I finally got out for a couple spring photos! This beauty took center stage as it dominated the hillside view.
This is another shot of the Alden house in downtown Lititz, Pa. The star is one of many the boro used to use on their telephone poles at Christmas. There were retired and offered to the public and this one still proudly shines in all its glory on a side porch while Edison bulbs shimmer overhead.
The Alden House
This is the warm welcome you are greeted with when staying at the Alden house in Lititz, Pa
Keep Looking Up
A stroll down main street in Lititz, Pa.
This is the first image I did of this Victorian masterpiece and if you look closely you can see the shadow of the ornate iron fence revealed on the roadway in front. That shadow is the result of multiple attempts with my flash to backlight the fence and cast that shadow. I finally got the right flash height to reveal the rounded design detail of the fence on the road!
Edison Lights the Way
The quaint town of Lititz, Pa is the subject of some of my photos and these Edison bulbs add a warm inviting touch to the downtown sidewalks. Local lighting company Stray lighting is responsible for this welcome addition.
A Warm Welcome
The old building on the left is a popular local restaurant and the scene on the right is decor on a private home that once served as a bank!
These two scenes are from one store with the entrance being between them. Top is on your left, bottom on your right.
Book Store Magic
The Tattered Shirt
Gather the Family
This old pickup was parked at the entrance to the town park and was set up to allow anyone passing by to climb on back for family photos! Thats small town charm right there!
Oh Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
This private porch caught my eye while walking through Lititz. I got permission and got right on it. The only thing I might mention is the reflection of the deer and Christmas ornaments. When I set my camera up I noticed the light reflecting off a few wet spots on the porch so my wheels started turning and I decided a few bottles of spring water might help get the job done and thats how that was done. I did have to wipe up after I was done but I like the result.
Home Away from Home
This Historic Inn is called The Smithton Inn and is located in Lancaster County, Pa. It is a bed and breakfast that really feels like your home away from home. The owners inquired if I might have time to capture it in it’s Holiday best and I said all I could do was keep it on my radar. Well days kept slipping by and although I wanted snow, that was not in the cards this year so I knew there was a day coming up that was calling for rain all day! I should have taken a picture of my camera setup that was needed to pull this shot off. First it was very cold and raw with constant rain blowing in 20-30 mph winds. I set my tripod fairly low to get the reflection and then had to set another heavy bag against the tripod with an umbrella on top that got velcroed tight to my tripod, and then finally another bag with weights in it hung on the tripod to keep everything from moving! That umbrella bounced around violently but all the images were in register so the weight kept it rock solid.
To look at the shot you would think that no cars were on the road, but there is a stop light just to the right and it was right at rush hour so I would watch the light go green , pray all cars would get through and then shoot as many frames as I could till the next line of cars blocked my view. A couple times I sat through three light cycles till I had a clear view. The other issue is shooting 6 and 10 second exposures that basically eat up the only segment of time with no cars, so one shot and wait. Till I was done I was soaked and my hands were screaming from the cold because it is problematic wearing gloves, operating my tablet and carrying a large flash all at the same time.
Well I kind of ran into a wall posting my Christmas photos on time. All I can say is my old nemesis depression showed up and left me with a combination state of sad, miserable and weary of the world essentially, so anyone dealing with the same thing know you are not alone! This old Victorian was a bright spot for me as the year drew to a close. I do have a shot from the week before that I will share in the next week or so as well.
I left home 12 miles away in the rain which is why I headed here in the first place to get a reflection, but when I arrived I was greeted with the remnants of a light snow that had yet to be shoveled from the sidewalk! I could not find a parking place so I asked the owner if there was any chance I could park in his large driveway? He said no problem, which I needed because the light was dropping fast. I set up and waited for the light to balance out and I began shooting. One technique I have found to help get the results I want is to hit the subject with a bright burst of flash and in turn you get a more detailed reflection in the road that appears. Almost everything reflected in the road to the left of the round corner turret with the green lights is thanks to adding light to the house. Hope everyone has a wonderful 2023! Oh and the sidewalk crew showed up just as I finished so I was grateful for that!
I found a little time to capture some of the festive holiday windows in downtown Lititz, Pa and I will be sharing them through the end of the year. The first images feature Zest, a local shop that specializes in premium herbs and spices, as well as kitchen related home goods. They are one of several stores I can count on year to year to deliver a great window. I spoke briefly with the owner who told me the featured girl in the window was found at a large convention she attends. I tried to find the artist online but to no avail. I couldn’t muster the courage to ask what it cost but it was very well done.
