Chris Fieldhouse Photography.: Blog https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog en-us (C) Chris Fieldhouse Photography. inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:37:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:37:00 GMT https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/img/s/v-12/u309045055-o833656902-50.jpg Chris Fieldhouse Photography.: Blog https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog 75 120 When a Photo-Bomb make the picture https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/9/when-a-photo-bomb-make-the-picture When I travel, I love to take photographs, and not just quick snaps, I love to be creative.

Unfortunately I do tend to create a huge backlog of work that needs processing, ie. I have a blog post that has been a work in progress for at least 2 years from our trip to St Louis Arboretum. I'll get to it someday.

But anyway, the bane for all of us, especially when in a public space is the inevitable "photobomb". I don't mind when its accidental, these things happen, but I get annoyed when someone sees what you are doing and then still proceeds to photobomb. Actually the worse time was in the UK (ironic since that is where I am from). You see, us Brits have a habit of apologising to the extent that it really should be a national sport - however what is annoying is that they will say "sorry" for a photobomb BEFORE THEY DO IT!

ARGH!!!

Anyway, enough of the ranting.

Sometimes a photobomb not only 'works', but actually will add to the photo. 

During Labor day weekend, we travelled to the Monterrey Peninsula in California to try and escape the Texas heat and I decided to do some “sunset” photography at a nice rocky part of the coastline. From that shoot, this is one of my favourite photos – the kid (totally random) leaping across the rocks just completes the shot!

And now for the confession!

This photo is not what it would appear to be – it is a fake! Well not totally a fake, what happened was that I got a couple of photographs with this boy in the frame, one of which he looked perfect, but the sea was calm in the background; while another showed the waves breaking on the rocks in the background, but he had changed positions and was not as interesting.

So I did the only thing a photography can do in this situation, bring the best of both photos together. For comparison, here are the original two photographs (un-processed).

The first photo is where the boy is positioned perfectly, but the sea in the background is a little boring. Also, there is a significant amount of lens flare here as well.

The second photo, I had zoomed out a little (but camera was on a tripod), and we capture the waves breaking on the rocks, but the boy is now on the left hand side of the frame. The overall scene here is much better...

Crashing waves, no lens flare - just wish the kid was better positioned.

And so, the final photograph is the two merged together using photoshop. I used the second photo as the main source for the combined result and then very carefully, using layers and masks, inserted the boy from the first photo to create the final product.

Hope you enjoy.

Chris.

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) 17 Mile Drive Asilomar Beach Austin photographer Austin Photography Family Photographer LGBT Pacific Grove Photographer Photography sunset https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/9/when-a-photo-bomb-make-the-picture Sun, 08 Sep 2019 21:51:21 GMT
The Meaning of Season 2 of STAR TREK DISCOVERY. https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/4/the-meaning-of-season-2-of-star-trek-discovery What was STAR TREK DISCOVERY about?

I am going to apologise up front for how long this is and how difficult it is to read. Please remember that this is a semi organised brain dump. I do plan of making a much shorter, organised and readable cliff-notes version suitable for facebook..

From the very beginning, the first episode of the season there were “hmmm, what the heck..?” moments, or clues rather to what I believe the really meaning behind this season of DISCOVERY was all about. Or at the very least there are multiple interpretations of the deeper meaning and I have simply realized one of them.

I’m am going to say up front, what I think the deep meaning of what is really happening and then go back to how I got there.

But I only got here once I had the key, which funnily enough had absolutely nothing to do with Star Trek Discovery, but a movie I happened to watch on the Plane “Bad Times at the El Royale…”. Once I realized what that movie was about it was like a road map to deciphering ST:DSC, but then again I could be totally wrong and barking mad.

What were the events of STAR TREK DISCOVERY SEASON 2 really about?

OK so cutting to the chase, the end meaning.

The season is about Captain Christopher Pike and the accident that left him disfigured and the events of “The Menagerie” to get him to Talos IV to ‘restore’ him. Yes everyone knows that, but I mean, this is literally what is going on.

The events of ST:DSC season 2 are an illusion, no – it’s a hallucination that Captain Pike is experiencing as that the accident during the training exercise. The Hallucinations are the results of his brain being fried by the radiation and his mind is interpreting the events happening around him as he is trying to locate the remaining cadets and getting them out of there to safety. He even makes the choice to continue and help the remaining cadets trapped even though he knows it will cost him his life.

And once he has them out and safe, the ending is the recruits going on safe to have a future life and career (via the Discovery going through the wormhole) while he goes on to his reward, a life on Talos IV and the illusion of a continued career and further adventures aboard the Enterprise with Number One and Lt. Spock.

Or rather this is how he is reliving the events of the training accident.

BTW I am writing this over several days and totally out of order/sequence. So if you see me say “I still do not know how [such-n-such] fits in yet.” When just a paragraph earlier in the blog here is a section that explains why [such-n-such] was a crucial key, it is simply because I wrote them out of order and may have forgotten to tidy this up.

OK, to start again.

STAR TREK DISCOVERY SEASON 2 is the retelling of the original Series story “The Menagerie”, but told from the perspective of a crippled Captain Pike in the wheel chair as he both hallucinates about the accident during the training exercise and while Spock’s court martial is under way as Pike is being transported to Talos IV and ends with him getting his “freedom of a sort.” Of an illusionary life.

*phew* now that was long winded, this all dawned on me as the last pieces fell into place at the end.

Now this is only one characters story/viewpoint, but I’m willing to bet this is the explanation.

Laying out the details, the clues. Not all that happened in this season, not all the major plot threads apply to captain Pike – in fact I cannot work the whole “Section 31- Control AI” plotline into Capt. Pikes Point of View Hallucination while Spock is being Court Marshalled.

The Clues to Captain Pikes Story.

The opening of the first episode. When it comes to Sci-fi stories, books, movies and especially TV, plot-holes and continuity, or rather the lack off, bugs the hell out of me (which is really funny since my all time favourite TV show is actually “Doctor Who” and that is often nothing but continuity errors.) But that is another long winding topic of conversation altogether.

What was I saying, continuity.

I want to start with the very beginning of the Season, the NASA CASSINI footage.

We have a "flash" - an explosion, as Burnham tells us the story of a tribe gathering to tell stories as a girl throws ash from the wood fire into the air "to create the Milky Way Galaxy" and then we see the 7 signals spread across the galaxy, which BTW is bright RED! {footnote #1}

The USS Enterprise is dead in the water having suffered a complete systems failure when it tried to investigate 7 singles spread across the galaxy. Of these 7 singles, only 1 is telling us where it is. As a result, the Capt. is commandeering the USS Discovery to get to that signal.

Hang on, WTF?!? How does he know that there are going to be 7 signals if only one of them is happening ‘now’ and the others will ‘show up’ in time when needed? OK so it’s all about time travel, but it’s like effect comes before cause here. It was this detail that kept bugging me, they were awaiting the signals, but they never explained how they, or rather how Capt. Pike knew about the signals in the first place.

But there was also a very nice clue here to what is really happening and its actually the scene that made me like Anson Mount and how he portrayed Chris Pike. When Tilly accidentally pulls up on the main screen the captains personal record. Chris Pike is all embarrassed but tells everyone to take a good look.

I was so bothered by how they knew about the 7 signals before they appeared that I decided to rewatch that first episode before the two part finally. And when rewatching the light-bulb began to flicker.

This is the accident during the "Kobayashi Maru" occurring, the "tribe gathering" are the recruits, they are introducing themselves when one of them, a girl (Tilly?) hits the wrong button or something and there is the explosion. During the on screen swirling of the Galaxy forming from the wood ash, we actually see a persons face!

One reviewer, when talking about episode 12 "Through the Valley of Sorrow" says that this episode is Pike's Kobayashi Maru. It wasn't - the whole season was. When the explosion occurred, rescuing the 7 cadets became his very own Kobayashi Maru test is a very real sense. Remember this is a Crippled Captain Pike reliving the events of the accident and we are seeing him hallucinate rescuing the cadets, and so everything is an illusionary construct to help him make sense. They have him on some pretty strong medications as well.

Back to that coming on board the Discovery Bridge.

In his retelling of the accident, the explosion has just happened and he knows that he faces his own version of Kobayashi Maru scenario (from now on I’m going to say KM text/accident/whatever just to keep it short). And so he needs to act out the KM scenario.

And this is how is slots together.

The USS Enterprise with its total systems failure represents in his fried brain the KM test that just blew up, and in order for him to be able to re-enact the scenario in order to rescue the cadets, he mentally constructs a new KM exercise for him to commandeer.

Think I am crazy.

Rewatch the bridge intro scene – everyone on the command bridge of the discovery now represents a set of new cadets who are going to help him rescue the dying Cadets.

He comes on the bridge says he is taking command, but Saru jumps up and says No and quotes star fleet. That is exactly what Kirstie alley’s “Saavik” would have done at the start of “Star Trek II Wrath of Khan” if someone stomped into the middle of her KM test claiming to be a high ranking Star Fleet Officer here to commandeer the simulator and Captain Pike in return played along and followed Star Fleet Protocol because Saavik/Saru/Cadet was absolutely correct.

While I totally loved Anson Mounts “Chris Pike” - That scene where he is introducing himself and showing everyone his personal record? When the training exercise started, he was the fleet Captain, and the cadets that he is leading are as nervous as hell, probably about to pee themselves just being in his presence, let alone having to perform their roles under the critical eye of such a senior star fleet officer. This was his way of putting them at their ease, “Hey kids, don’t be nervous of me, if you want to know the truth about me, I flunked Astro-Physics cos I was too busy playing strip poker with Orion slave girls too study for the exam, and for the record here’s my asthma inhaler!”

And then he proceeds to go around the bridge asking them to introduce themselves omitting rank, because they are all cadets and don’t have ranks. Except for the one twerp who just has to say that they were a Lieutenant already, but then again you always get one…

It was the way he spoke and interacted with the Bridge Crew, the way he teased Tilly when she tried to move his finger making her all nervous. That is not how an experienced Fleet Officer would treat the experienced bridge crew of a Star Fleet vessel – BUT IT IS HOW AN EXPERIENCED FLEET OFFICER WOULD INTERACT WITH A GROUP OF NERVOUS CADETS AT THE START OF THE EXERCISE.

Then we get to the point of pulling up the 7 signals, those signals are the bridge location around the simulator where the recruits should be and he has to get to them in order to rescue them.

The explanation will address the following points:

  • Why/How does Captain Pike know about the 7 signals before the happened?
  • Why do we have more advanced technology is ST:DSC when it is supposedly set 10 years prior to the Original Series?
  • What it means for Season 3 of Discovery
  • How can Georgiou be in a “Section 31” spin-off when she was on board Discovery when it went to the future.
  • Why is 10 years an important plot point (it is the biggest plot point of all believe it or not)?
  • The Audacious move that CBS is about to do to the STAR TREK Canon AND WHY!

