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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This 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.
Another foggy morning across the region. The old blacksmith shop is not open at this early hour,but a light on the barn shines on the sign hanging off the tree out front.The trees are looking a bit rough from being trimmed.
I am not quite sure why I enjoy photographing store windows at Christmas so much,but I do know that I like to challenge myself and see what I can come up with. This store in Lititz,Pa is called the Tigers Eye and always has very classy window decor. The cool evening light contrasting with the warm interior light drew me to shoot this image.
This image of a store display in the small town of Lititz Pa is just one more challenge I set for myself taking photos. I love the various scenes you see around Christmas time in this town and window decorating contests keep shop owners busy at this time of year. The challenge was to capture something half decent,while having to do everything from the sidewalk outside and while the store was closed and dark. Reflections everywhere on the glass from street lamps,traffic and other businesses was my first challenge and trying to light things was my second challenge.
The clocks were lit by flash at various angles through the windows,all the while blocking reflections bouncing toward the camera. A wide-angle used up close allowed me to compose the shot and achieve some balance and allowed me to see several clocks in the store.This was shot at five thirty in the morning so I had time to experiment without bothering anyone.The one thing I wish were different is the dark area in the bottom middle. There were various items piled on the table,which did not look good lit,so I left them in shadow.
This image is part reality,part imagination. The barn and lamp-post were part of this scene yesterday and they were coated in a light dusting of the seasons first snow. I have always enjoyed the paintings of Thomas Kinkade for their dream like quality and I also like the effect of warmth in a cold setting,so I added some warm light to the scene to invite the viewer into the scene and maybe take a peak in the window of the wood shop to see what the craftsman might be making. The gentleman who owns this barn made the unique doors,which if I recall correctly have a passage from the Bible carved in them. I noticed there are icicle lights on the roof line,but unfortunately they were not lit,so Hopefully we will get more good snows and I will remember to return.
This is another example of experimenting with deer spotlights on a subject. Admittedly,I still need more practice to master this technique,but each try proves to be fun. The top photo is no spot light and the bottom is the result of about twenty separate twenty-second exposures at f11 using the spotlight. I used a wireless remote to fire my camera and also use a laptop to review what I did on each exposure to keep track what was lit already and as a reference if I need to shine the light at a different angle for better effect. Doing that also keeps you from touching the camera and creating registration problems. My spotlight has a diffuser and a snoot to keep the camera from being able to see the light source as I stand in the scene. The steamroller has the name Fordson on its radiator grill.
This colorful store in Lake Placid caught my eye as I headed toward the countryside for sunrise shooting. It was raining at the time,so the walkway was shimmering in golden street light which added to the appeal. I added some flash to the store fronts for added kick and enjoyed the stillness of the lonely street.
This is a wall mural on the side of a small shop in a local town. I have no idea why this subject was painted but the artist is Wayne Fettro,who seems to do a lot of this type of work. I decided some light painting was in order to showcase the work.It took about 10 different flash pops to do everything.
If you think farmers are busy this time of year,you should try working at the local feed mill where many of the harvested items arrive for processing. This telephoto shot includes two tractor trailers dumping their loads,while two feed trucks head out to service customers.
Once again I was trying my light painting technique in the old feed mill. This time I was photographing what I think is called a pelletizer, which makes feed pellets and the two images show the machine in a closed, and then open position.The bottom photo shows the machines main part,which has a series of holes that form the hardened pellets. The room was very warm so I assume some heat process is involved as well. To do the two images,I first completed the scene with it closed and then simply opened the door for the next part of the shoot. Then I brought that image on top of the first and blended them.
Have you ever seen so many cobwebs,you thought you were on the set of some science fiction thriller? Well this was the case as both myself and a fellow photographer spent an evening shooting in a local feed mill. I walked around looking for a shot and came across this corner of the mill that seemed lost in time. It’s no wonder spiders have laid claim to this place as flies were a real nuisance while we shot. I light painted this with an off camera flash trying to bring out the webs and dust and dirt as best I could. At least no mice ran by me on this visit. I have no idea what the machine does but it must not get used very often.
Machines from the past fascinate me, and these old steam-powered contraptions are no exception. Rough and Tumble located in scenic Lancaster county held their 64th annual threshermans reunion last week, and the event included all kinds of steam,gas and kerosene powered machines. This old steam roller with its massive iron wheels was one of many unique pieces I saw at this event.
This is the second image I am posting from the E-M-F car tour through scenic Lancaster county. The group made a planned stop at the Strasburg Railroad were they were treated to a special tour of the working railroad shop. The railroad welcomed the entourage of drivers and their antique cars with open arms and provided them Vip parking near the station. This image is the result of me climbing on the roof of my truck, setting up my tripod, and waiting for the train to pass behind the cars as it returned to the station.Passengers returning on this particular train not only enjoyed a tour through the scenic farmland but they also had an opportunity to walk around these special cars after they disembarked from the train. Sometimes gaining a little height can make all the difference in getting a shot and this was one of those times.
