Invasion of the Pumpkins


The grins of the pumpkins sagged as if they were feeling sick. Without affecting the color of their eyes, the hue of their mouths shifted towards illness. Pumpkin eyes narrowed. Projectile pumpkin vomit spewed from their mouths. Seeds and orange vine-fruit intestines splashed across the floor of the crypt. Beneath the puke, the gourds growled and for a split second there was a faint smell of pizza…

Walking through the 2011 Pumpkinfest in Keene, NH reminds me of a story I wrote in 2007 in which rabid gourds terrorize a small town while jack o lanterns take over and finally stampede down the street. Of course, in the story, gourds were characterized by sharp teeth, incessant barking, and a desire to bite, but the number of carved pumpkins there in real life made everything else seem possible. A random pumpkin stampede would have been incredible, although from what I read, the town was left in enough of a mess after kids were smashing the pumpkins and police were busy arresting people for public drunkenness.

Between the thousands of carved pumpkins, the festival-goers decked out in costume, and the town itself, there was plenty to keep me occupied behind the lens. While I only took roughly 500 photos, that’s a small number for the nearly 9 hours we were there. For the daylight hours, I shot with an 18-200 f/3.5-5.6, then switched over to the 50mm f1.8 when the sun went down and jacked up the ISO which also increased the noise.

In editing, I tried to keep things diverse and showcase both night and day as well as the varying styles. Some of the pumpkins bordered on creepy while others were more lighthearted, so some received more post-processing than others. Each had a touch of ColorEfexPro applied after being fed through Lightroom, and although they are a bit late to make it to the blog seeing as how it’s now after Christmas, at least they’re done.

As for the story mentioned at the top, it was aptly named Gourds

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