The next clue, also in that episode was the fortune cookie “Not every cage is a prison…” yes wonderful Easter egg – Bravo! Except it is what Spock Whispered to the invalid Pike as he is abducting him to take him on board the USS Enterprise for the voyage to Talos IV. And it turns out it wasn’t an Easter Egg, BUT a significant plot signpost!

For the record – I need to state that I am not writing this in order, but jumping all over the place in this document because clues are dropping in fast and furious now and as a clue dawns on me (signal?), I will mention it here and in the next section how it links in, etc. etc.

Episode 8 was very thought provoking “If Memory Serves”, but in unusual ways. The opening which showed us the brief flashbacks to “The Cage” were absolutely stunning and joy to watch, but as I watched the episode I did wander why the disconnect with how Talos IV was portrayed to us now. Colours were very grim, compared the to vibrant colours of the 60’s flashbacks that they showed us, the Talosian Flora and Fauna more ‘detailed’, plus the underground complex poorly lit compared to the bright of the flash-back. They were showing us the two very distinct contrasting looks.

Actually they were showing us contrasting styles, I would even say contrasting genre’s. Another lightbulb started to flicker on. And that is when I remembered the line from the “Menagerie” about the Talosians – they were so addicted to telepathy, like a narcotic, that reading thoughts was entertainment for them, better than theatre! That actually comes back to an even bigger revelation!!!

The events of ST:DSC season 2 are an illusion, the biggest clue (which I only thought of after 5 days of all this bubbling in my brain) was that of all the locations we went, how "cinematic" they were, while Talos IV was the one place that was, dim, dark, dank and just dingy...

Remember the Talosians have no imagination, that is why they needed Pike, plus once you get to “Talos” and they let you in, they have no need for illusions now that you are here, and it becomes a brilliant plot twist – Everything outside of Talos IV is an illusion, while everything on Talos IV is reality.

I got curious about whether there was a deeper meaning to what we were being shown, when I read the write up to Episode 12 and how it was homage to Pikes encounter on Rigel VII, especially since it was the crucial episode that showed us that he makes a choice to sacrifice his future in order to save everyone else. And that this was about turning the tragic story of Capt. Pike into a victory, making him a true Hero.

So how do they all add up? “Bad Times at the El Royale…”

At this point I need to discuss a completely unrelated movie I saw on the plane last week, while I was coming down with a head cold.

“Bad Times at the El Royale…” and why this is the key to decoding Star Trek Discovery.

Imagine trying to watch a brilliant movie while barely conscious with a severe head cold and stuffed to the gills on cold medication – how everything just warps and what you perceive is totally different from the actual movie itself. And this is why watching “Bad Times at the El Royale…” on a plane was the key to unlocking this season for me, because, well I was flying back from Europe with an oncoming head cold, tired and doped up on cold meds. The perfect conditions to unlock Discovery.

I would seriously recommend watching it.

“Bad Times at the El Royale…”. Starts of about a hotel and we meet a group of strangers checking into the hotel and we all know right away that they all have secrets and that this is going to be a psychological thriller. But it is the style of the movie and the genre bending that happens throughout the movie is also what we see happening in Season 2 of ST:DSC.

Once the setup is complete and all the guests have checked in we are shown on screen what looks similar to an old silence movie speech card, which simply says “Room One”.

The movie style at this point is an old 70’s FBI drama with Jon Hamm as an FBI agent on a mission and he makes reports back to J.E.Hoover about the case, and his reports are typed up and filed.

What proceeds is that we get similar full screen cards pop up as the story unfolds, and with each card, the focus and style, even genre of the movie changes. Its an anthology story with each piece told from the perspective of one of the main characters, with matching cinematography style/genre.

And the full screen cards – they are the various case files. The first one, the “Room One” is the very stark bare bones typed up report that Jon Hamm phones into the FBI director and as a result the style is very stark. The next couple I think are Police report files and they are interpreted in classic Police drama genre/style. The 4th one made it interesting, titled “Billy lee” this is I think is the FBI psychology profile report on the cult leader and now the whole genre has shifted to Psychological thriller genre for its style.

We had several different stories and threads that all intersected at this one place and how the story looks totally different from one Character/Story perspective than the other.

And that is the trick that they pulled off during the entire Season of Star Trek Discovery!

Now lets get to decoding this season…

Back to the Start, the USS Enterprise is dead in the water having suffered a complete systems failure. This was actually the last piece of the puzzle that I figured out that enabled everything to fall into place.

This is all a hallucination in his mind as he relives the events.

The USS Enterprise system failure was represents the accident during the training exercise and is how his addled brain is interpreting remembering the event. We start with the story of the girl throwing ash into the sky to create the Milkyway Galaxy and then proceeds to show us the 7 signals.

In the original KM accident, they have completed introductions and Pike has had the cadets see his personal record. It is at this point that the simulator explodes.

What we see is him completing that initial part of the KM exercise and then he then proceeds to show the crew of the Discovery (his own construct of the KM scenario) and us the 7 signals.

So what are the 7 signals? The 7 signals are the cadets with him at the start of the exercise before the accident and in his hallucinatory state, he has to get to the signals to ‘rescue’ them while they still can.

He is remembering/hallucinating the events of the accident while while the events of “the Menagerie” with his abduction and then Spock’s Court Marshall is under way.

There is a lot of jumping around of “focus” and perspective

Whenever the story goes to locating and then getting too the next signal – that is where Capt. Pike is in full control of the Discovery crew, because he is locating each of the 7 cadets and either getting them out of there or ensuring that they are safe. And while he is reliving the events of the training accident in some hallucinogenic state he is also experiencing (and interpreting/ integrating into his hallucination) the events of the “Menagerie”.

So as Spock abducts the invalid Pike, Spock tells him “Not every cage is a prison…” but Capt. Pike is a vegetable, barely able to understand or perceive what is really happening around him, so Spock’s spoken words trickle into his subconscious and manifests itself as a fortune cookie. And that was why it was not an Easter Egg, because it is a plot signpost to help us to sync up with the event of “The Menagerie!”

Another element of the story relating to Spock falls in here and something I did not work out until the end – Spoke absence from the start, apparently taking several months of saved leave. This actually represents the time (weeks or months) after the accident, but before Spock came to get the captain. We are told that sub space was a chatter for weeks about the accident, but that at the time the Enterprise under Kirk was far off and out of communication.

To recap. There are two things going on in the fried brain of Capt. Pike that are colliding to create this bizarre and extremely elaborate Hallucination for him. His reliving the events of the KM training accidents and the sensory input from the events of the “Menagerie”, all creating a lovely mishmash in his head.

Now we’ve laid out all the clues we need to solve this, plus all the ground work and we have the key we can move quickly now with how the rest of Chris Pikes story is interpreted and resolved.

There are key synchronization points from within the timeline of the “Menagerie” and the events within Captain Pikes hallucination that allow us to say exactly where we are within each story.

But what has the Discovery crew have to do with all of this and how do the events synchronize.

This is going to be fun. The Discovery crew, like everything else we see are part of the Invalid Pikes hallucinations (although I still have no idea of how Section 31 & Control fit in), however the Discovery and her crew are not external stimuli being interpreted by pikes subconscious, as the Fortune Cookie was Spock’s words “Not every cage is a prison…” filtering in, nor are they memories (well they might, but not for this purpose) – instead the Discovery and her crew are imaginary creations there to help Pike rescue the cadets (Signals).

Actually that is not quite true, they are real, but I want to leave that to the end because it really is an amazing and audacious idea. All I would say is, if the Federation existed in the 32nd Century, what would be the updated equivalent “Kobayashi Maru” Scenario that they would be using?

While the events of “The Menagerie” unfold around him, he “sees” and incorporates what is happening around him into his recurring hallucinogenic nightmare of the accident and the Discovery and crew are part of that hallucinogenic construct.

You still alive and with me on this one? Now let us synchronize events. Each sync has 3 parts

  1. What is happening to Chris Pike in the real world within the time frame of “The Menagerie”
  2. Where in the hallucination of reliving the accident is Chris Pikes Mind
  3. How are the events of “The Menagerie” incorporated into the hallucination of the accident.

Here we go

  • Pike has been in the vegetative state for weeks or months and Spock has been gone for a while on leave of absence. This is the gap between the accident, but before Spock abducts Pike.
  • Pike is waken up as he is abducted by Spock, who whispers “Not every Cage is a Prison…” Having woken up, Pike begins his hallucinogenic nightmare of the training accident by taking command of the Discovery and its crew to get to the Signals/cadets. He knows the cadets are there, that is why he knows that there are or will be 7 signals. The first signal is the first recruit which he rescues: Jet Reno. Spocks words filters into his subconscious as the fortune cookie.
  • We are now at the start of the Court Marshall and we are shown the first transmissions from Talos IV which is of the landing party finding the survivors from a crashed Federation ship 18 years prior. Pike now focuses on getting to the second signal and rescuing the next cadet. The illusion of the human survivors on the surface of Talos appears to Pike as the colony on Terralysium.
  • On the Enterprise, the view screen turns off, because Captain Pike has dosed off. I realized that there was a long gap in the ST:DSC story now and I couldn’t work it out until I realized that part-1 ended with Pike asleep, so there is no “real world” stimuli. Instead he is dreaming, but instead of the accident, he is dreaming other stuff and we get all these other events now. Obviously they have him on some pretty good pain killers…
  • Now this is where syncing events goes a little odd for me (unless I got it wrong and this is all total nonsense). In ST:TOS we resume with Chris Pike captive of the Talosians and he is then subjected to an illusion of his fight on Rigel VII – however it is possible that the events of importance for syncing is that this is when Kirk, Spock & Mendez are arguing as they have discovered that the signals are coming from Talos, which since it is quarantined puts them all in danger. The third Signal/Cadet coincides with the events of Kaminar. But the events of Kaminar are about two opposing sides and the argument (in ST:DSC) about Starfleet staying out of the conflict could very well be how Pike interprets Kirk and Mendez discussing Starfleets orders with regards to Talos IV? I seriously hope I am not going the deep end here and in need of psychiatric help for over thinking this stuff.
  • If the argument about breaking standing orders about travelling to Talos are related to the Kaminar conflict, while that does work for me, I am then lost on how to integrate the ST:TOS events from the Talos transmission of the illusion on Rigel VII, feeding a sugar cube to his horse, seeing the rest of the Enterprise crew trying to cut their way down to him etc. and eventual escape onto the ruined surface of Talos, all into Pike’s ongoing hallucination! Yikes.
  • Episode 12, this is the real nice one and the syncing between what is happening during Spock’s Court Marshall, Pike reliving the accident and hallucinating everything together is actually different from expected – but maybe more impactful. Come with me on this Journey.
    We have arrived at the point in the story where the evidence presented is of the humans escaping onto the surface of Talos, but the screen goes blank. We are left with Spock almost badgering Pike to make a choice. We also have the fourth Signal as well for the fourth cadet. It is possible that this is the point during the accident that he could have saved himself and left the other cadets to die. Both recalling the events of the accident and the events of the “Menagerie” focus on Pike making a choice. Having made the decision to sacrifice himself, the fog from his mind is lifting and he realizes the horror of his situation. In his hallucination, he realizes that he is no longer the clean cut Mitt Romney lookalike Hero, but the pathetic figure in the wheelchair is him, now – not in the future! That was the true terror Anson Mount showed us, it was when the cripple finally realized what he was and that Spock was offering him, in the form of the time crystal and accept what happened and the offer of hope from the Talosians. In the “Menagerie” this was the only time that the Crippled Pike became active as he was visibly agitated – he has just begun to comprehend the emotional and physical condition he is in as he Anson Mount sees the new motorized chair with go faster lights approaching him.
  • Episode 13. I do not think there are any events from the “Menagerie” here to sync with the hallucination, but the fifth signal – which again he responds to immediately is getting that Cadet out.
  • The Finale, what is interesting here is that this episode covers just the end where he is beamed down to Talos and given the illusion of life. With regards to the final two signals, Pike does not take the lead here at all, and in fact he takes no action with regards to them other than acknowledge them. This is pure Hallucination now, the whole battle is the bulkhead coming down during the training exercise – he sees the sixth cadet being pulled out as that door comes down and for us that is shown in the form of Brunham desperately trying the reach the wormhole to set the sixth signal for Discover showing us that the sixth recruit had just squeezed out.
  • And in the final scene, we see Pike on Talos given the illusion of a normal life. And with that the illusion is of a very brightly coloured (almost garish, well it was the 60’s) Enterprise bridge. And the seventh signal was the ‘end’ of remembering the accident and fact that as he lay at the bulkhead with his face melting he saw that the last recruit he did not find/help had actually gotten out by themselves.

