Grab some Popcorn, it’s Storytime2

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.

Grab some Popcorn, it’s Storytime

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!

The Wedding Venue

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

Silence is Golden

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?

Light in the Darkness

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..

“Many Hands Make Light Work”

These five Amish siblings were busy loading and transporting tomatoes to market recently as the season is winding down quickly. Lucky for them the destination was only 25 feet in front of them at the families roadside stand. The old saying, “many hands make light work” is exemplified by these ambitious youngsters. The young driver only has her learners permit, so her instructor helped her navigate,all while getting a free ride!

The Stream comes to life

I have been visiting this Church for photo ops lately and trying to challenge myself to get multiple angles that are appealing. We recently had some heavy storms roll through and I was hoping for some lightning shots here but instead I arrived to find this normally dry stream bed was flowing for the first time I have ever seen. They must have gotten hammered because there was debris three quarters of the way up the slope on the left,so that puts it at maybe 4ft deep at the peak and what is shown here might be 10 inches.

A Ray of Hope

This was taken last evening during some stormy weather passing through. As many of you know I enjoy capturing Lancaster county scenes and the Amish who live here, but despite a big gathering at this Amish farm and many of them walking out the lane near where I was parked, I just felt with the missing Amish girl, now was not the time to photograph. For those who saw my post on July 7th about this situation, they have since arrested the man who abducted her but he still refuses to tell authorities anything on her whereabouts. Police did find the spot he buried her clothing and they did say she was harmed after being abducted but no one knows if she is alive or not. News reports said they pinged his phone and there was a huge search over the weekend at the location his phone pinged. Hopefully we still have a glimmer of hope she is found. I included a link showing this idiot. One commenter I saw said he might have Reactive Attachment Disorder which afflicts kids that are abandoned at a young age. He was living on the street at age 7 and the adoptive parents say he was trouble from the very beginning.


Color verses Infrared

A friend called me last week to tell me about this old pickup sitting in front of a barn that was pretty nice. So that evening I headed out to look at it only to find about 15 cars parked everywhere behind the truck. It seems the owner has planted a field of wildflowers and all the cars were there for those having portraits taken among the flowers. I figured I had nothing else to do so I waited and waited and waited some more. one car left,then another,then three at once until there were only three left and of course they were all parked right in the main part to the right. Well I started shooting as it became darker and hoped they would leave soon, which they finally did. The two images include an infrared that I shot as the sun was getting low and a color one after the sun was down. I like them both but the infrared is more dramatic and gets my vote.

Say a Prayer tonight

This photo is a good example of keeping your eyes open for opportunities. It has been hot and dry lately and it seems this is a great time to harvest wheat so I was canvasing the countryside when I came upon this family working as a team loading the wagon. I have snapped the occasional photo of members of this family before working in the fields and they kind of giggled when they saw me with the camera in the car. The one room school was the perfect backdrop and the way the pitchforks were flying, it is a miracle no one gets jabbed. At one point they got within earshot and asked if I wanted to help and they knew by the look on my face this old fart wasn’t getting out of the car so they had a good laugh over that?  Photos like this remind me of my younger days when I would occasionally get invited by Amish to take photos from up on their loaded wagons and I always felt incredibly lucky that they left me into their world for a moment.

The group shown here are Mennonite but for those new to my site, we also have a large Amish population here in Lancaster county. Their is currently an 18 yr old Amish girl that inexplicably went missing almost 3 weeks ago after a Church service held at a farm. After all my years of photographing Lancaster county and the Amish culture, this event is truly a mystery. I have taken photographs in the exact area she went missing in and even though their have been searches all over the fields in the area, nothing out of the ordinary has been found and no signs of foul play were found. I honestly can say I am somewhat glad I have not gone out shooting down in that area in a couple years because people are desperate for answers and anyone out driving would be a suspect or a witness. On Sunday morning I just felt compelled to go down and drive the roads around where this occured and even though the entire area has been searched, I felt I needed to just look and see if anything caught my eye. There are a million sleuths on the internet who all have their own theory, but the two at the top are, 1-she walked away from the way of life and is safe somewhere and ,2- someone grabbed her. The thing I did not expect on my Sunday drive was the multiple Police cars I saw parked in the area. My feeling was they were watching to see if anything hokey might happen? The first car I saw surprised me but when I came out on another road to a stop sign, there were three more parked. I thought to myself they are probably writing my license number down to check everyone and might even pull me over but they didn’t.

The other night I went through a boatload of my shots to see if she was on anything I had taken over the years, but despite the fact she somewhat looked familiar to me, I could not find a single shot. My thought was if I did have something, I would give it to the parents as something to keep their hope alive. The other thing is I have not shot anything in a few years so for all I know I could have something but never could recognize her in a younger picture. Anyway if you are so inclined, say a prayer for her safe return or a call from her telling everyone she is safe. I am hopefully attaching a pdf here so even more eyes will be on this.

A True Life Tale!

Let me start by saying the following actually happened to me a few years ago at the home I just photographed in infrared. It all started with a phone call I received asking me if I could go check on a co-worker that did not answer the phone. I said sure I will go and see if either he or his wife are there. When I got there, a police officer was there and told me he had passed away. I asked if I could go in to talk with his wife and he said sure,no problem. I head on in and his wife who was starting with dementia greeted me in the kitchen. She was standing leaning on the refrigerator and I was on the other side of a large granite island. We talked a bit and I was getting a little exhausted processing it all, so I leaned my arms on the island and as I leaned forward there was my co-worker still on the floor where he dropped?  It definitely threw me a bit but then his wife started asking me why he will not wake up when she shakes him?

So the funeral  is set and since he always liked my New England photos, I decided to do a tribute slide show with music at the viewing which was very much appreciated by the family. We finish up and everyone heads home after dark and since we were starting to seal our basement with drylok, I headed down to start doing the next wall. I was on a short ladder working hard to work the drylok into the block wall when I heard three taps, so I yell up to my wife, what do you want?  She yells what are you talking about, so I said never mind and continued on. Maybe a minute later I hear three taps on the door glass leading out to a set of steps that go up and outside. As soon as I heard the taps, My head immediately spun around to look at the door and I was literally looking right at my co-workers face in the window who had passed!  Now you may think someone was playing games, but that very stairway that leads to the door is covered by a deck made of 2×6 treated and trex that takes all I have to lift up and go down those steps. I was in such a mindset that I did not tell my wife about it, thinking maybe I had an overactive imagination? Well the next day comes and after my wife gets out of the shower, she comes to the bedroom and says what was with the three taps I just did?  I said I did not tap and she just laughed and said “yeah right”. Well day 2 comes and sure enough we both hear another set of three taps, and after pausing a moment I yelled his name, told him we missed him, and said you have got to move out please. Thank the Lord that was the last time for any tapping.

I found it ironic that the infrared shot has the windows looking like they are fully lit rooms inside. I looked at the original file and it looks like the windows were new UV glass that had a blue tint, which goes white with the filters.

A Real Hot Head

I spotted this crew working on potting fall mums and they were quite productive I might add. After a little break was called, the guy kneeling on the right grabbed a pot and stuck it on his head, which brought a mixed bag of expressions. I pass this place every fall and they have row upon row of mums in every color yet I can hardly believe they get started this early but summers moving right along. Yes it was approaching 90 degrees this day so a black plastic pot would make you a hothead or even a pothead now that I think about it.