I have been visiting this Church for photo ops lately and trying to challenge myself to get multiple angles that are appealing. We recently had some heavy storms roll through and I was hoping for some lightning shots here but instead I arrived to find this normally dry stream bed was flowing for the first time I have ever seen. They must have gotten hammered because there was debris three quarters of the way up the slope on the left,so that puts it at maybe 4ft deep at the peak and what is shown here might be 10 inches.
This was taken last evening during some stormy weather passing through. As many of you know I enjoy capturing Lancaster county scenes and the Amish who live here, but despite a big gathering at this Amish farm and many of them walking out the lane near where I was parked, I just felt with the missing Amish girl, now was not the time to photograph. For those who saw my post on July 7th about this situation, they have since arrested the man who abducted her but he still refuses to tell authorities anything on her whereabouts. Police did find the spot he buried her clothing and they did say she was harmed after being abducted but no one knows if she is alive or not. News reports said they pinged his phone and there was a huge search over the weekend at the location his phone pinged. Hopefully we still have a glimmer of hope she is found. I included a link showing this idiot. One commenter I saw said he might have Reactive Attachment Disorder which afflicts kids that are abandoned at a young age. He was living on the street at age 7 and the adoptive parents say he was trouble from the very beginning.https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/we-grieve-alongside-our-community-suspect-s-family-issues-statement-on-amish-teen-s-disappearance/article_07b2848c-c53d-11ea-b10e-a75d90ff2e96.html
A friend called me last week to tell me about this old pickup sitting in front of a barn that was pretty nice. So that evening I headed out to look at it only to find about 15 cars parked everywhere behind the truck. It seems the owner has planted a field of wildflowers and all the cars were there for those having portraits taken among the flowers. I figured I had nothing else to do so I waited and waited and waited some more. one car left,then another,then three at once until there were only three left and of course they were all parked right in the main part to the right. Well I started shooting as it became darker and hoped they would leave soon, which they finally did. The two images include an infrared that I shot as the sun was getting low and a color one after the sun was down. I like them both but the infrared is more dramatic and gets my vote.
This photo is a good example of keeping your eyes open for opportunities. It has been hot and dry lately and it seems this is a great time to harvest wheat so I was canvasing the countryside when I came upon this family working as a team loading the wagon. I have snapped the occasional photo of members of this family before working in the fields and they kind of giggled when they saw me with the camera in the car. The one room school was the perfect backdrop and the way the pitchforks were flying, it is a miracle no one gets jabbed. At one point they got within earshot and asked if I wanted to help and they knew by the look on my face this old fart wasn’t getting out of the car so they had a good laugh over that? Photos like this remind me of my younger days when I would occasionally get invited by Amish to take photos from up on their loaded wagons and I always felt incredibly lucky that they left me into their world for a moment.
The group shown here are Mennonite but for those new to my site, we also have a large Amish population here in Lancaster county. Their is currently an 18 yr old Amish girl that inexplicably went missing almost 3 weeks ago after a Church service held at a farm. After all my years of photographing Lancaster county and the Amish culture, this event is truly a mystery. I have taken photographs in the exact area she went missing in and even though their have been searches all over the fields in the area, nothing out of the ordinary has been found and no signs of foul play were found. I honestly can say I am somewhat glad I have not gone out shooting down in that area in a couple years because people are desperate for answers and anyone out driving would be a suspect or a witness. On Sunday morning I just felt compelled to go down and drive the roads around where this occured and even though the entire area has been searched, I felt I needed to just look and see if anything caught my eye. There are a million sleuths on the internet who all have their own theory, but the two at the top are, 1-she walked away from the way of life and is safe somewhere and ,2- someone grabbed her. The thing I did not expect on my Sunday drive was the multiple Police cars I saw parked in the area. My feeling was they were watching to see if anything hokey might happen? The first car I saw surprised me but when I came out on another road to a stop sign, there were three more parked. I thought to myself they are probably writing my license number down to check everyone and might even pull me over but they didn’t.
The other night I went through a boatload of my shots to see if she was on anything I had taken over the years, but despite the fact she somewhat looked familiar to me, I could not find a single shot. My thought was if I did have something, I would give it to the parents as something to keep their hope alive. The other thing is I have not shot anything in a few years so for all I know I could have something but never could recognize her in a younger picture. Anyway if you are so inclined, say a prayer for her safe return or a call from her telling everyone she is safe. I am hopefully attaching a pdf here so even more eyes will be on this.
Let me start by saying the following actually happened to me a few years ago at the home I just photographed in infrared. It all started with a phone call I received asking me if I could go check on a co-worker that did not answer the phone. I said sure I will go and see if either he or his wife are there. When I got there, a police officer was there and told me he had passed away. I asked if I could go in to talk with his wife and he said sure,no problem. I head on in and his wife who was starting with dementia greeted me in the kitchen. She was standing leaning on the refrigerator and I was on the other side of a large granite island. We talked a bit and I was getting a little exhausted processing it all, so I leaned my arms on the island and as I leaned forward there was my co-worker still on the floor where he dropped? It definitely threw me a bit but then his wife started asking me why he will not wake up when she shakes him?
