This bunch of friends enjoy a ride around the back roads of Lancaster county. When you are sitting in such close quarters,you cant help but have a great conversation about all the things that young minds ponder.
This was one of those images that just fell in my lap this past weekend.I was out in search of severe weather and the storms were approaching quickly.Suddenly the winds picked up significantly and at the same time these three Amish girls were heading up the road to visit friends.The umbrella blew inside out just as they past me,which had the three of them laughing and I managed to capture this shot as she wrestled the contraption.
Two families head home after a sunday visiting with friends.I basically picked this spot,set up my tripod and hoped for the best.These two buggies were the only two that came by while I waited at least 45 minutes. I kept bumping up the iso as the light levels went lower and lower.I ended up at iso 1250 at a 500th second at f5.6 and the ability to freeze any motion was practically gone.
This series of images were captured on friday evening in rural Lancaster county.The top image was taken as the pair of balloons slowly drifted across the fields on their way to landing on the road.The second image is my favorite and includes a buggy load of locals who rode up to watch the spectacle and the second deflated balloon is barely visible on the right in that image.The third shot includes some Amish volunteers who stepped forward to help fold the balloons up. A young man who was a tourist came over to me in utter shock to tell me the balloons were actually sitting right on the road,and I said relax,you see stuff like that in the country all the time.I was surprised they waved this truck to come through while they were getting ready to deflate.
I photographed this snow-covered scene yesterday on a back road in Amish country and it includes numerous buggies and a few walkers as they head to church at one of the farms up the road. There is actually four buggies rounding the bend but they are hard to see in the distance. I really liked the youngster bundled in the green blanket and his sister wearing the bright yellow scarf. It was 16 degrees when I snapped this image,which was made possible by using my camranger from inside my warm truck to fire the tripod mounted camera on my vehicle roof. I had no intention of going out at sunrise because freezing rain was forecast,but as I looked out my bedroom at 5am,I could see stars,so I headed out.Clouds quickly moved in to ruin sunrise and this was shot at iso 1000,which I hate to do,but it was necessary to get a 500th second shutter speed. Was really pleased I Made the effort.
This small roadside stand is packed with a variety of items for decorating the home. From colorful mums, to gourds and pumpkins. to corn shocks, and even hay bales,there is something for every decor. My current favorite is the cinderella variety perched on the hay bales. Sitting in the lower left corner are apples and pears that have the most appealing scent.
This image was taken at the same location as yesterdays harvest shot. I noticed the family heading toward me on a crisp autumn day, so I leaned against a telephone pole,pre-focused the camera and snapped a frame as they passed. They were laughing and talking as the made their way up the road,and if you can believe it,not one person was talking,texting or otherwise wasting their precious time on the latest gadget designed to drain our wallets and minds.
I passed this display on my travels and just had to return and shoot it. This is the result of many pops of my flash,and several ambient exposures. The main ball on the carriage is covered in plastic, which at first kind of made me wish it was off,but after dusk,the plastic helped with the glowing effect,so it all worked out. The owner told me this setup cost $17,000, and they are going to do tourist rides and weddings, using a real horse of course. It supposedly was in a popular TV series based in New York City. I am sure many cinderella’s will be drawn to take a ride.
This farm and fence shot proves that a mediocre scene can become a winner with the right light. I have driven past this spot dozens of times and never gave it a thought before,but late evening sidelight and a dark sky behind the barn made me pull over on this occasion. I liked the leading line of the fence but hated the empty road,so I decided to sit till dark if necessary to get a buggy or something interesting passing by. Well I sat and sat,and thought you got to be kidding me that no buggies are out tonight,and an hour in this lone buggy came trotting by just as the youngster was coming to feed the horses. He looked so serious,I thought he was going to say get lost,but he merely fed the mother and colt.
One thing I remember about this evening was the group of Amish kids at the farm behind me who were watching me from behind the raspberry bushes and when I would turn they would duck,as if I had no clue they were there.Finally one got brave enough to move closer and smile and wave.They are always intrigued by the camera on the tripod and must have wondered what this idiot saw that was worth waiting so long for.It was the only shot I got that night but was well worth the drive in my opinion.
I wanted to share this image from last night because it struck me as the ultimate contrast in lifestyles. What you are seeing is an Amish family welcoming a child from the fresh air program to Lancaster county. As they made their way to their transportation home,which was the horse and buggy,I could only image the thoughts going through her mind. A young girl, used to the hustle and bustle of New York City,was now boarding a buggy to experience life in the slow lane.I assume she was a return guest because she did not bat an eye as she climbed aboard for her ride to her home away from home.Oh the stories she will tell when she gets home.
Some followers have mentioned they like hearing the stories behind my images,so I will share a slightly long story if you care to read. This Amish farm recently had a new roof put on and a red one at that,which immediately caught my eye. I decided to head out on a sunday morning and compose a shot that might include Amish buggies passing by,and this image is the result of waiting for the right moment with several buggies on the road. Tripod is on my truck roof and I am inside the truck with my laptop controlling the camera.
The memorable part of this day began with the actual Amish man who owns the farm stopping at my window as he drove by in his buggy,and asking whats up? I told him I was shooting the nice barn and left out the part about the buggies,and off he went. Three hours later I was down the road shooting buggies passing and much to my surprise,he pulls up to my window again and says,now seriously whats up? I quickly came up with a viable possibility and He says he was wondering if I was filming for the Amish Mafia TV series? This absolutely stunned me that he even knew such a show existed,but I assured him I hated the show and we talked a little while longer and off he went. I made him a 12×18 print of his farm and matted it for him and he was very happy with the gift.
One thing that puzzles me is about fifty percent of the horses that see my rooftop tripod have a slightly scared look as they see it, and one Amish guy told me horses don’t like things higher than their head. Why does my tripod appear any different to them than trees,telephone poles,etc? It is not moving at all and should be of no concern. Amazingly enough in the days since I composed this post, I witnessed a horse at a railroad crossing who seemed terrified of the crossing sign support and took several cracks of the whip till he moved passed them,which seems to confirm this hypothesis.
This Lancaster county scene is one that is repeated each sunday morning as buggies head to church at rotating farms.Shots like this always involve a little bit of luck and I was pretty excited to see an open buggy heading up the hill and was very focused on capturing it at the right point in the frame,but when the other one came from behind,I was really excited. If you look closely there is one coming out the lane and one on the far hill. The one in the lane stopped and asked what I was shooting and I said the nice farm down there,which brought a slight smile. Every once in a while I run into a passing motorist who stops and wants to question me about what I am shooting and that happened this morning. A large van pulled up beside me,asked what I was shooting and when I said the farm down there,they said did you get permission? I then asked if he was with the photography police?,to which he rolled up his window and drove away. The buggy heading down the hill was the one and only headed that direction,and that is one thing that is very hard to figure out. Everybody and their brother is heading north and this lone guy heads south?
The rumored Amish Mafia might have been caught on camera by me as they prepared to launch a sneak attack on an unsuspecting tourist buggy. Tourists love to take these buggy rides through the countryside here, and I can’t blame them,but now that discovery channel has the show Amish mafia, folks are worried they might run into this gang of outlaws. Here they have what I can only guess is some sort of explosive device,and I believe they are trying to get close enough to take out a dozen tourists at once. If you read the above info and are stupid enough to believe any of it, please watch Amish Mafia for your fill of the most idiotic program on TV. Oh,by the way,they are really headed for a propane refill but if you live in a fantasy world and insist on believing there really is such a thing as an Amish mafia,that’s your choice.