Got The Blues



This home is located along a highly traveled road and getting this shot was no easy feat.To be honest, the color is not one I would have chosen myself but I thought it looked good against the fall foliage. I chose a vantage point from across the road and shooting 4 to 8 second exposures required lots of patience and wasted frames due to cars driving by.I  used my flashlight to illuminate the door and walkway as well as the lamp-post,which does not work.



This shot is a little divergent from my normal style of shooting but I decided to try a little slow shutter speed vertical pan on my tripod .It is a wooded setting with long straight trees and fall foliage and the camera was moved vertically during a one or two second exposure.

Lemonade From Lemons


This little fall scene was one that proved to be a bit challenging but it all worked out eventually. I spotted this scene while searching for fall photos and a late afternoon downpour and dark conditions had these lamp posts on in the middle of the day.The funny part of this story is the way the lights played with me,and made me return later in the evening.When I noticed the lights were on,I rushed to park and get set up while things were saturated,but unbelievably the exact moment I got out of the car,the lights turned off.It was getting brighter out,so I looked for a sensor somewhere that might be controlling them and I found a short post with an electrical box on it that looked like it had a sensor so I threw my jacket over it and within thirty seconds,the lights came back on and I was all proud of my ingenuity.So I start walking back to my tripod and just as I get ready to start snapping,they turn off again and my bubble is burst and I realize the post had nothing to do with it. So Basically I had to return later that evening to wait for the sensor to activate again and allow me to get the shot.

I am actually standing on a driveway leading into a park and I am in the exit lane. I was wearing a neon blue rain jacket holding a huge umbrella and a lady that must have been about eighty years old came driving in and decides to cut the corner and slams on the brakes about 8 feet from plowing over me.I apologized because I was on the side of the road but I felt like saying maybe you should not have a license if you can’t see something so obvious.

Nature’s Colorful Carpet


A lane of mature maples lays down a blanket of golden leaves as autumn advances towards winter. There is a lane between the two rows of trees but thankfully this day was rainy and miserable so the groundskeeper was not out and about,which usually includes him blowing the lane clear,and for my image,I think having the leaves all across the landscape made a nice image even better.

The Warm Retreat


When the cold autumn chill begins to replace the warm days of summer,there is no better place to be than in your home sweet home curled up on your favorite chair with a warm blanket and a mug of hot chocolate.This is a scene from my hometown featuring a rather inviting home with fall decor and freshly fallen leaves.It wont be long till old man winter comes a knocking.

Were You Invited?



This is a rather cool sculpture featuring one of Seward Johnson’s many works at Grounds For Sculpture.below is a paragraph from their website about the work.I added some more interest by using my nitecor flashlight to reveal the details.

Seward Johnson’s ‘Were You Invited?’ is inspired by French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir’s nineteenth-century masterpiece, ‘The Luncheon of the Boating Party’. In this specially designed and landscaped environment, viewers can actually step into the scene and mingle with the diners. In addition to the members of the Impressionist’s boating party are four figures seated around another table at the far end of the tableau. Joined in convivial conversation are realistic representations of sculptor Johnson himself with artists Bill Barrett, Red Grooms, and Andrzej Pitynski. A dashing character in period costume brandishes his cane and addresses those at the table asking, “Were you invited?” Phillip Bruno, collector and art gallery director, posed for this gentleman keeping out the party crashers. Since 1994, Johnson has been creating lifesized three-dimensional works based on well-known paintings that, as Johnson has said, “allow an intimacy with the paintings that the paintings don’t allow themselves.”

A mind boggling display.




If you ever get the chance to visit the Mercer Museum in Doylestown,Pa,take it because it will blow your mind.This place is a time capsule featuring items from past times that were saved and displayed by a man on a mission who had a great vision to save history for future generations.It is several stories of thousands of items one may never see anywhere else.Shown in this photo on the lower left is an 1800 fire engine pumper that is just one small part of the collection and hangs by huge chains from the second story concrete walls. I had to hand hold everything,and bracing your camera for 1 second exposures can be a bit challenging.

