Tag Archives: photos

What I Love About Autumn

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What I Love About Autumn

Hello everyone and welcome to a post in pictures by my favorite It Brit, Dannii, from A Beautiful Thing! Dannii brings so much vibrancy to the blogging world with her fun page that showcases her wonderful travels, fashion, and the most beautiful pink hair you will ever see. She is such a delight and you just have to go check out her page after this post because I, for one, can’t get enough!

What I Love About Autumn

I Love…. Cozy Sweaters

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I Love…. Keeping Warm with a Hot Chocolate

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I Love…. The Leaves Changing Color

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I Love…. Pumpkin Picking

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And I Love…. Halloween

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

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In A Band? Here’s How To Get Some Attention

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In A Band? Here’s How To Get Some Attention

So, you’ve started a band, wrote what you think are some pretty good songs, and practiced until you’re all really tight. You’ve been playing lots of local venues, and it’s gone down well, but you want more; you want a real music career. The first thing you’re going to have to do is get more attention for yourselves. Here are a few sensible steps you should take if you want to propel your band into the spotlight:

Create Your Own Website:

If you have a band, then you should have your own standalone website and you should absolutely take the time to update its content regularly. If you don’t do this, not only will new people not find you, but anyone who has been following you will probably start to lose interest. Your website really does need to stay fresh if you’re to attract as big an audience as possible.

Upload Your Music in New Places:

Chances are, you’ve already uploaded your band’s music somewhere, but if you really want to get more attention, you’re going to have to keep uploading it to as many new platforms as you can, so that it can reach as many people as possible. For example, you could upload indie music on indiesound.com or feature your band on Dozmia.com. You should also be trying to get your music onto more popular platforms such as iTunes so that you can piggyback off recommendations and perhaps pick up more listeners.

Give Radio Stations a Go:

If you’ve recorded your music to a high standard (A professionally recorded promo CD rather than a raw demo, ideally.), then sending it out to various radio stations, both local and national is a good way of potentially getting more exposure. Obviously, just sending your music is no guarantee that your band will be featured, but if it is, you could see more opportunities to play in more places open up for you and that can only be a good thing, so give it a try.

Create a YouTube Channel:

It should go without saying that if you’re looking to promote your band in 2018, you need to have your own YouTube channel because so many now famous musicians have been discovered there. While we’re on the subject of YouTube, you might also want to take the time to comment on other people’s music videos, whether they’re indie like you or major names. Don’t be spammy, but where appropriate mention your own band (perhaps on the videos of bands you sound like), and you will probably get a lot more hits.

Network with Event Organizers:

A good way to get more attention is by playing more high profile gigs, rather than just playing in local clubs and bars where everyone probably knows you already. So, take the time to reach out to event organizers and let them know you’re available. If you stay in touch and build a strong relationship with them, it could pay off big time.

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Partayyyy

 

Talk to Playlist Curators:

Playlist curators on platforms like Youtube can get millions of views, so if you come across one who you think might dig your band’s style, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask them if they would like to include one of your songs. You lose absolutely nothing by asking, and you could gain a lot of attention if they agree.

Start Your Own Podcast/YouTube Channel Review Site:

A strategy that can really pay off if you’re dedicated to it is to move away from relentlessly promoting your band using the hard sell and, instead, set up another platform, whether that be a podcast, YouTube channel, review blog, or anything else, where you talk about music in general. By doing this, you can make a name for yourself as someone who’s passionate/knowledgeable about music and people will start to naturally look to your band. Of course, you’ll be able to slip in the occasional plug, too!

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Flickr Image

 

Send Your CD Somewhere Unexpected:

Although you should send your CD out to various music blogs, magazines, and reviewers, you should also consider sending your disc out to more unexpected places, which are somehow related. For example, if you’ve written your album on the theme of Paris, then sending it out to someone who blogs about the city might get you more exposure than you expected. Or sending a CD on the theme of Buddhism to a publication like Tricycle could prove fruitful. Whatever it is you can think of that will give you an extra and unexpected opportunity to sell your music, do it and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Spend Some Money:

If you’re a bunch of struggling musicians, it’s understandable that you might not want to spend any money on advertising, but considering the fact that you can advertise on platforms like Facebook and Dozmia for as little as ten dollars, it makes sense to give it a go. The increased exposure you’ll get from it might actually make you some money in the long-term.

Take Promo Photos:

Another area where you might want to spend a bit more money is in the promo photo department. A few great shots of your band in various poses can make all of the difference between someone giving you a chance and listening to your music, and them ignoring you completely. Now, which is your best side?

Whether you’re looking to boost your fan base by enough that you can make a little money doing what you love or you want to make it big, doing any and all of the above is a great place to start. At the very least, you will gain more attention, which is what you will need to do if you want to convince more people to give you a shot. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Perfect Gifts For Your Photographer Friend

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Perfect Gifts For Your Photographer Friend

Due to how Christmas has developed over the years, the holiday has become more about giving presents than anything else. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – you can easily show how much someone means to you with a thoughtful and meaningful gift. You don’t have to spend millions; a smaller budget can actually make you think more about the meaning behind the gift that you’re giving.

It’s also a great opportunity to slyly slip forward your wish list for gifts that you hope will turn into reality. And for people with slightly more expensive hobbies, like photography, it can be a rare chance to get something you really really really want. Like some of the following:

Lens:

A lens can cost anywhere between fifty and five hundred dollars easily. And it really depends on the camera you have, the quality of the lens you want, and the type of lens you’re after. If you ask for a lens, maybe ask for a case for one, too. You wouldn’t want any breaks to happen immediately after you get your gift!

