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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

October 2006

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Sun, Oct. 1, 2006 - Melaine


Towards the end of the fair, I was mentioning to Lori that with all of the women walking by our booth the whole week, I still hadn't seen a single woman who could model for a photo I've been dreaming about for a long time. In a weird coincidence, just a few minutes later I spotted Melaine at the ice cream booth next to us. When her and her step-mom stopped at our booth I asked her if she was interested in modeling, because she fit the profile of who I was looking for. Long story short, Melaine came back to Ferndale this weekend, and although this isn't the shot I had in mind (that will come later), we had great fun working together. Melaine is not my usual Victorian model, she's 5'-10", and as you can see from the picture, she can really fill out a corset. Oh, and she's only 17.

Mon, Oct. 2, 2006 - Lori's First Dress

Lori's First Dress

Here Melaine is modeling the first vintage dress that I bought for Lori which really started the collection. I had photographed Lori wearing this dress in the very first photoshoot that I did when I bought my first studio flash units. Since then, I've learned a lot about lighting, and to be able to show the detail in this black dress I wanted to re-shoot it. The Edwardian dress is paired with our favorite hat from the collection, and Melaine looked so appropriate in the costume that we wanted to just plop her permanently in our parlor for decoration.

Tue, Oct. 3, 2006 - Argh!


Melaine had told me her waist measurement was 26" before the shoot, so I had picked corsets that were 23-24" for the shoot, as usually a 2" reduction is about right. But the two Victorian corsets that I picked out went on her very easily, cinching them completely tight without much effort. So I began to doubt the accuracy of her measurement. She also has a pretty purple streak in her long blonde hair so I told her I had the perfect corset for her to try on. Lori and I added to the costume and before we knew it, Melaine was one sexy pirate wench. Complete with attitude. She was great to work with as she knew what to do with props and how to get into a role. This little corset has a 20" waist, and I was almost able to get it cinched completely closed. 26" waist? Yeah, right.

Wed, Oct. 4, 2006 - Lace Mermaid

Lace Mermaid

This is the next evolution in my draping series. Back in July when I did the draping shoot with Kaline, I had brought to the studio a vintage lace table cloth that we had on the dining room table at the time. I noticed how the table cloth would be perfect for revealing but hiding. So I took some pictures of Kaline holding it in front of her. After doing the draping with the spandex a couple of days later with Jessica, I thought about going back to the table cloth and trying to drape it into a dress. Melaine was game to this too, and so following my directions, Lori draped the table cloth onto Melaine and made this dress using only three safety pins. While she was standing there I changed the pose and redraped the train into a tail, and voila, a lace mermaid. Now we want to find a day to go photograph her wearing this standing on a rock out on the lost coast. Stay tuned...

Sun, Oct. 8, 2006 - Fall Photo Trip

Fall Photo Trip

Perfect weather today for a motorcycle trip, and since it might be the last good weekend for awhile, I decided I better take advantage of it. I rode out Hwy 36 to Forest Road 23 and then Forest Road 30 which takes me to my favorite little pond. I was hoping that there would be more fall color this time and there was. I spent about 2 1/2 hours walking around the three streams that are around the pond taking pictures, and after looking at them today, I am quite happy with the results. I hiked up one stream about a mile, as I kept wanting to see what was around the next bend. At least when you're hiking in the middle of a stream it's pretty hard to get lost. I then made my way back to the pond and continued up the other stream that empties in to the pond, and I kept thinking that I needed to get going as it's a long ride back. But I kept finding more photo opportunities. Finally about 6pm I left, which meant I was going to have a long ride in the dark to get back home, but at least the deer were good and they stayed off of the road. The ride was pretty pleasant too since I now have the heated grips on the KLR and an outlet for my heated vest.

Mon, Oct. 9, 2006 - Ground View

Ground View

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you the aerial view of this project, here's the ground view. This is going to be an ongoing project I can see, because I can't get much done at one time before my back starts hurting. But at least we're going to have lots of firewood for next winter.

Fri, Oct. 13, 2006 - Shocking


This is Lee, who is my picture framer. Normally, he's more normal than this. But Lee is a member of that very secretive group of individuals, the Masons. So from time to time he does odd things (no that would be the Oddfellows) like dying his hair four different shades of colors that aren't normally seen in nature. Just to make sure I caught the whole impact of his dye job, he was standing right in front of the window when I came in to see him. The funny thing was that Lee had recently shown me a new line of metal anodized frames that included almost the same four exact colors. So I thought he should get a picture of himself, which I provided, and frame it using the matching frames, one different color per side. Not sure yet if he's going to take me up on it or not as he's going on vacation. Must be somewhere colorful.