So Chris Pike is now ready to live out his life in a fantasy/illusion as Captain of a shiny bright Enterprise with Number One and a clean shaven Spock.

But there is more…

That line from the “Cage” where Vina tells Pike that telepathy and illusions are like a narcotic for them, and this is where “Bad Times at the El Royale..” was the key to unlock it all.

Throughout the series and especially in the last episode we saw and experienced things from the perspective of one of the principle characters, and each of those characters had a genre assigned to them with describes their personality and intensity of emotion/adrenalin. And this would actually help to explain the interesting fushion of styles.

Basically the Talosians gained a whole movie-plex with Chris Pike’s mind.

At the start of the final episode, everyone was relatively calm and so everyones emotional viewpoint was pretty much the same, but as Number one politely points out, as the Shit hits the Fan, and everyones adrenalin starts pumping, then we see some interesting things happening.

It works best when looking at pairs of characters and how the style genre of each because more stark in contrast.

A simple example is the farewell scene between Admiral Cornwell and Captain Pike as she lowers the bulkheads to protect the rest of the ship from the exploding Photo Torpedo.

Admiral Cornwell’s genre is very dark gritty Star Trek, almost ST:VOY, while Captain Pikes is so ST:TOS with an extra coat of paint for good measure. When they are in that room with the torpedo they are on the exact same ship, the USS Enterprise. So technically there should be this continuity with regards how everything looks etc.

But the bulkhead that Cornwell manually lowers, is dark, curved edges and very, well Voyager almost. Its her moment and so that is what we see.

But right behind her watching stoically is Pike, and the bright turbo lift doors of the Enterprise close with that distinctive swish. Once I first saw that it annoyed me, but now I understand that each characters perspective is depicted based on their genre. Pike is proud of his ship, that is why it was shown it that very classic way, except for the one area where he was not the expert and not in charge and that was handling the undetonated photon torpedo.

Michael Burnham and Spock. Likewise Spock is assigned a very ST:TNG/DS9/VOY style like the admiral, but Burnham, her genre is more the marvel-esqe/Halo/fast action movie genre we have. And that is why her scenes are much more noticeable here because that is as far from what we have normally seen in Star Trek to date. And at the end, when it is all down to her and she’s panicking, the Red Angel suit and special effects are full on summer block buster. When she launched herself out of the back of Discovery, we got full on Super Hero pose and every genre cliché possible.

As she is trying to set coordinates and the pressure is building the prominence on the style grows, meanwhile Spock, not far away in his almost ST:VOY shuttle can barely contain his annoyance at how she is getting so flustered. For him only fractions of a second are passing and yet she is taking forever to get it done, while for her it seems like she has so many things to do to get the jumps set up and they seem more complicated as they go on…

And there are other genre’s in play as well, for Leland/Control and Georgiou, they share an action thriller style of genre, almost “Mission Impossible”, while Amanda Greyson and Sarek have a softer cerebral, more Spielberg genre that they are shown in.

Closing the loop – The future of Star Trek Discovery…

And finally, this is perhaps the most controversial idea of what I think is happening.

The events took place during the episode “The Menagerie”. The events also take place 950 years later.

Remember I said that Captain Pike, faced with his own KM scenario had to figuratively commandeer another simulator running the KM scenario? What we also saw happening was indeed a second Kobayashi Maru Scenario being played out, but this time it is in the 32nd Century and it is the updated scenario for the Federation in that era.

At the very end, when the USS Discovery was being taken by Burnham into the future and Capt Pike and the Enterprise crew were anxiously watching, it really felt like the Star Trek franchise was being was torn into 2, the classic that we know and familiar with as represented by Anson Mount’s ‘Pike’ and the Enterprise crew, and Burnham & Co as new Star fleet graduates.

I would even bet that Season 3 starts with our Discovery Bridge crew exiting the Simulator in the 32nd Century. The USS Discovery never travelled 950 years into the future – it was already there!

This is also where the upcoming “Section 31” spin off comes in.

The 32ndC Kobayashi Muru Scenario which Burnham, Saru, Tilly, etc. played out was the Control AI scenario, with Leland and Georgiou part of the simulation/scenario – it is the only way to explain the ridiculous over the top fight scene that they had, and may have been based on a real event for the future Star Fleet. Hence why they incorporated it into the latest KM simulator.

This means that we may have Georgiou’s “Section 31” story taking place in the 32nd Century, and not the 23rd, since she was on board the USS Discovery when it travelled forward in Time.

When our 32nd C “cadets” do their KM scenario, they have on the bridge a senior officer – here represented by Captain Pike, but also other members and I believe that Ltn Airiam was one of them, since she was way more advanced that ever seen into any of the Star Trek franchises and therefore her death was part of the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

What is real?

Good question, and here is the simple answer. Nothing.

CBS has pulled an audacious “Twilight Zone” style twist on us all and as a result resolved every continuity problem, such as Klingons with forehead wrinkles, or no wrinkles, or looking like something out of an alien Shakespeare production. And its the answer to the very last question.

Why did CBS set Start Trek Discovery 10 years before the original series when there is absolutely nothing to indicate that is belong there?

Because that is when the events of “The Cage” takes place.

The Talosians being telepathic use the thoughts of others as entertainment. That also means they don’t have TV’s, remember they themselves don’t have any imagination. At one point during the “Cage” one of the Talosians report that “already hundreds are probing the surface thoughts…”

And this is the “Twilight Zone” nature of the season, CBS is saying to us “We are the Talosians, and all the various iterations of Star Trek that we have seen are just that, mental creations. Everyone has a Star Trek series they like best and one they hate. In the end it does not matter as long as we understand it is not really and not become addicted to it. Remember, illusions are a narcotic to the Talosians and worry about continuity and canon are symptoms of the addiction as we want more!”

This also explains Season 1.

CBS took 3 of the classic creations of the Original series that fans hold as sacrosanct within Star Trek Canon, and totally turned them on their head.

The Klingon War, mentioned but not shown in the Original Series. Over the years the changing appearance of the Klingons has caused nothing but controversy and the rather Over the top appearance presented in Season 1 was disconnected to their appearances in the original Series (supposedly 10 years later) and even Star Trek Enterprise which would have been a few decades earlier.

The Mirror universe. I remember so many folks upset when ST:DS9 showed the Terran Empire destroyed. What we saw was a glorious and powerful Terran Empire and maybe Georgiou is from there, but it’s the 32ndC Terran Empire that she comes from. Just like perhaps it was the 32ndC Klingons we saw? Maybe?

And the final one that they used was the original polite Episode as a means to throw away all the continuity and the sheer weight of the Star Trek Canon that had become a loadstone around the franchises neck by declaring all the Star Trek Series, Spin-offs etc. to be an illusions created by the Talosians as they probed Pikes mind.

In summary – I hope the Talosian’s have plenty of popcorn…

 

Footnotes:

1. I wrote this line about the story of throwing the ash into the air almost when I had everything finished as I was hoping that she says how many tribesman had gathered, but she did not. However on screen as we see the swirling cloud of ash, right there is a face.

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) #StarTrekDiscovery @CBSaccess https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/4/the-meaning-of-season-2-of-star-trek-discovery Mon, 29 Apr 2019 20:21:59 GMT
Not a Simulation? https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/2/not-a-simulation An unusual blog post this month - something weird and philosophical perhaps.

OK, truth is I can sometimes be a total brat and enjoy messing with people, particularly I like messing with folks who can be a bit pompous, ie. I remember half listening to a college student talking about whether we live in a computer simulation and he was saying that it would be easy to disprove such a notion because it is unlikely that the simulation would be error free and that some 'bug', 'glitch' or other 'limitation' would give it away as a simulation.

I didn't think much of it at the time, but after a while it did get me thinking, so in hindsight, this is how I would have messed with him...

First of I would challenge the notion that any sort of "error" would be recognizable as such, instead we might observe such an “error”, but how would we (as part of said simulation) interpret the effect of such a “bug”? I’ll come to this one later, so stick around cos that one is gonna blow your mind, believe me.

OK, I do have to state for the record, that I do not believe all this is some incredibly advanced powerful version of “The Sims” being played on some alien kids computer. I believe that what we see and experience and think of as reality, is the real universe… But it is always fun to think “what-if..?”

So lets talk about limitations first & how they might “manifest” in our interpretation of reality within a vast computer. Let us assume that history as we know it did occur in the simulation and that the simulation didn’t just start populated with humans and pre-history is a created backstory; but hang-on what if there was a start point when the simulation was started and that start was 6000 years ago and all of Earths history was part of a preloaded setting. That’s would make creationists correct.

