Sometimes I think I have someone directing my photographs and this is an example of that. I was out looking for fall images when I crested the hill and this scene was right there in front of me.You can call it coincidence if you want but they were in the exact composition I wanted and literally a minute later they were done and heading back the farm. They all were laughing as they were hard at work and I was snapping pictures. This is just outside a little town called Farmersville in Lancaster county.
Sometimes I am surprised at the things I see in the Amish community and admittedly I am no expert in all things Amish so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. The two girls on this buggy had their teddy bear along for the ride in the middle and I was surprised they even had a teddy bear for some reason.I liked the way it appeared as if the teddy bear had its arm on the girls back. The girl on the right also threw a couple of candy wrappers onto the road,which annoyed me but mom had no idea so I guess kids are the same wherever you go. Heck I even saw a buggy the other night with intense blue led lights shining onto the road underneath and music thumping from inside,which blew my mind a bit.
What might have been a nice shot of some local girls heading home from the one room school is ruined by these obnoxious neon safety vests. I still don’t really believe they do much but look ugly on the user but that’s how it goes. If you can’t see a group like this in broad daylight,it might be time to turn in the drivers license.
This little scene played out on the back roads around Intercourse,Pa as what I think are siblings get ready to race down the hill on their scooters. I was waiting for them to pass me and after they did I could see the older brother counting down on his hand from three to two to one and I had no idea what was up till they all kicked it into overdrive.I got this shot in focus with two fingers up. They all went in the lane down the road so I assume they are family.
A young Amish boy takes the empty wagon out to the field while his brother brings a load back. Every time there is any kind of farming accident involving kids around here, some people raise a ruckus and although the kid driving this wagon can hardly be 10 years old, I personally don’t think it is any of my business how they choose to teach their kids about work. Maybe I am wrong but I remember growing up and learning things the hard way and I believe it was for the good. As an example, our school playground had nothing but hard ground under you and we fell plenty of times, and a friend just told me about a playground being built and the rule was at least 10 inches of soft mulch. Holy cow,talk about raising a bunch of softies.Guess I am just starting to show my age.
It seems whenever we do decorating around our place, my wife inevitably picks a few flowers or pumpkins or whatever in white to add to the mix. I am not a big fan of white but it always seems to enhance things and the white barn in this shot just adds that little bit of subtlety to complement the soft palette of flowers at this roadside market.I do not know what the small flowers are but the reddish thing is called coxcomb and makes its appearance around fall. A light fog this morning added to the ambiance as well.
Yet another image from one of my current favorite stretches of road. What I really like about this shot is the fact I was somewhat excited to see the three young Amish teens approaching but the surprise came when the buggy nearest passed me and there were two little boys looking out the back window and then the dad sticks his hand out the side door and gives me a wave in the rear view mirror. I need to do more black and white with my Amish photos,as it lends itself to the subject.
With the end of summer comes many tasks related to the harvest and these two images capture father and son harvesting their corn crop. The son shown in the top photo hauls a full load off to the silo,while his father rounds the bend in the distance as he fills a second load. The bottom photo shows the dad heading down the field as the crisp autumn day makes for a pleasant experience. Lancaster county had a great growing season this summer and I cant begin to estimate how much corn was grown, and you can also see the yellow rows of tobacco in the photos.
I have several images from this location and some are in good light and others like this shot were taken in low light. I love soft light but I had to shoot at iso 5000 to get a 750th shutter speed at f11 to try and freeze motion. What I love about this shot is the little girl peeking out the back as she wonders why the camera is on top of the truck?
Welcome to the pumpkin patch,one of Lancaster counties many farm stands. This stand is one of several where we went for a good selection for our house display this year. I bought the biggest one they had here and it was almost 50 bucks,and it is self-serve here. They must sell wholesale as well because there was a truck at the barn and the driver must have had a good laugh watching me because it took me 5 tries to get it on the wagon.The first four involved tipping the wagon and trying to right it with the pumpkin leaning against and then finally I found a board and rolled it on the wagon. it easily weighed 150 pounds plus but is very awkward to lift. Many times two guys will use a burlap bag and double team them but no one was around.The bottom photo is part of our finished display along the rail trail where we live. the whopper is the one on the left and it is almost twice as big as the nearest one.The cat on the fence is one of three we cut out from templates on Martha Stewart and the bed was found for free at the curb. It is hard to get a great shot because our display is on a steep hill that goes down to the trail. Also the welcome pumpkin is done by the farmer using a nail to scratch the skin and it heals like that by harvest time.
Well I decided to make a trip down to Nickel Mines tonight and do a little personal tribute to remember the little girls who were lost. Upon arrival I noticed the five white roses someone had left on the post at the site and after I snapped that image,I went up the road to capture a beautiful sunset that was very nice,especially after nothing but rain for days,and the bottom photo is me releasing five sky lanterns at the site. The lanterns climbed gently into the sky and burned bright for a nice long time,and I was glad I went.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Nickel Mines tragedy here in Lancaster county and it is something that still cuts me to the core today as I pass by the site often while out taking photos.This image is one of my favorite cemetery images that I have taken and captures just how many are feeling today. I have come to know the coroner who had to visit this scene of untold tragedy and her journey to find a sense of normalcy has been a long one but thankfully she has gotten help and is coping with what she saw that day. Today say a prayer for those touched by this tragedy from the police and emergency personnel who responded to the family’s who lost five precious little ones.
Lancaster county has countless skilled craftsmen that still take pride in their work. From woodworkers who build custom furniture, to master leather craftsmen who supply the local community with leather goods, to those who work with various metal products,a rich heritage of doing things by hand still exists today. I recently was in search of a piece of copper for a project and a friend directed me to a small shop he knew of out in the countryside. I pulled in the driveway of the address I was given and the small building in front of me gave no hint of what I was about to see. As I walked in the dark unlit interior, I was immediately drawn to a beautiful copper train that was being built one piece at a time for a customer. The level of detail was amazing and spoke to the skill of the metalsmith who was building it. After a brief conversation, I decided to ask if he would consider allowing me to come back one evening and photograph it? The answer was sure,but he told me the train was being picked up that night and an immediate feeling of missing a chance to record something special came over me. He did tell me he was making another two trains for this customer and maybe in the future,I could try a shot? We got each others phone numbers and I headed off thinking about the missed opportunity, but to my amazement, the phone rang that evening and he told me it would be here for another day, and if I wanted to come back,he would be there all evening. I immediately said yes and gathered my gear to head over. All the way there, I worried I was not going to come up with a way to capture the train because it is actually a weathervane and has a tube and support attached and it does not just sit on a table. The owner was very patient with me and was more than happy to move things around to get the right setup for the shot. My final composition shown above included the recently finished copper train, with the very first copper train that has been treated with a patina to give it an aged look in the background. I wish I could recognize the man who built this train, but in the interest of privacy ,all you need to know is that he is just one of Lancaster counties many skilled craftsmen.There is no electricity here or fancy tools, just talent and hard work and I was certainly impressed.