Sat, Oct. 14, 2006 - Lori's Been Busy

Lori's Been Busy

Lori's done a wonderful job with her part of the yard over the summer. I wish I could say the same for the rest of it, which mostly at this point falls under my jurisdiction. After the disastrous flood of last winter it was nice to see that she was still interested in gardening. It's mostly been sucessful, with the exception of her tomato plant, which produced one edible fruit. This being a roma tomato plant, one fruit doesn't go very far. Next year the tomatos will go in the green house for sure.

Sun, Oct. 15, 2006 - One More View

One More View

Here's another view of her hard work. Plants are starting to fill in, and it's starting to look more like a garden rather than a nursery. Now it's up to me to make sure the next flood control project is completed in time so that all her hard work doesn't get wiped out again. Once I get the tree debris removed (still working on that) then we're going to build a deer fence along the side yard that will have a solid footing to keep the ditch water from flowing into our yard.

Thu, Oct. 19, 2006 - One Hell Heaven of a Paint Job

One <strike>Hell</strike> Heaven of a Paint Job

People thought I was crazy when I stripped our house in San Jose back to bare wood. Well how would you like this project? The Catholic Church in Ferndale needed a new paint job and after 100+ years, it was time to take it back to bare wood. A lot of scaffolding, lots of Peel-Away, and lots of labor. I heard that the entire job is costing $150,000. Glad our house won't be that bad when we get to it. When they replaced the steeple, I got a ride in the crane up to the top, but there's no way you would get me to work up on that scaffolding all day long.

Sat, Oct. 21, 2006 - Riding off into the sunset

Riding off into the sunset

I wish I could say that this was me. Unfortunately, my quad has been sitting in the garage with a dead battery from lack of use during the period that the garage was being built. Something I need to take care of, but I've had too many other weekend projects. This is actually a shot I took during a senior portrait session. Those of you my age (or older) will remember senior portraits as being stuffy, formal studio portraits. These days though kids get to do more personal photos for their year books. This senior wanted his picture taken with his quad. I think he was expecting something static, and he was excited when I said I wanted some action shots too. We had a beautiful fall afternoon with very pleasant temperatures at the beach. Like I said, I wish this had been me.

Sun, Oct. 22, 2006 - Lost Coast Mermaid

Lost Coast Mermaid

Since we have been blessed with spectacular weather this weekend, I called up Sarah to see if she would be available for the promised mermaid at the beach shoot. We were just making plans for it when I got a fire call, but not before she had said she could do it. So today we drove out to the Lost Coast where it was in the mid 70s and only a bit of breeze. Definitely the best weather I've ever experienced out there, and much better than Sarah's last trip out there last year when we did the Self Portrait shot. Even with the wind very low, the waves were pretty big, and we got some big splashes on the rocks. However, Lori and I noticed that it wasn't the big waves that made the big splashes, instead they seemed to come out of nowhere. So usually I wasn't ready for them. Did manage to capture a couple of good splashes like this one though. In case you missed the earlier photos with it, the "dress" that Sarah is wearing is actually a vintage tablecloth that belonged to Lori's grandmother.

Sun, Oct. 29, 2006 - Looking Up

Looking Up

Our glorious fall weather continued this weekend, so once again I got the KLR out. Made a run down Avenue of the Giants to drop off some photos to the Redcrest Resort and the Benbow Inn. Then on the way back I stopped off in the Bull Creek area to take pictures. For this photo I used my 14mm lens which is an extreme wide angle. Even when you're in a clearing you can't see the tops of these monsters.

Mon, Oct. 30, 2006 - Fall's Almost Over

Fall's Almost Over

As I was photographing this magnificent tree, I couldn't help but notice that even the gentlest of breezes was causing a flurry of leaves to fall, as if it knew it needed to get undressed before the rains start. At this point of the season I think each weekend may be my last to get out and photograph for awhile. But it may also be the last painting weekend for awhile too. So that's what I did today. But since the fall splendor is more exciting than watching paint dry, I decided to feature one more shot from yesterday's ride.

Tue, Oct. 31, 2006 - Where's Andy?

Where's Andy?

Halloween morning in Ferndale sees a procession of tiny kids making their way through the commercial district trick or treating. First in line was Raggedy Ann and it was nice seeing a few parents are still into making costumes.