Springs and Fall

I took this image in the Lititz Springs park and I am not exactly sure if this is the main spring or an area that holds the water from the springs, but you could see it flowing up from a few places in the area. This was taken with my 17-35 zoom at almost its widest view and I am backed up to a wall that goes around the springs from the steps on each side. This was taken on a night that was supposed to have bad storms and winds were maybe 20mph but it stayed dry while I shot. Thankfully the leaves surrounding the water were sheltered by the wall but out past the wall they were being blown all over the place. The green in the water was algae on rocks and I was surprised how well it showed up.

Nights like this are great for having the place all to yourself but I did have a crazy situation arise that  was a little sketchy. At one point across the park I could hear some teen girl swearing and it was about two or three minutes later I notice two black males around 17 to 20 years old sprinting from one end of the park to the other? It was getting much darker than my photo appears and I was taking all this activity in from the shadows wondering what was up?  All of a sudden they see me standing in this area and come running full speed till they are literally three feet in front of me. The one guy immediately starts demanding to know if I just slapped his baby girl?  I told them how long I had been there photographing and they said “some white dude just walked up and slapped his baby girl across the face” and the one was itching to whoop somebody and his most memorable comment to me was ” I believe I am about to get out of my character if I catch this dude”  They kept asking me if I saw anybody run my direction, and I said no, but the funny thing is, I did have one shot in my series that actually had a guy in it that looked similar to what they described.

First Light

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This old ivy covered tree caught my eye as I drove by, so I came back in the evening, asked permission to go in the yard and then lit it with my flash.The owner was an elderly lady and she could not figure out why anyone would want to photograph the tree? I am pleased with the result I got with a few pops of the flash,and I thought the contrast of the green ivy and fall foliage made a nice scene.

Home for Fall

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This is the same place I posted the other day,but this was shot at dusk for a more alive feel. To shoot this image I started with a base exposure before it got dark,then I started to light the various aspects of the shot with flash. This home used to be a neutral tone and the owner had asked me to try another shot since he had painted it this more intense hue.I finally decided to give it another go after I saw the carpet of leaves surrounding the place. At one point the lady of the house came out and I mentioned that turning some lights on would give it a much more inviting feel and much to my surprise she went and turned on every room light,which looked awesome.One complication I had to deal with was the doggone street lights came on halfway into the shoot and totally complicated things but I pulled it off despite that.

The Pumpkin Patch

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Welcome to the pumpkin patch,one of Lancaster counties many farm stands. This stand is one of several where we went for a good selection for our house display this year. I bought the biggest one they had here and it was almost 50 bucks,and it is self-serve here. They must sell wholesale as well because there was a truck at the barn and the driver must have had a good laugh watching me because it took me 5 tries to get it on the wagon.The first four involved tipping the wagon and trying to right it with the pumpkin leaning against and then finally I found a board and rolled it on the wagon. it easily weighed 150 pounds plus but is very awkward to lift. Many times two guys will use a burlap bag and double team them but no one was around.The bottom photo is part of our finished display along the rail trail where we live. the whopper is the one on the left and it is almost twice as big as the nearest one.The cat on the fence is one of three we cut out from templates on Martha Stewart and the bed was found for free at the curb. It is hard to get a great shot because our display is on a steep hill that goes down to the trail. Also the welcome pumpkin is done by the farmer using a nail to scratch the skin and it heals like that by harvest time.

Almost Heaven,West Virginia

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This past weekend a good friend suggested we head to West Virginia to catch some fall foliage and I am so glad we did.I normally like to head to New England in the fall but the forecast was for lackluster color there this year so heading south sounded like a great idea. We only had two days and our main destination was a place of natural beauty called Dolly Sods. On the way there I spotted this lovely red barn with fall foliage as a backdrop,so we stopped and I asked if I might be able to snap a few shots? The owner was very gracious and obliged my request and as I walked out the path to the barn I saw this old wagon sitting in the field and decided to take a shot. I think the composition is just right and the foliage was a perfect complement to the red barn. For those who don’t get the title, it is a line from an old John Denver song that I jokingly was singing on the trip. We had a great two days of shooting but man do they have steep hills in that state and when I was in my early twenties I drove truck and on one trip the truck blew up in West Virginia and we were stuck there for days and I remember feeling like we were in the most remote place on earth, which is not the case but some of the valleys make me feel that way. This photo was taken in what I would say was one of the more open valleys that we came across.

Autumn Sunset

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This gorgeous location is situated right in the back yard of a lovely Lancaster county property and overlooks a creek and Amish farm country.I had the privilege of being allowed to photograph here last winter and recently noticed the fall foliage from a distance away while driving in the area.I decided to stop and see what things looked like and was rewarded with this glorious scene featuring fall foliage,several farms and a lovely sky at dusk.This property features numerous old trees that are full of character and I hope to capture their grandeur this winter.

