Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Pumpkin Photography - Rotting and Polaroids

The jack o'lanterns are waning almost as fast as my stock of 4x5 Polaroid Type 54 film.  As promised in a recent post, I've take a few Pumpkin Polaroid shots.  I'm heartbroken that this film stock is no longer made.   Unopened boxes of 20 sheets are going for hundreds of dollars on ebay now.   I've run out, but just bought 12 more sheets on ebay for $37.00, which will likely be my last.   On top of that, my Polaroid back that I use in my Crown Graphic is really acting up.   It doesn't want to spread the processing chemical goo evenly across the picture.   I lost three of five shots today, two to this problem, and one to a jam that occasionally happens.     As is often the case when trying to take shots close up, the focus leaves something to be desired.   It is a total crap-shoot to get the focus correct the first time under about 8 feet.   But since I was low on film and losing shots to technical problems, no retakes came out.
I also took more shots with my Nikon, back to one of my favorite subjects, the rotting jack o'lantern.    I tried to mimic the look of the Polaroids by taking them black and white and sepia.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flying Ghost -- I've been out done!

Long ago, in the days of the Halloween-l mailing list, I invented a ghost system that came to be known as the Axworthy Flying Ghost.     Mine was relegated to a fixed flight path with a complex system of pulleys.   But now, Michael from Utah Aerials has built a remote control flying ghost that is free to roam in the range of the RC transmitter. 

And it gets better, it even broadcasts back video!

Here is a picture of the device.    It is based on the platform from    The biggest drawback I can see in proper haunt use, is the obvious noise this would create.     My tethered specter at least has the advantage of being whisper quiet.    As soon as the black ops stealth model comes out, I'll be building a new ghost.

Monday, October 25, 2010 is launched!

Ok, the site was actually launched quite a while ago but I keep forgetting to announce it.   The pumpkin liqueur recipe and pumpkin martinis got a lot of attention here, so I decided that a site devoted to all types of Halloween drinks and cocktails must be needed. is the result.

I'll be doing a new series on the pumpkin martinis soon, and have some new pumpkin martini photos to show off as well.
Check it out at

Polaroids - Neo Vintage Halloween

Sweeet!  Pumpkinrot has some great new-old Halloween pictures.

Taken with old-school Polaroid gear, they specifically went in search of vintage Halloween items.

I'm a huge fan of Polaroid pictures, they have a certain quality to them.   As part of my pumpkin photography project I plan to shoot some Polaroids as well and I'll have them coming before too long.

I've got my Dad's old 4x5 Crown Graphic Graphlex with a Polaroid back.   I only shoot black and white and it takes amazing pictures.    Polaroid stopped producing the film, though there is another brand available now.   I've only got a few shots left but I'm going to use them for pumpkin shots.

Go visit Pumpkinrot to check out all the pictures.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Photography

I finally had some time to start experimenting with pumpkin photography.   I've been needing pumpkin and jack o'lantern pictures for a variety of uses, but also wanted to try some artsy stuff.   Here are a few of the early examples:

More pictures here, and more to come.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Extreme 3D Pumpkin Carving

My brother pointed me to some extreme 3-D pumpkin carving by Ray Villafane.   I've used 3-D carving a little, but I prefer the classic Jack o' Lanterns look myself.   But this one is especially nice:

Check out his site, he also talks about his experience with in an upcoming episode of the Food Networks show, Challenge, competing against other carvers for a $10,000 prize.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Laser Pumpkin Carving

The folks over at Metrix Create:Space are at it again.   Carving pumpkins with lasers!   So many possibilities here, the mind reels.  

There was some small print; "Pumpkin must be smaller than approximately 8” in diameter."  Sounds to me like they just need a bigger laser!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seattle Fall Arts - Chris Sheridan

We've got a Fall arts event underway here in Seattle called Arts Crush.  In searching through all the events I came upon this artist, Chris Sheridan.  Some of his work caught my eye, so -- shall we say -- seasonal.

Check out the images in the category called, "The King of Change". The show will be up at Bherd Studios until the first week of November.   I can't wait to check it out in person.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hauntless in Seattle

For the first time in years, I've got no Halloween haunt.   The Zoo canceled their annual Pumpkin Prowl event due to budget woes, and I was working with a new group that pitched to the zoo to do an event at the zoo this year, but it didn't come together in time.    But being sleep deprived from August through October isn't all its cracked up to be and this year I get to enjoy the season.

We took a first time ever late summer vacation, doing a road trip down the West coast.  We ended up in LA and had to spend a few days at Disneyland.   The last day there was the first day they opened up the Haunted Mansion, re-themed for Halloween with a Nightmare before Christmas theme.   I was amazed, as it is a top to bottom rework of the attraction.    Everything has been touched right down to the sound track.    I guess Disney finally figured out that they had a theme that would last from September all the way through Christmas. 

And while I'm a fan of the Nightmare before Christmas, it really makes for a lousy Haunted Mansion theme.    I've got my fingers crossed that when they take another shot at the Haunted Mansion movie, there will be new fodder to work with for Halloween re-theming.  But given the amount of work that went into the HM, I doubt that will happen.

That all said, there was some really nice work that went into the production!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pumpkin Carving -- Nice!

Every year, just before show time, comes that little wave of panic knowing that you've got to carve some hot jack o'lanterns.   I scour through my own old pictures looking at previous pumpkins that worked well and also cruise the web to find nuggets of inspiration.   I wish I had found this site, Pumpkin Way, earlier, talk about inspiration.   I've used some of these techniques before, like the partial carve through, but these pumpkins are particularly well done.

I also like how the face is obviously adapted to the pumpkin.   I've always been a fan of the imperfect pumpkin, the pumpkin in the pile that was unique in some way.   Some of the oddball pumpkins give instant inspiration.   The hardest pumpkin for me to carve is the classic, perfectly formed pumpkin.  If I don't have a planned use for the perfect pumpkin, I usually end up frozen, staring glazed at the orange orb with "carvers block."

And finally, the photography is exceptional.  I've wanted to spend some time photographing my jack o'lanterns but never have the time in the heat of the event.
Check all of them out here at Pumpkin Way

Via Haunt Style