2019 Draws to a Close

I visited a long time friend this past week who lives in Manheim,PA and when I drove through the town square I was struck by how charming it was so I decided I needed to come back and try and get a shot before everything got taken down. The bottom image was my first attempt and was taken the next evening after my visit and to be honest I thought this would be it. That all changed when I was heading out and looked back to see the top image in my rear view mirror. I knew it was supposed to continue raining all night and through the morning so I set the alarm for 5:30 am and headed over hoping that morning traffic would not make it impossible to get the shot. If you look at the top image, you can imagine what having one car parked in the foreground would do to the shot. All the reflections in the wet street would be blocked, so when I saw it was clear I quickly got set up and started shooting so I would have something at least. To my surprise no one parked in front and before long the black sky started to brighten as daybreak inched closer and the shot I envisioned came to life. I hate pitch black skies and if I had shot in the dark, you would not even see the trees that stand out against the blue sky. For the bottom image I used a polarizer to cut glare on the wet brick and because of that the reflection of the tree really popped against the backlit brick. Maybe next year I can get lucky and have a snowy version of the square. Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Continue reading

Lititz Christmas Window1


I have been fairly active shooting scenes relating to Christmas in the town of Lititz, Pa but not as on the ball posting them, but hopefully this will be the start of sharing new images. This shot features the window of the Atlas general store which has a cool display of what appears to be rolled paper made into trees.

Bales and more Bales

I passed this farm last week and the sheer number of round bales sitting in the fields was probably the most I have seen on one property over the years. This shot is okay but because the farm sits in the valley, it was next to impossible to get a good vantage point. The hill in the background had even more than this field but after I hiked up there thinking I was going to get this amazing shot from the hill top, I quickly realized looking down the hill was a huge let down because the upper bales blocked most of the lower bales. I think I need a drone for shots like this.What you see in the photo is maybe a quarter of the fields with bales.

Laurel Avenue Lights

This is a lovely Christmas display in the town of Lititz that is Known as the Laurel Avenue lights because it is located on Laurel Ave. Its interesting how I ended up here doing this photo and it all started when I was at a community carol sing in the town park over the weekend and the bandshell there had some Christmas trees set up which I thought looked nice. It was very full and I thought I would try after everyone left, so that is what I did. I hate to admit it but I had unbeknownst to me, bumped a switch on the camera that turned vibration reduction on. Normally thats a good thing but on a tripod, the thing tries to activate and what happens is the image moves from one frame to the next. With some serious effort, I might have been able to use it but I decided I would return the following night.

So the following day was Saturday and I arrived well before sunset to get the angle and make sure everything was plugged in, but as I get to the bandshell, I see it now has a chain with no trespassing signs attached running around the whole perimeter. I had talked to the park coordinator the night before so I hoped for the best and carefully took the chain down. At one point I notice a guy that seems to be watching me and he is on his cellphone and I start thinking here we go, there is going to be trouble. No more than 5 minutes later a van comes driving right up to the bandshell and no cars are supposed to be in this area normally. I basically wait to get yelled at but to my surprise the gentleman actually helps me get the lights turned on, and he is in charge of coordinating this. We chat a bit and he says he needs to get home to get his display ready for the visitors. He invited me to come see it and I said I will swing by and when I pulled up, I knew immediately I wanted to do a shot.

Everything is on controllers with music playing and there is a screen that plays Polar Express and another movie that slips my mind. The owner Rich told me of the challenges that the local wildlife has been putting him through with chewing wires completely in half. With all the miles of cord, he had one critter that chewed the same wire twice after it was repaired. In the short time I was there, it was a constant flow of appreciative visitors.