The Skilled Craftsman

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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.

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.

Window Shopping

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I was pretty happy with my result on this image featuring an Antique store called the Moravian House in Lititz,Pa. The hardest aspect was getting the word antiques on the window to glow and stand out.The shop owners remembered me from the past and gladly left me inside to fire my flash out through the letters from behind. This can be a rather complicated process to get the look I want,and changing camera white balance and getting the flash at the right angle help me get the color the way I envision it.

A Zest For Small Town Life

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This is the time of year I really enjoy shooting store windows in the town of Lititz ,Pa. Lititz has a small town feel that just takes you back to a bygone era,and the stores get all decked out for the coming holiday season,which makes for a delightful evening walk through town. My favorite time to take photos is right around dusk,just as the shops are closing for the day.The quiet of nightfall in this sleepy little town is only enhanced by music emanating from the town square and with a little imagination you feel as if you were just transported to a Charles Dickens novel.This pair of images are of a store called Zest,and the owners always do a stellar job of decorating the windows. Light shining out from the store illuminates the freshly fallen leaves as the cool blue of dusk begins to envelope the street. Many stores are beginning to transition to the Christmas season,so hopefully I will find some unique subjects to share.

Vermont Country Store

vermont-country-storeThis little vignette of americana was captured at the Vermont Country Store on my fall foliage trip. I told my friend its somewhat ironic we came across this scene because I have contemplated getting an old pickup and loading it up exactly like this for a shot for the past couple years. I light painted this entire scene in the dark and even blasted a flash into the lantern on the wall to give it an illuminated effect.