Fog Shrouded Valley



Fog creates layers in this farm scene as the rising sun begins to illuminate the day. A cold front moving in quickly on this morning eliminated this great fog in a matter of minutes,much to my chagrin.This was shot with a 400mm from across the valley.

Honest Days Work


This Amish family is hard at work on a warm september day harvesting their corn crop. One wagon moves along to catch the freshly cut stalks until it is full, and the next empty wagon is heading up the field to take its place when needed. This year has been a banner year for corn and fields will be a buzz with activity in the coming weeks.

Autumn Flowers Await



Each year around this time I find myself scanning the landscape for fall displays to photograph. I passed this farm stand on my travels and stopped to get permission to try a shot. The owner was more than willing to allow the endeavor and said to stop anytime. I decided to try a shot before sunrise this past weekend and assumed I would be there in the dark all by myself for a while, but to my surprise and delight,work was already under way in preparation for customers when I arrived. The owner was washing the driveway down,and to be honest I was originally going to crop the building on the right off my shot,but when the wet surface reflected the stand light,it seemed time to change my plan. So with sunrise still an hour away,I began to compose and fine tune things before the light got good.

The gorgeous sky lit up first and lasted maybe 5 minutes,but that was more than enough time to capture it and the expanse of mums that stretch toward the barn. While I was waiting for the light to begin shooting, the owner pulled up with a large produce wagon pulled by two horses and he backed that wagon into the second door as easily as driving a car,which really impressed me. Between the sky,the reflection, and the mums,I was very happy with my result. The bottom image is the angle I originally wanted to shoot for comparison and you can see the horse and wagon sitting in the field on the left.

Evening Moon



This was the rising full moon coming up behind a grain facility last night. I used the photographers Ephemeris I have listed under my blogroll here to check the location of the moonrise and despite knowing it would work, I was off slightly when I used my compass to align the shot before the moon appeared. I was tight on the silos and expected the moon to appear between the gap in the two sets of silos,but I forgot the moon moves to the right as it climbs and till it came into view,it was barely in my frame. A quick recompose and I got it,but it was getting to the point of extreme dark and too bright a moon.

Heading Home


A long lens helps compress this farm country scene, which includes a one room school down the hill on the right and two Amish farms in the distance. Sheer luck found me passing this spot at the end of the school day as the kids and their teachers headed for home. I never really stop and consciously think about composition at this point in my career, but the old rule of thirds can be seen in this shot and that helps create a pleasing arrangement for the eye to move around the image.

Light It Up




This is yet another experiment in light painting. I will elaborate a bit for anyone wanting to add this technique to their bag of tricks. The top image is my end result and your own creativity will dictate what you want in your results. The bottom two images are just two of many frames I shot to create this and you may drag them to your desktop to follow my simple instructions to visually grasp the concept.


In Photoshop start with the dark image and drag the flash added image on top so they are aligned,and then go to the layers palette and put the top layer on lighten mode.When you do that,you will see the lighter sections show up. I always apply a layer mask to hide the lighter version and then I use a brush to paint in only the lighter areas I want to show up,so in this example I might brush the building in but leave the grass dark. I continue on with each additional lighted frame I shot till I am happy with the result.

A wireless flash and camera remote are key to being able to move about the scene as needed and a laptop with software to control shutter speeds insures the camera remains fixed and does not shift while shooting. One important note is to remember you are adding highlights only,so when you light things with your light,you are not using shutter speeds that let ambient light mess you up. In other words if you have flash along with a bright scene,you will have everything lighter showing up when you brush in,so for example the tree trunk is lit against the dark roofline and if I had shot at a shutter speed that showed the roof detail, it would show up as well as a highlight.This is really a simple technique but you need to keep your wits about you while you do it.


Past Their Prime


The two large trees on the right are destined for the chain saw,so I decided to record them before they fall in the next few weeks. I am sorry to see them go,but they are supposedly on their last leg and the time has come to remove them. Light painting with my flash at dusk helped reveal the details.

There She Stands


Today marks the twelfth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country on september eleventh of 2001. For me, like countless others, this day is permanently etched into my mind and like most I remember the exact moment it unfolded. For me it was a crystal clear fall day out in the country photographing blue morning glories on a farm, when the radio began to crackle with hints of something unspeakable. I recall driving as fast as I could to get to a television and being glued to it for days. Take a moment today to think of and pray for those who were lost that day, and especially their families who were left to cope with such heartbreak.

Every anniversary of this event, I find myself watching the documentaries on television and each and every time I am instantly taken back to that moment and overcome with a sense of deep despair, and I can’t begin to imagine the heartache for those who never got the chance to hold their loved ones again. I have never been to the twin towers memorial, but I have been to the Shanksville crash site in Pennsylvania and while it is not an over the top memorial, I can definitely say it is a place of quiet reflection that really hits you. I felt this Angel statue from a cemetery in New York was a fitting image for today. It is among my favorite infrared images that I have shot. If you have a moment and care to hear Michael W. Smiths tribute song  to 9-11 called ”There she stands”, I posted a link here.

Michael W. Smith – There She Stands – YouTube

Family Trek


open-buggy-rideThis image was taken at the same location as yesterdays harvest shot. I noticed the family heading toward me on a crisp autumn day, so I leaned against a telephone pole,pre-focused the camera and snapped a frame as they passed. They were laughing and talking as the made their way up the road,and if you can believe it,not one person was talking,texting or otherwise wasting their precious time on the latest gadget designed to drain our wallets and minds.


Seasonal Sign

amish-fall-corn-cuttingThis is one time of the year I find very enjoyable for a variety of reasons. First,you can feel a change in the air and you know fall color is getting closer and the cold winds of the north will soon be bringing snow. It’s also a time to reflect on the summer gone by and watch local farmers harvesting their crops in the fields. As I have mentioned in the past,I like to find images of harvesting in which the workers are shown against a backdrop of farms to help tell a complete story. It’s a lot harder to find these scenarios but worth the effort in my opinion. Shown are Amish farmers cutting field corn to feed their cows over winter.

Let Your Hair Down


long-hair-amishThis is a little different as far as photos I usually post,but this young lady caught my eye on a local back road and I figured I would show it. Amish general keep their hair up and covered but this girl decided to mow the yard with it down. I blurred her face to keep her anonymous but in the image on the left ,her hair is almost at her ankle. For me,this is the longest hair I have seen,but maybe this is very common among the culture? Can you imagine drying it or working to put it up? Maybe it has never been cut?


Impending Storm



This home was once owned by Jacob Konigmacher, a prominent member of the German Seventh Day Baptist congregation in Ephrata.The land on which the Konigmacher House rests was once part of a 180-acre tract deeded by William Penn’s sons to John Miley in 1739. The existing house was built by Heinrich Miller sometime before his death in 1778. It is now owned by a real estate company and it is one stop on a driving tour of eighteenth century homes. I light painted the home as it was getting dark, and I was interrupted by a nasty storm that quickly blew through. Holding an aluminum pole ten feet in the air with a flash attached while it is lightning is not something I like to do,so I used what I had up to this point to produce this result.