Autumn flights

Another image from a local balloon festival.Shot this from my truck roof because you could not even see the farm from road level because of the corn crop. Seven feet higher can make a huge difference. The balloon on the left was asked to go low over the farm by the chase crew after they recognized me from last year and knew to heed my request to get them a great shot. It’s amazing how they follow the same path,because the red balloon had been in the same spot as the nearest balloon minutes before.

A Friend of Lincoln

This is the mausoleum where Methodist bishop Matthew Simpson is buried.Though based in Philadelphia during the Civil War, Methodist Bishop Matthew Simpson (1811-1884) traveled the country during that time giving speeches in support of the Union, emancipation and President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was thankful for the Bishop’s support.After Lincoln was assassinated he delivered the eulogy at his burial in Springfield, Illinois. At that time few people traveled as widely as Bishop Simpson did and his reports on public opinion were a valuable resource to the President. The mausoleum reminds me a little bit of a miniature church to some degree.

Wood Shop Warmth

This image is part reality,part imagination. The barn and lamp-post were part of this scene yesterday and they were coated in a light dusting of the seasons first snow. I have always enjoyed the paintings of Thomas Kinkade for their dream like quality and I also like the effect of warmth in a cold setting,so I added some warm light to the scene to invite the viewer into the scene and maybe take a peak in the window of the wood shop to see what the craftsman might be making. The gentleman who owns this barn made the unique doors,which if I recall correctly have a passage from the Bible carved in them. I noticed there are icicle lights on the roof line,but unfortunately they were not lit,so Hopefully we will get more good snows and I will remember to return.

Let The Sun Shine


This is another flash light painting exercise where I attempted to bring out the detail in the statue. The sun was shining through the tree,but was basically backlighting everything. I shot the first exposure with the silhouetted statue and sun,and then the sun moved behind the leaves and I started with the flash portion of the shoot.The off camera flash is mounted on a six foot pole for better positioning but the statue is pretty high,so it’s not the perfect lighting scenario.


Steamroller Fun



This is another example of experimenting with deer spotlights on a subject. Admittedly,I still need more practice to master this technique,but each try proves to be fun. The top photo is no spot light and the bottom is the result of about twenty separate twenty-second exposures at f11 using the spotlight. I used a wireless remote to fire my camera and also use a laptop to review what I did on each exposure to keep track what was lit already and as a reference if I need to shine the light at a different angle for better effect. Doing that also keeps you from touching the camera and creating registration problems. My spotlight has a diffuser and a snoot to keep the camera from being able to see the light source as I stand in the scene. The steamroller has the name Fordson on its radiator grill.

Balloon Welcoming Party

After following this hot air balloon one evening, it finally landed at an Amish farm and these young people came out to see the balloon being packed up.I shot this from across the street with about a 400mm lens as the audience looked up into the balloon. The young men actually happily pitched in to wrap the balloon up and carry it to the trailer.

Best Friends

They asked for so little,but gave so much.More than just friends.This is the epitaph that one pet owner had etched in stone in memory of a beloved cat and dog.I assume the pets are buried here just feet from magnificent mausoleums housing their owners. I was not particularly dazzled by the carving work on the cat,but it may be a hundred years old and simply be weathered. You never know what you might come across in these acres of granite.

The Tree of Life

This image of the three crosses caught my eye because they were under the canopy of this beautiful tree. This cemetery has numerous grand old trees,many of which I do not know their type.For those looking for photo tips,take note how I framed the tree without overlapping the branches and stones.Picking the right lens for any given situation allows you to visually pull off the shot you envision,and little details like that can be a huge advantage.Here are a few quotes relative to my image. From the Bible,

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).

and Albert Einstein-“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.

A Flash of Light



This is another example of adding light to a scene for a different look.The bottom photo is the original and the top is after adding multiple flash pops. I had to anchor the tripod in the creek solidly and then move around with hip waders on while I lit all the areas with a small flash unit on a pole. It’s not perfect but it was raining so I had to rush a bit.I used a wireless remote to fire the camera and use radio popper wireless flash transmitters to fire the flash. I enjoy trying to create something from scratch and encourage others to try new effects.


Sculpting with Light

This pair of images exemplifies what you can do with a small flash,a tripod and a little time. The top image is the result of about 10 different flash pops on separate exposures,all done at various angles to light the subject and bring out the texture. The bottom image is no flash added. This technique would be considered painting with light,which is essentially using a flash like a brush to bring your subject to life . I definitely prefer the top image of the two,because I feel it shows the sculptors work in a way that showcases his talent.Having wireless flash and remote camera firing is a must with this technique so you can move around your subject and operate your gear at a distance.

Back to Nature

This old wagon has been sitting by this tree for as long as I can remember,so I finally decided to stop and ask if I can photograph it before it disintegrates to nothing.The ivy growing on the wheel caught my eye initially, so I broke out my spotlight to try a little light painting. There were a lot of things to hide no matter which way I composed the shot,so it’s the best I could manage.

Fog Shrouded Dawn

This is one of the first images from a recent photo excursion to the cemetery with a friend,and initially  this area caught my eye as the rays of sun spread across the grounds. We parked along a lane and I decided to walk about 30 yards in,which put me in the right spot to see the rays and various light and dark tones. We had an hour drive to get there,and we had no idea the morning was going to be enveloped in fog,so we wish we had left earlier.

Art in Stone

It has been a while since I have done any cemetery infrared shooting,so both myself and a good friend went out yesterday to explore a new destination. Lovely weather in the low sixties provided the perfect opportunity to look for compositions amongst the grandeur of this Victorian era cemetery.This image was captured with a converted Nikon D200,which only captures infrared now. I spotted these ornately detailed urns which were sidelit by the sun,and the mausoleum in the distance rounded out my composition. I am always amazed by the sights you see in these old cemeteries. I will share more from this trip in the month ahead.

Trip to the Summit


This is a view along the way up to the summit of Whiteface mountain near Lake Placid. It cost twelve bucks to drive up to the top and it was a nice drive but photo ops were tough.The valley had decent color but the distant views were somewhat hazy. This is the kind of road you pray all the way up and down that your brakes don’t fail. Sidelit pines add a little foreground interest to the view.

Fall Pumpkin Arrangement


I decided to light paint this arrangement as the end of fall is rapidly approaching,and images of autumn will be getting more scarce by the minute. Spiders crawling on the house and fall leaves around the scene rounded out the composition.Shot this about a half hour before sunrise,and used about 10 separate exposures to produce the end result.

Fall Tapestry

This little microcosm of autumn color was the result of three different trees dropping their leaves in one area.One maple was predominantly red,the other maple was mostly yellow and the third tree was what I believe to be a white oak,and those leaves had a reddish-brown to magenta appearance. I find it very hard sometimes to isolate a small patch of leaves that has an appealing composition.but I like the mix and my framing on this one.

Encased in Ivy

This church which was covered in ivy is located in Brattleboro Vermont and caught my eye as we passed through the town. Several local residents stopped to ask what I was doing and told me it is no longer an active church,but they now hold dances inside. I wish I had been able to shoot it this week or next as the ivy most certainly will be changing to more vivid hues..