main building. It was around here that I had a strange encounter. Notice the small “white” area where my watermark is placed. It’s not the camera. What is that? I could not get rid of it.

What used to be the Carousel Building.

Here stands what used to be the carousel building. For 25 cents you could ride the carousel and try to catch the magic golden ring. Now gone to history, all that remains is the outside frame. It was just behind this, that the couple was found.

Now, fast forward to present time.
I had almost forgotten about Dreamland Park until I got word of it from a friend that told me it was haunted. I decided to take my camera and go check it out. I was not told that it was now private property, so I just went right in and started walking around. I could still remember what and where things were from long ago.
The weather was in the high 50s, but sunny. No one was here, except for me and my Pentax K100D. There was a slight breeze that moved the bushes and trees, but the chill was far from unbearable. While walking through the slicker bushes, weeds, and small trees, I started to get this feeling that someone or something was behind me. I must have turned around at least six times, thinking that I was being watched. I didn’t feel threatened. It was more of a “creepy” feeling that’s hard to describe. Still, there was no one there.
I kept walking around and stopping here and there to see if anyone was “lurking” around. Nothing. After about an hour, I decided to take my exit from Dreamland Park.
To this day, I still wonder if “something” was there. Was it the ghosts of the murdered couple? Was it just my imagination? I don’t know. I have not gone back to Dreamland Park since then. By now, there is not much left of what once was. There is also a book out about what happened there called Dark In The Park. It probably gives a much better description of what went on, if you are interested.
^^^ Wasn’t that fantastic?! Once again, a million thanks to the man behind the camera who shared his pictures and story with us. Les runs an excellent blog and I can’t recommend it enough, so do check it out! Are there any haunted attractions in your neck of the woods? What is something that you’re afraid of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
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Spur Your Creativity With A Photography Hobby: Here’s How

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Spur Your Creativity With A Photography Hobby: Here’s How

In an effort to become a more wholesome and interesting person in the world around you, it’s likely that you’ll find the need to be creative as high on the list of new things to try. One of the most popular and easy to begin methods of doing so is to pick up a photography hobby. This is a discipline that is totally easy to begin, but incredibly difficult to master. What’s more is that because the art is so subjective in terms of what makes a good photograph, that learning more can be difficult and frustrating. But much like creative disciplines, such as writing, there is a “good” and a “bad” way to go about your practice. If you wish to write but can’t write in a way in which the people around you can interpret it, your years as a professional writer are likely numbered, if not nonexistent.

Luckily, there does exist solid methods for overcoming these difficulties relating to photography. Remember, beginning a creative discipline never demands that you are a master of the art. It simply demands that you try, keep pushing your comfort zone, and also attempt things that help you feel happy and sustained within the hobby. Because if you can’t do that, then why bother picking it up in the first place? The following tips will help you continue your newly found passion with a sense of interest and progression:

Anyone Can Start: Many people think that in order to begin photography you need to make a huge financial investment in the equipment. This is simply not true. Smartphones these days often have cameras capable of taking pictures in 4K and also come loaded with compositional lenses built into the software of the camera.

Of course, this is no substitute to a quality SLR camera with actual lenses, but it can help you start and get an idea for framing well. Taking pictures, no matter the device which is used is more of a matter of personal taste and ambition than what lenses you use. The effect is all that matters. It’s unlikely that while attending a photography gallery you’ll hear people complimenting the use of lenses. It’s usually the achieved effect which is the most important, so don’t feel stifled by a lack of equipment just yet, especially in the early days.

Study Skilled Photographers: Skilled photographers are a dime a dozen, so it’s worth looking at people who have managed to make it their career or working passion. For example, artists such as Peter Lik have crafted an interesting niche for themselves by taking stunning landscape photography, selling his work for millions. It’s important to understand just how great and motivational this can be. You should never be in photography for the profit motive, as you’re likely to be disappointed until you can truly call yourself a master of the craft. However, seeing the best examples around can help you feel inspired to truly dare to take the best shots awaiting you. See your life through the lens as these folks do, and you may even train your eye to take in the world around you much more perceptively.

