This brand new chain saw carving was just finished in the last few days and showcases the artistry of Dean Fox, a man with a unique gift and the vision for seeing something special within trees that are past their prime and destined to come down. This angelic figure was carved from a large tree that had died and church members decided to have this done with the large remaining trunk. One church member commented to me that the tree had a huge lean to it,but with the artists skill,it now appears straight.Thankfully a church member met me this evening to turn on the sanctuary lights,which I felt was important to bring the photo to life. The fresh lacquer gives it a strong golden glow,but that will fade over time. The bottom photo shows the artist in the beginning stage of carving with his chain saw. John 15:5-I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Usually when I travel,I randomly pick back roads and many times do not remember where I shot certain photos. This place is one I found ten years or more in the past while still shooting film,and much to my surprise,I came across it on my trip this fall. It is a lovely barn located not too far from Grafton Vermont.
This is lower Kaaterskill falls in the Catskills of New York. We came down the road,saw there was two spots for cars and quickly parked. I thought how lucky we were to get the second spot until I heard the State Troopers Siren chirp directly behind us. I look and he points at a sign directly above our car that says absolutely no parking. We never saw it and he was nice enough to just warn us,so we drove up the road to a parking area and I had to walk a hundred yards or so to get the shot. There is a more dramatic falls up the hill from this but after I started the first thirty feet climb over boulders,I basically decided I did not have it in me with my gear along.
I photographed this view of North Adams, Massachusetts from a small hill near town. the numerous steeples sticking high into the air caught my attention,so I sought out a vantage point to capture them. The hillsides have a little bit of color in them,but it was mostly disappointing this year. Located in the Berkshires,this town was first settled in 1745 during King Georges War.
Rockport Massachusetts was one stop on my brief new england photo trip and shooting this classic scene was among my goals. I learned something new about this spot after hearing a term mentioned by three separate people in about an hours time. This place is referred to as motif number one,and is located on Bradley Wharf in the harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts.It is a fishing shack well-known to students of art and art history as “the most often-painted building in America.” It is even listed on my atlas as motif one,which surprised me. It s very interesting to watch the fisherman stand in these little boats in the foreground to paddle out to their fishing boats in the morning. Super storm Sandy undermined one wall at the harbor but they escaped with much less damage than most. Our motel owner said the water came up to the ice machine there and the motel sits about 40 feet or more above the ocean and they stayed for the whole storm.
I was pretty happy with my result on this image featuring an Antique store called the Moravian House in Lititz,Pa. The hardest aspect was getting the word antiques on the window to glow and stand out.The shop owners remembered me from the past and gladly left me inside to fire my flash out through the letters from behind. This can be a rather complicated process to get the look I want,and changing camera white balance and getting the flash at the right angle help me get the color the way I envision it.
This is the time of year I really enjoy shooting store windows in the town of Lititz ,Pa. Lititz has a small town feel that just takes you back to a bygone era,and the stores get all decked out for the coming holiday season,which makes for a delightful evening walk through town. My favorite time to take photos is right around dusk,just as the shops are closing for the day.The quiet of nightfall in this sleepy little town is only enhanced by music emanating from the town square and with a little imagination you feel as if you were just transported to a Charles Dickens novel.This pair of images are of a store called Zest,and the owners always do a stellar job of decorating the windows. Light shining out from the store illuminates the freshly fallen leaves as the cool blue of dusk begins to envelope the street. Many stores are beginning to transition to the Christmas season,so hopefully I will find some unique subjects to share.
Lititz,Pa was voted as Americas coolest small town in a travel magazine contest this year and I thought I would share a few fall photos I took while visiting recently. If you get a chance,plan a trip to visit this quaint little town. These images are from the downtown shopping district and the community park.
This old farm-house sits right along the road in rural Pennsylvania and I am actually at the very edge of the road to get the shot in the bottom photo. Ginko tree leaves turns the most vivid yellow in fall and I was fortunate enough to pass on the day most of the leaves had fallen off which naturally caught my eye. Everything seemed to come together,from the bushes dusted with fallen leaves,to the japanese maple in red,to the lanterns illuminated and the rustic home as a backdrop for it all. The middle and bottom image are what I saw at midday when I stopped to get permission and the top image is what I envisioned in my mind.
