A Long-Expected Party, September 25-28, 2008
Pleasant Hill Shaker Village, Kentucky
The first comment I have to make about this gathering is that it was amazingly well-planned. The idea started with several people who were tired of "cons" and wanted something more intimate and limited to Tolkien. They were obviously dedicated to spending whatever time and talent it took to pull it off and give the attendees a memorable experience - and it worked. And, except for the fact that Shakers built everything using straight lines and rectangles (with one exception I'll mention later), this village built in the early-to-mid 1800's was a great stand-in for Hobbiton. Coincidentally - if coincidence you call it - the rooms for overnight guests at the village can accommodate almost exactly one gross, and they were booked long before the gathering started.
I have several talents. Photography is not one of them. Over half of my photos from this event aren't worth publishing, and that includes some that I've put up anyway. But the bigger problem is that most of them just plain aren't there. This can't be from the batteries failing or the memory card filling up, because some of the photos taken both earlier and later in the weekend are there. Silly as it sounds, my guess is that I was taking the majority of my photos with the camera turned off. The on/off button is very close to the one for the shutter, and it's not unusual for me to press the former when I mean to press the latter. Usually I catch this pretty quickly because (1) the lens telescopes out when the camera is on and goes back in when the camera is off, and (2) the LED screen goes blank when the camera's turned off. But a lot of the picture taking for this weekend was either indoors or at night, and at moments when I was concentrating on what was happening rather than on my photo shooting. I'm sure I was happily snapping away often with a camera that wasn't turned on.
The saving grace in this case is that I wasn't the only person taking photos. After this section is up and running, I'll add some links to other available pictures.