Henry Mercer was a gentleman anthropologist. On a cruise up the Ruhr in early adulthood, Mercer was impressed by the eclipse of artisanal culture by industrial production, and resolved himself to preserving artifacts of pre-industrial life. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Mercer collected pre-industrial tools and other implements of the past. He believed that the story of human progress and accomplishments was told by the tools and objects that people used and saw these time-honored crafts slowly disappearing from memory.

Mercer personally designed plans for a museum to house his collection, six stories tall and cast of poured-in-place concrete. Mercer’s museum was completed in 1916. In addition to tools, it displays furnishings of early Americana, carriages, stove plates, a gallows, antique fire engines, a whaleboat, and the Lenape Stone. The Spruance Library, which houses the Bucks County Historical Society’s archive of historical research materials, is located on its third floor.


Fonthill Castle



This place is known as Fonthill castle and is located in Doylestown ,Pa.I photographed this amazing location at sunrise recently.Built between 1908-1912, Fonthill was the home of Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930). Archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian, Mercer built Fonthill both as his home and as a showplace for his collection of tiles and prints. The first of three Mercer buildings in Doylestown, Fonthill served as a showplace for Mercer’s famed Moravian tiles that were produced during the American Arts & Crafts Movement. Designed by Mercer, the building is an eclectic mix of Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and is significant as an early example of poured reinforced concrete. It almost felt like I was visiting Europe when I was here.

Majestic Ambler Theatre



I photographed the restored Ambler movie theatre while visiting Ambler last week.I used my nitecor flashlight to reveal the rich color and detail of the place.The Ambler Theater was opened by its owner Warner Bros. on December 31, 1928, with the movie “Our Dancing Daughters” starring Joan Crawford. An exuberant Spanish Colonial style architecture was employed to create a magical facade with Terra cotta, spacious lobbies (entry lobby, main lobby, vestibule lobby, then foyer), an ornate auditorium with 1,228 seats, and a Gottfried pipe organ (which is long gone). The builder, Phillip Harrison, previously built the Seville (now Bryn Mawr) and Lansdowne theatres, which may explain the Spanish Colonial similarities. Prior movies in Ambler had been shown in an opera house, a second story Civil War era theatre.

Due to the competition from TV and the multiplexes, the Ambler was no longer viable to continue as a for profit theatre with mainstream movies and ceased showing 35mm films about 1969 to 1970. By this time the auditorium’s side walls and front part of the ceiling were draped over. From the 1970’s until 1997 the Ambler was operated as a Christian cinema, showing films in 16mm including The Robe. The Ambler closed again, waiting re-use. The Christian group sold the theatre in 2001 to businessmen, who in turn sold the theatre to the nonprofit: Ambler Theater, Inc.

The non-profit organization devoted two million dollars to renovations. Paint colors were chosen to match the original colors. No original carpet was found, so carpet was replicated from photographs with the appropriate colors selected. As the original ticket booth was long gone, a cheap modern ticket booth was removed and replaced with a retro style ticket booth. The ornate new ticket booth took its inspiration from the auditorium’s organ lofts.

Built in the former rear of the orchestra seating area are two ‘black-box stadium seated auditoriums, equipped with digital surround sound. One auditorium has 150 seats, the other has 110 seats. The Ambler reopened February 28, 2003, with those two auditoriums showing the movies Nicholas Nickleby and Real Women Have Curves.

As the original 30 foot towering vertical neon sign had been demolished in the late 1960’s, an exact replica was constructed by Bartush Signs and funded in part by a Keystone Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The neon tower was installed in September, 2005 and officially lit on October 21, 2005.

Renovation of the original front section of the auditorium began March, 2007. It reopened October 5, 2007 with the film Into the Wild. The original proscenium arch opening hosts the large movie screen (30 feet wide for ‘scope films), ornate decoration on the side walls, and organ lofts. This auditorium with stadium seating for 280 people has a ceiling with what looks like wood beams, but in reality they are made of plaster.

Recent renovations have restored the marquee to its original 1928 majesty complete with neon trim and chaser lights. Additional fundraising is being undertaken for more renovations, including restoration of the facade.

