This tastefully decorated farmstead is something I have been trying to shoot for 3 years now and this year we finally got snow for a few days to add some appeal. I have two images from two different days here and I will elaborate why. I spoke to the owner the night it snowed and she was very welcoming in letting me roam around. I had surveyed the options and made note that the icy pond was frozen and non reflective and the owner told me it was so beautiful a week ago without the ice.
Well I made the best of my first visit and got a couple snow shots but the weather forecast the next day was to turn warmer, include heavy rain and strong winds so I knew I was coming back in the hope the rain would bring back some reflection. This evening tested my resolve as it was pouring the entire time, yet I was holding the umbrella at almost a 45 degree angle because the rain was blowing sideways. As my escapade progressed I was walking around the pond with my tripod and camera over my shoulder when I started walking by a pine tree that put me on the ground thanks to a wire support I never saw! Camera never hit the ground but it was close. So it gets dark now and I head to my truck to pack up, I see another shot reflecting in the driveway and off I go to set up. By now the wind was really starting to blow so I decided to set my heavy tripod as low as possible with the legs spread almost straight out.
So I mount the camera, simply lean an umbrella against the tripod with nothing locking it fast. I take my tablet and walk 40 feet to use it to fire the camera while I light the house! So it goes like this, hit the button, flash fires,image loads to tablet and you see what you just took, all while far from the camera. At about 10 frames in I look at the tablet and instead of seeing the farmhouse image, I see nothing but a set of squiggly lines? After my initial bewilderment, I looked over at my camera and see my tripod and camera had completely blown upside down thanks to the umbrella! Never in a million years did I imagine that was possible but the good news is,when it flipped it landed on the strong bracket my camera is attached too and nothing was damaged. So as you can see the rain did bring back a reflection even though the snow had all melted.
Another shop window all decked out in seasonal decor in downtown Lititz, Pa. A week after I shot this, the shops all got Christmas trees with lights placed at their entrances which would have jazzed this up.
Each year I gravitate to Lititz, Pa to shoot some of the quaint shop windows. This year decorating was not as good as some years thanks to Covid and its effects on store owners. Here is one shop that always does a nice job.
I have been out shooting Christmas scenes this month but unfortunately I have been experiencing episodes of being depressed, which rears its ugly head this time of year in particular and due to that, I have not bothered to share anything. So before we are into spring, I felt I would get them on here.
This store window is in a nearby town and the gnomes caught my eye. The store is owned by Laura the Cookie Lady who won food networks Christmas Cookie Challenge last year along with the ten thousand dollar prize. She does amazing things and her tasty decorative creations sell out quickly. Check out her work at http://www.lauracookielady.com
I was out driving in the country recently and took notice of some different looking cloud formations. I found the old tree on the left and the clouds looked great with it. I go up the road to turn around and till I parked and walked out to the tree, the whole dynamic had changed just like that. So as I walk back to my car I see a buggy coming and I thought go for a silhouette shot because it is all sky behind the buggy. Well it turned out not to be quite all sky, so the silhouette isn’t perfect but I did get lucky with the sun being partly blocked by clouds allowing it to be seen instead of some blown out white blob.
A few minutes sooner to spot this would have helped but I managed to get parked, set up my gear and get the shot just as the warm glow on the barns quickly faded out of sight. This would be nice in snow as well.
Finally getting to some of my fall images and will share as space permits. This one is from a historic site nearby. A Polarizing filter really made the blue sky pop against the yellow leaves. A Polarizer does not add color per se but blocks certain wavelengths of light while allowing others to pass and used at the correct angle to the sun, it will take a pale blue sky and transform it to deep blue.
Two different results of the same subject, one kind of cheery, one kind of ominous. They put fences and gates around cemeteries because people are just dying to get in. Something interesting I noticed about the photos is when you scroll from the color to the grayscale, the angle of the fence looks totally different but it is the same image. an optical illusion I guess?
I happened to drive by this nice Mail Pouch barn a week or so ago and the fall foliage was at it’s peak so I knew with all the windy days we have had, I better get on trying to capture it while it lasted. This is actually an evening shot and with a little blast from my off camera flash, the leaves revealed their lovely fall hues. I do have a few more from here on sunny days that I hope to share soon as well.
The other night I elaborated on my interaction with the gentleman who overreacted to me ringing his doorbell, and tonight we bring it full circle with yet another installment of “The Photography Chronicles”. I was headed to work the very next day after the Church debacle when I spotted this pretty Ginkgo tree beside this home that reminded me of homes in New England. I skipped lunch this day and hopped in my truck for a quick attempt to get something before storms took everything down. As you may have already guessed, yes I once again walked up to the door and rang the bell! As I approached the door I could hear several people talking just inside but as soon as I pushed the doorbell, nothing but crickets? So I thought well I at least tried and despite not being able to walk on their driveway, I was still shooting this pretty scene from the street! I shot one or two angles and glancing down the street I notice a cop car coming up the road? I think routine patrol most certainly and as he passes I wave and he continues on, until he gets to the end of the street and turns around! He pulls up and asks what I am doing, I explain shooting fall foliage and he says someone with a security camera called in. As we were talking I looked at the name on his badge and a little light bulb went off from the Church photo fiasco the night prior. I said were you on duty last night, and no kidding, he says are you Donald Reese? I said yes you called my house last night and now you show up again? We both found it slightly amusing that two homes with cameras felt the need to bother police for something so innocent but I understand stuff does go on that needs checked out. All I can say is thank goodness the leaves are down so I wont be tempted to shoot more fall foliage.