After the Rain Ended
This image was taken last week as I headed home from work and it was one of the nicer sunsets I have seen in a while! As I pulled the company car into the work garage at the end of the day, I began to notice a few clouds starting to get a little color, but then I also noticed the horizon was perfectly clear and I felt there was a very distinct possibility that this was going to get good! I went back into work to tell a co-worker who enjoys photography that I hoped he had his camera along because the sky was about to light up! In less than five minutes the dull sky did a complete 360 and put on a dazzling show. My co-worker unfortunately did not have his camera and I eventually realized my tripod was not in my vehicle because I cleaned stuff out the day before and took it inside! Hand holding got me this image but it is fairly noisy because it was a very contrasty shot with the farm in deep shadow and the clouds blasted by the sun, so bringing out the shadows resulted in more noise than I usually like. Normally I would shoot maybe three to five frames to capture highlights and shadows and having to stretch a single file for the entire range means somethings got to give.
The Mighty Gingko
Well this is the winning image from my second series of fall photos. There are a lot of beautiful trees to be found in the fall, but the vivid yellow Gingko is one that is hard to beat. I was basically shooting into the sun so I chose to set up using the tree branches to block the sun and within a minute the sun moved just where I planned it would so you could just see it between those two large branches. Any other way and there would have been terrible flare which would just destroy all the detail in this scene
Warm Welcome Home
This old farmhouse is home to a wonderful family that is always happy to allow me to shoot whatever I think will make a nice image. I just happened to drive by in the afternoon and the leaves were perfect but falling fast so I knew that evening was going to be it. Between the warm candles in the windows to the porch lights and even the kitchen window on the right, their warmth contrasted nicely with the enveloping cold blue of nightfall. One thing I found funny was the homeowner came out as I was setting up and asked if I wanted lights turned on, which surprised me, but then she told me she sees my comments on my blog about wanting lights on and then it all made sense.
Fall Stream Reflection
Red maples shimmer in the calm waters of a local stream. The home just beyond the trees had a front row seat to the fall spectacle. This image and tomorrow’s image are both from the same property which is set in a gorgeous country location.
Quiet Autumn Morning
This home in all it’s autumn splendor caught my eye the night before and I knew with expected high wind in the forecast that it wouldn’t last much longer. I showed up early in the morning and the lights were off so I shot a few frames and all of a sudden the lights came on. I noticed the homeowner at the door so I bolted up to let her know I was doing fall foliage. I asked if she would mind turning the porch lanterns on and she said sure. I was all excited knowing it was coming together when all of a sudden the lights went out. I think we had a slight miscommunication on the lights but I had already captured them so it all worked out. What you can’t see are a solid line of cars in the rain behind me heading to work on a busy local road.
Light in the Dark
This old church reminds me of something you might see in Williamsburg. The fall foliage, the lamp posts and the church all made a nice cohesive shot.
A lone lamp posts illuminates a local park as nightfall slowly engulfs the daylight.
Dusk at the Mill
This mill has long been idle yet the light still shines for tales from the past!
Red Barn Reflection
Fall foliage creates a pleasant frame around this barn reflecting in the stream.
Okay I have enough fall images to do at least another week of progressively better shots culminating on Sunday December 4th so here is the lead off image. Even though the majority of my brave or stupid decisions revolving around photography are in my past, I still occasionally feel the need to exhibit risky decisions to get a shot. This is an example of wanting this roadside scene and getting it required I be on the road which is just up from a blind curve. The really dumb part was when I decided to lay on the dividing line to do a shot. No cars came but in my mind I am still 20 and nimble but in actuality I move more like a cross between a sloth and turtle these days!
Raw Steam Power
This old steam tractor from days past sits in all its glory with the sunset and silhouetted farm as a backdrop. I light painted this old tractor which is quite powerful and was very helpful in a multitude of farm operations. I believe the top wheel on the left can accept a huge belt that can power saw mill operations as well. I am very pleased with my result on this shot considering it was totally dark out in this field and quite cold to boot.
Blessings from Above
Well folks, we have reached the culminating shot for Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoyed this little fall foliage series. I am sure your favorite differs from mine but each image was a joy to capture this fall season and hopefully in some small way it has been a blessing to enjoy the beauty around us that we often overlook in our hectic modern world. May you have a joyous Thanksgiving with family and God Bless!
Autumn Full Moon
Yes I realize the moon does not jump off the page at you but I think it is pretty awesome as a small piece of the grander scene. From the Historic old Church and its amazing steeple to the lamp posts glowing, to the Ginkgo in all its impressive color whether on the tree or on the ground, I am very happy with the way this image turned out. I love the blue in the sky and yellow on the ground,the Church rising to meet the sky and just the peaceful feel the image imparts!
This image was one I was definitely eager to capture after I noticed the potential from the road. I knocked, got permission and thought to myself this has been an amazing fall foliage year for me as a photographer and how blessed I am to have the ability to appreciate and capture this beauty so others can also enjoy it!
Dirt Road Gold
Well we are coming down the home stretch in my fall foliage feast for the eyes and this image was one I stumbled upon as I made my way along a short dirt country road. When I rounded the bend and this scene unfolded before me I had a feeling of being on one of my New England adventures from the past.The framing was perfect, the color was awesome and the small farm seems to to be saying “welcome home”! I did feel like I hit gold when I first saw this shot.
