The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles
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Sun, Sep. 8, 2002 - My New Office
Well you haven't heard from me lately for several reasons. First, I'm still working on the gallery, more on that later. Second, Grandma has been visiting with us the last week. I should have taken pictures during her visit, but the camera has been at the gallery, and I keep forgetting to take it home with me. Third, school started, and my EMT class takes up two nights a week. (I promise to follow my scope of practice, and should I save someone's life, I won't be making up any stories for my family about a parade.)
So what's happened since you last visited? Lots!
Labor Day weekend Lori and I drove up to Seattle to pick up a fainting couch for the studio. We stopped to see Grandma on the way up, then stayed with the Hoopers one night, returned to Grandma's, picked her up and brought her with us. Got back to Ferndale on Monday. Tuesday Grandma helped sell posters in the shop while Lori was at school, then we played pinochle (of course!). Wednesday I worked and then went to school, saw Lori and Grandma for about 15 minutes while I scarfed down my dinner. I don't know what they did all day. Thursday, I went to work, then to the Fireman's dinner where I was voted in as an official member of the department. Got a shirt with a real badge even. Some day I'll have to post some pictures of me wearing the uniform and the turnouts. Friday night, we all went to see the play, "How to Eat Like a Child", at the Ferndale Rep. Very funny, and several of the kids were very good singers. I was quite impressed. Saturday I moved my office furniture into my new office space. Then Lori and I went out to dinner with Company #1 of the fire department. Lori was sitting in the right spot and won a gift certificate for Ivanhoe's. Then today we went on a tour of the old Methodist Church, the parsonage house, their carriage house and their gardens. The church was pretty cool with its original tin ceiling that was made in Italy. There are quite a few hidden gems in Ferndale, and this week I got a peek at another one, the old Oddfellows hall. Both the church and the hall have been converted into very unique residences. Lori and Grandma are now on their way back to Oregon, and I'm here typing this at my desk which now resides in my new office which you can see in today's picture. Sorry about the picture, pretty embarrasing for a professional photographer, but most of my equipment is still at the house, so I took this with the built in flash which doesn't work all that great. I still have a bit more painting to do in the gallery side, but once it is done, I promise to take a really nice panoramic picture that you can compare to the before picture.
Mon, Sep. 9, 2002 - Moving In
I hated yesterday's picture so much that as soon as I located my wide angle lense in the boxes of stuff I brought over, I took another one. I still need to paint the wall on the left, but the rest of it is pretty much completed. The tops of the counters will be stained dark to match the trim.
Tue, Sep. 10, 2002 - The Poster
I received several inquiries on what poster Grandma was selling. For Ferndale's Sesquicentennial celebration I had a poster of one of my Ferndale photos printed. I wanted to have something to sell that weekend. I still have the poster in the window, and I would be making more money if I could charge each person a penny a second for staring at it. Unfortunately, the gallery still looks empty so very few venture in. I'm learning a lot about the psychology and importance of window dressing though.
Mon, Sep. 16, 2002 - Jessica's First Day
Today was Jessica's first day as my employee, also meaning that this was the first day I was boss. Some of the perks of being boss are that new employees bring you a Moo Bar. (Yum, Yum) Jessica's first day was mostly spent cleaning up the mess I made in the studio and gallery last weekend while making the box that you see in the right of the picture. Actually, you don't see it because it is covered up with black velvet. The box isn't finished yet, but I really needed to get something in the window so it will do for now. We also started hanging some of my pictures on the walls, so it finally looks like a gallery.
Tue, Sep. 17, 2002 - It's a Gallery!
Still more pictures were hung today, but I need more. It is fun though having this much room to display my work. The plant in the foreground was brought over by the folks at Ferndale Meat Company to welcome us to the neighborhood. Tomorrow we'll be dressing a couple of mannequins to help lure some more people into the gallery.
Wed, Sep. 18, 2002 - First Shoot
We still have more work to do in the studio, and we're still waiting for the new lights to arrive, but I had this dress on loan so Jessica and I took the studio through a trial run. I wanted to work with doing what's called a high key photo (mostly light tones) and that's one thing that having the studio makes a lot easier. Using a roll of 10' wide paper for the background, the lights are shining mostly on the paper, and then the white walls of the studio are used to reflect soft light on the model. Pretty common technique for catalog shots, but also very useful for portraits. It was so much easier doing this in the studio rather than our living room. I'm really looking forward to the great possibilities that having a studio will afford.
