Run for the hills

I went out in search of lightning photos the other night, and even though the skies looked pretty threatening, no lightning ever materialized. As I headed home I passed this piece of farm equipment sitting at a local business and decided to light paint it with a flash. I named the photo ”run for the hills” because between the sky ,and the front end of this contraption, I thought it looked pretty menacing. Its called a forage harvester,and I think it does corn but it may have other uses for all I know.

The Wrap around porch

This lovely home is known as the Gonder Mansion, and is included on a local ghost tour in the area. It is a Victorian era Queen Anne style mansion built in 1905 by big wheel Benjamin Gonder, and was the home for him and his wife mary. It’s said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who committed suicide – Annie, Benjamin’s loco sister who lived on the grounds but was shunned by the rest of the family because of her mental condition.  It’s reported that the sounds of music and crazed laughter can be heard throughout the home, and her misty form has been reported haunting its corridors. She moved into the mansion in death after being forbidden to step inside the home during life. I did a small bit of light painting to highlight the gate,wall,and bushes at dusk to add my own touch to the beautiful home. The wrap around porch looks like a great place to sip cold lemonade on a summer day. I shot this from my truck roof using my laptop in the hopes of offering a better perspective.

Double trouble

This Amish farm was the location for some sort of get together last weekend, and this image was actually taken near dusk. Usually the Amish community is heading home at this point on a sunday evening, but this farm was still going strong and new arrivals were still coming. The really confusing thing was that every so often, a souped up car like a mustang would fly up the lane and park in the back, so perhaps we had a little spring party action going on. There is a term in the Amish world called Rumspringa,and that basically is a period of time when the adolescent kind of sows his wild oats and adults kind of ignore the behavior.

Giddy up

While I admit this is not the greatest image, it still shows the simple fun that Amish children have with the most basic items. This image was taken from a good distance away, and the girls were totally unaware that I was taking a quick photo as the one girl gave a tug on the reigns and the other reacted like a horse. It was comical to watch these two enjoying this imaginative horse-drawn game. I am not exactly sure but it appears they have added two red reflectors to the back of the buggy for safety.

Weighing the options

This image was taken at the feed mill that I had photographed and featured on my blog a few days ago. I met Brad the owner, and he graciously allowed both myself and fellow photographer Larry the chance to look around inside. After the mill shut down for the day, we broke out our gear and we each selected an area to light paint. Admittedly it has been a while since I gave this technique a try, so I struggled a bit as I worked to light the room with my spotlight. The mill is a real labyrinth of metal and wood, and left me wondering how such a place is designed. The inside also included numerous cats roaming about, which surprised me with all the machines at work, but after I had witnessed a cat catch a mouse three feet in front of me, it all became clear very quickly. The area I chose included the old scale with the two feed bags on it, along with another scale facing the opposite direction with the number 122 on it. The blue light is coming from window light that was shining in at dusk. We usually work in the dark, but time constraints had us shooting earlier.

Shaft of light

This image was taken this past weekend as I drove around in search of scenic shots. The day started with clear blue skies and ended in grand fashion under dramatic clouds, which caught my attention and had me heading out to peruse the back roads. The sun stayed hidden most of the time, but as I stopped to debate shooting this farm scene, it suddenly burst forth illuminating this farm with a shaft of light, which had me scrambling for the tripod. It lasted maybe two minutes, lighting up the farm against the brooding sky.

Working late

This is the same mill I posted a few days ago,but this time I lit the scene with my spotlight at dusk. I was out shooting in the area and decided at the last-minute to give the location a test try with the light. My light was low on battery power, so I did not get as much use out of it as I had hoped, but it was a good chance to practice a bit.

Opposing viewpoints

This is an infrared image taken when there was absolutely no sunlight around. Admittedly, I still am not sure what produces great infrared conditions, but sometimes overcast seems to have infrared to work with. I still struggle processing these shots, because I usually shoot raw, and adobe camera raw cannot handle the infrared data because Nikon wont share the decryption info needed, so it’s either shoot jpg or shoot raw and desaturate everything,or use Nikon software,which I despise.

The mysterious road

This is one of those images that frustrates me as I try to get it to look like it did when I shot it. The road was glowing from the previous night’s rain and the rising sun, and the sun was a nice ball through the  fog,yet I could not get it to reproduce exactly like it was, so this is as close as it gets. I was hoping for an Amish buggy or some cool subject to be a silhouette in the opening, but unfortunately I was all alone on this foggy back road.

Thunderhead Building

This image was taken the night before last as unsettled air moved across our region. All day long I watched the skies transform from one cloud formation to another and decided I better head out in the evening to look for possibilities. This farm provided the perfect location as it sits on a small hill,and the setting sun provided the touch of warmth on the massive cloud formation. Later that evening, lightning started to make an appearance, so I set up my tripod with an umbrella protecting it, and I use a laptop to fire it from within my truck. After a few sharp bolts, I decided that even though I was somewhat safe in my vehicle, perhaps being at the highest point on the hill was not the best idea so I packed up.

Momentary Sunlight

This image was taken minutes after yesterday’s post, and shows the mill from the train tracks side. The sky was totally cloud covered and yet I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot when a few rays broke through to skim across the shot. lasted about a minute, which was all I needed. As a side note, I knew this was an active line, but did not realize the train comes through doing about 60 mph plus. I no sooner had picked up my tripod and walked across the tracks when I heard a whistle up toward the trees to the left and when that train came through it was hauling. I thought to myself how unnerving it must be to drive that thing and see something or someone on the tracks ahead and know you are helpless to stop it in time.

War of 1776

I shot this infrared image this past weekend at a local chapel and cemetery.The flag was caught on the stone,and I assume it had blown there. Wish I could have seen the mans name, but when it comes to cemeteries, I never touch anything out of respect for those interred there. The marker on which the flag is attached says war of 1776,and the date he died read 1778 on the stone.

Super moon Disappointment.

This is a shot of the so-called super moon from this past saturday. Went out with two friends to shoot this thing, and due to haze, we never saw it in the sky till it was too high and slightly smaller looking. It’s an okay shot,but nothing like it might have been at the horizon, and zoomed tighter. This moon was supposedly 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter as it made its closest approach to earth. The key to getting the biggest moon is to find a subject far away,so you can use your strongest telephoto to include the moon and something interesting together. Had the conditions been crystal clear, and the moon had risen between the silos,I could have zoomed much tighter and had a much larger moon.

Family portrait

These four horses were very inquisitive as I leaned against the fence post to take their photo. At first they showed little interest, but after I stomped my foot a few times and gave my best horse imitation, they suddenly lined up to see what the commotion was all about. I am not up on horse behavior, but I have seen them stomp the ground as some sort of sign in the past, so I tried it out myself.

The Chiropractor is in

As you can see in this photo,Dr Whitey Hoofmeister was hard at work giving adjustments in the barnyard recently. While he is just a young doctor, the skill he displays with his furry hooves is second to none they say. This particular patient needed an adjustment in the lower back after an intense head butting session with a rival. Notice the zen like concentration on the doctors face as he manipulates his client.

Do You Mind?

Sometimes being the biggest has its disadvantages,as in this instance when the goat uses you like a  doormat to get a better angle on a free handout. I spotted this totally unrehearsed scene playing out at an Amish produce stand that included coin operated food dispensers for the barnyard animals. The tourists love the opportunity  to experience country life for a brief moment. The donkey did not fuss even one time while the goat rode around on his back, so maybe he was getting a free massage out of the deal.