Lower Kaaterskill Falls

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This is lower Kaaterskill falls in the Catskills of New York. We came down the road,saw there was two spots for cars and quickly parked. I thought how lucky we were to get the second spot until I heard the State Troopers Siren chirp directly behind us. I look and he points at a sign directly above our car that says absolutely no parking. We never saw it and he was nice enough to just warn us,so we drove up the road to a parking area and I had to walk a hundred yards or so to get the shot. There is a more dramatic falls up the hill from this but after I started the first thirty feet climb over boulders,I basically decided I did not have it in me with my gear along.

Steeple Vista

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I photographed this view of North Adams, Massachusetts from a small hill near town. the numerous steeples sticking high into the air caught my attention,so I sought out a vantage point to capture them. The hillsides have a little bit of color in them,but it was mostly disappointing this year. Located in the Berkshires,this town was first settled in 1745 during King Georges War.

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.

Fall into Lititz

 

lititz-peddler-halloween lititz-springs-autumn lititz-street-autumn lititz-springs-autumn3 lititz-downtown-pumpkins lititz-street-autumn2 lititz-springs-autumn2Lititz,Pa was voted as Americas coolest small town in a travel magazine contest this year and I thought I would share a few fall photos I took while visiting recently. If you get a chance,plan a trip to visit this quaint little town. These images are from the downtown shopping district and the community park.

 

Keepers of the Light

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This old farm-house sits right along the road in rural Pennsylvania and I am actually at the very edge of the road to get the shot in the bottom photo. Ginko tree leaves turns the most vivid yellow in fall and I was fortunate enough to pass on the day most of the leaves had fallen off which naturally caught my eye. Everything seemed to come together,from the bushes dusted with fallen leaves,to the japanese maple in red,to the lanterns illuminated and the rustic home as a backdrop for it all. The middle and bottom image are what I saw at midday when I stopped to get permission and the top image is what I envisioned in my mind.

I don’t know how other photographers feel about things,but I can tell you there are scenes that I see that just captivate my imagination and stir the soul and this scene had me on pins and needles as I had to wait several hours to shoot it that night. I worried the owners would mow the yard,or perhaps high winds would blow everything away,and on and on my mind raced in anticipation of spreading my creative wings that night. I was so focused on figuring out a composition in the afternoon,I never even saw the lantern hanging right by my head,so when I arrived later and saw it light up,I immediately knew the angle I was going to shoot.

The ivy covered trees,foliage in full regalia,lanterns aglow,a beautiful home, it was a scene straight out of a dream.I light painted everything you see in the top image,from the leaves on the ground to the trees and ivy to make them pop with life. That one shot took me about an hour to do as I moved around with my portable flash.

This beautifully restored property is the home and office of Doctors Joel and LuAnne Yeager,a husband and wife team who compassionately care for each and every patient in much the same way as they have given to restoring their 1825 farm-house and barn. Their office located behind the house is in a 100-year-old renovated barn,which is a setting unlike any other.The following is from their website,

In the spirit of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10 who brought his wounded and vulnerable friend to “an inn” for healing and refreshment, we seek to provide an alternative to modern society’s hectic lifestyle in a place of quiet tranquility known as The Doctor’s Inn.

The Relaxation Zone

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This is my back yard fire pit and I would never have thought to shoot it till the leaves covered everything and looked nice. I should have waited till dark so I could have lit my tiki torches on the fence too,but I was a bit busy. I built everything  you see in the photo from the fence to the arbor in the corner with the gazing ball and the fire pit too. I lit the fire to have a flame,but later would have been more impressive. A few weeks ago I was sitting in the dark out here by the light of the fire and tiki torches and the flame was at least twice as high when something moving catches my eye. I turn my head and a skunk literally walked right between the chair and fire pit. I was about 6 feet from him and for whatever reason I decide to clap my hands to get him moving along. He spun directly toward me with his main weapon and the tail went up,but he cut me a break and did not fire. In hindsight,that was a stupid move.

An Autumn Walk

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This image was taken this past weekend across the street from the Halloween home I posted yesterday, and after the three lamp posts came on,I decided to scoot across the street and get a quick shot. Between the lights,leaves and lovely homes,I could not resist capturing it. Again this was taken in Americas coolest small town,which is Lititz,pa.

 

A Spooktacular Evening

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This is the view from the sidewalk at the Halloween home I was invited to shoot this past weekend. These are the three pumpkin figures behind the fence,but the third one was hard to get with the angle I settled on for my main shot. The pumpkin figures were very simple but very menacing,which was very cool. My image from yesterday included the pumpkins on the porch,which are just visible in the distance. Other cool decor included flaming pumpkins,one of which is seen burning behind the figures and that involved soaking a roll of toilet paper in kerosene and letting it burn inside the carved pumpkins,which was awesome,and a ghost on a pole which was made to move by using an oscillating fan behind it,which was simply ingenious. The cool blue of nightfall and red leaves on the trees rounded out the fall scene. I had to shoot the closeup on bottom before the owners lit them because I had to get set for my main image.