28 Moons: Blog https://www.28moons.com/blog en-us Renee Ing Akana (28 Moons) Sat, 13 Aug 2022 21:00:00 GMT Sat, 13 Aug 2022 21:00:00 GMT https://www.28moons.com/img/s/v-12/u53372021-o621831227-50.jpg 28 Moons: Blog https://www.28moons.com/blog 80 120 Stay In Your Own Lane https://www.28moons.com/blog/2022/8/stay-in-your-own-lane  


I was reading a book, written by a UFO researcher and he cautioned that either you have the gift of vision or you don't. Those who can see do see and those who don't will not. If you think that Ouija board will help, he said, put it down. You don't know what or who from the spirit world will latch on to you.

I grew up with psychics all around me. I lived in a haunted house and my mother travelled with her poltergeist. My grandmother on my father's side and her mother (my grandmother and great grandmother) came from the era that was still attached to or attracted to Spiritualism.

It's a funny thing.

Take a minute and go back to a time when the room hosted a medium, a three legged table and people sitting in the dark, holding hands around that table. They were all waiting for Uncle Chester to come along and reveal where he hid his mother's diamond ring. The table would shake. Something on a string would fly quickly through the room. Was that the cat?  Is that the cat screaming or ... 

Or, what was it?

There are documented cases of things actually happening.

Chester might have arrived in due course, but in most seances, he wasn't going to tell a whole lot . It was a prevailing mystery becasue, of course, you'd want to have another paying gig for the medium to answer part two of your question. If you have a spirit guide, you'd want to know that they were well connected and not just giving out generalities. Chester might be held by a string by an imposter medium or he came compliments of something else from "the other side." We don't know. He didn't sit and stay for a while to confirm much of anything. He wasn't always big on words and he wasn't known to stay around for a while even when he was alive, but .  

All too often, disappointed seekers of spirit world contact were left with too many holes dug up in the back yard and torn up attics, looking for whatever was said. Cable television is loaded with great serials that get you close but no cigar. 

I moved back to "the haunted house," and although mother and her poltergeist are gone, there is still bats in the belfry which I had removed last month. Something lives up there and I am challenged to frequently remind it to stay in its own lane. I would like to ignore it, but when we tore down the walls of my bathroom in the remodel of this 1858 house, it made its energy known. I had a sense of it or would you call that a superstition. My overly active mind tells me to never sleep in the dark. If I had the power or the gift of seeing, I'd rather not.

Spiritualism has been a major activity to my geographic part of the world. We have loads of history here. Spiritualism was born here and I live in the Burned Over District of Upstate New York.  I live about an hour and a half from Palmeyra, NY which is where John Smith was given the golden tablets, the genesis of the Mormon Church. A few years later, the Spiritualism movement, which went worldwide, started in "the Burned Over District of Upstate New York."  Down the road on Route 46 heading south, you will come into contact with the Spirit House, a worn out thing that looks like a wedding cake from the era. Lots of stuff went on inside in its heyday. Its current guardian is a crazy woman who will not let you take photographs of it from the street, but it is on the national monument list. I wonder how she ever let that happen. This is an interesting place.

A few days ago, I met a couple of women in the fields of a farm who told me they have been seeing 'things" in the night that fly about, walk about and all of that. I  took a wrong turn with I was looking for the tomato stand when I came upon them. I came home tomato-less, but filled with stories that had my mind cranking.  The women had read books I have read. They had stories, lots of them and then they vanished in the rear view mirror almost as quickly as they appeared. 



(28 Moons) black and white photography fortune telling ghost haunted house ouija boards poltergeist superstition tarot cards https://www.28moons.com/blog/2022/8/stay-in-your-own-lane Sat, 13 Aug 2022 19:22:36 GMT
Old Friends https://www.28moons.com/blog/2021/2/old-friends

Remembering Robert G Crum

Fillmore, California


My dear friend passed away on January 14, 2021. I was 3,000 miles away from paying my respects in person.  When you get old like us, time takes us sooner than we'd like. I last texted him on the 12th and he had texted me a few days earlier. He loved photography. He wrote about it in his column for the newspaper.


