The local merchants association organizes the arrival and subsequent stay of Santa for children to visit and give their wish list,and this room was done up very nicely for this season of young visitors. I brought a few of my fake packages from home because I knew they had shimmering colored paper on them and would hopefully reflect their color across the wood floor. Lighting things at the correct angle allows the items to bath the floor in lustrous color which adds to the dreamy atmosphere. I wanted to do a tighter shot,but the town sign and lanterns on the wall lead me to go wider to capture everything. Special thanks to Shawn Lindberg who has personally known Santa for twenty plus years and he helped make sure the jolly old man was here this evening. Santa is shown packing up a toy steam train up as he made last minute preperations this year.
This lovely home is a retirement home for seniors and it is decorated exquisitely both inside and out, and the addition of the color changing lights that wash the exterior in a blanket of hues drew me to capture it. The santa was actually inside and I asked the owner if I could bring it out to add to the shot, which he gladly agreed to. While there was an old ugly mailbox there,I decided to drop another cool mailbox in that I had just shot the same week. Those that are familiar with my escapades know I do some crazy things to get my images, and for this one it involved dumping a case of bottled water on the road to get some reflection. It had rained earlier but the road was rapidly drying so anyone driving by must have thought I was nuts as they saw me with my water bottles soaking the street. I light painted the area were the wreath was to showcase the detail that was hidden in the darkness. This is located right at a red light and the white line on the road is where cars are supposed to stop but almost everyone pulls ten feet forward,putting the car in my shot till the light turns green.
This local shop has all kinds of creative items for sale and this dress made of pine branches catches your eye when you pass by. If you notice there is also a very unique creation against the wall that was custom-made by a local artist. It is a tree with windows,doors and little areas that capture the imagination of young and old alike. The store is called squeeze spot and it has been drawing many to participate in their art night events.
This scene is located in a nearby town and the tall store in the middle used to be a well-known hardware store but it closed a few years ago and is now home to a home furnishing store. The new owners gave the community a Christmas treat by decorating the large windows on the upper two floors. For the last few weeks I struggled to come up with an angle that would showcase it but after it rained the other night and the road turned reflective,I knew the shot had just revealed itself. Sometimes I can be a bit obsessive about trying to get the perfect shot and because this is a main thoroughfare , it rarely is ever car free, so when I saw the shot without cars, I immediately went to work capturing it.
As I mentioned one of my character flaws is aiming for perfection all the time and it can be something that drives people crazy but I always thought, do it right or don’t bother. Anyway the reason I bring this up is because the sky was pitch black the night I first tried this shot and as I lay in bed that night,all I could think was how nice it would have been with a blue sky? So as you guessed I got up the following morning before dawn and figured there was going to be cars parked there and my one chance was passed to get it,but lo and behold the street was still bare and as a bonus it was even wetter than the night before.I lit all the buildings while it was dark and captured the sky color as daybreak arrived. The hardest part was getting my flash on a pole high enough to illuminate the hardware sign on the wall.
This is a local courtyard in a town nearby and the building on the left is an old train station that currently houses Santa for visiting children. I tried something new for this shot because I wanted to include the old painted wall of the long closed hardware store,and what I did was brought a twenty-foot extension ladder,which I leaned against a tall building. I then mounted my Bogen superclamp to the ladder and put my camera on it for an elevated perspective. I crossed my fingers that no batteries would die because I knew there was no going back up the ladder because that would move the camera and cause registration issues. I lit the hardware wall with my flash on a painters pole and it just cleared the top of the red brick wall behind Santa.I asked Santa himself to come out and pose for a frame between visitors and he gladly obliged. A rainy evening helped with reflections to round out the shot.
Having the technical ability to capture lovely scenes such as this, is only part of what is needed to get the job done. Without cooperative owners,I never would be able to spread my artistic wings and pull a shot like this off. This is the lobby at the General Sutter in downtown Lititz ,Pa,and I was allowed to come in to try this shot.The restaurant was closed but the lobby was active so I set my tripod up in a spot somewhat out-of-the-way and crossed my fingers no one would bump my tripod or move any of the furniture. Halfway through the shoot,a gentleman sat down on the couch and said he wanted to watch me work, but after telling him he was in the shot,he high tailed it. Special thanks to owner Paul and his staff for helping me get this shot.
Will the real Santa Claus please step forward? The town of Manheim hosted the first annual jingle bell five-mile run recently and each entrant was given his or her very own santa suit for the event. The occasional reindeer, fairy and elf were also seen as well as the Grinch in the front. I shot this a few minutes before the race started and it was a sight that was quite unique.
A rainy evening provides an extra touch of beauty to this photo of a local business. The stars in the windows were particularly difficult to capture during this shoot. Whenever it is rainy and misty,my camranger device experiences problems sending the signal from my camera to the tablet,so while I was across the street lighting this,the equipment kept dropping the signal.The other problems I had were whenever I went into the shop to blast a flash out the window,it would fire one out of ten times because the signal was not reaching inside very well,and the glass seemed extra thick because it was causing glare at almost any angle I used the flash at. I tried high,low,and everything in between and the majority had flare on the glass. Add a non stop stream of cars going by on the road and you get a feel for how tricky it is to pull a shot like this off when some of your exposures are 4-8 seconds and you are standing in the rain with no umbrella. My camera had an umbrella over it but not me.
This Christmas window was taken in the small town of Marietta,Pa. I headed over to look for scenes because they had a home tour last weekend and I came across this business adorned in fine decor.Music was emanating from the entrance the entire time I was shooting this,making for a nostalgic shoot. The folks who decorated this put their heart into it and it was worth all the effort in my opinion.
This is one small section of a very lovely Christmas window in downtown Lititz,Pa. Whoever decorates this window has an incredible talent for layering items from front to back and utilizes different heights and spacing. It looks very cohesive but I am sure it is very difficult to make it so beautiful.
This is an image from my Christmas series on shop windows in downtown Lititz. The owner hand painted the Snoopy scene on the window,which will certainly catch the attention of children looking for their favorite sweet treat inside of this store called Candyology. I lit the rubber balls that are made to look like Christmas ornaments from inside the store to give them a little glow and then light painted everything else outside.