what i did on my summer vacation, part 5

well, here's the newest edition of the summer vacation series of pic posts; 32 qualifiers in this round, eye candy for all. since i've not managed to get my online photo album back up to speed, i've decided to cut my losses for the moment and add another layer of redundancy to the system. seeing as how Kodak's EasyShare gallery allows unlimited uploads and unlimited file size, and doesn't actually downsize or alter your original images stored on their servers, or require anything more in the way of upkeep/maintenance fees than one purchase (with no minimum price tag) per year to keep those files archived "in perpetuity", and that one of the services they offer is an archival CD of your images, and their system allows me to recreate my archival system in a similar format, and their display method automatically creates thumbnailed images of those pictures (something my online album doesn't, and won't until i get off my butt and learn some ASP programming), and that uploading my pictures to their site allows anyone interested to purchase prints of those pics directly, and since i like the idea of an offsite backup for my data anyway, i've decided to spend the time necessary to upload my entire online photo album to their site. gotta love broadband. while the pictures won't display at their maximum resolution, it's still better than not having anyone be able to check 'em out. so far i've got January-June of 2005, and most of 2004 posted, as well as some of the pictures from camp. it's going to be a work in progress for a little while, and as far as i can tell, i'll have to manually add everyone's email address to the share list in order for them to actually view the pictures, which will take a little while as well. i'll let y'all know when it's up and running.

i've not given up on posting some of the best to this blog, however. eventually, when i'm old and grey and have nothing but time on my hands (and i get tired of watching the pigs fly) i'll convert the contents of this by-then monstrous blog into hard copy, for reading material so that i can relive all the good old days....all three of 'em.

but all this is beside the point of this post, which is to delve a little farther into the (likely unecessarily) massive photographical evidence of camp this year, namely Independence Day 2005.

Eva brought to my attention that my parents really liked listening to the loons (over and above the Pelkey variety), and the first noteworthy picture i got, the morning of the 4th, was of a small family of loons on the lake- which she was kind enough to point out. i imagine this is Mama Loon, with her children in tow, which leaves me to wonder where Papa Loon was. chances are he was sleeping it off after a night at Daiker's.

2005. (NY time until further notice)
Mama Loon and presumably her brood, doing their best to avoid the paparazzi.

i've noticed vertically oriented shots (or crops) work well in this blog format. they take up more room, but you can zoom in on stuff better; wider shots you just can't get this kind of clarity out of. i may end up changing the layout in the future, when the lowest common bandwidth is higher and the pictures don't need to be as small to work. but for now, it's nice when the format and the zoom level conspire to give up something that looks this good in cyberspace:

Chris leading Cole back down to the beach.

Loren really likes the water, but he only sometimes likes getting his picture taken. usually he likes getting his picture taken in the water. not sure how he feels about someone in the water taking his picture...i wasn't that brave with the new camera. lots of times kids have a way of putting on their "camera smile"- Loren's as guilty of this as anyone- but i'll take the genuine article (like this one) every time.

Loren with a great smile.

i wonder what was on his mind here. i was pretty far away, on the dock, and he didn't know i was watchin' him, so he was likely enjoying a little break from ol' Dad.

peace at last.

ok one more of him in the water, for good measure.

a smileyfish in its natural habitat.

a few hours later, it was out on the lake in the Vile's boat, for a little spin. that was the only time i got on a boat with my folks the whole time i was there- kinda nice. thanks, Derrick! i can see why the place is so popular- the area is truly beautiful.

northerly view of the lake from the Vile's boat

as many shots as i got of the area, the real reason i was always armed with the camera was to get pictures of people like this one. i didn't end up with too many good shots of Derrick, and only a few of Chantalle and Steve. this is one of the better ones i've run into so far, with the majority of the Pacific NW Sargent clan for good measure:

Derrick at the wheel, with Steve, Chantalle and the Sargents

and this might just be the best shot i got of Steve and Chantalle the whole time they were there. it's a little backlit, and i'll prob'ly fix this one when i've got a little more time than i do tonight.

Steve and Chantalle

i don't know why Dad eventually put the vest on. i know he can swim, and he didn't look nervous. i think orange is a good color for him though :) red is a good color for Mom, and that's good because she was getting pretty sunburned!

Mom and Dad

Loren was pretty relaxed this afternoon as well. he actually put his video games away for awhile. he might have been a little bored here, but he gets pretty relaxed without something beeping or flashing around. it made for a good shot. he's not sleepin', just "resting his eyes", but it makes me wonder if boat trips work as well as, or better than, car trips at putting kids to sleep.

Loren unplugged

i think Loren's fixing Cole's shoe here, and Taylor looks really interested in that for some reason? Mom swingin' a beer in the background was just a bonus :) this was a little before dinner.

Loren, Cole and Taylor on the bocci ball court, and Mom in the background

Tom gets an 'A' for this shirt. he gets another 'A' for courage to actually wear it around Eva! i think the tipsy shades added something to this one- love it.


i didn't get a lot of shots of my cousin Mike either, but this is a great one. the full size one is awesome. again, one step backwards and to the left on my part would have shown Craig a lot better, but like i said....i'm no artiste- i'm just hopin' to get lucky once in a while.

Mike, and Craig rather obscured.

i don't think i got a really good shot of my cousin Michelle the whole time i was there :( i tried, but most of 'em just didn't do her justice- from the shots i took you'd think she never smiled- and that's certainly not the case. it's pilot error all the way (sorry Michelle). this is about the best one i got of her so far....if i find a better one later i'll be sure to post it. a second earlier this was a better shot, wihch i thought i got at the time, but evidently i was a little slow on the trigger. i'm gonna blame that on......Daiker's, yeah, that's it. and i'm stickin' to that. [sigh] i suppose there's always '07. oh, by the way, great idea with the walkie-talkies. woulda been nice to have. especially the day Loren took off to walk to Daiker's on his own.....i'm gonna try to remember that one when i get out there next time.


so the extremes of cameraman's luck is in full evidence here; even though she's not smiling this is a great shot of my cousin Grey's wife Leslie. again, the full size pic is great, and this low resolution crop doesn't really do it justice. right down to the lens flare. they just need to make cameras that know when to click themselves to get shots like this, and everything'll be great.


i took two shots in a row of these guys, before Josh stopped leanin' on the chair, but in one he has his eyes all closed and the other he's got his head turned completely backwards, so i'll settle for posting the better of the two shots of Natalie- what a great smile. like i said, all the original pics will be on Kodak's gallery site soon, so if y'all wanna check out Josh too it'll be there. maybe i should start yelling, "say CHEESE!" or something.


if you look at the times of the pictures, i was clickin' about as fast as the camera would respond here- i'm actually amazed most of the pics turned out as good as they did. this is Dad in pretty typical running gear, minus the gallon of sweat. something about taking pictures of Dad drinkin' beer appeals to me.....

Dad kickin' back

meanwhile, way down on the docks, Stacy and Bill only had eyes for Billy. i can see why, he's a fun one to watch. i believe he was the youngest little fella at camp this year. this is a rare shot (for me) of all three.

Stacy, Bill and Billy

later on that night, we headed out on the lake, three boats strong, to take in the fireworks. Loren and i had never watched fireworks on the water before, and it was plenty of fun. i was expecting to get totally eaten by bugs but i guess they mostly stick to the shore, 'cause it wasn't bad at all. i found out that the combination of "night photo" settings on the camera and the inevitable bobbing and weaving on the water (amplified by shooting one boat from another) makes for some doubly-exposed shots, but some of 'em are pretty decent despite the obvious problems. i might fix these if i had a better idea of how to go about doing it....i bet there's a simpler way than anything i can think of (which would involve exhaustive hand-selection of areas to be virtually airbrushed and/or adjusted for levels and contrast) but if there is, it's beyond anything i know how to do with the software i've got. some of them are just too good to pass up though,

Natalie and Robert on another boat

i think Mary took this shot? maybe Laurie? can't remember. i gather Mom wasn't the only one who got a little sun that day. Loren really was having a better time than this; here's a good example of his poker face. shots of me and Loren are a relative rarity, since i'm usually holding my camera, so it's nice when someone offers to take one. whoever took this one, thanks :)

Loren and me

here's one that actually looks better reduced, since it's a little blurry, but maybe not reduced this far. i'm sure Grey would've gone down with the ship, but thankfully it proved unnecessary.

Captain Grey and crew, a Confederate ship in Yankee waters

here's another good one of Jim, lookin' all GQ and stuff. if you're gonna take pics on the water, at night, it's definitely better to confine them to your own boat.


now this is the reason cameras were made in the first place. what a couple cutiepies. i think all little girls love cameras- and the rest of the world loves that. i think that's Kelley's friend on the right- anyone know who this little girl is? i'll be sure and give her her due if someone lets me know.

Kelley and her friend, i think

Loren loves popcorn. and again: it's a good bet that if you're totally stuffin' yer face yer pic'll get posted.

Loren testing the limits of his jaw extensors

well, the real story of the 4th always boils down to the fireworks. i like the pretty lights as much as the next guy, but personally i like the ones that make a massive BOOM more than anything. i was excited to take some pictures, since my camera's actually got a "fireworks" setting- but it turns out that the necessary f-stop combined with the boat's motion (and possibly exacerbated by the lack of a tripod) makes for interesting shots that aren't really what Kodak had in mind. still, they're interesting, so i'll post a couple. Loren took a bunch of these, and the latter of the two is prob'ly his shot.

trippy blurred fireworks

maybe the best shot of the fireworks

Jim and Laurie camped out in the bow with the two cutiepies. this is another one of those shots that was better a second before i snapped the picture, but Kelley's just totally crackin' up so i have to post it.

Laurie, Kelley, Kelley's friend (i think), and Jim

after the fireworks it was back to the beach, for a fire and some marshmallow roasting. Michelle tells me her husband Robert is known for building some pretty crazy bonfires; the subject came up after everyone started commenting on this big ol' blaze. the caretaker for the camp actually came down and admonished us all for attempting to wreck the firepit....i think he might have had a point. i don't think the fire is actually supposed to flare up through the chimney..... but no one ratted Robert out, and none of the sparks flitting through the leaves of the tree a few feet above the flames actually ignited it, and the bricks survived.

Robert's raging blaze

here's a pretty good one of Bobby and Natalie. i don't think i noticed it at the time, but Bobby looks appropriately patriotic- both a flag AND camo pants. good show, bud.

Bobby and Natalie

Loren's never turned down a chance to roast marshmallows in his life, and he wasn't about to start now. reminds of the time i took him camping a couple years ago and i ignored the burn ban and built a fire anyway. i couldn't talk 'em out of the ticket, so it cost me $75, but Loren got to roast a couple before the rangers showed up. that was a spendy camping trip, but worth it ;) this is another picture that looks better reduced....it was a little blurry.

Loren with a toasty marshmallow

Taylor's mom didn't like him waving around the burning stick, but it made for a good shot.

Taylor with a sorta homemade sparkler?

i think Aunt Penny was the smartest one around, she got the longest stick! that fire was pretty hot, after all.

Aunt Penny ready to speak softly

all in all, it was a great 4th of July. thanks to everyone for the chance to get to spend it with y'all. next post, more pics! i'll get through all these sooner or later.....


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