Anomalycon 3: Thoughts and ramblings with pictures!

One family enjoying themselves at Anomalycon

I spent this past weekend in a fantastic and improbable place. Some very smart and mad people created a time and space anomaly right inside a hotel in the Denver Tech Center. Hundreds of the quirkiest and geekiest people in Colorado were pulled into this anomaly (I promise, I’ll stop) and all sorts of mostly controlled chaos and fun ensued.

This was my second time attending Anomalycon, a steampunk/alternate history and science fiction convention. Really, the only reason why I went last year was because I happen to know the person who was that right combination of insane and incredibly organized and motivated and started the whole thing and is still in charge. I came back this year because I enjoyed myself so much and because I like supporting cool causes of which new cons ran by friends falls under that category.

I already had an agenda when I went in. I was going to watch every performance of Pandora Celtica because they absolutely rock. In a faerie, acoustic, punk, but not really rock, sort of sense. My husband has spent much time the last year randomly surprising me with their music just showing up in my phone or home, but the live performance is where they go from awesomesauce to completely made of win. This weekend was absolutely no exception. I greatly enjoyed their two shows, and as usual, wish they had performed at least one more time. Though where I would have fit that into the very busy weekend schedule is anyone’s guess.

I spent pretty much all of my time at the con in the writing panels. Thirteen of the twenty panels/performances we attended were in the “writing” room, much to my husband’s dismay. Or so I imagine since he spent the majority of his time reading programming manuals or looking up tech stuff. *sigh* For myself, each panel increased my interest in writing, real writing, and poked at that dream I had put away of ever doing anything with it. The panel on overcoming writer’s block (ugh) sort of knocked loose some of my excuses that I always come up with for why I can’t/won’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t bother. Sometime around Saturday evening during the NanoWrimo panel, I decided that I was going to give this whole thing a go. Again.

There were a finite number of authors/guest panelists, which means that by the end of day two, several of the authors were recognizing me. Rather than hide and shuffle off to a corner as is usual for me. Instead I hung out and talked with them and some of the artists. Some of them even autographed my copy of an anthology they took part in writing, Penny Dread Tales Vol III. Some of them even gave me the go ahead to Facebook-stalk them and I did! O.o Just in case you were curious, that is waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. Majorly so. But, they were really friendly and gave some great advice, and even if I never actually do anything further in writing, I can always watch for their new projects and all that good jazz.

None of that really gives a good indication of what Anomalycon is though, does it? Just me rambling on about stuff. So, let’s go on to pictures! Most of these come from Westword, a local paper that has been coming to Anomalycon all three years.

Authors S.J. Chambers and Gail Carriger at a free-for-all panel

Probably my favorite “costume” of the entire event

Taking a break between events

The tallest member is hiding behind the speaker...

Pandora Celtica!

Gizmos! Gadgets! Doohickeys! Thinga-ma-jigs!

Why not?

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A good day and pictures!

Yesterday was a long, but good day. Despite only the “expected” things happening, it was still a very eventful day. The least expected thing about it was that I actually had fun playing with a camera. It is a “hand-me-down” digital SLR Olympus camera from my husband – he got a shiny new Canon 7D and didn’t want his Olympus to go to waste. So, person that has never really done much at all with a camera besides point it in the general direction of something and hope the pic comes out alright, was handed a camera that costs at least twice anything else she’s ever had. YIKES!

On the other hand, it was really interesting and fun. Everything from actually being able to easily the focal point and have more than a few zoom points to work with to being able to see how different things like a lens hood changes the way the camera reacted to actually getting some shots that look good just made it a great experience. I now have a new book on my kindle that will attempt to teach me what in the world to do with all the cameras options and fully take advantage of being in control over things like the aperture, shutter speed and everything else like that.

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I got some cool shots like this one above, which just were fun to catch.

Others like this one were much more about finally being able to get pictures of the pretty things that I’ve wanted to take nice pictures of for years and years.

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Mind you, I haven’t edited anything yet. All that will come after I’ve learned a bit more about what in the world I can do with the camera and with the pictures afterward. I’m hoping to be having more fun with this in the future. Maybe I’ll even share a few of the things I’ve shot and things I’ve learned here too.

I’ll start with the one term that I didn’t know about until recently. A lens that can take really close up pictures of small objects like, ahem, flowers is called a macro lens. The lens I was using for the above pictures isn’t a macro lens, but it is a pretty spiffy lens that can at least give a good go of it. Which, considering who was trying to make use of said lens, is actually not too shabby then. Maybe between the two of us a few nice pics will be had for all.