Amish Cutie Pie

I happened upon this little cutie at a public fishing spot where her Amish family was having a picnic. The parking is literally 15 feet from the picnic tables, but as I have said before the Amish have very good radar for photographers, and I did give my best performance of acting uninterested in them, but the dad was glancing at me every two minutes,so I knew his spidey sense was tingling. The little girl made eye contact at one point and I smiled at her which seemed to keep her fixated on me. I played a little peek a boo from my car and got this cute shot of her as she reacted.

Sleigh Ride Friends

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Well it is the time of year I simply love taking photos of all things Christmas related, and the coming weeks will feature scenes from a holiday tree event as well as scenes from Lititz ,Pa and shop windows there. This is the first shot featuring two bears riding in a very nice miniature sleigh as they head through some deep snow at the mansion tree event.

Gingerbread Courtyard

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Every year the folks who work at RLPS Architects come together to create a spectacular gingerbread creation,and I have been lucky enough to be invited to shoot along with the main photographer who always documents this for them.Each year I walk in,I just stop and stare at all the details and funny little vignettes they come up with. This scene of a town square is just one small corner of the creation. The following paragraph is from their website and describes the display better. I did not do too good a job this year with my shots but it’s always fun trying.

Drawing from images of Scandinavia, employees and their families spent countless hours transforming various edible materials into picturesque cottages, unique shops and mining operations. The candy structures are positioned along a fishing pier made of pretzels and mountains forested by ice cream cone trees coated in sugar sprinkle foliage and icing snow. The raw building materials for these creations included over 70 pounds of Charms hard candy, 30 gallons of icing and more than 50 pounds of candy, pasta, crackers and cereals.

 

New Kid on the Block

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This is another one of my Dreamy Christmas window photos from the town of Lititz,Pa. My title refers to the fact that this shop is new to the downtown area and has a wonderful selection of home decor and holiday items,and they offer a full compliment of interior design services.The owner graciously helped me out by adding the small tree and wreath as accents to my window shop image.This image required me to use a polarizer to help remove the reflections of passing cars in the window glass and I also used a piece of foam to block reflections that were impeding the view of the gorgeous stars in the corner.This building once housed a great camera store that I frequented many moons ago,and the new owners have given it a lovely new coat of paint and made a very inviting place for shoppers to frequent.

There She Stands

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Today marks the Thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country on september eleventh of 2001. For me, like countless others, this day is permanently etched into my mind and like most I remember the exact moment it unfolded. For me it was a crystal clear fall day out in the country photographing blue morning glories on a farm, when the radio began to crackle with hints of something unspeakable. I recall driving as fast as I could to get to a television and being glued to it for days. Take a moment today to think of and pray for those who were lost that day, and especially their families who were left to cope with such heartbreak.

Every anniversary of this event, I find myself watching the documentaries on television and each and every time I am instantly taken back to that moment and overcome with a sense of deep despair, and I can’t begin to imagine the heartache for those who never got the chance to hold their loved ones again. I have never been to the twin towers memorial, but I have been to the Shanksville crash site in Pennsylvania and while it is not an over the top memorial, I can definitely say it is a place of quiet reflection that really hits you. I felt this Angel statue from a cemetery in New York was a fitting image for today. It is among my favorite infrared images that I have shot. If you have a moment and care to hear Michael W. Smiths tribute song  to 9-11 called ”There she stands”, I posted a link here.

Michael W. Smith – There She Stands – YouTube

1776 Flags

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Fourth of July found me sleeping in until my friend Morrie called to tell me about a wonderful display of flags in the town of Lititz. I quickly got dressed and headed there and was very impressed with the patriotic display that I found at the Moravian church in town.As I was snapping a few photos,the caretaker stopped to make sure the flags were not laying over and straighten those that needed attention,and he told me there were actually 1,776 flags meticulously lined up across the lawn.With his efforts and the help of local boy scouts, the scene was certainly worthy of photographing and a thank you to everyone who put forth the effort.When I first got there all I did was complain how breezy it was but after seeing how the flags were stretching out,I quickly was grateful for the breeze. Countless folks were snapping photos of this amazing scene.