A budding photographer worthy of fame and recognition may wait inside of you. But you’ll only know if you’re willing to practice and fail. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Selfie Secrets

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Selfie Secrets
Hi everyone and TGIF! The day that selfies became a thing was the day that the internet changed forever. I bet you any money that you can’t scroll down the newsfeed of any of your preferred social media mediums without seeing at least one selfie in the process. And taking selfies? It’s a process. The selfie: AKA taking twenty minimum one hundred max pictures that, for all intensive purposes, look exactly the same yet so SO remarkably different.
Everyone has had those days when they’re really feeling themselves (ayyy!) but can’t take a good selfie to save their lives (booo!). It’s cruel and unusual and I’m just not going to stand for it. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of pro tips to keep your selfie game on point. No more bad selfie days for all!

Selfie Secrets

1) Find The Light: Okay, yeah I know I sound like Tyra Banks circa ANTM cycles 1-1 million but it’s so true. Half of the selfie struggle is finding good lighting and using it appropriately. That’s why I prefer to take a majority of my selfies outside or in a room where a lot of sunlight filters in.
So you’ve found the light – but are you really finding it? Lol, that sounds like some fake psychology mumbo jumbo but it’s a legitimate question. Finding the light isn’t just about taking a picture in good lighting. It’s more about angling your face so that the sunlight is smacking you right on your cheeks. While you’re having a selfie photo shoot, move your face in small motions until the lighting is just right (And I promise that you will know when that is.), and snap away you selfie queen.
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2) Chin Up: I can guarantee that a majority of the selfies that people take are deleted due to the illusion of a double chin. No one likes double chins. Okay, some people probably do. But, for the most part, a double chin is a major selfie faux pas. A killer selfie is all about the long, pretty neck, which can be easily achieved if you tilt your chin slightly upwards when you’re taking pictures. It’s going to feel unnatural, but your double chin days will be a thing of the past when you’re showing off your swan neck. Now, remember, chin up, shoulders back, and WERK. 
3) Smize: Okay, yeah I know I sound like Tyra Banks circa ANTM cycles 1-1 million but it’s so true. Dead eyes are a selfie no no. So, I want you to do an exercise with me. Go to the mirror and take a good hard look at yourself. Now, think about something happy and slightly sexy for that perfect “I have a secret” look in your eyes. A day in bed with Johnny Depp, perhaps? Hello! You should notice a visible difference in your face thanks to the newly found alertness and mischievous twinkle in your eyes. Thank you, Johnny Depp day dream!
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4) Quirky Cool: All selfies look the same. No matter who you are, from a super model to your average blogger (like me). It’s literally a picture of the camera on the flipped mode taking a shot of your mug. Cool. Now it’s up to you to make your pic unique so you don’t look like everyone else. When selfies first made their internet debut, a normal picture was just fine. But, now, standard selfies just don’t cut it anymore and absolutely nothing is worse than snapping a selfie only to have it be lost in the void of social media because it didn’t stand out.

Nowadays, selfies are more about fashion, quirk, and unlikely scenarios. Throw on a sassy Panama hat, tilt your sunglasses down your nose, and work like your life depends on it. And, bear in mind, that cool backgrounds are a must. What makes a background cool, you might ask? It literally could be anything – you just have to sell it. Take a selfie in front of a garbage can, label it with #ME, and watch the likes pour in. Be silly, be serious, be anything that you want, but for the love of all that is holy – be DIFFERENT.

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^^^ Being on top of the world is a pretty sweet background!

