Cart before the Horse?

I have heard the saying, don’t put the cart before the horse,but never saw it in the real world till now. The horse and buggy on the right was leading the lone horse somewhere,but who knows.Not sure what the guy on the left was doing either,as he was just there on the backroad.This was a split second shot taken on the back roads.

Foggy Morning Travels

A morning dominated by fog and low light created a tough set of circumstances for shooting anything that was moving. I had been searching for something to shoot on this sunday morning and had no luck,so I decided I was just going to compose a shot and hope something would come by to finish off the image. The Amish head to church at each others farms on sunday mornings from about 7am up till just before 9am,when the service seems to start,so after 9am there is no more activity on the roads. I set up on this back road at 815 and decided at exactly 9am I would call it a wrap.For 45 minutes there was not one single car,buggy or anything else on this road,and I was sure it was one of those mornings that nothing was going to pan out. I was watching the laptop clock and 3 minutes before pack up,I heard the sound of horse hooves coming. Buggies never travel this late in the morning,but here came two late ones,which allowed me one chance to get this shot,which thankfully I did. I think there was a little set of eyes peeking out the back as a hand pulls the canvas back a bit.Shot from my truck roof and connected to the laptop.

Arriving by wagon

This image is one of those special moments that make being a photographer so rewarding for me. The young girls were riding on this miniature cart and were making their way to sunday church service at a local farm when they passed me at a covered bridge I was photographing with a friend. They headed on their way up the road and I decided to get in my truck and try and get one more photo of something I have never seen before, and figured never would again. They turned down this farm lane with others who were arriving on foot and I took this image through my open car window pretty quickly. Although I am extremely thrilled with the photo, For some reason I have this bad habit of tilting my head and consequently my camera when I shoot handheld,and the image was slightly tilted.My framing was less than ideal in this hurried moment so the image has a touch of tilt yet.

Something I missed was a shot from the front showing the miniature horse that was pulling them,and he must have been a little powerhouse to pull five youngsters. The other thing I really like about this image are the colors the people are wearing,and admittedly I am no expert on Amish ways and I have always wondered how or why they pick certain colors. they are usually very lovely hues and I have seen families dressed in the same color palette on more than one occasion.

The Road

Todays posting features a road I have always thought had possibilities and last sunday I got several images in the span of fifteen minutes. I was out before dawn and got absolutely nothing over the course of three hours, so I decided I was going to just sit somewhere and see what I get. This road leads right by a farm so I set up my tripod real low at the edge of the field and a few minutes later I could hear the clip clop of buggies in the distance. The first two images had buggies turning from the left and the scooter boys coming in on the right from the T road. The last shot was taken from my truck roof after I changed my position and shows the farm better,but not the locals as well.

I pre-focused for all the shots and used a wireless remote when subjects reached a certain spot, and even though I did this, the horse in number two is fairly sharp,even though I was focused about where the scooter boys are. They were moving at a good clip,so they are not razor-sharp. Focal length was probably around 200mm or so.


This is a location I have driven by numerous times and never really gave it much consideration. This evening I turned onto the road and saw the late evening sun hitting the one room school and hilltop farm, and decided to set up and see what develops. Once again I sat for close to an hour as countless buggies went zipping by on the road behind me, each time raising my anticipation and then never turning onto my road. Several times I set a time to leave, and several times extended it because I knew as soon as I moved a convoy would start coming by. My patience paid off as these two buggies came by. I like this scene because it has the one room school, a farm and the locals all in one shot.I utilized my rooftop setup and laptop to operate the camera. The scary thing is several times in recent weeks, I have found the images I am capturing are somehow not downloading to the laptop and are gone forever. I hear my camera firing and then no download, so when you wait an hour for one chance, you pray everything functions as expected and this time it did.

Arriving for Church

This is a quick snapshot from the road of an Amish family arriving together for Church at a farm in their district. I do not know how they decide which farm they are going to each week, but they do alternate. Sometimes you see buggies headed in every direction on a sunday, so it’s all a mystery to me.

All or nothing

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.

The long road home

Some of the images that I capture in my photographic endeavors excite me more than others, and this image is one of those. This location is about twenty miles or more from my home, so I must commit a certain amount of time and effort to go there and then hope something happens while I am there. I have been there many times and never seem to get any local activity on the road, partly because it’s a big hill, and secondly because there are many connecting roads that are easier to navigate , so many people simply bypass this hill. I decided to go this past sunday, and I arrived shortly after sunrise to pick my angle and wait. Almost an hour went by with no traffic of any kind passing by, and just as I was considering leaving I saw the closest two buggies coming out from the farm in the distance. I sat in my truck waiting for the buggies to be in the best spot and then simply activated my wireless remote to fire the camera. Because the hill is so steep and long, a third buggy had slowly been catching up in the distance. To capture this image, I mounted my tripod with camera attached on my truck roof, hooked my laptop to it to remotely adjust camera settings as needed from my driver’s seat and then used my wireless remote to fire the camera. Pre-focusing on a spot in the foreground allowed the closest buggy to be sharp as it reached my predetermined spot. Between the red barns,the winding road and the buggies, I am very pleased with my end result on this shot. If you notice the first buggy is going around me on the right because the horse was not happy about my rooftop tripod, but the next horse went right by my truck without hesitation. An Amish man told me once that horses don’t like anything higher than themselves, but for the life of me I cannot understand why trees or buildings or even large trucks don’t seem to bother them. My tripod was even set up at its shortest height with no leg extension, so maybe I should try a blanket over it to camouflage it? This would make an awesome sledding hill in winter,so lets hope the local Amish kids are feeling adventurous.

I Wanna hold your hand

Sorry if anyone is now humming the famous Beatles tune in your head, but it was the best title I could think of at the moment. This image is yet another from last Saturday’s trip to the mud sale and I originally caught a glimpse of these four behind some buggies and hoped they would head my way, which thankfully they did. Once again I was a god distance away with a 400mm,which was perfect for not invading their space. The beautiful blue bonnets are so lovely,and the middle girl is wearing the biggest safety-pin I have seen in a while. The three girls are actually the trio that I posted earlier this week, but I had no idea till I worked on the image.

The Makeover

This weekends mud sale was less than ideal due to bright sun, which is terrible when you consider that most subjects are dressed in black and are wearing hats casting hard shadows. Myself and a friend did shoot a few shots,but we are hoping for overcast at an upcoming mud sale. I took this grab shot of several plain girls who suddenly stopped to work on this one young ladies hair and scarf. The recipient of all the attention seemingly enjoyed the help, but I am not sure if they were sisters or friends.

The Gathering Place

Winter weather can often include interesting skies and nice billowy clouds. This scene features a group of Amish buggies attending a sale at the farm. This shot was taken from the roof of my truck to give a little better perspective on the line of buggies. Sometimes I get strange looks when I have my tripod set up on my vehicle roof, but you would be amazed how much an extra six feet off the ground can help. . The only thing you must be aware of is not shifting your weight if you are using long exposures, but this was a fairly fast exposure, so that was not an issue. this was shot in infrared.