Mary Baker Eddy

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This monument was completely in the dark until I illuminated it with flash. Doing so allowed the texture and inscriptions to reveal themselves. I must thank my friend Morrie who helped keep my camera dry under an umbrella while I moved around the structure with the flash.

Often, monuments and mausolea are designed by the same architect who designed other residences for the family. The Mary Baker Eddy monument does not follow that mold, instead, it was the result of a design competition. Egerton Swarthout, a New York architect, won the competition in 1914, with a tholos form design of a circular colonnade consisting of 8 columns each 15 feet in height. Swarthout omitted a roof because he felt there should be “nothing between the grave and sky but flowers”.

Originally, the architect specified the monument be constructed of Colorado or Vermont white marble. As an acknowledgement to the harsh New England winter, Bethel, Vermont, white granite was substituted because it withstands the elements significantly better than marble.

The Mary Baker Eddy monument has been acknowledged as one of the finest examples of the granite carver’s craft. Among the details incorporated into the design are the wild rose, which was Mrs. Eddy’s favorite flower, the morning glory, which opens to the light and closes to the darkness, the lamp of wisdom and a sheaf of wheat.

Husband and Wife

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Nestled at the base of a giant maple tree are the graves of this husband and wife. Her stone reads-“her example is our inheritance” and his reads, “the master called and found him”. I wonder if the tree was planted since they were buried or just happened to grow from a seed that landed there?

Lobster Buoy Collection

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This home in Rockport Massachusetts beckoned me to capture its unique seacoast charm after I noticed the many old lobster buoys adorning the entrance. As I was speaking to the owners wife,she told me her husband had collected these authentic buoys along the shoreline years ago and this quaint scene had been featured in magazines more than once.

I Had A Dream

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Every winter I find myself thinking of different images that I would like to create or hopefully find somewhere to shoot. For years I had this dream of getting out after a heavy snowstorm and building some nice snowmen,dressing them in colorful accents and placing them in the perfect scene.Well this exact scenario came to fruition recently thanks to a family that decided to get out and spend some quality time together in the snow. My wife was headed to work one day and called me to say I needed to check out five well done snowmen she had seen, to which I said yeah right.Upon further consideration I thought I better at least look and see if her suggestion was worth a shot and to my surprise it was absolutely perfect.

Not only did this family of five create one snowman for each family member,but they added colorful accents,had them positioned nicely,and even kept the ground covered in snow so no ugly grass showed. Add to all that the fact that the house was glowing with warm illumination and the trees were adorned with snow and I had all the elements to make a picture perfect moment.When I pulled into the driveway and rang the doorbell,no one was home and I was only 30 minutes from needing to set up for the shot so I visited a few neighbors who kindly gave me a work number for the owner and thankfully he said go for it and he would be home in a little while.Its not everyday someone calls you to shoot a snowman photo,so I am sure he thought this seemed a bit strange.I lit the scene with my flashlight to bring out the details and make them stand out in the scene. Many thanks to mom,dad and the three girls for your ambition and creativity.

Think Your Cold?

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I refer to these two figures as the guardians because they are at the entrance to this small plot in a local cemetery. A recent windy snowstorm had them  accented in a dusting of white. I used my flashlight to brighten up the details and bring out their unique character.It was around 8 degrees this morning,so it’s no wonder they have their arms crossed to keep warm.

Winter at the Cemetery

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I headed out to a local cemetery to try some light painting this past weekend and once again temperatures in the single digits tested my dedication to the craft. The sunset was nice and the colorful sky in this image is part light from sunset and the city nearby,which gave a neat effect. I used my nitecor flashlight to illuminate the chapel,trees,snow and tombstones. I always am on my toes when I am alone in places like this because I have seen homeless sleeping here,but not with the temperatures we have right now. I was also worried the gate might be closed when I went to leave but thankfully that was not the case.

