Koi Bring Positivity Across DCC

In September 2016 our 9-yr-old, a Discovery Canyon Campus 4th grader, brought home some fun fish he made in art class at school. That weekend we had a friend in town, his parents, and my in-laws for dinner. After dinner said 9-y-o placed a piece of paper on the table in front of each person... 7 adults and his brother, a 12-yr-old DCC 7th grader. He displayed for us how to make the fish, with very few words... and we all made the fish. It was funny at the time, as just a small project that he wanted to show us was being done at school.

Well, weeks later I found out this little paper fish was a much bigger deal than we thought. This koi fish project was a cross-campus project from the Pre-K level all the way through the Seniors in the high school. You might recall my teammate Nicole blogged about a cluster of suicides affecting Academy School District 20, specifically a handful at Discovery Canyon Campus. In an effort to unite the campus from PreK-12, the arts department started the koi fish project... with phrases like "we're all in this together" and while it often feels like we're swimming upstream in life, we're swimming together! It's a bit reminiscent of Nemo and "just keep swimming!". This is one way DCC is trying to combat suicide, as well as rolling out curriculum addressing teen suicide information and hopeful prevention!! 

The koi fish project became even bigger than we thought. Since the campus is so big, they created a paper "stream" in every hallway to create one united stream. This project has now been entered with the Guinness Book of World Records for something like the longest contiguous paper art display. From what I understand, to date 6 "officials" have been out to campus twice to measure and we should beat the former record. The campus often tries to find ways to unite the different levels of campus... some examples include involving all levels in homecoming week celebrations, getting elementary kids into high school shop classes for projects, bringing high schoolers down to the elementary level for classroom experience, and having coaches across all grade levels working toward similar plays. There are so many things we love about DCC as a family; this koi fish project just adds to the positivity. 

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As a side, I sent a few pictures in to the elementary art teacher, who then passed them along to the entire elementary staff and middle school art teacher heading up the koi project. In mid-December a friend of mine sent me a screen shot of an article in The Tribune - a Monument, Woodmoor, Gleneagle paper... with our son on the front page and a story about the koi! We were shocked!! Needless to say, he was pretty excited about it. This story has spread to the local Colorado Springs Gazette paper. It's pretty exciting and will hopefully bring positivity. But most importantly we hope the project does as they wanted, uniting the campus and maybe even saving lives. We want all kids to feel like they are a part of something!!!

Here is a link to the Gazette article:  http://daily.gazette.com/Olive/ODN/TheGazette/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TheGazette%2F2016%2F12%2F14&entity=Ar08704&sk=983DE6B1

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Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 17, 18) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 17, 18) in Colorado Springs

The Hazel Miller Band: A Very Soulful Christmas -  Fri Dec 16, 8:00 pm, Stargazer's Theater

Admission: $15-$20. Hazel Miller has been performing in Colorado for the past 24 years, so you owe it to yourself to come see this show. Whether she is singing blues, jazz, pop, or Gospel, her voice is unbelievable and her experience has led her to open for performers such as Mel Torme, James Brown, Temptations, Earl Klugh, Bob James and many others. For more information: Stargazer's Theater

Christmas Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Colorado Springs Chorale - Sun Dec 18, 2:30pm, Pikes Peak Center

Admission: $23 and up. If you missed Deck the Hall last week, here is another chance for you to get in the spirit of the season with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Colorado Springs Chorale. This performance features the local debut of choruses from Mendelssohn's Christus and higlights from Bach's Christas Oratorio and Polar Express. For more information visit the website of the CS Chorale.

 

Holiday Evening at Rock Ledge Ranch, Sat Dec 17 4pm-8pm, Rock Ledge Ranch 30th and Gateway Road

Admission: $4-$8. Holiday music, blacksmith demonstrations, hot cider and chocolate, holiday crafts will fill the air for the Rock Ledge Ranch Holiday Evening. Take this opportunity to stroll around and bask in the traditions of yesteryear and get in the holiday spirit. For more information: Rock Ledge Ranch.

 

Fine Art's Center Winter Lights, Sat Dec 17 10am and 2pm, Fine Art's Center 30 W. Dale St

Admission: $15, members and 12 & under Free. With ice carving in the courtyard, movies, woodturning, celtic dance and the Colorado Springs Chorale, this celebration has a little bit of something for everyone. For more information check out their website Colorado Springs Fine Art's Center.

 

Improv Comedy at The Theater on Pecan, Sat Dec 17 7:30pm, The Theater on Pecan, 2418 W. Colorado Avenue

Admission: $8-$10. Not everything you do this weekend has to be holiday related. Come take a load off and get a few laughs at this improv at The Theater on Pecan. One recent attendee even said, “I laughed so hard my face hurts!” In the style of "Whose Line is it Anyway?", this will be sure to crack you up. More information: Improv Colorado's website.

 

 

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Improving Your Winter Real Estate Photos

Winter months create significant challenges for real estate photographers. The days are shorter, darker, colder and sometimes snowy.