The Dynamic Duo
I happened past this local Church at the right time to notice the maple in full autumn splendor. This particular Church just celebrated its 300th anniversary and is just as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside.
The Old Mill
Fall foliage provides a nice framing element for this old mill.
Covered Bridge Traveler
A local covered bridge is framed by warm tones as a horse and buggy makes its way home. One pet peeve of mine is the idiotic desire to put obnoxious signage all around these bridges that I usually have to take the time to clone out from my photos. The height sign over the entrance is okay but still an eyesore. I do realize there are a lot of morons out there that have no common sense so we are stuck with signs everywhere! This very bridge actually had some dimwit drive through in a truck that not only hit the entrance but this genius kept the pedal floored and made it all the way through, never pausing to take responsibility! After that the county installed these bars that hang down called headache bars, but they were not on this bridge when I photographed it? They say truckers blindly following GPS are often the cause..
Log Cabin Living
This property was a working farm for years until the owner passed away and because he never married there was no one to inherit it so he donated it to a group he was involved in called The Swiss Pioneer Preservation Associates. Their goal is to preserve the heritage that the early Swiss arrivals brought with them to the region. The old log cabin was originally a mile up the road and falling apart but thanks to the dedication of the Swiss preservation group it has a new home and solid future.
Reflecting on Autumn
This is one of those shots that looked mediocre at first but after I walked around to check it out from different angles it quickly became clear I had to shoot it! A couple things helped me capture this and the first was the wind letting up and the second was a filter. At first the wind was so strong there was not a bit of smooth water and I almost gave up but the occasional calm would appear and thankfully I got the shot. I mentioned a filter helped and that filter is called a Polarizer, which can literally transform a scene from dull to dazzling. It works by cutting the suns rays as they hit your subject at certain angles. For this particular shot, the sun was too my right at 90 degrees which is the optimum angle for the filter to cut glare and this scene was completely dull till the filter helped cut the glare on the water and in the sky. It is not adding color to the shot but by filtering out the sun bouncing around it allows the color to be seen. If the sun were directly in front of me or behind me the same filter would do little if anything but when you get the angle right it can be transformative.
The Grand Grove
This grove of trees is located at a Veterans Hospital and for me it ranks right up there as one of the prettiest and peaceful places I have come across in recent times. I was floored by the sheer amount of beautiful color that was contained in a small area but I was also struck by how peaceful it was with the hospital a hundred yards away. I saw veterans relaxing on wooden park benches and numerous employees walking the path that winds among the trees as they take lunch time to recharge their batteries and their soul!
Fence and Fall Foliage
Alright folks, with all the negative stuff going on in the world these days, I have decided to offer you a visual distraction in the form of fall scenery from this year that will culminate on Thanksgiving day with one of my favorite recent fall images! For the next eleven days I have arranged the photos so each day’s image is a little higher on my list than the day before. You can see if you agree on my arrangement or have your own favorite order! My first offering features an old rustic split rail fence that makes a nice accent for the gorgeous trees!
Just Around The Bend
I found this church a little ways away on my travels and shot it at least three different ways over several evenings. This wide angle shot encompasses most of the curved stone wall. I met the pastor and he was more than accommodating in helping me get the main shot I was after, which is not this one. For this shot I am almost on the road behind me and there is a stop sign about 4 feet to my right on a second road. The foliage actually hung around for several days while I tried to capture the place. I hope I can remember to check this out in the snow this winter. They currently have the main wall lit in blue and gold for Ukraine but the pastor hinted they might do red and green at Christmas so keep your fingers crossed for that.
Still Waters Farm
Star of the Neighborhood
This gorgeous maple dominates the landscape as it glows in the midday sun. The little pip squeak red maple is trying his hardest but this year he takes second place.
Fox Meadow Farm
This small patch of color caught my attention as it provided a nice foreground for the red barn in the distance. This farm family started an ice cream business just up the road which has been wildly successful. Tasty sandwiches and delicious ice cream insure there is rarely an open seat.
Split Rail Autumn
A Wave of Color
This old Church is framed by a multitude of various fall colors and it reminds me of a wave crashing in! For some reason it seems to me that cemeteries often have some of the most beautiful trees during Autumn.
The Winding Road Home
This winding lane is leading to a home that sits behind the trees and I say hats off to whoever planted these maples in this arrangement so I could one day capture this image!
Autumn’s Finest Show
For some reason this year has been a great time for me to find awesome fall foliage shots. I feel like I am in the ‘”zone” for finding pretty scenes such as the one above. I saw the color here when I was just up the road making a delivery and I ventured in to see if any nice compositions could be found. I drove through here last year and the color was good then, but this year it was like all the planets aligned and color was everywhere. This property is a Veterans Hospital and it seems like there are people watching your every move around the place. I tried to be as low key as possible as I meandered around this open area hoping to snap a few shots of the trees in all their glory. This locale was just loaded with trees all at peak color to the point I questioned whether I might be on one of my New England fall foliage trips?