Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Outlook Farm & Digital Photography

   Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love breaking out the warm sweaters and cute coats in preparation of the cooler weather, watching the leaves on the trees change color and fall to the ground, putting out Halloween and fall harvest theme decorations around the house, but best of all, visiting apple orchards! Growing up in Michigan, apple orchards were a must on the list of "places to visit" in the fall. Each orchard would host an "Apple Festival" on one of the weekends in September or October where families could go apple picking, take a hay ride, shop craft booths, pet farm animals, make jump ropes, look at old farming equipment, pick out pumpkins, watch how apple cider was made and eat delicious food! You could indulge in all sorts of tasty treats such as hot dogs, bean soup, popcorn, candy sticks, caramel apples, apple cider, and best of all, hot, crisp, fresh out of the oven, apple cider donuts! These donuts were amazing! Nothing was as crunchy or delicious as these donuts! Just thinking about fall makes my mouth water for donuts! Anyway (I got a little off track thinking about the donuts), when we moved to western Massachusetts, we were bummed to learn that apples and apple festivals weren't really the thing around here. Blueberries and blueberry picking are more popular. It was devastating for a Michigan transplant! Fortunately, after some research, I was able to find a charming little orchard along Route 66 in Westhampton that made me feel like I was back in my home state.

   Outlook farm hosts two festivals in the fall: an apple festival in September and a pumpkin festival in October. Both festivals feature a hay ride, apple picking, and tons of delicious food such as soup, sandwiches, apple cider, donuts, candy sticks, and a pig roast and barbecue. While the donuts aren't quite as fresh and crisp as what we're used to back home (I'm telling you, those donuts are hard to beat!), Outlook has amazing cookies! The molasses spice cookies are to die for! Outlook is a wonderful place to take the family in the fall and and the festivals are a fun, annual event to look forward too. It makes transplants like us feel at home! This year, unfortunately, it was raining during the pumpkin festival so my pictures aren't that great, but we still had a great time and I think you'll get the idea!

   For more information about Outlook Farm, visit http://outlook-farm.com/index.html. To visit some of my favorite orchards in Michigan, go to Spicers in Fenton http://www.spicerorchards.com/, Wolcott Orchards in Flint http://www.wolcottorchards.net/, or Almar Orchards in Flushing http://www.almarorchards.com/.

   And now a few words about digital photography... You may be surprised to learn that I made the switch to digital photography only a few years ago (back in 2008). When my father closed his photography studio, we bought his camera and have used it every since. In that amount of time, I've probably had to learn at least a dozen different programs for altering my pictures. I've also recently switched from a PC to a MAC, so I'm still navigating those changes (which explains part of the reason for my long gaps in posts). There have been things about each picture program that I have loved and things that I have hated, but I'm always excited and willing to learn new things and improve where I can. Still, I admit, sometimes I miss film. I took a black and white photography class in college and I fell in love with the process of developing film! My friend and I were very close to investing in the equipment to create our own darkroom, but I moved out of the state shortly after the class so there was no way we could do it. There's something very real and pure about film but I love having the ability to improve my art. I just can't help myself when it comes to playing with my pictures. While I don't believe in perfection, I like making something that I see in my mind come to life in a photograph and being able alter it until it is close to perfect (brightening a color here, removing a blemish there). Anyhow, I hope you will and have enjoyed my photographs. I wish I could dedicate more time to taking them, but I also believe in everything in moderation and finding a balance in life. Thank you for reading!

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