Cases:

Speaking of cases, a new case could really change the game for you. You might need a waterproof one, and that might just be for the camera while in use or for storage. You can get a branded case, which is designed to fit your particular camera or a generic one which is designed to house a range of sizes.

Tripods:

Ranging from large and traditional to small and versatile, a tripod is a great way to take your photography to the next level. Plus, they aren’t that expensive. Most tripods can fit a bunch of different cameras, so you don’t have to get the branded one. If you’re going to be shooting off in the wild, you might want to look a bit deeper into the specs before choosing.

Camera:

And then, there’s an actual camera. We all know how costly a good camera can be, and it’s likely that you’ve been saving for a while so you can get one yourself. Rather than asking one person to get you one this Christmas, why not ask it of multiple people? It will spread the cost, and it’ll be more likely that you can get the one you’d really like. Or you can always offer to go halfsies.

When looking for the camera you’d like, don’t just go for the flashiest model. Think about what you actually want the camera to do. Are you shooting outside or in? Will you be using a tripod more than going free hand? Do you need the best low light camera or the best portrait camera? Or even one that’s decent at doing both? There are many things to consider, and if you’re just starting out, it’s worth getting one that covers a lot of different options. As your skills develop, you’ll know exactly what kind you need when you get around to upgrading. Maybe next Christmas?

Featured Image By: Pexels

Have Some Pictures! AnkhorRed’s First Annual Bloggers Conference Edition

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Have Some Pictures! AnkhorRed’s First Annual Bloggers Conference Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to some photo spam of yours truly compliments of my trip to Manhattan, New York for AnkhorRed’s Bloggers Conference with Kate from Ankhor You. I have to admit, I am usually not one for taking pictures. I was once before, but not so much anymore. We can blame that on my self esteem that seems to dwindle lower every day. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THAT, because I can finally shower you guys with all of the pics of me and we’ll call it square for the next year or so. Cool? Cool! Take a look:

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^^^ Special thanks to my expert iPhone photographer, Kate, for taking such lovely pictures!!! ❤

Where have you traveled to this year? Which locations are on your travel bucket list? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Eastern State Penitentiary

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Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Eastern State Penitentiary

Hello one and all and happy Friday! This is the second to last post of my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series compliments of Les, who you might recognize as the author and photographer behind the post about Dreamland Park on my page. Once again, you can check out more of Les’s work at Photojournal Of Corker2. Now, sit back and enjoy his tale of a spooky tour through the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary:

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Eastern State Penitentiary

The Eastern State Penitentiary, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the older prisons in the state. Built in the early 1900’s, it was made to keep prisoners in solitary confinement to reflect on the law breaking deed that they had committed. Each prisoner was kept in a single cell and locked up for twenty-three hours a day. There was no running water, no air conditioning, no books to read, nothing at all! There are four cell blocks, with each one consisting of two levels of eight feet long by six feet wide cells with no windows to let light in.
The Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) has been known to be haunted for many years. Featured on Ghost Hunters, the film crew stayed there and caught some very strange things. There have been documented reports of voices from nowhere and ghostly figures that have no explanation at all.
I had been informed of this disturbing place, so I thought I’d give it a visit. The penitentiary is huge. I was allowed to walk through the entire prison with my camera in tow. It was also quite hot that day, with temperatures up in the high 90’s. I could only imagine what it must have been like to be locked up there for so many years. The famous gangster, Al Capone, was also an inmate at this prison for a number of years. He had his own fancy cell, not like all of the others. It was much better. It had a desk, furniture, table lamps, and a bed. The story goes that he was haunted in his cell by one of the men that he killed in the St. Valentines Day Massacre, even though he was not there when it happened. On a few occasions, Al Capone, would be screaming “Leave me alone!” in his cell and there was no one there.
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Here, we are looking down one of the four cell blocks in the prison. Each cell had a sliding metal door that you could not see out of. No talking was allowed back in the early days. The door at the far end leads to the outside. There are twelve cells on each side of the block.

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Here is Cell Block C. It is pretty much the same set up as all of the other blocks. It was here that I had a rather strange happening, which I can’t explain.

The ESP has had a reputation of electronic equipment not working right for one reason or another. Batteries fail or the camera just doesn’t work. With this in mind, I made sure that my camera was in excellent working order before I left for my visit. While walking around in the cell blocks, I had taken a number of images and my Pentax K100D was working just fine. Nothing was wrong and the pictures came out great.
Then, I entered Cell Block C and decided to shoot the picture that you see above. For some reason, I pressed the shutter and nothing happened. Weird. So I tried it again.  Nothing. Looked at the camera settings and they were all okay. Tried again. Nothing!  What the heck? So, I went down the block to the open door, stepped outside and pressed the shutter again. Worked just fine! I stood there for a few seconds and wondered why it worked out there but not inside. I gathered my bearings and decided to try one more time. I walked back to where I was before, focused on the shot, and pressed the button.  It worked! Now, what went wrong? Nothing that I could tell.

With that, I finished my tour and took a few more pictures with no problem. It was getting unbearably hot and I was eager to get into the air conditioning of my car. On the way back home, I was thinking of what could have gone wrong. The only thing that I could come up with was that a spirit from the past interfered with the camera in some way. Did it? I will never know.
The Eastern State Penitentiary has ghost hunts during the evening hours that you can sign up for and pay a small fee. If you want to learn more, just type in “Eastern State Penitentiary” and a complete story of this place will show up.
^^^ Thank you so much to Les for relaying his story of stepping foot into the Eastern State Penitentiary for an eerie tour through the past. Glad you made it out alive to tell the tale! Are there any “haunted” locations in your area? What is something that scares you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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

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