To The Rescue

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For some reason I like to photograph old items from the past and when I do,I get to wondering about the history behind them. I found this old rusty tow truck for sale in a parking lot and it clearly had seen some mileage,but with a little searching on the net for the name emblazoned on the door,I did find the truck was originally owned by a gentleman named Edward Graf who had his own garage and was a certified mechanic. He was a life member of a fire company and from what I found at least one son has followed in that proud tradition and that’s why my title was aptly picked. This truck certainly came to the rescue of many motorists over the years and that ties in with serving in the fire company as well. I light painted the truck with my flashlight.

 

Wrap Them Up

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Another Christmas has come and gone and my wife was busy tearing the tree down last week and I noticed this assortment stacked in a basket waiting to be wrapped up. We had two trees this year and these were from the cool tree. Our other tree has lots of red and gold glass ornaments which are my favorites,but the blues look nice too.I lit these in a dark room with a small flashlight from various angles.

The Chocolatiers Imagination

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Lititz Pa earned the distinct honor of being named Americas Coolest Small Town this year, and there are a variety of reasons for this accolade. From the small town charm, to the businesses that are an integral part of the community, to the residents that take pride in their town, lititz is one unique place that beckons visitors to return over and over.One of the attractions that draws visitors to Lititz is Wilbur Chocolate,which is famous for Wilbur Buds as well as countless other confectionary delights. The amazing display shown above is thanks to the creative genius of Chocolatier Kathy Blankenbiller of Wilbur Chocolate. Kathy spent countless hours making this masterpiece of nursery rhyme characters for the annual Lititz Chocolate Walk held on Columbus day weekend. It is currently on display in the Wilbur chocolate store,and is showcased against a backdrop of antique chocolate making items.

Kathy says the entire thing is edible and includes modeling chocolate,royal icing,licorice,Rice Krispie treats and more,and depicts at least 13 nursery rhymes plus a few jokes thrown in.I saw the dazzling display when visiting the store and inquired if I might record the masterpiece and the fine folks at Wilbur were very accommodating in allowing me to undertake this project.I cant wait to see what next years creation might be,but you can bet with attention to detail like this piece exhibits,it will be inspiring.

Merry Christmas

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This nativity is located on the square in the town of Lititz,PA, and a few years ago someone complained and the ACLU got involved trying to ban the display. Thankfully the land is owned by the Church and the ACLU and its misguided agenda were sent packing. Wishing all my loyal blog followers a Merry Christmas.

Gingerbread Creation

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Every year the folks at RLPS Architects in Lancaster,Pa create an amazing themed gingerbread display for the public to enjoy. This year the theme was Italian Ice and this is one of a few images I was lucky enough to be able to shoot. You can’t take all the detail in on one visit because it is amazingly detailed and took 2000 hours to complete.Make sure you visit lefever photo under my artists that inspire tab. He is the primary photographer for this creation and most certainly will have amazing images.

Glaze of Ice

 

Icy-snow-tree-sunsetOpportunities like this don’t come along very often because freezing rain on top of snow is not that commonplace. The glistening coating makes for a lovely canvas for light to reflect and shimmer across the surface. I had plans for a cool shot after sunset but the sun disappeared behind a cloud bank shortly after this image. A light snow also came last night which has ruined the chance for more images like this but I have no complaints because we finally are having a winter with snow again.

 

Fishing Village Christmas

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I photographed this lovely New England scene along the coast in Rockport Massachusetts. The Christmas tree in the window looks great above the collection of buoys outside and once evening came,I was able to paint the scene with a flashlight to bring it to life. The owners were very accommodating in allowing us to shoot it.The only way this might be better is if it was covered in fresh snow..

Winter Wonderland

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A fresh snow blankets the sleepy little village of Lititz,Pa on a quiet night. These poor snowman and santa are trapped behind glass and wish they could get out to frolic in this winter wonderland.

Dashing Through The Snow

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Finally found some time to visit Lititz,Pa again to capture some more shop scenes in the downtown area. The first scene that caught my eye was this set of reindeer,complete with illuminated red noses and a sleigh with christmas packages behind them. I had to rush a bit because they put the reindeer away at closing time,which is just the time the light gets good. A few pops of the flash added a bit of interest to bring the scene to life. This was shot saturday and then it snowed on sunday,which would have added to the shot but this turned out pretty good despite no snow.