Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Yesterday was the day to take the pictures of my entry for the Battle of the Beadsmith and get them submitted to the competition organizer, Steven Weiss.
And of course, the 20% chance of rain the forecast was calling for? Yeah. For the first time in nearly a week, it rained.
The night before, I had gone down to the basement to find my light tent, thinking that I would use the lovely bakgrounds to get a good shot. When I opened the tent, I discovered that my fabric photo backgrounds were not inside. Nor were they anywhere in the basement where I usually store them!
Okay. Whatever. I could work with this. I rigged up the extra window shade in the wooden plant stand and then tried to attach my piece to a couple of pieces of Fireline that would suspend it in mid-air while I took photos.
I couldn't get the Fireline to knot properly. It kept slipping around the wooden slats of the plant stand. By the time I finally got it half-suspended, I realized that the light coming in through the dining room window on this dark and stormy morning would be less than adequate for a good photo.
Drat. I went back downstairs to the basement to find my photo lamps. And discovered that they, too, were nowhere to be found.
While I was tearing through boxes and bags and trying to think where on Earth I could have left all my photo equipment, I heard someone behind me say a very loud, "Harumph!"
Of course, I was down there alone. When I turned around, there was no one behind me. And really, I was too pissed off to be very worried that there might be something (or someone) else down there with me.
It should be noted here that the last few days, whenever I went into the basement, I was immediately overcome with this sense of DREAD. To the point where one night, I almost couldn't stand it and raced up the stairs once I had what I was looking for from the bookshelf. And as soon as I got to the top of the stairs, the feeling just evaporated, but I couldn't help but feeling like someone was looking at me as I ran up the stairs.
Anyway. Back to my photo crisis. I set up the photo tent in the dining room. I thought maybe using the tripod and the macro zoom lens would help. I got the camera attached to the tripod, and took four pictures before the camera went dead.
Dead batteries. I rummaged through three drawers before I discovered that I had put the spare batteries and charger in the camera bag. (Why would I have done THAT?! I never keep the spare batteries in the camera bag. I have no idea what I was thinking last time I charged up those batteries.)
Changed the batteries. Took about forty pictures, and then opened them up in Photoshop. They were all AWFUL. The light was yellow, and there were glares when I used the flash. I was really starting to get angry and frustrated now.
While I was sitting at my chair in front of the computer, I heard it again from behind me. A loud "Harumph!" And then, not two seconds later, BOTH shelves of my bookcase collapsed onto themselves simultaneously, sending books and beads everywhere.
That shook me up a little, but more than anything else, it just added to my annoyance. I was beyond worrying if there was a ghost in the house now - I just HAD to get this pictures right! And now I had to clean up two bookshelves' worth of beads, books, Ultrasuede, and beading supplies!
Right about then, I had a stroke of inspiration. (Good thing I didn't have an actual stroke, which was very possible at the time.) I grabbed the tent, the necklace bust, and the tripod and set up on the back porch with the big windows behind me for lighting. Even though it was still coming down in buckets, I thought the brightly lit clouds might act as a diffuser for the natural light. I decided to break out the big guns and try shooting this with the macro zoom lens, too, to get some good, detailed photos.
I took another thirty photographs, and went back inside to the computer.
As I crossed through the dining room, I noticed that all the extra cords and cables and lenses had been removed from my camera bag and strewn across the dining room table. But no, I was not going to panic right then - I had to see how these photos came out! I was working on a deadline, and no stupid ghost was gonna deter me from getting this piece submitted on time!
I loaded the new photos into the computer and found that they were all PERFECT. There were a couple of shots of the clasp that were fuzzier than I would have liked, but the detail shots were incredible. The light balance was perfect.
After I cropped a few of the photos, I even managed to get the Battle of the Beadsmith logo placed on them properly without too much aggravation. Huzzah!
After that, there were no more disturbances. No more gruff-sounding exclamations from whatever was keeping me company that morning. I went about the rest of my day, had a good brainstorming session at Starbucks, and basically went about my day.
It wouldn't be the first time that I've lived in a haunted house. The farmhouse that we rented before we bought this place was full of old spirits. Every time someone new from the local area came over, they would say, "Oh, you know, my [uncle, grandfather, cousin, aunt, sister, neighbor] died in this house." Oh, yeah, I'm no stranger to stranger things.
But on the bright side, I finished my entry on time, and it's a beaut. I got the perfect photos taken and submitted on time. And now, I can rest my weary beading hands for a few days before I get back to the list of beading projects I've been putting off for the last month!