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The Black Laser

Playground

What do you do with two toddlers who are losing their minds because Daylight Savings has totally messed up their sleep schedules? You take them to the playground!

Penny is super into throwing herself down slides right now, and Bea is a little more cautious. You’d think it would be the other way around (and at another time it was) but that’s how it goes, I guess. Kids.

The autumn sun was giving us beautiful light even if the girls wouldn’t sit still. Enjoy the photos.

Pumpkin Patch

It’s October! That means a trip to the pumpkin (or “PUMPIE!” if you are the kids) patch was on the docket. I was looking forward to it, too. Last year was great and all, but this year the girls are much more mobile and much more interested in the world around them.

They ran around like a couple of kittens let out of a carrier. Each pumpkin was the most exciting pumpkin they’d ever seen in their lives. There were many attempted pumpkin carries and some surprisingly successful pumpkin carries. Bea spent some time wandering around by herself while Penny contented herself by relocating handfuls of hay from the ground to the wheelbarrow, on top of pumpkins, and into her own hair.

All in all, it was a successful day. Pumpkins came home with us and meltdowns were few. Enjoy the photos.

Tennis Courting Success

It’s not a tennis court. It’s a pickleball court. But, talking about pickleball courts is silly. Does anyone even know what that is?

I’ll tell you what, Bea and Penny have no idea. I’m making an official editorial decision: we’ll continue to call it a tennis court in all future references to the pickleball court.

All this huff is to say that we took the girls out on a sunny morning to run them a little bit. The last time we availed ourselves of the tennis court Penny wasn’t quite walking. Now, however, she is a champion walker, sometimes walking as much as all over the damn place. It was time to revisit the location.

I decided to play around with a wide zoom I purchased around Christmas time. I’m a bit hopeless with a wide angle lens, so I thought a little exercise with it couldn’t hurt. Plus, photographing toddlers is an especially physical type of sports photography allowing me some good practice. I also threw a diffusion filter on because why the hell not. I wanted to see what it looked like under bright, sunny conditions. It’s nice!

Enjoy the photos.

Sarah Dances – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Do yourself a favor and watch this one fullscreen.

Last week was Sarah’s birthday. Happy birthday, Sarah! Beyond celebrating my wife’s birth, the event lit a fire under my ass to finally finish the dance video we started shooting last fall. Between the children and greenhouses and all sorts of other stuff, it seemed like there was never time for it.

I started the cut when she was away this July and made decent progress, but then I lost steam. I wanted to have it done for her birthday, but I found the project difficult to work on. Sarah’s dancing is great and fun. The song is driving and easy to cut to. The footage is really nice and allows for flexible decision making. But whenever I got into the flow state that editing something I care about requires, the project made me think of Olive and the hell we went through trying to keep that poor baby alive. I would get choked up while working and have to walk away, go talk to the babysitter or play with the girls or whatever to gather myself.

And as soon as I walked away, focus shattered.

So it took me a whole year to get through the video. That’s quite a long time for a three and a half minute dance video. But I felt so much weight tied to it. Like, I needed to really nail this one because of Olive. And that made it pretty scary. I mean, not in some “life or death” kind of way, but more of a “confronting hard emotional truths” kind of way. Which is still scary!

I think the video turned out pretty nicely and I am proud of this silly, little, emotionally fraught project. It was a good trial run for a camera I purchased just before the pandemic that I had some plans for which never really materialized. I tried out a bunch of new edit tricks and spent a whole lot of time in Resolve working on the color. It was great having raw footage for the first time on a Sarah Dances production.

I hope you enjoy it. I had a hard time with this one. I’m having a hard time even writing about it, actually. But it’s good. And it’s fun. And I hope it brings some brightness to your day.

Download the audio for this post.

Playing in the Rain

What I’ve learned recently is that toddlers do not care at all if it’s raining or not. They want—they need—to go out. Now.

In order to appease the girls’ screaming and to save myself from tantrums in stereo, I took them outside and let them play around in the grass. The water pouring out of the downspouts was especially exciting. We topped off the romp with some yogurt, which doesn’t seem like a very good post-rain snack to me, but was a hit with them. Who know. They’re nuts.

Enjoy some photos.

Watering the Neighbors’ House

Yesterday I taught Beatrice how to use the garden hose nozzle. After a few back-and-forths regarding the proper usage of the nozzle trigger, she understood and started to get a feel for the mechanics of it. Meanwhile, Penny was looking around the neighborhood for birds (BOID!) and dogs (PUPPA! WOOF WOOF!) and demanding walks (WA!).

Next week, I’ll get Beabear on the pressure washer so she can help clean our house. It’s pretty polleny after a tumultuous spring and summer. She’s already got a bit of practice spraying the neighbors’ house, as seen in the video below. I think she’ll do just fine.

The 4th of July

I’m two days late!

Instead of celebrating the independence of this nation by blowing up a small part of it, I thought it would be nice to take some photos of the girls in their little matching outfits. Turns out they had other ideas. Perhaps sitting still for photos is too much to ask of toddlers? I don’t know. I thought, maybe, I’d get something since Penny’s not really walking yet, but Beabear had her own ideas, most of which included walking down the street away from me. Feels like a preview of her teen years.

Fortunately for all of us, I was still able to capture some nice images against the generic housing development backdrop of the subdivision in which we’re living. Or, if you’re Axl Rose, in which we live in.

Aren’t these children beautiful? Enjoy.

One of these days, I’ll get around to writing something that’s not just pictures of my kids. I promise.

Hanging Out Out Back

Life has been a whole lot of a lot since the last photo gallery, so I’m sorry I’ve not been more active. At some point soon, I’ll feel a fire under my behind to write a bit about it.

For now, please enjoy these photos of the girls having a dang good time outside yesterday. We weren’t doing anything particular and there was no special occasion. Just a beautiful, late-Spring Sunday kickin’ it with dad. You’ll forgive the poor editing of the selections; I look at these photos with a parent’s eye, making it pretty hard to eliminate shots. I mean, I just love these babies so dang much.