So anyway, big simulator that has been running a history of Earth from formation to now and at the current moment is modelling over Seven Billion humans and not just that, modelling everything on the Earth at least. Before you object about the size of the model, I’m going for Gigantic computing power to help point out that there can never be enough computing power to run a simulation with such accuracy to be problem free.

Problem #1: Limits to Resolution.

Look around you right now, if this is a computer simulation then you are interpreting a 3D model updated in real time.

We know in our interpretation of reality, the screen you are reading this is made up of atoms. Now I’m not going to get into the nature of atoms within a simulation, after all the screen could be described within the simulator by a wireframe model. Far better than trying to simulate every atom. But a simulation would require every described object within it one extra quality to make the model work – coordinates. Among the data that describes your screen within the simulator will be coordinates.

No matter how big the computer is running the simulation, it will be limited in the degree of detail it can distinguish. Currently 64-bit is the largest mainstream architecture, with a few 128-bit & 256-bit in private research, so lets go big and assume our simulation is on a 65536-bit machine (2^256), on that alien kids desk no doubt. But even that (probably soon to be replaced by a better model) computer with all of its processing power will have a limit to how accurate it can measure an objects position.

There will be a scale at which there is defined a distance that is the smallest distance that can be measured to separate two distinct coordinates within the simulation. At this scale a moving object would appear to ‘jump’ instantaneously to a point close by without seemingly go through space between the two points. Basically what is the resolution of the simulated universe.

Any form of simulation, whether ‘turn’ based or ‘algorithm’ based ie. “sims” vs a mathematical model of the height of sea tides, require time as a component. For our ‘turn’ base simulation, we live in slices of time like old fashioned stop-animation – there is a snapshot of time, then the simulation is updated and then another snapshot and so on. For ‘algorithm’ based, I recall reading once that for the next 10 million years, assuming that nothing unexpected or unknown perturbs the orbits of the planets, that the orbits of the planets are so well modelled that if their measurements of Pluto’s position was off by more than 100 miles then that error after just 1 million years would grow to where Pluto was on the other side of its long orbit. A bit long winded I know, but it is one of those facts that have stuck in my head for years.

Both versions of simulations requires time be defined by units ie. Within a simulation, there has to be a measure of the smallest possible unit of time, the time between each ‘turn’ or time between each call to the ‘algorithm’ to update Pluto’s position.

But reality would not work like that, no computer or simulation could ‘tick’ so fast that even the fastest update would be truly seamless and instantaneous or be able to resolve detail on a scale down to infinity…

…except.

There is this thing called “Planck units”, among which is “Planck Length”, “Planck Time”, “Plank temperature” and a few other delights https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_units. “Planck Length” is the shortest distance between two points where the Standard model of the universe can be reconciled with General Relativity etc., but smaller than that then all bets are off and quantum weirdness rules. The Planck Length is smaller than an electron – in fact (Quoting a Quora answer) “If you could stretch an atom to a size of our galaxy, the plank length will be the size of an atom. If you could stretch a football field to a size of our observable universe, the plank length would be the size of an atom.”

“Planck Time” is the time it takes for light to travel a “Planck Length” and it therefore the shortest length of time that can be defined in the standard model. In fact in cosmology the Planck epoch is described as the very first moment following the Big Bang being when the universe was one “Plank Time” old.

So that means in a way we see that reality actually does not have infinite resolution and the “Planck Length” could also be the size of the pixels or the absolute limits of the coordinates of an object.

Now would be a good time to go lie down or get a really good drink…

Problem #2: An Error or Glitch in the simulation.

Back to the original point that any sort of error (said it would be worth hanging around for), whether a bug in the simulation code or some other “glitch” would be obvious and give the game away that it is all a simulation. An example being a recent Doctor Who episode where the inhabitants realized they were simulations and one of the proofs being that when asked to say aloud a random number, they all said the same number.

Seriously, that is one piece of sloppy Friday afternoon hack after a few too many lunchtime pints down the pub piece of shit coding. That would have been spotted in the unit test. OK so how would it have been fixed? Easy.

First solution is that nearly all random number generator require a “seed” value to generate a sequence of numbers that look random from an algorithm. The ‘random’ result is then fed back in as the seed to the next random number to be requested. So add to the algorithm something that could also be used along with the seed, such as when a request for a random number is made, the algorithm accesses the simulation clock (which is measured in “Planck units”). There is no way a group of ‘people’ if simulated can all ‘think’ of a random number, using the same seed at the same “Planck moment.” Some simulated people will take a few seconds to respond (how much Planck time would that be?), a few will anticipate the need and request a number too quickly – so already we have a huge spread of input into the Random number generator and so there will be different numbers shouted out.

Second solution would be that during one of the simulations ‘turn’ updates, the simulator needs to provide everyone in a group with a random number, so instead of each simulated person have their own random number generating routine, that during the turn update the simulator would poll all the simulated object for those that require a random number and add those requests to a queue to be processed. They are all processed in turn (remember it is a fast 65536-bit computer) and each result is looped back in as the seed to the next random number. All this is done during the ‘tick’. A single random number generating routine accessed by all the elements within the simulation that require anything to be “random” (via a convenient API) would actually be a much more efficient programming solution and would reinforce the pseudo-randomness of the numbers.

Problems like that would be caught and fixed during unit testing.

What I think would happen if there were such a ‘glitch’ is that it would not be an obvious smoking gun pointing to a computer simulation, instead it would be interpreted as being some sort of phenomenon that defies explanation.

Remember we were discussion algorithms and a slight error could over time compound an error, as in the case of Pluto’s orbit. When I did my university internship, one of my projects was to port a modelling system from Fortran-6 to Fortran-77+. Part of the port basically involved cleaning up some of the sloppy F6 coding so that it would compile for F77+ with strict encoding enforced for best optimization. Once the port was done (and the code changes also put into the F6 code stream so to maintain one code that could be compiled both ways) the results had to be compared and differences in output resolved. Both compiled versions of the code ran on the same mainframe, but what I observed was that the two compilers treated and stored floating point number differently, resulting in small differences that were only apparently for very small numbers with many digits post decimal point. Basically there was a rounding error. Exact same code, exact same computer hardware, just different compiler.

Now imagine a slight rounding error in the algorithm that determines the distances between two points defined as coordinates in the simulation. The rounding error could be so small that the algorithm that calculated the distanced from your eye to this text could be in the order of a few atoms – seriously not much for us to be bothered about right?. But as we enlarge the scale, such errors as these can easily compound themselves and suddenly when we measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun, that rounding error could mean plus-or-minus several miles/kilometers to the measured distance. As we look towards some of the galaxies in the local group and the distance calculating algorithm in the simulation could be on the order of plus-or-minus several light-years.

And as we look at the distant universe at objects 12 Billion light years away, using Type Ia supernova to determine distance, now we could potentially see this inflated rounding error, but how would we interpret it? When we look at those far objects we look at the red-shift which is caused by the expansion of the fabric of space, the further away, the greater the red-shift the faster it is moving from use and that speed is proportional to the distance from us. So what we would observe, if there was a bug in the simulation is that when we measure the red-shift of that far away object, we can deduce just how far away it is from us, but then when we measure Type Ia Supernova to directly determine distance we would get a different value. Would theoretical physicists and astrophysicists at this point throw up their hands and exclaim that they have found something that is conclusive proof that it is all a simulation. Or would they think that what they are observing is correct and that there is something wrong with the model they have for the universe and then work out how to fix their model.

Don’t believe me?

Those objects 12 Billions light years away, when we look at the light from those supernova, the light pattern suggests that the object is further away from us than is allowed for by the red-shift. So what could be a bug in the simulation has instead lead astro-physicists to consider that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. To help explain this we have the concept of Dark energy, which is the mysterious energy pushing the expansion, and that in time the galaxies will fly apart from each other because of the accelerating expansion. As its influence grows, it will stretch the space between planets and their stars and actually atoms will be ripped apart as the fabric of space expands faster.

Until finally the distance that the Dark energy is able to act upon reaches down to the Planck Distance at which point the fabric of the universe itself is ripped apart. Certainly a very different end of the universe scenario from the expand forever into blackness or crunch back down to nothing.

So the whole scenario of the Universe being torn apart by accelerating expansion driven by Dark energy came about because of an observable inconsistency resulting from an normally insignificant rounding error and our attempts to reconcile the effect it has, when there may be no such thing as Dark Energy and no Accelerating Expansion. The simulated universe could be behaving exactly as it should according to Newtonian Physics and the Standard model before these new observations. What if the elaborate theories about Dark Energy etc. is an attempt to rationalize observations of a bug in the simulation.

Problem #3: The inevitability of duplication.

What more? Oh yeah, you bet…

Lets go back to random numbers for a moment shall we. Lets assume that the simulator has as routine “create person”, input basic parameters such as location, ethnicity etc. and a random number from our random number generator so that we can create a population that looks diverse. Now it is always possible to enter different values and get similar results – that could be why some people have near identical ‘doubles’, that’s just the nature of random numbers etc.

Lets assume that our “create person” routine, when provided with parameters, creates the full person, name, profession & appearance etc. so it should be extremely unlikely that in a real universe (such as ours) that the “create person” would produce two identical people (excluding twins here, since that would be just one crank of the “create person” procedure).

Now the thing about random number generators, especially if we ‘fixed’ it as previously described, for it to be truly random then there is always a chance that the generator can produce the same output consecutively. I mean, when playing roulette, it is possible for the ball to land in the exact same number as the previous play. So lets assume, our rando generator can spit out the same number, and if we call the ”create person” with the same basic input values to create two individuals and unbeknownst to us the generator also provided the same randomized value then potentially those two people we created, could be totally unrelated and yet could be identical.

Yeah right, that I think would be stretching it too much…

…except.

Literally as I was writing this blog, I found this article, two baseball players, with exactly the same name, they go to the same doctor, both red-haired (only 2% of the Caucasian population BTW) and even look the same, even the same height, but a DNA test shows that they are totally unrelated (however not the same birthday, otherwise the article would have so mentioned that I think) https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2019/02/20/2-baseball-players-named-brady-feigl-take-dna-tests-to-see-if-theyre-related_a_23674425/ . OK, so when I read that article, it actually made me pause…

 

So while I do not believe we live in a computer simulation, anyone who says that it can be proved that we do not live in one because “we could tell” has not thought it through.

How would we tell exactly?

So, when did the Simulation start? Was it 6000 years ago perhaps.

Do the Planck units represent the level of detail that the simulation is capable of?

And are some of the unexplained observations of our universe simply just how we inside the simulation interpret bugs or glitches within the system?

And do we know why one of the voyager probes seems to be accelerating as it leaves the solar system?

But I hope I’ve given you pause for thought and remember – its Happy Hour somewhere.

