It’s Another Daisy Hill Anniversary

by | Mar 9, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

In today’s post I veer away from the normal assortment of photography tips, tools and techniques to get a little personal…

Other than how to pronounce my name and where do I find my models, people sometimes ask, “where is Daisy Hill?” The community where I live is located about 25 miles south of Denver and according to the 2010 census has population of 10,517, up from 7,253 from the 2000 census. My Daisy Hill is a tiny lightly wooded lot that’s located within that 10.4-square mile community, which includes Bingham Lake, were I often make photographs. Our home sits midway up a small hill that I named Daisy Hill as a homage to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm where Snoopy and his siblings lived before they were adopted by their new owners. The Daisy Hill reference first appeared in a Peanuts strip on May 4, 1965.

Ten years ago today, Mary and I moved here from the rural community we lived in that was located north of Denver, a distance of about 50 miles from Daisy Hill if traveling along the E470 toll road. The above self portrait of us in our living room was made this same date ten years ago just after we got the keys to our new home. The three tone Mondrian-style paint scheme surrounding the fireplace behind us was one of the first things to go replaced with the softer tan color that covers the rest of the room.

One of the many things the new house offered me was a nicer but not necessarily larger home office but it has two large windows and a glass-paned door that lets me see the outside world and I can catch a glimpse of the mountains in the distance along with the near tame mule deer that stroll by on their way to eating all of our grass, bushes and plants.

Instead of shooting in an unfinished basement next to the furnace and my model train layout as I did in my old house, I now have a dedicated 11×15 studio space that’s located in a finished basement. Near the studio is a work room that sadly has not yet been as successfully implemented as I had planned. It was originally conceived to be an image, book and magazine archive as well as a place to make fine art prints. The used large format printer that I purchased ended up being more trouble than it was worth and I sold it after a few years. The room is slowly being repurposed to become more archive-related with plans underway to set up a small light table as well as a film scanner to digitize some of my extensive library of film images. Stay tuned for updates on that progress. Meanwhile, my near 30-year magazine archive is slowly being sent to recycling to make space for whatever…

Since many people have written asking about my model train layout that was often featured in my reviews and articles in the former print edition of Shutterbug here’s an update: My previous layout measured 8 x16 feet and I was without any kind of layout in the new house until November 2016. Because of my newfound interest in LEGO, this new, smaller layout features both Lionel and LEGO trains. Shortly after setting it up, I shot a short video of the layout that you can see here on Vimeo. The layout has grown slightly in size and has changed considerably since 2016 both in content and size and I promise to post an updated video real soon now.

If you think that I’m happy living here on Daisy Hill that is an understatement, I am deliriously happy here. But Mary keeps talking about moving to warmer climes (It snowed here the day I originally wrote this and this particular winter has been colder and snowier than normal—the third snowiest February— so ya never know…


 

You can learn some of my portrait lighting tricks and techniques from  Studio Lighting Anywhere, which is available from Amazon.com, where new copies are selling for $31.83 with used copies starting at the bargain price of around seven bucks as I write this. The Kindle version is $19.99, for those who prefer a digital format.