I have come up with a new way to do cool luminary type shots and instead of hauling bags with sand and candles that weigh a ton, I now have switched to these extremely light real wax candles that have an led bulb in them. They have the perfect color temperature to mimic a candle and they actual flicker like a candle. I did this shot while it was raining and the way everything shimmered on the stone path was just gorgeous. This building is somewhat high with the steeple and can be hard to capture when including the foreground like this, so I cropped a bit.
This is one shot from my store front series in Lititz, Pa this year. It is Cafe Chocolate and the window was very lovely. The main problem I had here was the Chocolate Santa was rotating constantly and with the lighting technique I use,it presented a challenge. This town is wonderful when it comes to people giving me access to shoot stuff and as I was setting up, I thought the table was rather boring in the front, so I went across the street to the book store and asked if I could borrow a couple of books? They gladly obliged and I think it helped bring it all together.
Been busy shooting winter scenes so my posting has been a bit delayed lately. Here is one I really like that features a gorgeous old home all decked out for Christmas. We had a light snow so I headed here to do this shot, but when I got there, no one was home and no lights were on. I set up and started capturing images just in case and just at the point I was starting to think it was not going to happen, the owners pull in and I yell, quick turn on as many lights as you can. It was funny to watch each room get turned on and the shot come to life in the nick of time.
This little scene caught my eye as I was heading on a short trip. I passed a lane a half mile before this one and there were three girls sitting on their lunch boxes almost identical to this and it looked adorable. As I was contemplating turning around, just ahead I saw the same thing and could not believe it. I scrambled to get the camera out because this is a busy stretch and I knew it would be one chance and done. The shot is a little shaky because it unfolded so quick yet I still I like the moment.
We had a light snow come through Friday evening and I was out shooting a couple nice scenes. I spent about three hours shooting Friday night and it was supposed to warm up Saturday, so I was debating whether to sleep in or go out? Well of course I could not sleep thinking what I might be missing so I made the effort. This scene is one that I brought to life with flash and some led candles and the result really made me happy. This is the Lititz park and although most of the snow was all tracked up, this little area where cars normally park was still pristine, so I knew it might make a good spot for the luminary candle effect. The park light pole is incredibly bright, so I had to use a long pole with a cardboard square attached to place in front of the light to hide it and allow the peaceful shadowy blue to take effect. I added light to the Christmas tree to highlight the branches, lit the tree on the left, the Gazebo and also blasted the flash from behind the gazebo to get the light rays shining out onto the snow. The luminaries are just led candles that are actually real wax that my wife loaned me. When I put them in my truck, I thought they were plastic, so I was not real careful, but then I realized they were real wax with led light added, and I think they may replace my usual hauling bags with sand and candles to do shots like this. This is among one of my favorites from this Christmas season.
I was out yesterday early to see if I could find any snow scenes and as I was heading home,I came around a bend and saw this. At first I was just after the sunrise and the curve in the road but after a while I started thinking it would be great to have a buggy go by. Well I waited about 15 minutes in the 18 degree weather and then started to have an internal conversation with myself and that’s where it got interesting. First I told myself this road is barely used by anybody,much less Amish and I actually said to myself you have about a one in one thousand chance of seeing a buggy. Literally within 30 seconds of thinking that, I hear the clip clop of a buggy in the distance and it was getting closer and closer and then it faded and I thought that figures. So after the let down I decided to give myself a time limit till I left so I picked 810 as my shut it down time,which offered a 15 minute window. As I watched the minutes tick off, it got to 809 on my tablet and as hard as this is to believe,I started a ten second countdown and as soon as I started, I heard a buggy coming from behind me and knew it had to come by me and it was utterly amazing how it unfolded. The other funny thing that happened here was three horses were in the small field by the shed in the middle and they were running and kicking wildly as they frolicked in the snow, and then the owner came out to get them in. He walked past them to the shed, waved his arms and they headed toward the barn, until he went to close the gate and here they come back across the field with more kicking and jumping. He walked from one end to the other four times as they eluded his attempts because they were having fun in the snow.
This shot features the Lititz park train station and Christmas tree. I lit the building and clock on the right with flash and backlit the tree to get some of the falling snow to record in the shot.Thankfully I captured the fresh snow in the foreground right away because about two minutes after I shot this a young couple decides to walk right in front of my camera and make tracks through the snow. There was 10 feet in front to walk by and thirty feet behind and they picked in front,which figures. I was on top of my game this evening and got several shots I was rather pleased with.
Every year the employees at RLPS architects gets together to create an extraordinary gingerbread village. Each year a theme is picked and each person is tasked with a structure and this year the theme was Mt Gretna, which is in Pennsylvania and it is a very unique village of neat bungalows. This is the first shot from one small section this year and if you look close you can see Santa in the living room relaxing while his elves are busy outside.
This old home is one I pass quite often and I have photographed it a few times over the years. I was at an auction a year or two ago and saw this fence coming on the auction block but it was all rusty and despite that fact I thought I would still bid up to $500 on it? Well it shot past that so fast I knew it was hopeless but I recognized the one bidder as the owner of this home, so I crossed my fingers he would get it and lo and behold he did. He had some serious work to get it this nice and when I saw the snow hanging on it, I felt it just needed to be captured. One huge problem here is it sits right near the road and there is one of those super reddish/amber street lights glaring down, so fighting that terrible color cast is a real challenge. I shot this in the dark except the ugly street light shining on everything. I hope I can get something even nicer this winter so I can include the ornamental gate but the snow was better in this area so I opted for this angle on this visit.
This was taken this past weekend in Lititz,Pa, and includes the snow-covered pine trees that they place along main street around the holidays. I blasted my flash from up the street facing toward my camera to try and light up the falling snow and it worked perfectly. Go ahead,take a walk back in time as the snow hits your face and Christmas music plays from the town square. The lighted building on the far right is an authentic English pub that is absolutely gorgeous inside.
This past weekend included a great clinging snow and the timing was perfect. It started snowing Saturday morning and continued into the evening and the reason this is perfect is because often times the cleanup crews wait till it stops to clear sidewalks and this was exactly the case. I was out for five hours Saturday night and then could not sleep because I was thinking what I could get Sunday morning so I woke up at 3am because I could not sleep as my mind mulled over my options. I just talked a friend this week who asked if I was doing anything Christmas related with the local town this year and this was the perfect chance to fill that request.This shot took an hour to do as I started in the dark around 5am and lit all the trees and buildings and then had to wait for some color to appear in the sky. Often times snow like this falls off right away but I had a good 24 hour window to capture some neat scenes.
I will be sharing my images from the town of Lititz,Pa over the next week or two and they are all done using flash and light painting techniques. I go for a somewhat nostalgic feel and my hallmark effect is the cool versus the warm. This shot features a yarn shop that had a sheep in the window and a tree with knitted hats and scarves.
This is one of my favorite times of the year for photographing, and the small town of Lititz,Pa is one of my favorite places to shoot Christmas decorations. This image was taken last night and features a funeral home shimmering in festive Christmas decor. This town is very quaint and often times music can be heard echoing through the streets on a winter night. Periodically I will go into the local pizza place and get my order to go so I can sit outside along the main street and take in all the ambiance while I eat, even when its 30 degrees.