Impending Storm


This evening was filled with intense summer storms and I actually was running errands when the storm came in rather quickly. I happened to have a camera with me but not my usual setup,so I was stuck shooting handheld out the truck window. I pulled in here because lightning was happening behind the silos and getting closer but trying to shoot lightning in the daylight is very tough. It got to the point where lightning was firing right above the silos and with my window down I was getting a little nervous. I decided to fire several bursts of ten shots in a row and hoped I would get lucky, and on the second set of shots the lightning left loose in a series of 3 or 4 strong flickers right over the right silo. I was so excited that I captured it, but after reviewing the camera lcd, I was sadly disappointed to see no lightning? After I thought about it,I came to the conclusion that it was a bad choice to shoot at a 250th of a second and shooting more around a 30th of a second might have been slow enough to catch the flicker. the fast shutter speed was most likely capturing everything between the bursts. This image is one taken right before the rain left loose.

Nickel Mine Road


Everyone who enjoys my photography knows I capture a lot of images of the Amish in my area. This photo taken recently shows a dad and his boys heading down the road where the Nickel Mines Tragedy occurred in October of 2006. The tree in the middle is the spot the school once stood and now it is simply a field. The Amish do not erect memorials,so the spot does not draw unwanted attention. I personally remember that day very clearly as I was out taking photos in the countryside and remember how gorgeous a fall day it was and hearing sirens in the distance, and then later seeing the news about this tragic event. In today’s world we hear shocking things practically everyday on the news but this was especially heart wrenching as it was done to the most innocent in our local plain community. I often wonder if I ever captured those who were lost that day but I have no way to know,and even though Amish frown on images of themselves,many will accept a photograph to be kept private to themselves. If you ever want to read an inspiring story, read the book written by the wife of the man who did this. Her name is Marie Monville and her book is titled “one light still shines”.

The Receipt



I noticed this large Amish family heading down the road and they turned into the bank just up the road. The bank had three exits, so I pulled in a space and took my chances and picked one exit I hoped they would use. Surprisingly enough they used that one and I snapped this shot of the girls checking out the receipt as they headed up the road. This is along a very busy road and it was somewhat of a miracle the shot was not only car free but I timed it to get the carriage in the background as well. Shots like this are not luck but more seeing the composition coming together ahead of time and being ready to capture the decisive moment. As it turns out, they also got lollipops which they opened further down the road and that was probably the highlight of the day.

Wimpy and Dees


This is a shot I took yesterday but it’s not exactly what I would like to get at this old-fashioned diner. I heard they had really good food, so the family loaded up to head there and I took my camera just in case. Well exactly a half mile from the place I get one of my wonderful migraines, so my crew went in without me while I let my medicine kick in outside. It was raining lightly and my vision returned to normal so I decided to shoot a quick shot. I took this shot and then took all my gear back to the truck and went in to eat. We were inside a good twenty-five minutes and when we came out, I noticed I left my rear tailgate window wide open with all my gear sitting in there. My heart just dropped and I quickly looked inside and everything was still there. The thing with migraines is they can have a variety of effects on you and sometimes I feel like I am not in a normal state of mind and this was the case in leaving the tailgate open. Thank goodness there was no shady characters here that night. Well the food was delicious and I plan to return often and hopefully the owner will have his old police car parked here so I can give it a serious attempt next time.

The Whole Crew


If I didn’t know better,I would think this father wanted me to take a picture of his boys working in the field. I was a good distance away at the side of the road and as they got closer,dad loaded all the boys on the horses and kept coming forward and he actually has a smile in this shot. Hard to say if the scenario I described was real or imagined but it sure seemed to be the case. Still I really like the unique image I got here.

Right Place,Right Time


I was out chasing storms last evening and once again came up empty on that endeavor, but I did see this shot and going on my truck roof made a big difference in being able to see the corn rows. Imagine my surprise and excitement when the rising moon made an appearance at just the right spot. I hope to get a second attempt at this tonight if the weather cooperates.