5) Give Me Face: Every selfie star has those little quirks that they do when they’re taking pics. Whether it be laughing out loud or giving duck face for days, find what expression works for your face and own it. I, personally, love an angular look. When I snap pictures I bite down on my jaw to give a more defined line. I also slightly suck in my cheeks to give the illusion of cheek bones to cut glass – but shh don’t tell! It’s a selfie secret! 😉
If you’re not keen on edgy cool but love a boho glow, inhale when the camera snaps for a “you just caught me picking flowers from the forbidden garden” face. Sounds silly? It is. But once you find that little quirk that works for you, your selfie game is about to change infinitely. Now, give me face, mother!
With these pro tips compliments of Lil Red, your next selfies are going to be so Instagram worthy that you’re not even going to be able to handle it. Just imagine what your followers are going to think! I taught you how to give face, but now, let Aura Frames teach you some tech savvy ways to up your selfie game even more in this infographic. Snap some gorgeous pics and snag yourself one of Aura Frame’s Digital Picture Frames for the perfect gift for your SO/parent/sister/friend or anyone else that likes looking at you!

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What are your tips and tricks for taking the perfect selfie? What is your preferred form of social media? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bonus Tip: Always, ALWAYS include dogs in your selfies if you can!! My featured image photo can attest to that! 😉 ❤

Backyard Beauty

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Backyard Beauty

Hello everyone and happy Thursday!! As you all know, I don’t care for summer in the slightest. And by that I mean that I friggen hate it. But the one thing that I actually do like about it (Other than my birthday!), is my glorious backyard. Saying that my beloved father has a green thumb is a severe understatement. Over the years, he has nurtured our back as well as front yards into an outdoor garden fit for a king. This year’s bounty has been particularly beautiful and I just had to share some pictures with all of you. It brightens my day whenever I see the fruits of my dad’s hard work and I’m sure that all of the lovely flowers seen below will do the same for you!

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What are your likes and dislikes about summer? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Lessons Every New Photographer Will Learn In Time

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3 Lessons Every New Photographer Will Learn In Time

Photography is a hobby that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Most people enter the world of photography as a fun side activity, but quickly begin to get immersed once they realize the creative potential and open-to-interpretation nature of partaking in said hobby.

With so many beautiful photo editing sites available on the market, and a seemingly endless amount of interesting events, people, and places to photograph, the only difficulty you’ll have from the day you pick up a camera is ‘shutter anxiety’. Shutter anxiety is best defined as wanting to photograph everything you come across but realizing that 5000 pictures might be hard to organize afterwards. It happens to the best of us.

Photography is a brilliant hobby because if you begin by using the right Sony camera, it will train you to see the world in your daily life. The smallest details will present themselves to you with wonder, and you’ll notice that your creative ability is bolstered throughout other means of expression, too. Drawing or painting a landscape is a beautiful feat when you have countless hours photographing nature packed away in the back of your memories.

Photography trains people for the better. If you’re looking to potentially delve into picking up photography as a hobby, you might not understand how it will change you. For the most part, you can expect:

An Appreciation For The Environment: While traversing the plains, exploring abandoned buildings, climbing sky-high towers to witness beautiful skylines, or simply private events that usually go unnoticed, you’ll develop a much keener eye to observe the gorgeous world around you. Not only that, but you’ll become proactive within it, always considering what visual beauty can be captured around the next corner.

It’s rare for a hobby to help instill in you a sense of adventure, but photography can do that to no end. In fact, comically, it can work to your detriment. When out with a friend, you might insist on taking the road less traveled to get to your destination, and this is something a non-photographer might not understand as easily. However, they surely will once you show them the final photo results.

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Click!

You’ll Develop Perfectionist Tendencies: Photography is an art that demands a creative touch. You don’t need to adhere to the ‘tried and tested’ methods of composing shots well, such as using the rule of thirds or figuring out where the light travels to best guide the eye of a future viewer. However, perfectionist tendencies do develop after a period of photographing. You might find yourself waiting until 2 AM to catch that perfect shade of moonlight over a town statue that you respect. This can bleed over into all aspects of your life. Your creativity will certainly be boosted as well as your attention to detail.

