Maine has given me many great images and memories over the years and while this scene is no show stopper,it is one that I can look at and remember the weather that day and the crisp and quiet conditions that I shot this under many years ago.
The last light of sunset skims across the landscape at Dolly Sods.As I was shooting this, two young idiots decided they wanted to climb up and sit on the rocks even though they knew I was shooting it. I realize it is open to explore but these nit wits just stood there for twenty minutes looking around,so thankfully I got that part of the frame captured before they ruined it. I light painted the vegetation in the foreground with my Nitecor flashlight and gave the pair on the rocks a few blasts for good measure.
This field of corn shocks is something I see less and less of nowadays and maybe farming practices have changed or there is some other reason for the decline but this farm and field of corn shocks caught my eye and the sunset seemed to be building so I set up and waited for it all to come together. I set up on my truck roof and the 10 feet in elevation I gained allowed me to see over the stacks for a better view overall.
This image gives you a sense of how mountainous West Virginia is. This was taken late one evening after it had rained during the day and you could see various pockets of fog forming in the individual valleys.I can imagine winter would be a bit nerve wracking navigating the snow covered roads in these steep hills.
This rural property is an absolute gem and it is meticulously decorated with great attention to detail and that is what caught my eye and made me stop to talk to the owners. I was greeted by a very friendly and enthusiastic couple who quickly agreed to let me shoot their amazing property.This shot is not the main shot I took,but I am pleased with the results on this witch who is delivering pumpkins on her bicycle.For those that follow my endeavors on a regular basis, you may remember seeing our home with a silhouetted witch as part of our fall decor, and this property is where I got the inspiration for that idea almost two years ago. The owners accommodated my every request, including asking them to turn the lights on in the rustic structures,which really adds life to the shot in my opinion. The owners have done an outstanding job bringing this property back from years of neglect from a previous owner and cool decorating ideas lie around every corner. I assume the witch handed in her broom for this more down to earth mode of transportation.
This is one view of Dolly Sods that showcases the gorgeous fall color and beautiful rock formations found there.The wind blown pine trees show how intense the weather is up on this ridge.This is one of my favorite images from my two-day trip and the soft light really helps to showcase the subtle hues.
This car was sitting in town in Lititz last night and I just couldn’t stop myself from having to stop and do a shot. I found it to be a very interesting vehicle,especially with the skeleton and rat on the roof,and the fact that the restaurant was open across the street, but it was too late for this guy to get a bite made it even more ironic. I can only surmise its owner is into the rat rod craze and this is a creative work in progress.
This shot was taken at the end of august and just about all the cows were belly deep in the creek to cool off. This is something that drives conservationists crazy as it supposedly affects water quality and causes erosion as well. I definitely do not see this as much as I used to but I still get a chuckle when I see it. As soon as I started shooting them,one by one they came out of the creek,and it was almost as if they knew they were not to be in there.
There are two roads that lead to the top of Dolly Sods and although they are both a little tight for vehicles trying to get past each other,we still had no problem navigating to the top.This view was basically what we saw as we headed up the steep climb to the ridge and I found this section particularly pretty,so we shot a few frames. One funny story to this day was after we made it to the top and did our shooting for the day, the sun had set and we were driving back to the cabin on this same road. The road is pretty straight but there are a couple of places that turn off onto another road and a few parking areas,and all of a sudden we see car lights and a guy waving us down. Somehow he had tried to turn around at one of these points and got his rental car teetering at the edge of the dirt road.He begs us to pull him out but we had no way to do it,so he asks if we can push? The car was facing up a pretty steep incline and as my friend and I step up to the back bumper with this guy, I look at the driver’s seat and ask who is going to drive? This guy looks at us like a blank slate and it suddenly hits him that we need a driver. I took the wheel and my buddy and this dude push and amazingly the car breaks free. We got back in our car and looked at each other laughing and wondering what this guy was thinking with no driver? He could not have been more appreciative and we saw him the next day and he thanked us again, but then if you would have been stuck in a ditch in this remote place at night,you would be real thankful for help too. We also saw an albino deer that ran right in front of us,and that’s not something you see every day.