It was in the year  2009 when Roger, Carole and I packed into my car and drove to Ojai.  Roger and I had to do an assignment for a photography class at Santa Monica College. The course required that we submit a selfie with each shoot.


At the end of the day, things were peaceful on the lookout point. Carole relaxed in the back seat with her magazines, maybe waiting out the time to go home after a full day. Steve tagged along, drinking beers in his pickup truck.


Everyone stirred to life when Roger put on a long white night gown, an auburn wig and bright red wax lips.  Roger was crawling all over the look out point's placard in various poses.  Roger could have been, should have been, he is an art director.  One only needs to go out on any shoot with him when he insists that you put your gear to one side and stand here, there and everywhere.  Roger gets an idea ... no, rather a vision. It's always a major production.


A local reporter for the Fillmore Gazette saw the antics and pulled his truck in to observe the craziness.  That was Bob. This is the first photograph I took of Bob on that day.


Bob and I would do many photo adventures together. He was an outdoorsman and wanted to go everywhere by kayak, by car, by whatever means and always with his camera. In his later days, Bob was thinking about getting rid of the heavier camera gear and getting something lighter, but always thinking about his next shoot.


I had sort of put my camera off to one side. After years of taking photos, after hundreds of thousands of photos, I was a little frustrated that it seemed so difficult to conjure up business or to sell fine art prints.  Hell, it was hard to get a model other than myself, but Bob encouraged me to keep at it.  Perhaps we bickered about some things in photography. He liked to post process and I'd complain that he'd post process to a fault. He hated black and white and believed in color, overly saturated color.  If we bickered enough to squabble, we wouldn't speak to each other for maybe no more than a day and then we'd change the subject.  I have always been the negative one.  Bob was light, fresh, friendly and cheerful.  I must have made him crazy, but he "loved" me anyway and he was encouraged when I would momentarily let go of my resistance.


Good friends are hard to come by and good friends are hard to say goodbye to.  I printed out this picture, framed it and hung it in my kitchen.  I wish him a good day every morning and remember that it is time again to make more photography.  And, as I beat myself up about what sort of photography I should set out to do -- which is always that sticking point that makes one turn around and do something else instead, waiting for a form of inspiration or for the excuses to wear out --  I now realize that there's always time while we have it. Life doesn't give us time beyond the expiration date. You go when your ticket says it's boarding time.

Where ever you are Bobby, I know you're taking it all in. I will see you later.

Happy Trails.



(28 Moons) https://www.28moons.com/blog/2021/2/old-friends Sun, 07 Feb 2021 20:19:51 GMT
It Tastes Like Flowers https://www.28moons.com/blog/2020/8/it-tastes-like-flowers

I need to write about this process which, in truth, is not finished.  I wanted to do some sort of collage to get back into the mindset of composite photography.  For a while, I was tuning out, figuring that everyone was doing it.  I was thinking about my favorite composite, the young hairless girl in the window in the rocks, thinking to myself that it's a tough act to follow. The girl in that photograph is actually a little girl in a swimming cap, but she looks bald, she looks lost and she was perfect for her photo.  She's a vintage photograph.  I LOVE to collect vintage photos.


How was I going to follow that act?  I think I've been avoiding it forever because making a series of it might be most difficult.  How many windows can I park on the rocks in Joshua Tree?  Then, I thought that perhaps the series could be more about vintage photographs, perhaps just vintage children.  I thought about that a while longer, like even longer.  I took myself on a tour of the LIbrary of Congress website to see what I could take for the taking with no copyright issues.


I found a black and white photograph of a little girl eating ice cream, 1906.  I took a fast youtube tutorial in colorizing -- I surely could get better at this.  I was a little bit in a hurry and I see where I'm going to improve on this photograph -- like painting in her hair.  I colorized her on a fast track, assuring myself that it was a first try and I'm in a hurry to see what I have.... I promised myself that I would get better at this.  The truth is, I do not consider this a finished product just yet.  Its always a process. If you are a photographer who in the beginning of your career over sharpened the hell out of everything, you know how important it is to go back to the original file and do it again when you have more experience.


