I needed to get a little yard work done before the first big storm came in; I backfilled a new wall (losing 2 lbs in the process), worked on the drip system, and mowed and fertilized the lawn. The weather came in on schedule – bringing lots of needed moisture and compacting the fill behind the wall – so I moved inside to pretend to be a studio photographer. It’s October so my lovely bride is getting out the Fall and Halloween decorations. They proved to be worthy subjects for my camera!
A little background – when I was finishing my engineering degree (several decades ago), my lovely bride, Susan, was at home with 2 little boys. Between my working, going to class, and studying, we didn’t have much time for conversation. One of our neighbors in married student housing was a mechanical engineering student and his wife was in the same predicament. Susan and the neighbor wanted to have a night out, so they found a tole painting class. Susan was a natural and became a world renowned tole painter.
For years, our home has been a revolving gallery of her work – the theme changing with the seasons. With the storm in full swing, I set up a little studio and made images of Susan’s work. I hope you enjoy her beautiful art and hope that I did proper justice to her talent. Except where noted, the figures are painted on 1/2″ plywood and the other pieces are cut from 1/4″ pine.
This pair of trick or treaters is painted on 1.5″ thick wood. The Witch is about 7″ tall, and the Pumpkin is about 6″ tall.
This little Witch is 18″ from the bottom of her feet to the top of her hat, and her Ghostly companion is almost 10″ tall. As with all her figures, Susan paints each piece individually and then assembles them.
This beWitching lady stands about 24″ tall.
This lovely little Witch stands about 20″ tall. Her hands are made of 3/4″ pine, and the spider is 1/2″ plywood and 1/4″ pine.
This little Wolfman also stands about 20″ tall.
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a Frankenstein monster, complete with charging posts. He stands about 22″ tall.
This is our candy basket for the trick-or-treaters. The box is about 12″ square and 3″ deep. The welcoming Ghost is about 16″ to the top of the handle, and stands in the center of the box. This was my most challenging image, trying to get it all in focus.
This Witch is about 16″ tall.
I processed this image using different filters and techniques – always exploring!
This Scarecrow guards our kitchen counter from intruders. He’s really good, because no unwanted crows are hanging around in there! He’s about 12″ tall.
And, a little different processing makes a picture showing a different feeling.
Susan also has a fun collection of chenille pumpkins and baskets, helping with that Autumn feeling around the house.
The sign says ‘Pumpkins for sale,’ but don’t believe it. Susan painted the sign as a decoration, not an advertisement.
I experimented with another of Susan’s painted pieces, this Pumpkin, and a lantern. I found the lantern to be very challenging because of the glass door. In many shots, I had unwanted reflections (in several instances, the striped socks I was wearing) blocking the candle. I made this image using multiple exposures and assembled them in Photomatix, then applied filters in Nik Color Efex Pro.
I hope these figures didn’t scare you too badly, but you can understand why it was a little spooky around here this week. I’m just glad I didn’t watch Young Frankenstein, too! Just wait, Christmas is around the corner…
Enjoy – PHOTOROGR