The small town of Lititz,Pa was named the coolest small town in America last year and this photo is just another example of why the town and the residents are so special. I was in town doing a photo of a home I saw and all the while I was doing this I kept seeing people walking up the sidewalk that looked like they stepped out of the fifties, but I figured a Halloween party must be happening.Finally a couple stopped and asked why I was doing my photo and why I wasnt up the street shooting? After hearing what was going on,I packed up and bolted up there. This location used to be a church that was abandoned and finally purchased by one of the influential members of the community who had it lovingly restored. The movie theatre marquee was only put up for this special fundraiser on saturday and proves the dedication the folks of this town have to make their community special. It was a challenge shooting this after dark because the marquee was bright and any long exposure blew out the areas around the sign and caused problems seeing the colorful illumination coming out through the ornate glass window. I lit all the dark areas with flash including the old Chevy parked out front. I did get invited in but had equipment problems so I only took one shot inside. My camera was out in the cold for two hours and as soon as I went inside everything fogged up for the next twenty minutes. Guests got all decked out in the coolest fifties attire making it a great evening for all.
Yes that’s me on an outcropping of rocks at Dolly Sods.I had a little climb to get up there but it was safe and so I decided to do a little self-portrait. Now I would not have wanted to stumble forward because that’s all she would have wrote but it was okay.I did step on one huge boulder that actually jiggled a bit but I am twenty pounds overweight so that might have caused that. The view from up here was stunning and I cant wait to go back. Places like this remind you how insignificant you are and sorry about the corny title.
This is one of several images I captured on my two-day trip to Dolly Sods in West Virginia. This spot may look very remote and you might think I was all alone when I shot this. The fact is there was four photographers within four feet of me and about forty plus more photographers scattered along the ridge.It was among the most frustrating experiences I have had shooting, but it was Columbus day weekend and everyone was on vacation it seemed. The small puddle on the rock captured the reflecting sky color and added a bit of a nice touch in the foreground. The sunrise was a real beauty but having to deal with a million other shooters kept me from enjoying the moment a bit. We stayed at a cabin about 45 minutes away so we had to rise plenty early to get there before sunrise but many poor souls slept in their vehicles overnight on top of the mountain.Thats usually not a big deal but many did not seem prepared and one guy told me he used half a tank of gas keeping warm and we saw one car covered in a heavy frost.
This past weekend a good friend suggested we head to West Virginia to catch some fall foliage and I am so glad we did.I normally like to head to New England in the fall but the forecast was for lackluster color there this year so heading south sounded like a great idea. We only had two days and our main destination was a place of natural beauty called Dolly Sods. On the way there I spotted this lovely red barn with fall foliage as a backdrop,so we stopped and I asked if I might be able to snap a few shots? The owner was very gracious and obliged my request and as I walked out the path to the barn I saw this old wagon sitting in the field and decided to take a shot. I think the composition is just right and the foliage was a perfect complement to the red barn. For those who don’t get the title, it is a line from an old John Denver song that I jokingly was singing on the trip. We had a great two days of shooting but man do they have steep hills in that state and when I was in my early twenties I drove truck and on one trip the truck blew up in West Virginia and we were stuck there for days and I remember feeling like we were in the most remote place on earth, which is not the case but some of the valleys make me feel that way. This photo was taken in what I would say was one of the more open valleys that we came across.
This scene caught my eye because of the ornate wooden porch, the flowers, and the sprinkling cans stacked on the steps. I asked if I could take a shot and the owners said sure.There were a few challenges to getting the shot because it sits right at the edge of the road and cars were constantly ruining my longer exposures and then just when I was getting to lighting the porch,it started raining heavily and forced me to stop with what I had, so I am not totally happy but it will do. There was also a young cat that kept getting in the shot and following me,so I was worried the thing was going to get run over right in front of me.
You can either wait for the sun to light the scene or use your flashlight after it gets fairly dark. The sun had already set last night,so I decided to try using my Nitecor flashlight to illuminate this rural scene. I was a little frustrated because my remote was acting up and I had several 30 second exposures where I was busy lighting the trees only to find out the camera never fired.I was all the way at the bend in the road in pitch black,so it was hard to see or hear if the camera was firing.Despite that little glitch,I think it turned out pretty decent.
I drove past this little roadside stand that was brimming with fall decorating items and knew I had to a closer look. The rustic nature of the little building surrounded by pumpkins,mums,indian corn and various fall items made for a lovely autumn scene. I photographed this after hours and was allowed access to capture the beauty without any customers getting in the way. The pumpkin photo was the image I really wanted to capture but I decided to try the mum shot first as a second image. An interesting side note worth mentioning was the stand owner was watering the mums as I arrived after hours and the driveway had a little wet area that I noticed reflected all the colorful pumpkins. After she left for home,a neighbor came out to chat and I mentioned how I wished the whole driveway was wet to reflect the scene and he immediately offered to get the hose out and wet it down. I was very grateful for his assistance and gave him a print as a thank you because I feel that little detail really added to the shot.