Overall, I had mixed feelings about the entire picture.  I put it to facebook.  The response is very good,better than I imagined.  I think I will go with that. Usually, I'm so wrapped up in my own message that I failed to see what this message might send to other people.


Art can be narcissistic - we have our vision, our sight and our message. Remember, a message received is a stronger communication. Art is personal, but what might seem less personal to us might be something more impactful for the viewer and so as much as I might beat myself up on this piece, I am going to let it find its own path through me. I am an artist er oh I am a technician and a fascilitator.

(28 Moons) antique colorized composite flower https://www.28moons.com/blog/2020/8/it-tastes-like-flowers Sat, 29 Aug 2020 19:43:01 GMT
SAFE PLACES https://www.28moons.com/blog/2020/1/safe-places  

There was no winter weather to deal with today. The temperature was nearly forty degrees above normal if normal would be in the teens. Someone on the television complained about global warming and climate change, but didn't explain how that actually comes about.

It was a cloudy day.

I looked out my window and wondered if I could get a good look at the sky from a higher vantage point. I finished my coffee and quickly packed up three black nylon bags -- two backpacks and a camera holster. As I rushed out the front door, a passing man -- a neighbor, I assume -- made the comment that he could take in more days like this. I agreed, but I knew it wouldn't last. We both agreed that harsher weather looked as though it was coming.

I was hurried.

My mission was to get to the top of a high hill in the country, one I frequently visit.

The trees in the distance were isolated, naked and grouped sparsely. The fields were golden with dead vegetation. Weather can change dramatically on this hill. Snow can blow so white that you can't see your way down with any confidence. It was something to be conscious of.

As I struggled to keep a filter holder on my camera lens, I entertained the thought of shooting from inside of the car, but there was an even better capture from behind. I needed to get out and walk around.  I tend to be overly cautious to be too far from the car, even if I can see it parked on the road.

As much as I love isolation and my independence, I remain aware of one shoot when someone drove by, but circled around in his truck.

"Are you all right?"

I immediately had a strange feeling. The longer he engaged with me, the stranger I felt. I found a way to end the conversation and started to walk back to my car, parked on the shoulder of the road too far away. He pulled his truck off of the road and followed me, driving on the shoulder  directly, behind me.

I can't tell you exactly what my next moves were because I was keenly aware, but I drew a blank about my alternatives.  I had no plan, no defense.  I stayed focused on getting back to my car.

I knew that his intention of intimidation was festering something ulterior. I wasn't imaging it. He was driving on the shoulder of the road at my back and one slip of his foot put me under his truck. I had to get inside the safety of my car and it was taking too long to get there. 

I felt that if I bolted, he would respond like a wild animal, racing after prey.

I later learned from a law enforcement officer that a woman's body had been found in an abandoned barn in that area and I was cautioned to be careful whenever I ventured out alone. At that time, I was photographing an abandoned barn. I wondered if that woman was in that barn. I joked, I told the officer that I believed that I met the killer. 

When I see stories on the television about bad things happening, I am convinced with conviction and without hesitation that things don't happen to me. I am nobody's victim. Just ask the skunk who comes into my yard at night that I chase off with a yardstick. I cannot be messed with.  

Who am I fooling?

My experience teaches a new mindset about preparation and caution, but it has a learning curve. We have to build these things into muscle memory.

I still rush out the door and I forget  to prepare myself with any foresight. When you stand on the edge of a horizon to grab your selfie or you think that the train bridge 400 feet above the falls is a great place to take your kid, think about how you plan those things.

I don't believe that danger is gender favored or lurking around every corner, but it can show up. We also can't live our lives sheltered, but it serves to remind any of us to have a plan. 

I mentioned that the weather could change in a heartbeat on top of the hill.  Did I bring any food and water with me?  Were there warm items of clothing packed in the car. Afterall, it is January in the Northeast.

I would have stayed longer on top of the hill today, but I packed one-half battery and I used it all up testing my new camera. I had also forgotten my cell phone. I was remiss in taking my own advice. Muscle memory begins with some sort of organization or drill every time we go out the door.  


(28 Moons) awareness danger isolation preparedness safety https://www.28moons.com/blog/2020/1/safe-places Sun, 12 Jan 2020 17:48:18 GMT