[ADDENDUM]

I love reading Quora and shortly after I posted this, there was a very simply question which on the face of it seemed an innocent question, but turned out to be a whole lot more. They asked that if 0 Kelvin was absolute lowest possible temperature with no energy, was there an absolute highest possible temperature? My thought was "no, you just add energy!", you know a bit like "what is the largest possible number?" - because whatever answer someone provides, you just add '1', but I would be wrong. Heat is governed by the electro-magnetic force and the hotter an object is, the more energetic the light that the object emits, ie. Shorter wavelength. AND the shortest wavelength possible is 1 planck length, so light with a wavelength of 1-planck would be emitted by an object that was 10^44 degrees Kelvin – anything higher would be shorter wavelength, which as we know is not possible, so that defines a maximum possible temperature that can ever occur in the universe. BTW for comparison the Big Bang is thought to have been about 10^25 (ish) Kelvin, so even the big bang was not as hot (or explosive) as the potential maximum possible – WOW!. This also means that temperature is "granular" just like time and distance, because the minimum difference between two distinct temperatures would be where their respective electro-magnetic wavelengths differed by just 1 planck length.

I also found a slightly better description of "planck time", one that really plays with the mind. Not only is it the shortest possible unit of time, but it is the shortest time that separates events. Shorter than that then we are playing in the realm of quantum physics (and time also becomes quantum now) then it is no longer possible to determine which event occurred first – effect could come before cause – or not! But whenever we talk of a “split second”, we really do mean “planck time” and the “planck epoch” following the Big Bang was the first moment after the big bang event…

[ADDENDEM to the ADDENDEM]

Anyone who knows me knows that sometimes (especially when cold meds are involved trying to overcome the inevitable dose of something nasty caught flying back to the States from Europe) my brain can go down a rabbit-hole in a recursive way, & verily it did… BIG TIME!!!

An interesting Sci-Fi story idea, scientist looks to create the conditions of 10^44 K and attempts to push the temperature even higher, thus inadvertently creating a burst of light with wavelength in the quantum realm and the potential impact that would have on reality. That was thought 1.

Thought 2. – Naturally this is impossible because all the matter/energy in the universe was crunched together in a singularity at the moment of the big bang and all the energy in the universe could only achieve a temperature of 10^25 K, so in that aspect we are safe.

Thought 3. Or rather the total energy of the Observable universe, when crunch together down to a singularity would derive a temperature of 10^25 K. The current theory is that shortly after the big bang (several planck ‘ticks’ later I assume) there was the inflationary period in which the fabric of space expanded faster than the speed of light, thus creating the observable universe within the much larger universe, the majority of which lies beyond the viewable horizon.

Thought 4. BTW it was at this point when flying over Greenland that the stuffy head, cold meds and the complimentary G&T’s provided by the nice BA flight crews really kicked into action.

If just our observable slice of the universe accounted for the energy to create 10^25 K of the big bang temperature and this was prior to the inflationary period, then that part of the universe beyond the observable horizon would also be part of that momentary fireball, but we can no longer see its contribution to those early conditions and the Background microwave cosmic radiation, only the CMBR created by the observable universe. There is plenty more of it, but its beyond our observable horizon.
Which means that there was much more of it (and therefore more energy) than would have created the 10^25K fireball that represents the observable universe! All because of inflation.

Thought 5. Really on a roll now, yes I’ll have another G&T <sniff> Now if we go back to our maximum temperature of 10^44 K – if this really is the absolute hottest temperature, then the big bang could not be any hotter, so suddenly we get the possible maximum size of all the universe beyond what we see, which would be 10^19 times bigger than the observable universe. 
 

At which point my head exploded…

 

 

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin photographer Austin Photography Family Photographer Gallery Photographer Photography Portfolio https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/2/not-a-simulation Sun, 24 Feb 2019 01:04:05 GMT
Photographing the forgotten members of the Family - Your Pets!! https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/1/photographing-the-important-members-of-the-family---your-pets There are times when something can be staring you in the face, but you just does realise it - and then it hits you like a brick! We always talk about photographing family, catching that natural look and personality, but it did not occur to me that we often overlook some members of our families. Family members that we often love just as much as we love the rest of our family, but are reluctant to admit to friends and strangers just how important they are to us and don't think about immortalising them with a photo.

Who am I talking about exactly? Well its our pets of course, and the love and affection we sometimes have for them is real, yet we may not be as open about it.

Yes I know, there are plenty of pet Photographers out there, and they do awesome work, but I did notice that the vast majority of them either specialise in, or very focused towards Dogs! Please don't get me wrong, there is some great Dog photography out there, and I especially love those under water photos of dogs diving after tennis balls - they indeed are very talented photographers and capture some awesome memories with that wow factor.

I do wish to stress, that I do admire those photographers that can do amazing work with dogs - but I'm not one of them! Unfortunately I have an issue with dogs (childhood trauma etc. etc.), BUT cats, now that is totally different. I grew up with cats, my parents raised show cats and so I not only was very comfortable with cats, I learnt how to read their moods and have found that cats instinctively trust me!

And that is what this blog post is all about. Their are so few CAT Photographers out there - I mean photographers of cats, not cats who are photographers (they don't have thumbs, and their paws aren't good at holding a camera - plus they tend to try and do everything with automatic settings).

I had a need for a cat photographer several years back, when I nearly lost my beloved kitty 'Phoebe' who was a grand dame at the age of 15 and I was devastated - she accidentally escaped when a door was left open and we live in an area with a lot of coyote activity. Fortunately we were able to get her back after a day of hiding, but the whole incident was a reminder that as she was at at the advanced age of 15, that while I was lucky to have gotten her home, she did not have that many years left to her and that while she looked in healthy condition - old age was starting to tell. I needed to make the most of the time I had.

So while she still looked in good health and still fiesty as anything, (but starting to show signs of some physical problems) I did not have many professional level quality photos of her - Now was the time, while she still looked strong and healthy to get those photos that captured her beauty, her fiesty personality and that she was my cat.

So I called in a Photographer friend of mine to help me out with this project...

Because I grew up caring for and showing cats, I knew how to get her (and in fact any cat) to settle down and show off for the camera.

My wife loves this photo of her, because it shows the affectionate relationship that Phoebe and I had for each other (the story of how we adopted Phoebe, and gave her her name are quite funny - but feel free to ask if you want to hear an amusing cat story).

Of the photos we took, this was the only one that spoke about her age, she does look 'fragile' and her advanced age is definitely apparent. But for a photo of Phoebe being held by her 'daddy' - it seemed appropriate.

And that is the main message of this blog post. We took these photos of Phoebe when she still quite healthy at 15, and while she was still with us for another two and a half years, her physical health and appearance did begin to deteriorate noticeable a few months later and we would not have gotten these brilliant photos of her still looking strong.

When the time finally came that we had to let her go, I was so grateful that we had these photos, because she was a shadow of her former self and any photo taken when she was 18 and frail - they would not have been able to capture the spirit that she was known for.

That first Photo of her, seated on the chair looking to the left, that is the photo I have above my desk and is what inspired me to do this blog post.

But I have much more to show you, than my crazy (but loving) Tortieshell.

Cats just seemed fascinated by me. It might seem like a joke, but it is true.

If I enter a house that has a cat, even if it is a very shy cat, they will be intrigued and decide that I can be trusted and need to be investigated. I'm used to folks saying "wow - normally they just hide when there's a stranger in the house!" Yeah that's my life.

And that is just how I caught his mischief lounging in a tree. She wanted to know what I was doing and before long she was posing for me.

And this is my sons cat, who once he realised I had a camera, sat in the window posing. Seriously posing!

First he showed me his left profile, then a nice three quarter pose, followed by a tilt of the head.

Did I forget to mention that I never met the cat before? But my son was just laughing at how the cat was showing off for me, wanting to make sure we got the perfect shot...

To finish up, another photo of my dear Phoebe - this was the one that we printed and gave to our vet as a Thank You for all the work she had done for my little girl when we finally had to bid her farewell at the age of 18! She loved it so much, she shed a tear and said that it was exactly how she wanted to remember Phoebe - a fiesty daddies girl who scarred the Vet techs!

If you have an aging Cat (or any pet of any kind), do not hesitate to talk to us about capturing those memories of your beloved furry family members. We understand the sadness you are facing as they get old - so let us help you to make it easier...
 

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Austin photographer Austin Photography Cat Photographer Cat Photography Chris Fieldhouse Family Photographer LGBT Pet Photographer Pet Photography Photographer Photography Portfolio https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2019/1/photographing-the-important-members-of-the-family---your-pets Thu, 17 Jan 2019 02:20:13 GMT
Classy Furniture for Shoots!!! https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2018/11/classy-furniture-for-shoots Always been on the lookout for some nice portrait & boudoir furniture for several years, things were either way over priced or terrible condition. But found these 3 items at an estate sale. Excellent condition.

A stunning pair of His & Hers reproduction antique armchairs

and the matching couch (perfect for lounging or that seductive sprawl, or for that pair of naughty children sitting waiting to be told off). On the first night we had them we caught the very shy black cat curled up asleep on the ladies armchair..

We found "Jack" our confident Black Cat curled up here - if you have met Jack, you know that he likes to claim everything for himself. No surprise seeing him asleep here.

But it was when I saw that Bella (she is our "indoor feral cat" - the cat sitter does not ever seen her) curled up in a tight ball asleep on the ladies armchair. She is Jet Black and looked so stunning - so I took that as a "Yes, they were meant to be ours!"..
Now just need to find space for them... 
 

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) austin boudoir chris dudoir family fieldhouse gallery gay gentlemans lgbt male mens photographer photography portfolio pride professional https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2018/11/classy-furniture-for-shoots Mon, 19 Nov 2018 16:18:10 GMT
Wildlife in the Garden https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2018/6/wildlife-in-the-garden Sorry it has been a while since I did a blog post, so here is a brief one.
I have to admit our back garden is a total mess. I don't really have much of a green thumb, plus the fact that here in central Texas for most of the year the weather is set to "Broil" so any attempt to do any gardening or even enjoy the garden will usually result in me collapsing from heat stroke, only to be then swarmed by vampiric mosquitoes, leaving behind a dehydrated husk. OK, enough about why we don't maintain our garden.
Garden may be a mess, but it is a wildlife refuge, and that to me is a big plus. Each spring we have Does and their young in our garden for safety, but this year we saw a faun no more than 18 inches tall and freshly bathed, so we assumed newly born.
Following day we saw a pair of fauns together, so the new born had a sibling/friend. well apparently Deer are such social creatures that if a faun is 'orphaned' a doe will take it on and raise it as her own. We have decided to Call them "Josh" and "Ethan" (for obvious reasons, well maybe not obvious to a casual reader, but believe me, its an inside joke with friends that pays off in the humour department, thank you very much).
Normally I will just watch them frolic thru the garden and not try and catch a photo, but this one time it stood there almost challenging me to photograph him. So got this picture of one of them yesterday - this is obviously "Josh" cos of his little beard...