I try to be respectful when situations like this arise and I know police work is a balancing act, but I have seen a photographer friend of mine on a couple occasions tell a cop its basically none of his business what he is photographing in a public area. One time we were on a back road snapping sheep/lambs in a small shelter just beside the road and a cop pulls up and asks what we were doing. My buddy gave a response that I don’t know word for word but it was basically to the affect that its none of his business what we are doing taking photos of sheep, to which he shrugged his shoulders and drove off.
Folks say they enjoy reading about my photography escapades so here is one that happened to me recently involving this scene that I took notice of earlier in the day. First thing is the end of this story includes the most unbelievable bit of timing I have ever had! This particular day I noticed this gorgeous tree by the church and knew I needed to be elevated because I was looking uphill quite a bit. I park, walk up to a house across the street that has a yard that would fit the bill. I rang the bell to ask if they would allow me to stand in their yard and no response from inside, which I assumed meant everyone is at work? No Problem, the work day ends and I head out to shoot this spot and of course I stop to inquire at the house because all the lights are now on.
I rang the doorbell once and because the TV seemed loud I gently knocked on the wooden door as well? No response whatsoever, so I move to plan b which is to put my tall tripod on my truck roof and get my elevation that way. I am busy across the street lighting things when I see a guy who appears to be writing down my license plate? After he does that he starts heading my way and the first words out of his mouth are “why have you been pounding on my door all day”? I said if you call ringing your doorbell twice, pounding, we might have a difference of opinion. I explained wanting to get permission to stand in the yard, and my tripod was on my roof in plain sight for him to see and he says “well I called the cops twice already tonight” I said “for what” and he goes off about his daughter was home and she was terrified!
I calmly explained all I wanted was permission and he cooled off and said I could now stand in his yard if I wanted. Like that was an option after all the overblown action he took. So I get home later that night and my daughter asks, were you taking pictures on some guys porch? She said the cops called to talk to me? So the next day comes, I check Facebook and notice there are several people contacting me on messenger? They say I need to check this Facebook page that has security cameras from around town because this guy posted me ringing his bell to see if anyone knows this guy that he thinks is breaking into his house?
Okay now I am ready to take some sort of action because this idiot is making claims that could affect my reputation. Recapping, I rang his doorbell twice, knocked and was holding my camera the second time I stopped, all of which he reviewed on his porch camera and he still does not have the common sense to process what he sees? Lucky for him he had the brains to take the video down in a timely fashion. It seems people are getting more ridiculous every day and logical thinking is non-existent!
If by chance you stayed along this far, here is the unbelievable timing part of this story. There was one lone white car parked to the right uphill from the one lamp post, and I think I was there almost an hour and a half shooting and waiting for the cars owner to hopefully show up and get it out of the shot. Couple neighbors walked by and said it did not look familiar to them so I waited another 10 minutes till I had an appointment. Are you ready for it? I walk across the street to my truck, not a soul in sight, I reach up to grab the tripod legs to get the camera down off the roof and within 5 seconds of me moving that tripod, I hear the car horn beep and the doors unlock ? It was a mailman who just got off of work and within 30 seconds that car was just a bad dream to me. All I could do was laugh how utterly unbelievable this unfolded. Oh and yes I did end up Photoshopping that car out of the shot!
I just caught this foliage before wind and rain literally stripped the tree bare the following day. Years ago I was photographing in here at night and a couple ghost stories were shared, then I went up to the second or third floor, only to walk by a room, glance in and see a figure of a woman in an old dress, which about stopped my heart. Turns out they had a dressed mannequin up there. It would have been nice to mention her! This building houses the museum for the local Historical Society.
I photographed this local scene tonight and until I was finished, I was drenched. A constant downpour all day made things a little difficult and I was too busy trying to light this, to worry about an umbrella! Camera had an umbrella, but not the guy in charge. This is downtown and you would not believe how frequently cars were occupying the space between the tree and lamp post. It was an exercise in frustration because I would shoot a few shots, then a car would park smack dab in the middle for a few minutes, then leave and quickly be replaced by yet another car. Would be nice if the inside were lit up but you cant have it all.
First let me say I hate weddings and have been whining about my weekend being messed up for a few days now. Today was the Wedding which was held at this wonderful property and on a whim I took my camera along. after the wedding ceremony, we were told it would be two hours till we ate. I decided to grab my gear and roam the property and this lovely scene is what I settled on
This is Zig’s bakery in Lititz, Pa and the area I found myself as the skies started lighting up. I have never been here before so I ran around aimlessly trying to find an angle and the only small puddle in the lot was what I settled on. To complicate matters my tripod only goes as low as a foot or so, so I was forced to set my camera on the ground and put a water bottle and towel under the lens to get the angle right. The lower photo shows the sky after it had peaked but was still very beautiful. We have had several amazing sunsets in the last week, and this was the only one I had my camera along to capture.
I enjoy taking photos in the quaint town of Lititz, PA and happened to be shooting another scene across the street when I noticed folks going inside the local Historical society? Turns out they were having a board meeting and the normally dark interior was now all lit inside with warm light. There are so many aspects to this scene that all go together to make a pleasing result..
This covered bridge is framed nicely by the fence and yellow leaves and a light fog in the air added to the peaceful scene. That was until a car came from the other side, stopped inside the bridge in the middle and began cranking out some music? This lasted a good five minutes, then the horn honked a few times and out the driver came, all by himself? I know the horn honking is an old tradition but why the music first will remain a mystery I guess. Maybe it was remembering an old flame that made the trip with you years ago?
This old Church is located in Lititz Pa, and is not easy to shoot due to the tall steeple. This was quite the undertaking to light the Church, the trees and the grass. Right in the middle of the Church is stained glass above the door where you see blue and I thought I was going to get lucky when I saw some lights come on inside. I knocked and the man answered and I asked if he would turn on the light behind the stained glass, to which He replied he couldn’t. It would have added a nice touch but still a nice shot I feel..