Thu, Sep. 19, 2002 - Burnin' Down the House
Tonight for our monthly drill, the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department had a practice burn on a small dilapidated house. This was my first experience being inside a burning building (and hopefully all future experiences will be on the fire fighting side, not as a victim). By luck, I was the first one to go in with a hose and my backup guy. It was a very different experience than I expected, mainly due to total lack of visibility. To make it a slower burn, the building wasn't vented, so it was dark to begin with, and then the amount of smoke made it even worse. The smoke also clings to your visor and mask, and the mask sort of fogs up anyways, so I really couldn't see much other than an orange glow where the fire was. I'll have more pictures from the burn throughout this week. This particular picture was one of my favorites from the evening. We started the fire just at sunset, and were later treated to a near full moon. Nice clear night too. Actually, it was so warm today (75 degrees) that the locals were complaining. Me, I loved it.
Fri, Sep. 20, 2002 - No Big Loss
Here is the interior of the house before the fire was lit. Calling it a house was really overstating it. It looked to be a converted chicken coop, and much of the floor had rotted away. This picture was taken standing in the front door, and the whole structure was only about 20x20. When I went in with the hose, the fire was going in the back room, and we crawled on our knees, putting our hands out to find the wall as a guide. That's how dark it was, I couldn't even see the wall an arms length away.
Sat, Sep. 21, 2002 - I think I'll wait outside
After we got practice fighting the fire inside the building, they let it build up and we concentrated on fighting it from the outside. This was to simulate what you might find if you arrived and the building was alread fully engulfed.
Sun, Sep. 22, 2002 - Let her rip!
Finally, at the end of the drill, we let it burn, and concentrated mainly on protecting the surrounding area, and working the fire so that the building collapsed in on itself. At this point you could roast marshmellows from about 20 feet away. It was very surprising how long it took to completely burn down even when going at this rate.
Mon, Sep. 23, 2002 - The Golden Gate
While making the coffee this morning, Lori exclaimed that the spiders were building the Golden Gate bridge in our backyard. Not sure what she meant by that, I took a look, and sure enough, there was a silk replica of the Golden Gate bridge, running from the cannnas to the foxgloves. I'm sure if the spiders had actually been to San Francisco it might have been a better replica, but given that the average garden spiders have little access to pictures of world famous landmarks, I thought they did very well.
Tue, Sep. 24, 2002 - The Fainting Couch
This weekend while I was showing you fire pictures, I was really taking a rare weekend off from working on the studio, and instead worked in the studio. Natalya saw my work on a modeling web site and came up to have some pictures taken to add to her portfolio. After you finish admiring Natalya, your eyes might notice the fainting couch she's resting on.
Wed, Sep. 25, 2002 - Natalya
Natalya and I planned the shoot for a night with a full moon because I had this high concept for a picture. The concept ended up a bust, I should have checked the almanac a little better to find out the moonrise time. But the sunset was very pretty so it wasn't a total loss.
Thu, Sep. 26, 2002 - Lady of the Lake
Katie, who I featured earlier, wanted to work on her portfolio too, and I was happy to oblige. So last Sunday we went up to Trinidad and Stone Lagoon to take some pictures. Since we had been having a mighty string of pleasant days, I planned some concepts that would involve the sun. Unfortunately, the sun didn't cooperate, and we were left with fog. But the mark of a good photographer is to take what you get and do something with it. Katie is studying ballet, so we had her do some ballet moves in the middle of the foggy lagoon.
As far as what has been happening lately, I took my written tests for getting my firefighter's drivers license and passed the six required tests. Now I just need to pass the 3 skills tests.
Fri, Sep. 27, 2002 - Lady at the Beach
After Katie and I finished taking pictures at Big Lagoon, we went to a beach in Trinidad. I think it was the one where Luke is found in The Majestic. The beach had very hard, smooth sand, and when wet it had a great mirror surface. Not as warm as Hawaii or the Bahama's, but it made for a cool swimsuit picture.
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