This first picture is the "as-is" from the raw file.

One of the challenges I faced after taking this picture was how to 'process' or 'tidy' it. 

Now I always photograph using RAW (I was going to say "photograph in RAW", but then realised how that could so easily be misinterpreted) to give me maximum post-processing flexibility. So the issue I faced was that since this was a nature shot I had to keep the appearance natural, but I knew that it needed a little 'tune-up' work BUT I just knew that this picture would be sensitive to adjustments and that there would be a fine line between 'perfect' and "well, it just looks fake".

So I opted to keep it simple, just raise the colour saturation a notch to bring out the Auburn colour out on his fur without bringing up too much of the green in the background foliage (that was where any over processing or 'fake-ness' would appear). Also I wanted to nudge up the contrast slightly so that the colours on the legs were more noticeable and the dappled markings would be more distinct. I hope you like the end result.

In case you are wondering, we also have Racoon's and Possum's in our back garden (Racoon cubs are adorable, they are curious and make noises like Ewok's). We have even had birds, including Cardinals, build nests in our hanging baskets. Don't believe me? Well this was one such hanging flower basket by the front door many years ago (this was with an old point-n-click camera while looking thru our front window at the Cardinal chicks)...

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) austin austin deer austin faun austin photographer austin photography austin powwow austin pow-wow austin wildlife cardinals chris fieldhouse family family photographer family photography gallery lgbt mule deer photographer photography portfolio professional photographer professional photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2018/6/wildlife-in-the-garden Thu, 28 Jun 2018 18:15:24 GMT
More fun & unusal things to do in Austin https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/11/yet-more-fun-things-to-do-in-austin Last May, I wrote about the delight of visiting a Synagogue and participating in the transcribing of a new Torah.

Well during the first weekend of November is when the Pow-wow is in Austin. If you have never been, it is a wonderful experience. A pow-wow is a coming together of Native Americans/ First Nation of various tribes for celebration and competition.

One of the funny parts is that because it is the same weekend each year, the same annual football games happen and in the case of the Austin Pow-wow it is on the same day as an OU-OSU game. Why is that worth mentioning, well a significant number of participants come down from Oklahoma and so support one team or the other - result is that between each competition the MC is keeping everyone up to date on the latest scores. Quite funny really.

Anyway, one of the things we really enjoy going to the pow-wow for is the see the dance competitions - in the past I have avoided taking pictures during the competitions, since I did not want to be a distraction, but this year the organizers were quite open about not only allowing photography, but encouraging it, and so I shrugged by shoulders and took photos with gusto.

Lighting was low, plus I wanted to use as fast a shutter as I could because the the speed of the movement, so that forced me to use quite a high ISO (with the noise issues that brings with it) and a middle range aperture (would rather have used a small aperture to maintain maximum focus, but it was one of those tough decisions).

The Ladies shawl dance is always delicate and elegant and this lady in particular was caught in that hawk like "swoop" 

Juxtaposition in a composition is always fun and so to see a Native american in their full outfit filming with an iPhone - it would have been wrong to not have taken the picture...

We hadn't been to the pow-wow for a couple of years, and so we were absolutely delighted to see so many young people keeping the traditions alive. The mens "Fancy" contest is always a dynamic competition where the energetic dancers create a dervish of colour.

Another member of the same competition - I did not envy the judging...

This warrior, WOW!
not only does he look the part, his whole demeanor and energy conveyed the power of the warriors story telling dance. The second photo of him, at the moment the dance ends - he stopped starring right at me, yet I caught him in the moment where he had frozen, yet the material of his dress was still in motion for just a split moment. The intensity of his look - if I encountered him in the wilds of Texas over a 100 years back, I would have fled in fear.

While thrilled to see new blood keeping these traditions going, it is also wonderful to recognise those individuals who come and dance each year. We have probably seen this noble gentleman at the pow-wow for 20 years now, and each time we are just spell bound by his performance...

So, next year, first weekend in November, make a plan to go to the pow-wow - you will enjoy yourself...

 

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) austin austin photographer austin photography austin powwow austin pow-wow chris fieldhouse family family photographer family photography gallery lgbt photographer photography portfolio professional photographer professional photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/11/yet-more-fun-things-to-do-in-austin Sat, 25 Nov 2017 20:57:53 GMT
Happy "Brexit 1776" https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/7/happy-brexit-1776 Growing up in the UK, there was never an actual day of "National Identity", the closest we got was "Bonfire Night" on November 5 where we celebrate the attempt to assassinate the King and Parliament, but it certainly was not a national public holiday (Its a British thing, part of our sense of humour, just roll with it)..
But it was a totally different experience when I lived in Norway. A country which for several centuries was either a province of Denmark and then following the Napoleonic wars, part of Sweden (with an attempt at independence during the transition period in 1814), but finally returned to being a sovereign country in 1905. So Norway is both a young country, with a long history, and their National day is May 17 to commemorate the 1814 declaration of independence.
It was always a fun day, with every one waving flags, actually my first year theire, I was awoken early because I lived in a house by the Fjord and one of the Norwegian naval ships fired a 21 gun salute, which could not be slept thru!
I was reminded of the "Syttende Mai" celebrations today when we went to watch the Northwest Hills July 4th parade in Austin. Austin celebrates the 4th in the way that Austin always does best, patriotic on the one hand, but fiercely independent (but oh so very Austin) on the other...
We had the coordinated display of the NorthWest Hills Lawn Chair ladies, the kids on the floats with super-soakers - and the Sheriffs constable on duty daring them to soak him (Texas, July - you do the math), vintage cars and general frivolity (and a full memory card!!).
In Hindsight, the closest we got to something like this in my lifetime while I lived in the UK was back in 1977, when we had street parties for the Queens Silver Jubilee (which was the year after the USA Bi-centenial, hmmm)..
So to you all Happy July 4th, or as one person who pinged me to wish me a happy "Brexit 1776"!!!

OK, now when I saw this proud dad walking in the parade, my reaction was instantly - "Isn't this what 4th July is really about?"

And the Northwst Lawnchair ladies, in synchronised march..

And synchronised sitting...

And there was some awesome Vintage car porn...

May I point out this next car is painted "British Racing Green"? In fact "MG" is/was a British make...

Anyone remember the cartoon series "Whacky Races", and the car full of 1920's Chicago mobsters?

It was fun seeing the kids with their super soakers, altho of course I did notice I gotten this picture until reviewing later. Wish I had got the followup photo as well...

And the last picture of the day comes under the title of "yeah - thats so very Austin..."

PS, no offense intended by referring to it as "Brexit 1776" - in fact we have a dinner party coming up among friends where it is our turn to host, and since it is right after 4th July we are cooking a full traditional English Roast dinner to celebrate...

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) 4th July Austin Austin Photography Austin photographer Chris Fieldhouse Family Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Independence Day LGBT Northwest Hills Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/7/happy-brexit-1776 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:58:47 GMT
Trying out a new Studio in South Austin https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/6/trying-out-a-new-studio Now, while I can have clients come over to my humble (and somewhat cluttered) abode for a photoshoot, we do not have a dedicated space that allows us to get truly creative. Yes, we can handle family shoots, headshoots/portraits and boudoir, but for something really elaborate, to really push the skills a studio would be nice.

And finding a suitable studio, especially one that is easy to get too, and provides a level of 'comfort' for the client as well as inspire to do new and unusual things can be darn difficult. Yes, we have a few studios in Austin but each will meet 2 out of the 3 requirements. Yes, its conveniently located, yes brilliant lighting setup ... not sure I would be comfortable taking a client there, or an amazing space, client would love it ... its where exactly!?!? But thats halfway to the next state (or so it would feel like).

Anyway, I was excited when I saw on Facebook earlier in the year a new studio open up on the south side of town. well I'm on the North side, but then again, I did work and commute in London for a few years and this place is actually within the city limits, so thats no big deal. So, wanted to check it out, arranged with a model some quite elaborate ideas of what we wanted to do, a few emails later with the Studio Manager and BAM!! All booked.

Now I only decided to do a blog post at the last moment and would need some quick pictures, so please forgive me, I had to flick it over to creative, purely for convenience...

At the moment, they are still building up their equipment, but they had more than I needed for my crazy brain to work with.

Now first off, they have a variety of lighting equipment, a full range of power, configured for controllers as well as slave mode, so if I wanted to use every available light in the place to mimic the flash of a nuclear explosion, I guess I could. I was going to be doing some high key work, so it was tempting to rig them all up...

Now they are building up a nice collection of furniture pieces, ranges from a rather nice antique coffee table, a chaise-lounge, even a bath tub, all available for an extra charge. But today, nope got my own stuff.

A comfortable changing room with half-bath. Yes, that would certainly make a client happy.

Now this is what I was really here to try out, that awesome white infinity wall. They have a grey one too and they currently are installing a backdrop system. This is Adam McCombs doing an impromptu modelling of the space for me. Adam and his wife Esther Lee are the owners of the new studio.

But it was that white infinity wall I wanted to play with, and as you can see I didn't wait for the model to arrive before trying it out. My picture frame, easily hung it up and deliberately left it askew.

 

In the end, we had such fun there, that after 3 hours, and 900 photos, we were exhausted, but we did so much. So much of what we did was experimental (well for me anyway), we just had a blast. Now I have to review and edit those 900+ photographs

So check them out.
http://www.rocketstudios.io
or on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/rocketcamerastudiosaustin/

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Austin Photography Austin photographer Boudoir Chris Fieldhouse Family Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery LGBT Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography Rocket Studio Rocket Studios Twin Photos https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/6/trying-out-a-new-studio Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:30:49 GMT
Gay Pride-Vienna 2014 https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/6/gay-pride-vienna-2014 This is Gay-Pride month where many cities around the world celebrate inclusiveness and collectively thumb their noses at ... well, no need to go there I guess, lest I offend.

Anyway, for one reason or another I have never been to a Gay Pride Parade - I don't actually recall seeing any or whether there were any during the time I lived in London or Oslo, and for the longest time the Austin Gay-Pride was always scheduled the same weekend as the Texas Bikers Rally and in the heat of summer (what was really surprising was there were never any altercations between the two groups... but that's Austin for you, plus summer is really just too darn hot to altercate in)

Anyway, back in 2014 I was turning *mumble* *mumble* *mumble* and to celebrate my birthday, we were going to Vienna, in June. And one day, when out exploring the city (I had only owned my Canon DSLR for a year at that point), the city centre was closed off to traffic for Gay pride.
All I can say is that those Austrians certainly know how to celebrate and it was definitely an eye-opener. This was also my first opportunity at doing Street Journalism.