I don’t know how other photographers feel about things,but I can tell you there are scenes that I see that just captivate my imagination and stir the soul and this scene had me on pins and needles as I had to wait several hours to shoot it that night. I worried the owners would mow the yard,or perhaps high winds would blow everything away,and on and on my mind raced in anticipation of spreading my creative wings that night. I was so focused on figuring out a composition in the afternoon,I never even saw the lantern hanging right by my head,so when I arrived later and saw it light up,I immediately knew the angle I was going to shoot.
The ivy covered trees,foliage in full regalia,lanterns aglow,a beautiful home, it was a scene straight out of a dream.I light painted everything you see in the top image,from the leaves on the ground to the trees and ivy to make them pop with life. That one shot took me about an hour to do as I moved around with my portable flash.
This beautifully restored property is the home and office of Doctors Joel and LuAnne Yeager,a husband and wife team who compassionately care for each and every patient in much the same way as they have given to restoring their 1825 farm-house and barn. Their office located behind the house is in a 100-year-old renovated barn,which is a setting unlike any other.The following is from their website,
In the spirit of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10 who brought his wounded and vulnerable friend to “an inn” for healing and refreshment, we seek to provide an alternative to modern society’s hectic lifestyle in a place of quiet tranquility known as The Doctor’s Inn.
The Scots’ Charitable Society is the oldest charitable organization still existing in the Western Hemisphere. Founded in 1657 and incorporated in 1786 the organization exists to help people of Scottish heritage. The society is devoted to the cultivation of personal and social relations of the members, cherishing the associations of the land from which they originated, and instilling in their fellow-countrymen a zeal for carrying on their time-honored traditions. This gate and fence at Mount Auburn cemetery is stunning and pays tribute to this organization. I shot it in both infrared and color.
This is my back yard fire pit and I would never have thought to shoot it till the leaves covered everything and looked nice. I should have waited till dark so I could have lit my tiki torches on the fence too,but I was a bit busy. I built everything you see in the photo from the fence to the arbor in the corner with the gazing ball and the fire pit too. I lit the fire to have a flame,but later would have been more impressive. A few weeks ago I was sitting in the dark out here by the light of the fire and tiki torches and the flame was at least twice as high when something moving catches my eye. I turn my head and a skunk literally walked right between the chair and fire pit. I was about 6 feet from him and for whatever reason I decide to clap my hands to get him moving along. He spun directly toward me with his main weapon and the tail went up,but he cut me a break and did not fire. In hindsight,that was a stupid move.
This image was taken this past weekend across the street from the Halloween home I posted yesterday, and after the three lamp posts came on,I decided to scoot across the street and get a quick shot. Between the lights,leaves and lovely homes,I could not resist capturing it. Again this was taken in Americas coolest small town,which is Lititz,pa.
This is the view from the sidewalk at the Halloween home I was invited to shoot this past weekend. These are the three pumpkin figures behind the fence,but the third one was hard to get with the angle I settled on for my main shot. The pumpkin figures were very simple but very menacing,which was very cool. My image from yesterday included the pumpkins on the porch,which are just visible in the distance. Other cool decor included flaming pumpkins,one of which is seen burning behind the figures and that involved soaking a roll of toilet paper in kerosene and letting it burn inside the carved pumpkins,which was awesome,and a ghost on a pole which was made to move by using an oscillating fan behind it,which was simply ingenious. The cool blue of nightfall and red leaves on the trees rounded out the fall scene. I had to shoot the closeup on bottom before the owners lit them because I had to get set for my main image.
Got a call friday from someone I had taken a few photos for the other year,and he informed me of a neighbor that gets into Halloween decorating and asked if I wanted to shoot it. I was intrigued,so I made the trek to see the place. Turns out it was a great family that really knows how to decorate and entertain,and despite never meeting me before,they said I should come on in and join the festivities that evening with about 75 friends they invited.The event took place in the town of lititz,pa which was recently voted as Americas coolest small town and the town really is a slice of americana. I only shot two photos and this front porch shot is one of them and I was glad I went and I really appreciated the graciousness of the home owners to invite me in. It really was a cool night in Americas coolest small town.I will post the wider shot of the view from the sidewalk in my photo of the day tomorrow.