Asbestos Built This Place


This is an interior view of the Lindenwold castle located in Ambler,Pa.I took a few days off to seek out some photo subjects and stopped at the castle to see if I could snap some images.At first a friendly staff member escorted me to shoot yesterdays image outside but when we came back to the castle,she said I could photograph the upstairs by myself if I wanted.I was surprised by the offer and quickly jumped on the chance. The place was amazing and I could only imagine the elite figures from times past that gathered here to socialize. Off to the left is what she told me was called the blue room,which contrasted with the rich wood throughout this room. Dr Matteson’s fortune was made primarily by his work with asbestos.

The Gazebo


This scene is part of the estate of the late Dr. Richard Vanselous Mattison. Some people loved him, more hated him, but everyone agrees his partnership with Henry G. Keasbey made Ambler what it is today. Richard V. Mattison was the man who put Ambler on the map. Originally, he opened up a small pharmaceutical laboratory in Philadelphia, then moved it to Ambler. Mattison experimented with the insulating properties of asbestos and opened up a plant in Ambler. By 1914, Keasbey and Mattison had become the largest supplier and manufacturer of asbestos products. Located down the street from the Ambler train station was the Century Asbestos Shingle Factory, one of Amblers most important factories. Keasbey and Mattison produced a wide range of products, from headache and stomach relief products to asbestos insulation products. They shipped their products all over the country. At one point their slogan was “Lest we forget-the BEST in asBESTos.”
Mattison owned a 400 acre estate that he remolded after the Windsor Castle in England. His estate was known as Lindenwold and included a lake, gardens, gatehouses, and elaborate stone walls. Keabey and Mattison’s top executives lived in elaborate stone houses on what was known as Lindenwold Terrace. Mattison was also responsible for building homes for his other employees and still stand today on Mattison Avenue.
To honor the memory of his daughter, Esther Victoria, who suddenly died at the age of four, Mattison built Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church. The church was consumed in a tragic fire in 1986, but the congregation promised to restore it.
In addition to bringing a new culture to Ambler, Mattison pushed for the incorporation of the town. He introduced street lighting, built Ambler’s first water system, opera house, and participated in town matters. shown is a stone wall with stone statues and the picturesque gazebo located along the lake. I got special permission to enter the property and shoot a few photos.


Ring Me Up


This is a little vignette from a small general store at a historic site. I chose to focus on the old cash register because of its ornate quality and because it was one of the focal points in a general store in the old days.They sure don’t make them like this anymore.I light painted this scene with my led flashlight.

Scooter Lessons


I never knew the Amish held scooter training sessions but this appears to be just that taking place.The three wheeled scooter helps the youngster get the feel of using the foot to push and then maintain balance as you cruise.Mom kept a keen eye on the youngster and helped offer pointers on technique as they moved down the road.

Walking to Church


This family literally came walking right out of a cornfield that was right beside me on a back road as I was photographing a one room school. I waited till they were a little farther away to snap a few images but the little guy in the wagon still noticed my camera. This was a sunday morning and they were headed to a local farm up the road for worship services.

A Little Chuckle


Instead of driving around and looking for photo opportunities,I occasionally pick a spot on a back road and wait for potential subjects to come to me. This pair of buggies caught my eye because the one had the two horse setup and both were open buggies. For this particular shot,I had mounted my camera on a window mount and had it wrapped in a brown blanket to hide the camera and keep it low key.You could barely even see the lens,but the guy in the second buggy let out a loud laugh and I heard him say “there is a camera in there” as they passed. They nodded to me sitting in the truck and surely had a story to tell their friends.

Autumn Spectacle Begins


Been many months since I tried light painting anything,but this little fall scene in my home town caught my eye,so I decided to stop and try to light it after dark.The little structure in front might be an old well but I am not sure. The neighbor was generous enough to loan me his mums to add to the scene,which added an extra fall element. Fall color seems to be arriving slightly earlier than other years and hopefully will be rich and vibrant.



I never thought the Amish had to do extra exercise because they are always busy around the farm,but this guy was riding what is called the streetstrider which is billed as an outdoor elliptical machine that moves you. He was really working out as he headed down the back roads.The thing sells for over 1500 bucks,which seems a bit much to me.