Your Digital Media Fluency Will Increase: To best develop photographs in the modern day, using an SLR camera will require that you have some form of electronic storage capacity. To upload the photos, using apps like Instagram might work well for you, but you’ll need to learn how to correctly size and maybe edit the photo in a program like Photoshop or Gimp to best squeeze the most value out of every snap you take.

No matter who you are, no one will look at the world in the same way as you. Photography is a natural extension of your worldview and it’s up to you to get out there and capture it.

Featured Image By: Flickr

How Randomness Can Add Creativity To Your Photography

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In many ways, the high technology of the modern world spoils us, especially when it comes to photography. Thanks to computers and Photoshop, there is more scope than ever before to be creative and to be expressive in photos. There are all sorts of techniques that can be used and many of them can help to make your work look more artistic and creative. Here are some fun camera hacks to help you add randomness and creativity to your work:

Move The Camera: Most professional photography courses emphasize the importance of keeping the camera as still as possible. The reason for this is to preserve things like lines and sharp edges and to prevent the photo from looking blurred. But sometimes you actually want to blur to convey a sense of motion to the image you’re snapping.

There are several popular ways of using the motion of the camera to take a better shot. “Panning”, for example, is a technique used most frequently in sports when following a target, like a horse, from one side of the field of view to the other. Another technique is “rotation” where the camera takes a photograph mid-whirls. Finally, there is camera throwing, where you literally throw the camera to take the shot. (With this one, you might want to prepare an area where the camera can land softly!).

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The camera was not thrown for this picture!

Creative Focusing: You don’t need a full-blown DSLR to play around with focus. Some of the best bridge cameras in 2017 also come with options that allow users to focus either slightly in front or slightly behind the subject. The purpose of doing this is usually to pick out some other element of the photograph to focus on, leaving the rest of the image blurred. With the right foreground and background colors, this sort of technique can create intrigue and mystery.

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I’m intrigued 😉

Zoom & Shoot: Another way to use your camera is to zoom in while you shoot. This has the effect of making the outer edge of the image blurred while keeping the subject in the center in focus. Zooming while shooting makes it appear as if the whole image is sort of popping out at you. It’s also possible to combine zoom with a slow sync flash, which can produce some pretty spectacular results.

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Flickr Image

Shoot From Below: Top professional photographers have been using low-angle shots for decades to evoke a sense of scale. It turns out that the technique is extremely useful. Even regular sized objects take on whole new personalities when shot from below. What’s more, shooting from below is interesting for viewers. In our daily lives, we rarely see things from a mouse-eye view, and so when we do, it’s engaging if nothing else.

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Holy moly!

Use Over Exposure: Another thing photography school warns about is overexposing your shots. But doing it in the right setting, especially when an image contains dazzling colors, can be really effective. If you bump up the exposure setting on your camera, sometimes you can generate beautiful effects with foreground objects contrasting nicely with the burnt out background of the scene.

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Pretty!

Whether your passion lies in front of or behind the camera, learning the proper techniques can only benefit you in your line of work!

New Graduation Pic!

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New Graduation Pic!

Heyy everyone and happy Thursday! Yesterday evening the professional photographers from my graduation uploaded the shots that they took for purchasing. I was feeling really nervous that there wouldn’t be any pictures that I liked because, unfortunately, I hated all of the pictures of me that my brother took! Luckily, there was one totally perf picture in the bunch that didn’t feature a weird walking across the stage angle or a (Yikes!) double chin!!

Instead of purchasing a photo package of the pic which was super costly, my parents and I decided to buy a digital download of the image so that we could print it out however we want. This picture was taken right before I walked across the stage and I freaking love it! Take a look:

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Aw!! :*)

Even though we had to shell out the moolah to get this picture, it was so worth it, considering there wasn’t a picture taken that I deemed worthy enough to print out and frame. I love how this pic shows off the stole and honor chord so nicely and I really like the background, too! GREAT SUCCESS!!

I hope all of you have a fab day and I will talk to all of you soon! Who is ready for the holidays? Does anyone have any last minute shopping to finish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah