Evening Landscape


Let Your Light Shine

Well my title is what the digital sign out front read, so I decided to add my lighting touch to a wonderful rainy sunset already in progress. When I was almost done shooting this, I was doing a few long exposures to get the color on the road and a car starts to pull in the empty space in front of my tripod and in the short 5 seconds he hesitated and decided to not pull all the way in the spot, some knucklehead slows down and rolls the window down to yell a bunch of wicked remarks at the guy and then I see its like a 65-year-old woman who was so worked up I thought she might blow a vein. I stuck up for the guy and told her to go take a chill pill.

A Night to Stay Inside


I have a mental list of places I drive by and wonder if I could get a neat shot sometime and this home is one of them. It is always well maintained and the porch details are very nice. The good old days had real craftsmen who took pride in creating something and the scroll work on the porch is an example of that. Of course I picked a bad day to try this shot but I managed to have enough good frames to make it work. I tried out my new ladder setup to do this and it basically uses a long aluminum pole that slides through the top of the ladder and becomes a huge tripod. I do not have all the bugs worked out yet, and making sure the pole does not rotate is on my list. I started shooting and you can see what the clouds started looking like and long before the light was perfect, it started to rain. I held an umbrella over the camera but it still got drops on the lens, so I had to climb the ladder to wipe it off and that guarantees the camera will shift ever so slightly. So at that point I started shooting a new set and realized my tablet had changed the lens opening on its own, which has happened a few times before when it is raining and I have no idea how the wi-fi gets messed with but it is frustrating. So I start my third series with the settings fixed and thankfully it worked. The owner was very helpful with turning on lights which always helps to get my signature look. Oh and yes there was the occasional lightning bolt which is always great when you have a 16 foot aluminum pole and your camera on top. The second photo shows the setup I used to get this shot. I am considering getting a motorized head to put on top so I can move the camera for proper framing up or down and left to right all from the tablet on the ground.

A Quaint Cottage

This adorable home has always intrigued me because of its unique exterior and its placement in relation to other homes on the street. I decided to ask if I could capture a shot with all the flowers currently blooming and they said sure. After speaking with the owners I found out they love the beach and that is reflected in the exterior styling. The house is over a hundred years old and after a small tour I could see they put their heart and soul into the home. I actually had a few obstacles this night and choosing to do this on a night with 15 mph winds was not my best move, but the real problem I had was the depth between the foreground and house. First I started shooting by focusing on the house but then the flowers were not sharp, so I switched focus to more in the front which left the house questionable. I shot a ton of images lighting the bushes and what not but they would not register after I changed focus, so even though I had better shots, without the house sharp it would have not worked. The following evening was calm as could be and I wondered why I could not have waited 24 hours?  In my defense it was supposed to rain for two days and I worried the flowers would get beat.

The New Ride

Since this photography related I thought I would share a couple of shots of my latest vehicle. I had my last truck for 22 years so it was definitely time to get something newer. Obviously it is a Jeep Wrangler and I love it. Already used the winch to save someone stuck in the snow this winter and taking the roof off is a blast. The reflection shot was done at a car lot I passed and I noticed some of the cars there were reflecting in the puddle after heavy rains passed through, so I went home for my gear and did this photo. The funny thing was I took my muck boots along to stay dry and at first I pulled right in the middle of the small lake and stepped out into water that I thought was maybe 4 inches but it was at least a foot deep! I decided I wanted to see most of my wheels so I moved to the edge and the ripples were captured after I walked through the water. The other shots are at a train station after closing.

Police Week Lighting

National Police Week was held recently and a local Police department contacted me about possibly doing a shot of their building? A local lighting company illuminated the station and it really looked nice, so I did these two images for them on a rainy evening which added some nice reflections. I lit the building and trees to add some extra pop and that brought the shot together. There was a vehicle parked in front while I did the first shot and thankfully it left and was quickly replaced with a patrol vehicle, so that was perfect timing for the second image. I also lit the bench on the porch which has the names of officers lost in the line of duty and I wanted to set it out front so you could read the names but it was chained to the concrete.

The Hacker House

This is a home that I have passed many times over the years and I finally decided to stop and take a shot. I arrived before dusk and knocked on the door to ask if I could try a shot and while the lady who answered was not the owner, I knew who the owner was and we agreed he would probably not mind. I spent a good hour lighting this location and asked the woman if she would mind turning on some inside lights, and she gladly obliged. I really liked the picket fence and garden so it was a balancing act to get a little of the front and still highlight the garden, so this angle is what I finally settled on. After I was finished I went to thank her for her help and she asked what year I graduated? After telling her the year, she said we were in the same class and I finally recognized her and remembered her name which is a small miracle in itself. I hated school, was kind of a loner and could not wait to get out, so names do not always get recalled like I wish, especially almost 40 years later. Of course after you get out of school you wish you had applied yourself but I guess I was a late bloomer.

The following is an excerpt from a brochure for “The Hacker House c. 1814”:

The Hacker House existed in some form prior to the founding of the town of “New Ephrata” (Lincoln) in 1813 by John Reist. It could have been a one story log farm-house built in the late 1700’s.

In the year 1803, the road now called Route 322 was built from Downingtown to Harrisburg. We believe that influence of the city of Philadelphia manifested itself in about the year 1814 when the owner of the property may have enlarged the house and added the beautiful Federal style pedimented door case to the front entrance. It is rare to find a doorway of this style in northern Lancaster County. At the same time it is possible that an addition as large as the front of the present house was added to the east end and probably was used as a tavern or an addition to the existing house.

The house was extensively restored and upgraded. Starting on the exterior, all wood, vinyl, and aluminum siding were removed, except for the “L” shaped area in the back section. The structure was checked and improved where necessary. Insulation and sealers were used in the front portion of the house which is primarily a log structure. Insulation was installed between the studs of the rear section of the house which is a framed structure. Many years ago, the front windows and the front window of the west side were replaced with longer windows as was the style of that day. A second window on the west side was made into a door. All four openings were returned to their original style & size nine over six window sash. The front cornice was rebuilt to what was believed to be the original style which matches the saltbox house across the street. Overhangs which were added to houses in the early 1900s were removed and the original style trim installed. A good grade of cedar siding was purchased and primed on both sides before installation. A new rubber roof was installed on the flat add-on portion of the addition. The shutters were original to this house and had been stored in the barn for many years. We had them stripped, rebuilt, and rehung with old style hardware.