I have a real love hate relationship with the Winter months. Cooler temperatures and low humidity are two things that can greatly assist the Nightscape Photographer. I am always anxious and excited to shoot, but I absolutely dread being cold. So, I have learned to accommodate my intrinsic desire to keep warm with my desire to photograph Nightscapes.
How’s that, you say?
Here are a few tips on how to stay warm while shooting for the aspiring Astrophotographer:
LAYER your clothing. I wear at least three layers under my coat.
**I have found the use of Thermacare Heat Patches extremely helpful in keeping my body warm in cold environments. They stay warm for up to 8 hours. Just be careful, there is a slight burn risk.
Make sure to wear warm WATERPROOF boots. It is highly likely that you will encounter wet grass.
Bring an extra pair of socks. You will need these if you sweat through the pair you have on, get them wet or simply need an extra layer of sock.
Wear a warm hat, gloves and a scarf to protect the front, back and sides of your neck.
Bring a warm beverage with you. Make sure that you put your beverage in a container that will retain heat for long periods of time. Coffee in a simple cardboard cup WILL be cold in less than 15 minutes if left in the elements.
Wear Chapstick or the equivalent! This will keep your lips warm AND it will protect them from wind burn.
Lastly, Vaseline and Sunscreen work very well for protecting the delicate skin of the face against cold air and wind.
No longer will your hand clasp his inside dreamy landscapes of foggy seas and frozen shores.
Toss aside sleep, and leave the dreaming for the lost.
For I have found a path true and marked,
solid to pass, priceless in cost.
Each new day brings an aura of warmth.
A cataclysm of heartstrings wrapping up into intricate sailors knots.
I lost one of my best friends on Friday May 31, 2013.
His name was Carl Young. Carl was killed doing what he loved, researching tornadoes in ElReno, Oklahoma. On that day and on so many others, Carl was on a mission to collect important weather data with his Twistex (Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in/near Tornadoes Experiment) mentor and close friend Tim Samaras as well as Tim’s son Paul Samaras. Tim and Paul were also killed.
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding that day have flooded my world, through social media as well as news networks and morning talk shows. It has been surreal. But, I have to believe that what Mrs. Samaras said at Tim and Paul’s memorial service is right, that something good has GOT to come of all of this.
I met Carl in 2011 when a photo of a funnel cloud that I had taken appeared to him, intriguing him into sparking up a conversation with me. We were instantly mesmerized by each other. I was very curious about extreme weather and meteorology and he was always willing to explain things to me. He was as equally curious with me and my art, my photography and most especially my writing. We fell deeply in love and experienced much happiness together. Although the romantic relationship between us became a part of our shared past, Carl and I remained close friends. The bond we cultivated was a deep and lasting one.
A funny remembrance that I will never forget about Carl is how he gave me his phone number. He sampled lines and words from a selection of my poetry and gave me a sort of puzzle to decode. (Example: Number of lines in your poem titled “ We Sleep”, and Amount of times the letter L is used in the last line of your poem “The Weight of Truth”?) He was so thoughtful and witty. He was absolutely fascinating.
We spoke often of life and of death, of coincidence and of fate. Carl was a spiritual man, an avid Depeche Mode and Philip Glass connoisseur, a gentle being. A kind soul, my twin soul.
Carl meant so much to me. Without his love and support I would have never given up smoking cigarettes. It was something I had struggled with for a long time. I gave them up for love. It was with him, under the tree in Lake Tahoe on my birthday in 2011 where I smoked my last one.
He was all things good to me and I thank God for him being in my life…for the short time we were given.
A tidal wave of memories have come rushing back to me over this past week. I am truly saddened by my inability to follow through on a promise that I made. I don’t remember what sparked the topic, but during one of our deepest conversations, Carl had asked me if I would speak at his funeral. This was a serious request on Carl’s behalf, as he told me that he wanted me to speak about him because I knew him in ways that no one ever got to know him. My response was something along the lines of “Yes, of course, I would…but that won’t be for a very long time.”
I am unable to be at Carl’s memorial services tomorrow. To be honest, even if I were able to be there… I don’t think I could bring myself to speak. So, how am I to come through on keeping my promise? How can I share parts of him with you as he had asked me to?
I keep coming back to art. Carl was a talented and creative photographer as well as a poet. His art is stunning and hauntingly beautiful…he would want me to share it with you.
The first two shots were taken by Carl took whilst researching tornadoes in 2011.
The last photographs come from shared memories between us. I treasure them.
The following images are personal photo memories of Carl and I.
Last year I began my journey into the world of haunt acting. Working at Pennhurst Asylum has been an incredible experience for me.
The people that I’ve met there are all so talented in their own individual ways. Pennhurst has some of the most incredible special effects make-up artists, actors and props! Not to mention …the campus of historic buildings themselves are beyond scary.
I have grown to love Pennhurst. The people that I work with have become a second family to me.
Have a look at the new trailer for the 2013 season. Keep your eyes peeled at 1:18.
Make sure that you make it out this coming Halloween/Haunt season.