This is an old roller mill that I came across while wandering the back roads this past weekend. I started the afternoon off heading to play volleyball but I took my camera gear along in case no one showed. Well no one showed, so I cruised around and came across this locale. I was all excited as Amish buggies, open carts etc were all around the area. I pull in here and realize my tripod is 15 miles away at home.So I head home disgusted with myself and decide to return in the evening. Four hours later I come back and set my gear up on my truck roof to get a better view and I wait almost an hour till these three buggies come by. After they passed, I sat there till dark and not one more buggy came by. If I could somehow get up another 8 ft or so, you could see the entire covered bridge,which is just in sight on the edge of the right side. This evening was a real feast or famine night for shooting, and since I am not the most patient individual, it was driving me crazy missing other opportunities. The late evening light was skimming in nicely, so maybe the delay was worth it. the thumbnail shows my roof setup and laptop inside and it all depends how much height I need, and in this case just a little.
This image was taken at the feed mill that I had photographed and featured on my blog a few days ago. I met Brad the owner, and he graciously allowed both myself and fellow photographer Larry the chance to look around inside. After the mill shut down for the day, we broke out our gear and we each selected an area to light paint. Admittedly it has been a while since I gave this technique a try, so I struggled a bit as I worked to light the room with my spotlight. The mill is a real labyrinth of metal and wood, and left me wondering how such a place is designed. The inside also included numerous cats roaming about, which surprised me with all the machines at work, but after I had witnessed a cat catch a mouse three feet in front of me, it all became clear very quickly. The area I chose included the old scale with the two feed bags on it, along with another scale facing the opposite direction with the number 122 on it. The blue light is coming from window light that was shining in at dusk. We usually work in the dark, but time constraints had us shooting earlier.
This is the same mill I posted a few days ago,but this time I lit the scene with my spotlight at dusk. I was out shooting in the area and decided at the last-minute to give the location a test try with the light. My light was low on battery power, so I did not get as much use out of it as I had hoped, but it was a good chance to practice a bit.
This image was taken minutes after yesterday’s post, and shows the mill from the train tracks side. The sky was totally cloud covered and yet I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot when a few rays broke through to skim across the shot. lasted about a minute, which was all I needed. As a side note, I knew this was an active line, but did not realize the train comes through doing about 60 mph plus. I no sooner had picked up my tripod and walked across the tracks when I heard a whistle up toward the trees to the left and when that train came through it was hauling. I thought to myself how unnerving it must be to drive that thing and see something or someone on the tracks ahead and know you are helpless to stop it in time.
I photographed this local feed mill this past weekend as storm clouds were on the increase. The soft light was just gorgeous on the old facility and the numerous shapes and lines throughout the scene made for a dynamic shot.
Pardon my brevity with today’s post, but I was hammered with two migraines in one day today, which is very rare for me, so as I type this, I pretty much feel like this machine is sitting on my head. Sometimes when the weather changes, These things can hit me for whatever reason. So hopefully I did not post this shot before, and my apologies if I did.
This is another image from the machine shop series, and I do not have the foggiest idea what it does.It was very cramped quarters to shoot this,so I was forced into cropping the shot like this.Used several flashlights to light paint it.
I usually go with one image a day, but I thought Since these two shots are of the same subject, yet look totally different, it might be interesting to see color vs black and white, First, let me say the color shot actually makes no sense to the trained eye of a machinist, but to a layman like myself, it looked perfect. The set of bits on the right were sitting a short distance from this machine, so I decided they must be used on that machine and I proceeded to place them there. I was pretty far into the shot when the owner walked by, and told me they have no relation to each other, but I was already committed at that point. The black and white was the first image I shot using old oil cans, but for some reason it did not work in color, so I abandoned the cans for the bits. Either way, I like both shots almost equally,but I really like the textures in the black and white.
Today I visited a local florist that is planning to open an antique shop in the near future, and he graciously allowed me to look through his collection for possible photo subjects. I saw the old scale first and then selected several items to add some balance and color to the shot. I have no idea where some of my ideas come from, but I decided fruit would look neat on the scale, so I zipped over to a nearby produce stand and picked up a selection of limes,lemons and apples. For budding photographers taking notes, I light painted this shot using my small flashlight, and because the room had numerous windows, I used a 3 stop neutral density filter on the lens, which allowed me to shoot exposures around 8 seconds each. The window directly behind the shot was covered by black fabric till the very end, and then the exposure for the window portion was simply painted in on lighten mode in layers in Photoshop. Thanks to Kerry for giving me free reign in the shop.