Exterior images are the biggest challenge. This is a big deal because this is the primary image for almost every Real Estate Listing create.

Our basic rule of thumb for exterior photographs is to shoot them when the sun is on the front of the property. East facing homes in the morning, west in the afternoons.

This becomes a problem during the winter months when the arc of the sun is further south. During winter, it is not unusual for north and west facing homes to get no direct sunlight on the front of the house. 

Exterior images with no sun on the front of the property result in shadowy or dark images. In some cases when the sun is behind the house extreme lens flare.

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In order find the ideal time to take the exterior picture, we use a convenient app. "The Photographer’s Ephemeris". This handy application shows us where the sun will be throughout the day. This app saves us from making unnecessary trips to the property to find the best time for pictures. Here's how it works:

  1. Place the Red Pin in the middle of the scene you want to shoot.
  2. Use the slider underneath the timeline to track the sun's path
  3. Look for full sun on the entire front of the house.
  4. Schedule your photo shoot for that time. It's that simple!

During the winter the Ephemeris often shows us no ideal time (see above). The sun maybe behind the property all day. This creates a real problem if you are trying to get that bright, crisp, even look on your exterior image.

Although "dusk shots" seem like a good alternative, they can feel a little pretentious. Especially on a median priced home. These shots are generally reserved for the "Ultra-Luxury" listings.  

Our solution is to take what we call a “pre-dusk”shot. This is a shot taken just as the sun goes behind the mountains/horizon. We take a set of bracketed images, usually 7 to 9 images. These images are then processed in Photomatix to create a single "Exposure Fusion" image.

Here is a finished "Pre-Dusk" image taken using the following tools:

StoneFence 800

I like this image because it shows the property in the best possible light. This home faces Northwest and never gets full sun on the front during the winter. This technique give us a nice even light so we can get a sense of how the home actually looks. 

I also like the added perspective the drone gives, you get more of a sense of how the Home fits into the neighborhood.

Here’s how I created this image:

  • I used the raw image from the DJI phantom 4.
  • I brought the image into lightroom and output seven bracketed exposures to photomatrix.
  • Once in photomatix I created an Exposure Fusion image. This image is then sent back into lightroom.
  • In lightroom, we make any final adjustments and resize the photo for MLS and websites.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with me (Contact)

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Just Listed! 3515 Mosswood Lane Colorado Springs CO 80910

Just Listed! 3515 Mosswood Lane Colorado Springs CO 80910

Well, if this isn't the cutest house! Check out my new listing.  Built in 1972, this charming home features 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 1,600 finished square feet!  Includes updated kitchen with Silestone counters, new cabinets, new sink/faucet, new flooring, new roof, new carpet, new lighting, new windows, new doors, new paint, updated bathrooms and a huge deck for entertaining!  Great location...walk to nearby park, schools and shopping! For more information, visit the MLS listing, or give me a call.

 Mosswood Exteriorcover

Mosswood Kitchensm

 

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Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 10, 11) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 10, 11) in Colorado Springs

Jim Gaffigan -  Sat Dec 10, 8:00 pm, Broadmoor World Arena

Admission: $39.75-$59.75. One of the few comics around that is safe to take grandma and the kids to, Jim Gaffigan doesn't resort to crude humor to wow his audiences. With 5 kids, there is a plethora of material for him to use. For more information: Broadmoor World Arena

Deck the Hall, Colorado Springs Chorale - Fri Dec 9, 7:30pm, Pikes Peak Center

Admission: $15-$50. A full family event with Christmas music featuring the Colorado Springs Chorale, The Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and pre-concert entertainment and sing along in the lobby. For more information visit the website of the CS Chorale.

 

Indoor Winter Market, Sat Dec 10 9am-1pm, Ute Pass Cultural Center

Admission: Free. Are you starting to miss the Farmer's Markets? The Indoor Winter Market is held the second Saturday of each month where you will find season specialties, natural meats and cheeses, vegetables, pastries and handmade crafts such as holiday wreaths. For more information: Indoor Winter Market.

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Fri Dec 9 7pm, Sat Dec 10 3pm and 7pm and Sun Dec 11, 3:00 pm, Sunrise United Methodist Church, 2655 Briargate Blvd

Admission: Free. No Christmas is complete without seeing A Charlie Brown Christmas. Instead of settling for the TV version, come watch it live performed by the Sunrise Players. For more information check out their website Sunrise Players.

 

2nd Floor Studios Holiday Show, Sat Dec 10 & Sun Dec 11 11:00 am - 5:00pm, The Second Floor Studios, 2418 W. Colorado Avenue

Admission: Free. The Second Floor Studios are opening their doors for a Holiday Show. Come meet the artists in person in an intimate setting and have the opportunity to buy some original artworks, handmade jewelry, clothing and accessories. More information: The Second Floor Studios Facebook Page.

 

 

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