Ominous then Inspiring

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I shot this set of images this past sunday evening at the same location about 20 minutes between the two. I decided to head out in search of lightning and storms and was following a storm to the north of me but even though it was very dark and threatening, I saw three lightning strikes at the most the whole time I was driving. I ended up going by this church,noticed their exterior lights were starting to come on and decided I might as well just try a shot here. The clouds were starting to churn around and I was sure lightning was imminent so I set up the camera and waited in my truck as I remotely snapped the top image. I saw rain was coming so I covered my camera in a trash bag except the lens hood and waited while it poured. No lightning ever materialized and I actually was busy doing a second shot after the rain stopped because the parking lot reflected the church nicely and as I sat in my truck firing the tablet,I noticed the church windows were starting to glow? Everywhere around me the skies were stormy and dark except a small sliver of clear sky on the horizon to the west. I got out of my truck to look the situation over and thought to myself if the sun does appear,it will illuminate the church and the reflection should be great. No sooner had I pondered the possibilities,when the sun broke free and all of a sudden the rainbow appeared,then a second one. They lasted maybe a minute or so as I rushed to capture the unfolding spectacle before me. I might have had time to reposition my camera to get the rainbow directly over the church but this angle shows the facility better and the composition is more appealing. I cant remember a storm quite as ominous that had no lightning but I will take the rainbow any day plus seeing it over the church makes it all the more special.

Amish Palette


Seems kind of strange to be taking photos of clothing hanging on a line, but this Amish wash line seemed to include almost every color imaginable and I had to turn around to make a quick stop to get a shot. It’s funny a lot of people associate Amish wearing black all the time but that was nowhere to be found here.

Progression of Scooter Riding


The other week I shared a photo of an Amish mother with her  daughter in the basket,and now I captured one in the basket and one standing with mom in the back scooter. One day they will have their own scooters and get around the countryside the same way. I have only seen an Amish teen on a bicycle one time in 30 years and for some reason the scooter is the only allowable transportation besides the buggy. I am guessing the bicycle is considered too mobile.

Thanks Tourists


This shot was partially thanks to a bus load of tourists that were at a roadside stand and practically all of them were across the road posing for pictures with the tall sweet corn,that towered over them. These three were busy watching that circus when I was focusing on them. I got a couple of images captured before they noticed me and the little girl has such a sweet and striking face I thought.She reminds me of some hollywood star with the hair across the face. I also love the real tattered pants that show some signs of hard playing or work.

Memorable Trip


These carriage rides around Intercourse,Pa have become popular in the last couple years but these poor souls got a little wet after thunder storms rolled in quickly. The group in the front got a bit lucky as their carriage had drop down covers on the sides.This photo does not really do justice to the amount of rain that was falling.

Five Dollars a Pitcher Please

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No I am not that stupid to spell the word picture incorrectly above, but the interaction I had with this crew is worth mentioning. I saw this foursome heading up the road ahead of me and so I patiently waited with the camera in my lap and using a long lens I snapped this shot before they got too far. As I put the camera down on the seat,  I heard the one say something to me, but it was with a very heavy accent,so I asked what did you say? The oldest one says 5 dollars a picture,but it sounded more like 5 dollars a pitcher. Anyway I said my wallet was empty,which it was and as I pulled away,they all started laughing, and they must have thought, stupid tourist. Anyway its just another memorable moment from my travels.

Patience Rewarded


This is my first return trip to the spot I felt had potential and I am certainly glad I went. The evening started out with stormy weather and I had high hopes of getting lightning here,but instead I just set my camera on the tripod at the side of the road and it basically sat there for well over an hour with a constant rain pelting my gear. I covered the camera with a trash bag and left the lens hood sticking out so I could still use my remote if anything developed. At least twice I said to myself,go home already and quit wasting time because it was nothing but gray sky and rain. I was getting fed up when I noticed a hint of blue sky to my left and I hoped things might get better.

Shortly before I shot this,a rainbow appeared behind me,and I almost shot it but unless a rainbow has a foreground element or is absolutely stunning I usually pass and that was the case this night.This composition is not my first choice but there was an ugly old ford truck parked to my left and I was not sure I could clone it out,so I moved forward to this spot,which by the way is right in the lane of travel. While this is a rural road and there were cars going by every 30 seconds, when the sunset happened, there was a good 4 minutes when not a single car came. There is plenty of line of sight to safely get off the road if needed and I don’t make a habit of this but the color reflecting on the wet road was very specific to the spot you viewed from and when I went off the road,the color was minimal at best. Patience is not one of my strongest attributes but when I know there is potential,I can be persistent and many times I have been richly rewarded.

Summer Bouquet


I came upon these Amish girls scooting along a country road and noticed there was a patch of flowers ahead,so I made my way up the road and waited till they passed that spot.The dresses were colorful and so were the scooters and the whole scene was very summer like. My only regret is that I did not turn and get a shot of them approaching because you could have seen the little girl in front of the oldest girl as they rode the scooter together.