All or nothing

This is an old roller mill that I came across while wandering the back roads this past weekend. I started the afternoon off heading to play volleyball but I took my camera gear along in case no one showed. Well no one showed, so I cruised around and came across this locale. I was all excited as Amish buggies, open carts etc were all around the area. I pull in here and realize my tripod is 15 miles away at home.So I head home disgusted with myself and decide to return in the evening. Four hours later I come back and set my gear up on my truck roof to get a better view and I wait almost an hour till these three buggies come by. After they passed, I sat there till dark and not one more buggy came by. If I could somehow get up another 8 ft or so, you could see the entire covered bridge,which is just in sight on the edge of the right side. This evening was a real feast or famine night for shooting, and since I am not the most patient individual, it was driving me crazy missing other opportunities. The late evening light was skimming in nicely, so maybe the delay was worth it. the thumbnail shows my roof setup and laptop inside and it all depends how much height I need, and in this case just a little.

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Enchanted Storytime

As promised, here is another view from the Watt mansion property.All one needs is a soft pillow and cushion,  a favorite book, a bit of imagination, and your all set to get lost in your own enchanted fairy tale world. I added some flash to accent the ivy covered tree and bench.

Old World Charm

My photo for today features a home that has been lovingly restored by current owners Steve and Kathy, and they have done an outstanding job both inside and out. The exterior features a gorgeous wrap around porch that has been painted in subtle shades of green and burgundy, and is a great place to sit and enjoy fresh lemonade while relaxing on one of several rocking chairs. The stunning hydrangea in shades of blue and lavender provide a visual feast for the eyes and were the reason I stopped to photograph this spot. I light painted much of the scene to help show the details,and despite picking the worst breezy night to try this, I managed to get most of the plants still. According to online resources, hydrangea color is affected primarily by the presence or absence of aluminum compounds in the flowers. Adjusting soil ph will yield blue to pink possibilities.

Heritage days celebration

This is not something you see in Amish country very often, but this past weekend was heritage days in a small town named Intercourse. How the town came to be named as such is not exactly known, but there are several possible suggestions if one searches the net. The Fireworks display ended a day long celebration of the areas heritage, and featured live music,volleyball,good food and much more. This image was captured from a vista across the fields with about a 200mm lens and my first or base image was captured while it was still light enough to see the farms,and then after it was pitch black, I recorded the fireworks explosions from the same tripod mounted angle, and then simply brought those layers on top of the first, and put them on lighten mode, which allows the fireworks to show up against my blue sky instead of black nothingness. When I first set up, there was an Amish family having a picnic across the street, I asked what time the fireworks launch, and he says sometime between 9 and midnight. Did not expect the bit of humor but with fireworks you never quite know.

I never do this, but I am adding the two smaller pictures of some kids getting a wagon ride. Not sure if the Amish guy is a neighbor or what,but the riders were dressed in regular clothing. they might have been going to heritage days up the road. neither shot is super sharp, which irritates me.Hope they dont have to stop fast, because they are all bare foot.

The long road home

Some of the images that I capture in my photographic endeavors excite me more than others, and this image is one of those. This location is about twenty miles or more from my home, so I must commit a certain amount of time and effort to go there and then hope something happens while I am there. I have been there many times and never seem to get any local activity on the road, partly because it’s a big hill, and secondly because there are many connecting roads that are easier to navigate , so many people simply bypass this hill. I decided to go this past sunday, and I arrived shortly after sunrise to pick my angle and wait. Almost an hour went by with no traffic of any kind passing by, and just as I was considering leaving I saw the closest two buggies coming out from the farm in the distance. I sat in my truck waiting for the buggies to be in the best spot and then simply activated my wireless remote to fire the camera. Because the hill is so steep and long, a third buggy had slowly been catching up in the distance. To capture this image, I mounted my tripod with camera attached on my truck roof, hooked my laptop to it to remotely adjust camera settings as needed from my driver’s seat and then used my wireless remote to fire the camera. Pre-focusing on a spot in the foreground allowed the closest buggy to be sharp as it reached my predetermined spot. Between the red barns,the winding road and the buggies, I am very pleased with my end result on this shot. If you notice the first buggy is going around me on the right because the horse was not happy about my rooftop tripod, but the next horse went right by my truck without hesitation. An Amish man told me once that horses don’t like anything higher than themselves, but for the life of me I cannot understand why trees or buildings or even large trucks don’t seem to bother them. My tripod was even set up at its shortest height with no leg extension, so maybe I should try a blanket over it to camouflage it? This would make an awesome sledding hill in winter,so lets hope the local Amish kids are feeling adventurous.

The tree lined lane

This tree-lined lane is the entrance to a lovely property located along a rural road in Eastern Pennsylvania. The property has an iron gate at the entrance, but I got lucky, as the owner noticed I had stopped to look at it while he was mowing. He pulled up and asked if I wanted to walk in through the gate and shoot a few photos in exchange for a print. Obviously I jumped at the offer and hope to revisit it in the fall or winter perhaps. I could see an old classic car or perhaps a horse-drawn carriage coming up the lane.