So the funeral is set and since he always liked my New England photos, I decided to do a tribute slide show with music at the viewing which was very much appreciated by the family. We finish up and everyone heads home after dark and since we were starting to seal our basement with drylok, I headed down to start doing the next wall. I was on a short ladder working hard to work the drylok into the block wall when I heard three taps, so I yell up to my wife, what do you want? She yells what are you talking about, so I said never mind and continued on. Maybe a minute later I hear three taps on the door glass leading out to a set of steps that go up and outside. As soon as I heard the taps, My head immediately spun around to look at the door and I was literally looking right at my co-workers face in the window who had passed! Now you may think someone was playing games, but that very stairway that leads to the door is covered by a deck made of 2×6 treated and trex that takes all I have to lift up and go down those steps. I was in such a mindset that I did not tell my wife about it, thinking maybe I had an overactive imagination? Well the next day comes and after my wife gets out of the shower, she comes to the bedroom and says what was with the three taps I just did? I said I did not tap and she just laughed and said “yeah right”. Well day 2 comes and sure enough we both hear another set of three taps, and after pausing a moment I yelled his name, told him we missed him, and said you have got to move out please. Thank the Lord that was the last time for any tapping.
I found it ironic that the infrared shot has the windows looking like they are fully lit rooms inside. I looked at the original file and it looks like the windows were new UV glass that had a blue tint, which goes white with the filters.
I spotted this crew working on potting fall mums and they were quite productive I might add. After a little break was called, the guy kneeling on the right grabbed a pot and stuck it on his head, which brought a mixed bag of expressions. I pass this place every fall and they have row upon row of mums in every color yet I can hardly believe they get started this early but summers moving right along. Yes it was approaching 90 degrees this day so a black plastic pot would make you a hothead or even a pothead now that I think about it.
Infrared can be a tricky challenge and I always thought the best results were when the sun was fully shining, but I ventured out this past week on an evening I thought might be good for storms. Well the storms never really left loose but I thought this infrared shot turned out nice in overcast conditions.
The owners of this lovely home called me to get a shot of their home for a 4th of July event the town is holding. The car is a 1930 ford and their is a matching pedal car as well. The fact that I got the headlights to show up on the sidewalk is a minor miracle because they are so dim compared to todays headlights.The owner said they are not allowed to drive at night because of the poor output.
I was coming down a local backroad yesterday and up ahead I noticed an Amish farm stand and there was a buzz of activity focused in one area beside the road. Luckily there was another business straight across the street where I could park unnoticed for a while. There were kids, teens, and adults all filling pots with soil that were then lined up in rows in a growing area. I may be wrong but I think they were the beginnings of fall mums because this same location has had a large crop of mums in this exact spot for several years. With that being said, I watched all the activity around the farm for photo ops and I noticed way back the lane there were some youngsters playing with this tricycle/cart setup. I was quite frustrated because they were about 75 yards away and my longest lens was still not able to reach them so I waited and hoped.
Before long they disappeared behind the barn but a few minutes later they reappeared on a lane that went around the barn in a U-shape. I watched as the came almost to the road and then rode away again and I thought well you missed your chance. I then drove to the opposite end of the lot and there was exactly one spot left and guess where it was located? You got it, it was straight across the road from the lane they were playing in! I watched as they came toward me and rode away and tried my best to look disinterested and on the third trip, I brought the camera up and got this image as they turned to go back. What was funny was how they were having such a good time as I snapped this image but I think it finally registered that I had a camera and then they became much more elusive. They would dart out and make funny faces and quickly retreat but they were having fun hiding and reappearing. I keep looking at the image trying to figure how three kids fit in that little trailer. It has been a long time since I took any Amish photos but shots like this remind me why I enjoy capturing moments in their lives.
I started out this rainy evening by asking the owners of this home if I could set my tripod up a couple of feet into their yard to shoot a flowering tree across the street and they kindly agreed. I worked on my original shot for a little while and then decided to pack it in and as I turned to go get my tripod, I saw there was potential to get a nice shot of their home as well, complete with a glowing rain soaked street. I did remove one obnoxious telephone pole but left the street sign stay. Adding some flash to the red maple and the big tree added a little more reflection on the road.
This old mill is now a private residence and the home to the left of the flowering trees is very tastefully decorated with numerous nice touches and places you just want to sit and enjoy a tall glass of lemonade. I will be sharing a shot soon including the house which is visually just perfect sitting beside the old mill. The flowering trees are what caught my eye and with an old victorian home and a mill on either side, it was too hard to resist.