And so for all my LGBT friends out there, here is my homage to you all, Vienna 2014! CHEERS...

This lady was at the front of the parade, literally leading the charge, and no matter what you may think, you cannot deny the poise and elegance, that she conveys. That's when I realised that I couldn't possibly miss this.

At this point, I was still only using the kit lenses that came with the camera, it would be a year or two before investing in some good lenses, but looking back I can see the challenges with picture quality. However I did not touch up those colours in any way, they were truly that brightly painted, they looked amazing ... and they knew it!

Up to this point I had politely stood on the sidewalk, but I so loved the outfits these two were wearing, I had to shoot it from the front. But me being me, I had to ask for permission -it actually annoyed me seeing other people dashing out, almost putting their cameras into the participants faces as if they were there for their entertainment. No, I asked for permission, and I was rewarded with parade attendees stopping and showing off for me. I guess it is because I showed them the respect that they deserved. But you have to admire the outfits tho!

Now this group of ladies, as soon as I indicated that I wished to photograph them (again treating them with the proper dignity they deserve), they were happy to flaunt and show off, and that just got the crowd whooping with Joy.

  

Erm, now this was definitely not what I expected, but I guess horses for courses. Just after this group, I missed the young man walking behind the bystanders, wearing leather, with a leather puppy mask on being lead on a leash by his lady friend.

It was very evident that the parade goers were strictly abiding by the codes of decency, at least by the letter, hence the ladies with very obvious tape. Now as I recall it was a warm day back then, certainly not hot, but I did wonder how he got into that tight rubber suit and stayed cool (and hydrated - or was that the point?)

I had to dash over and hug these ladies, telling them we were from Austin Texas.

Actually I think they took a selfie with us...

And as they might say, while the parade wasn't quite over yet, she was near the end and certainly seemed to be limbering up her vocal chords ready to treat us to a good opera...

So to all my friends, whether you are in Vienna, Austin or somewhere else - here's to you all...

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Austin Gay Pride Austin Photography Austin photographer Chris Fieldhouse Family Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Gay Pride LGBT Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography Vienna Gay Pride https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/6/gay-pride-vienna-2014 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:00:00 GMT
Here for the Summer https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/6/here-for-the-summer One of the activities I get to do each year is photograph the new crop of fresh faced interns for the program that my Wife Runs. It is always fun to watch these fresh faced youngsters arrive in Austin and then as the summer goes on, grow close together until the end of the program when its time to wrap up. As part of the wrap up, they get to travel to corporate headquarters (Wahoo) and present to the CEO (yikes) and as part of that preparation we take teams pictures. For the team pictures, I don't consider them to be interns, instead they are my client and I work with them accordingly to compose a team picture that truly sums up them as a team as well as the project that they worked on and presenting. And finally there is always the group photo, where again the focus is not about a staged/pose picture, but a photograph that captures the essence of the group.
Although this is the third year for the program, it was only last year that we decided to do group shots of them on the first day to capture that slightly awkward, not sure of each other or of Austin just yet, so that we can do a compare and contrast start of program to end of program.
We just finished doing the group pictures for the start of the 2017 program and it was fun actually trying to work with them on their first day.

The first group, it was "OK - show us just how existed you are to be in Austin!", that got an immediate reaction as you can see. Ultimately I had to merge 3 photos together because they were so active, no single picture was sufficient to show all 3 at their best, so why not take the best of each and bring them together (and yes she was able to jump that high).

For the second group I said "Well, that first group did well, hope you can match them?", "Nah, we're just gonna hang out and enjoy the warm evening, maybe get a beer afterwards" - can't argue with that.

The third group was a bit more of a challenge, a little more shy than the others perhaps, so moved them over to a different spot and tried to get them to relax "Come one now ... lets imagine we're taking a picture for an Album cover!", "What’s an Album cover?". Talk about feeling old...
Well once I got a picture that worked, I thought - why not play with the tones and saturation a little in order to turn it into an Album cover!

I liked that fact that dropping the saturation down, I got to the point where the only real hint of colour was found in the green dress, and in the red & white striped umbrella in the background. When desaturating like this, it is always a challenge to find the right balance between fading the colour and being dramatic, while not getting too washed out.

Hope you all like, and good luck - see you at the end of summer!

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Austin Photography Austin photographer Chris Fieldhouse Family Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery IBM Austin IBM Extreme Blue IBM Interns LGBT Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/6/here-for-the-summer Thu, 01 Jun 2017 22:35:38 GMT
Maker Faire - how does your garden grow. https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/5/maker-faire-1 I love Austin Maker Faire. Its more than an "Arts and craft" fair, while there are vendors there, they are also about demonstrating and how to explore creative side. But essentially it is where all the geeks gather and get to show of their projects not only to each other, but to the general public in order to pass on that inspiration - and to fan the small spark of curiosity and imagination in a child into the flames of invention. Yes a bit poetic I know, but I just went with the flow. 

Anyway, the first time I was aware of Maker Faire coming to Austin, it was out at the Expo center, there was a man-sized even more complicated than the classic game version "mouse trap", actually this was one of the things that finally pushed me into getting a DSLR, because trying to photograph that elaborate contraption in action with a point-n-shoot was ... a waste of time.
They also had a demonstration of a full size Trebuchet (I kid you not), also some sort of battle-bots carnage, a series of Tesla coils tuned to 'play' music by fine tuning the frequency of the electric arcs flying between the coils.

But that was many years ago, now they have a smaller event down town, but with more focus of how to get involved, hobbyist and education. Among the Hobbyist was a drone flying club and Drone racing (think large battery operated mosquitoes, I will do a blog on that next).

But among the vendor's was an Artist from The Orkney Islands, Scotland. And in fact as soon as I spoke he knew which region in the UK I came from. He makes stunning metal garden sculptures - treating and heating the metal to create stunning iridescent colours on the surface. We had a pair of lizards of his from many years ago. He had a stunning 'bouquet' of 'flowers' with insects’ buzzing around. It was a photographic opportunity, requiring quite a bit of thought of what and how the capture their beauty. Hope you approve.

As I was studying the flowers wondering what the best way was to capture their Beauty, the Artist suggested using a Polarizing filter to reduce the glare. Why technically it would have reduced the reflective glare and even added more colour contrast, the fact was, I loved looking at them because of the iridescence from the scattered glare...

 

And yes, we bought the blue flower with amethyst above, as well as a may-fly with scintillating wings which are now sitting in our front yard by the fountain and the Fire-Ant sculpture!!!

If I find the artists Business card - I will certainly post the details...

 

 

 

 

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Austin photographer Austin Photography Boudoir Chris Fieldhouse Family Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery LGBT Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography Romance Twin Photos https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/5/maker-faire-1 Tue, 23 May 2017 18:57:12 GMT
The unusual things to do in Austin TX: Help write a new Torah! https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/5/the-unusual-things-to-do-in-austin-tx-help-write-a-new-torah Things to do in Austin TX: Go help write a new Torah!
On Sunday April 23, my wife spotted a little notice on one of the "things to do in Austin this weekend" websites - at the Dell Jewish Community Center they were transcribing a new Torah and the general public were invited to come and participate in the event and actually be part of the process by placing our hand on the scribes hand as she wrote out the next letter.

We love stumbling across these sort of events - one year when going for an evening stroll around our neighborhood for instance, we discovered that the local high school was, just for that evening, displaying one of the few remaining Broadsheets from July 1776 declaring Independence. BTW we celebrate July 4th, not because they declared independence on that day, but it was the day they collected the broadsheets from the printers and were able to distribute the message throughout the colonies. Those are the sort of activities that you run across in Austin and why we love it here.

But I digress, back to the Torah.

Altho there was an official photographer, I decided to take my new camera "just on the off chance". Naturally I asked permission to photograph and said I would be careful not to get in the way of the main photographer - the people were so wonderful, not only did they say that it was OK, they wanted me too - they wanted people to enjoy the experience as much as they wanted in whatever way it took.

When it came to our turn, the scribe, who was such a lovely warm young lady, but conveyed such wisdom, spent quite a few minutes explaining the whole process to my wife Marjean and I, telling us that once finished a Torah could be used for 200 years or so - that means in two centuries, someone will be reading the words we helped write.

And then the moment we had waited for, we each took a turn helping guide the scribes hand while she controlled the quill to delicately transcribe a letter or two onto the vellum. Marjean went first, she was so transfixed on what she was doing, she did not notice me take these candid pictures.

Out of respect for the space and the event itself, I only used the natural light within the temple, no flash - because the last thing I wanted to do was startle/distract the scribe.

This was such a wonderful experience and so glad we took the opportunity to join in... The scribe - she was such a wonderful person, so humble. As we left we were just giddy, almost in disbelief at what we had participated in. We just spent the rest of that Sunday in silence, because what can you do after that?

I admit I was reluctant to write this post, because I did not want to take advantage of the opportunity we had, but so many friends were amazed at what we did and loved the candid pictures I took so much, I felt it only fair to share. If you ever have the chance to participate in an event like this - do take it, it is such an wonderful and awe inspiring yet humbling activity..

But we do want to thank the Congregation Agudas Achim and the Dell Jewish Community Center for allowing us to share in the moment.

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Austin Photography Austin photographer Chris Fieldhouse Congregation Agudas Achim Dell Jewish Community Center Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery JCC Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography Sefer Torah Torah Torah Scribe Torah Transcribing Torah Transcription sofer https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/5/the-unusual-things-to-do-in-austin-tx-help-write-a-new-torah Thu, 11 May 2017 03:06:54 GMT
A Victorian Flash Crowd for April Fools.. https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/4/a-victorian-flash-crowd-for-april-fools Believe me, the title is accurate.

 

Last Weekend we were in St Louis for a 1860’s period ‘ball’ and to meet up with some very dear friends of ours. Part of the planned event was a daytime activity so that folks could show of their daytime Victorian Garb, and an evening Ball where the real finery comes out on display. For this year, the St Louis Museum of Fine Art was hosting a Degas and Impressionist exhibit, and what better way to enjoy the exhibit than to have us in our daytime event and enjoy the exhibit in our period out-fits.

 

But seriously, at the time of planning, it did not occur to any that it was April Fools day, but once we realised the date, we just threw ourselves into the impromptu “Flash Crowd” in costume…

As a participant, I was immediately blown away by the whole scene of people from 1860's wandering past a young pair of punks, or the bemused look on the ladies face at what we were wearing (altho we were gossiping about her choice to wear leopard print).

I had to try and capture the moment somehow, and without disturbing the setup.

I know it is technically ‘wrong’ to be shooting a person from behind, but in this case doing so creates a wonderful ‘paradox’ as we wondered around in full 1860’s garb, mingling nonchalantly with the general public in 21st century clothing…
See the full gallery of pictures from that day, and if you were one of those confused souls in the St Louis Museum of Fine Art on Saturday April 1st, well now you know what was going on - and we hope you enjoyed the experience as much as we did...

See the Gallery at Victorian April Fools Flash Crowd

To learn more about the event itself CivilWarLady

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) austin photographer austin photography civil war lady family photography gallery photographer photography portfolio st louis civil war ball victorian reenactment https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/4/a-victorian-flash-crowd-for-april-fools Sat, 08 Apr 2017 22:08:37 GMT
Too Sexy for my (Deadpool) boxers... https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/3/too-sexy-for-my-deadpool-boxers Well first off I need to apologize for being somewhat tardy in my blog posts, I had planned on writing this post a few days after Valentines day. A few folks liked the Valentines picture I had posted, and thank you for the feedback, but I must admit I did make several mistakes with it. Once I started processing it, I realized that I had made an error in my choice of backdrop, since I intended to create a faux oil painting - the issue being that that the background was too pale for the intended purpose. 

But every photographer makes mistakes even the pro's, but a good photographer will realize the mistake...

This week, I want to continue the Valentine's conversation and taking the picture from last time, which was a good concept, but I am a bit of a joker and so could not resist a little larking around, and in fact These are the TRUE Valentines Pictures I took that day.  Never one for the sentimental Valentines, I like to do something that makes folks say "That is so Chris", so while the "Hanging picture" is a good concept, it is these "behind the scenes" pictures, with the bright socks and ugly shiny red (Deadpool) boxers are what the photoshoot was really about.

I mean, we all wonder what the newscaster is wearing sitting behind the news desk - the same applies here, and yes when the nice formal picture was taken, I was just standing there in those outrageous boxers, but they were (thankfully) below the picture frame.

Hopefully this shows you my photography style and that I want to show off the real person - in this case it was me...

And by the way, I don't know why, but it was difficult finding red boxers this year for Valentines, but in the end, those "Deadpool" shorts were so outrageous, they were perfect...

I hope you enjoy these picture as much as my wife Marjean does..

Chris.

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Bopudoir Boudoir Chris Family Fieldhouse Gallery LGBT Photographer Photographs Photography Photos Portfolio Professional Romance friendly photographer https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/3/too-sexy-for-my-deadpool-boxers Thu, 09 Mar 2017 02:16:18 GMT
Be My Valentine https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/2/be-my-valentine Happy Valentines Day everyone.

When I was growing up there was not much of a deal around Valentines Day, this was in the UK in the 1970's so that may be as good an explanation as any.
The only "Valentines Day" thing we ever did in Junior School (erm, I think that is K thru 7th grade? None of this modern stuff thank you).  Anyway, all of us in class had to make a card (Crayons, Tissue Paper, etc, we were just 8 years old at that point) and when we were all done, we handed our artesanal hand crafted card to someone in the class. By the way, far more boys than girls in my class, so some girls collected quite a few cards, while many of us boys got nothing. 
And that is about the total sum of my Valentines Experience growing up and Living in the UK. 
But now, I am into the full experience, give me the cards, the chocolates, the scented candles, the whole works ... Also Valentines is ripe for Romantic jokes - I'm a bit of a practical joker, and that includes the time I stuck a valentines card to the outside of the kitchen window - a card to our cat from the neighbours cat...
So this year I have decided that since I hand a studio booked and a bit of spare time, I would do a Valentines Photo of myself.
Now you might be thinking that I did something risque, but no, I wanted to do something for my supportive wife Marjean, as well as take the opportunity to show off being creative and whimsical.
So this is my gift to my wife and I hope you all appreciate it - would love to hear from you all...

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Photography Austin photographer Bopudoir Photography Boudoir Photographs Boudoir Photos Chris Fieldhouse Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery LGBT LGBT friendly Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Romance https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/2/be-my-valentine Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:02:32 GMT
Capturing the joy of the moment. https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/1/capturing-the-joy-of-the-moment When working with Josh and Ethan for their shoot, I wanted to show "them" and by that I mean I wanted to capture the brotherly love that these two had for each other. Working with them was ideal, because doing a 'normal' by-the-numbers shoot would not do them justice, yes I could capture their likeness and make their parents proud, but I want to produce a set of Photographs that when they look back in 10, 20 or even 30 years time at these photo's, I want them to laugh, I want them to remember not just that day, but I want to show what they were like as a pair of rambunctious 19 year old twin boys.
The only photos that would do them justice would be ones that truly captured the moment and their joyful love of life.
Certainly not a simple challenge, but then that is how I approach all my photography. Anyone can photograph a family in a standard 'pose', but photographing family members, to truly capture them - that is what I strive to do and is what I enjoy most about photography.
And that is what I would do for anyone I work with. The look on their faces when they saw the pictures, that was worth the hard work. Isn't that what you deserve as well?

So I ask you, what's it going to be: Standard pose - or capture the moment, its your choice...

See the full gallery featuring these two young men The Rambunctious Twins

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Photography Austin photographer Chris Fieldhouse Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography Twin Photographs Twin Photos Twins https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/1/capturing-the-joy-of-the-moment Wed, 01 Feb 2017 01:52:14 GMT
Fun with Twins and treating them equally https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/1/fun-with-twins-and-treating-them-equally Fun with twins - I know what you are thinking, but no. I mean fun doing a photoshoot with twins and the challenge to ensure that photographs featuring them together, that they get equal "Billing". This 'fairness' comes from being the youngest (and introverted) child with older (and 'extroverted' / 'alpha male' type) older brothers and feeling like I was always being over shadowed by them. With twins, whether Identical or Fraternal, the comparison pressure is going to be worse and in their late teens they are beginning to assert their own independence and sense of individuality, so treating them equally is not only fair, but a show of respect for them as individuals and as people.

With these boys, Josh & Ethan, we got a couple of great staggered profile pictures with the faces barely illuminated. The pictures came out great, but because they were sitting next to each other almost along my line of sight, one twin is going to be closer to the camera, while the other is better lit. I took several pictures, had them swap positions - but when it came to work out which to post, I knew I had to treat them fairly, but how when one will be in the foreground, while the other is better illuminated? Answer: I used two pictures, one of each of them in the foreground and combined them into a single picture. Now all they get to argue over which of them is on the left and who is on the right.

That level of fairness and desire to treat siblings with equal regard, may have come about because of my upbringing, but it gave me a keen sense to always ensure that siblings; whether twins or a large age gap, young boys or middle-aged adults; that they are shown to have equal standing. And that is what I would bring to you when photographing your family.

Chris

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Photography Austin photographer Chris Fieldhouse Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography Twin Photographs Twin Photos Twins https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/1/fun-with-twins-and-treating-them-equally Wed, 25 Jan 2017 21:51:38 GMT
Here's to a happy and successful 2017 https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/1/heres-to-a-happy-and-successful-2017 Now that we have 2016 well and truly behind us, here's to a happy and successful 2017 to you all from Chris Fieldhouse Photography.

I do love Christmas Trees, and in Austin I love to see the "Feral" Christmas Trees appear as people go out and decorate the trees along the highways, TX-360 north being a traditional favourite. I do not know when or how it started, but for a long time they were discouraged, until one year where due to cut-backs Austin was not able to budget for decorations and so gave their blessing to the the Feral Christmas Trees (I know that is not what they are called, but I like the phrase). 

Talking of feral, we have been slowly adopting a semi-feral cat, encouraging her into the house, and when she curled up under the Christmas Tree, how could I resist. I hope you all enjoy.

Chris

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin photographer Austin Photography Chris Fieldhouse Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2017/1/heres-to-a-happy-and-successful-2017 Tue, 03 Jan 2017 20:25:10 GMT
The Bifrost Bridge over Alaska https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2016/12/final-version-of-northern-lights-photo This past summer we were fortunate enough to go on, what are now being called "Boutique Cruise" thru the inside passage of Alaska. We want to say first off, this was one of (if not THE) best vacation we had ever taken. It was with the company http://www.pacificcatalyst.com and basically if you are ever considering taking a cruise in Alaska, don't go on one of the floating Hotel/Malls, take a Boutique Cruise. Now when you look at the prices, they may seem steep, but its a cruise, its an experience. besides its all inclusive, meals, excursions, glacial ice for your Gin and Tonics.

Anyway one night near the end of our one week trip, we were ascending to our cabin and as we did every evening check the sky and as always clear and starry. But then we noticed a green glow starting up to the south, I dashed to fetch my camera (I had no idea how to capture them), while my wife went to wake up the other passengers.

What we witnessed was a 2 hour light show of utter stunning beauty. The whole sky from the horizon to over head was on fire. When we arrived in port two days later, it was still on the news as one of the best Northern Light shows for several years.

I present to you: "The Bifrost bridge over Alaska". Chris Fieldhouse

Bifrost bridge in Alaska

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Alaska Aurora Austin Photography Austin photographer Bifrost bridge Chris Fieldhouse Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Northern Lights Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2016/12/final-version-of-northern-lights-photo Sun, 11 Dec 2016 21:42:06 GMT
Almost done - go check out my 52-Week Photo Challenge gallery... https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2016/11/blog-post Hello all, 

My webpage is just about ready to go live and I am just finishing up adding a gallery of photos from a 52 week challenge. The pictures here are not commercial, but are part of a creativity challenge, and so should show you just how I work and view things. It demonstrates what I find interesting and where I find beauty in the oddest of places. This picture is from the Boston Museum of Fine art..

Click on the picture and it should take you to the "52 week Challenge" Gallery.

Week 30 - PatternsWeek 30 - PatternsI love reflective and recursive patterns  Chris...

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) 52 week challenge Austin Photography Austin photographer Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2016/11/blog-post Mon, 21 Nov 2016 22:27:46 GMT
Welcome... https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2016/11/welcome  

 

Welcome everyone to my webpage, sorry for the construction mess going on around here, its probably wise to wear your hardhats for the moment.

I have decided that I really should have a proper page, not just to showcase my work, such as landscapes and nature so that if you really like those pictures of the Northern Lights, or those Humpback whales of the California coast, etc. then this is where you can buy them.

But I also wanted a site to show off my portraiture work, especially some of the fun experimental stuff I do. So if you interested in shooting with me, then why are you waiting, I am just an email away!

So hopefully the construction won't take too long, but do check back periodically...

Regards Chris Fieldhouse

       Chris Fieldhouse PhotographyChris Fieldhouse Photography

 

]]>
inquiry@chrisfieldhouse.com (Chris Fieldhouse Photography.) Austin Photography Austin photographer Family Photographer Family Photography Gallery Photographer Photography Portfolio Professional Photographer Professional Photography https://www.chrisfieldhouse.com/blog/2016/11/welcome Mon, 14 Nov 2016 20:50:36 GMT