This is another image that I shot this year as Christmas was rapidly approaching. It was absolutely pouring this cold and raw evening, yet I did my best to suck it up and get the shot. I thought this might make a nice shot but until I got parked, I was a block away so I carried only what I felt was necessary. That included my camera, tripod, tablet, umbrella, flash. Not included was an umbrella for me, gloves, because it would be ten minutes at most, or my rain jacket. I start setting up and I am delighted the two parking spaces straight in front are clear. So I get my tripod set, umbrella attached to tripod, I mount the camera and start my tablet up and out of the corner of my eye I see a car pull in to the left spot to which I thought “well no stores or restaurants are open so this will be short. I shot a few exposures every few minutes as it got darker and before you know it I was approaching the one hour mark waiting on this car to leave. My hat, the hood over the hat, my jeans and who knows what else were soaked and my hands were starting to really ache. Not too long before I was calling it a night, this dude comes back to the car and 30 seconds later I was heading to my car.
I don’t know when its considered frostbite, but I turned my heat on to warm up and my hands were aching so bad as they slowly warmed up. I remember hearing how intensely painful extreme frostbite is. To think a block away I several sets of gloves sitting ready and I could not move and risk my tripod walking away.
Another shop window all decked out in seasonal decor in downtown Lititz, Pa. A week after I shot this, the shops all got Christmas trees with lights placed at their entrances which would have jazzed this up.
I photographed this local scene tonight and until I was finished, I was drenched. A constant downpour all day made things a little difficult and I was too busy trying to light this, to worry about an umbrella! Camera had an umbrella, but not the guy in charge. This is downtown and you would not believe how frequently cars were occupying the space between the tree and lamp post. It was an exercise in frustration because I would shoot a few shots, then a car would park smack dab in the middle for a few minutes, then leave and quickly be replaced by yet another car. Would be nice if the inside were lit up but you cant have it all.
I visited a long time friend this past week who lives in Manheim,PA and when I drove through the town square I was struck by how charming it was so I decided I needed to come back and try and get a shot before everything got taken down. The bottom image was my first attempt and was taken the next evening after my visit and to be honest I thought this would be it. That all changed when I was heading out and looked back to see the top image in my rear view mirror. I knew it was supposed to continue raining all night and through the morning so I set the alarm for 5:30 am and headed over hoping that morning traffic would not make it impossible to get the shot. If you look at the top image, you can imagine what having one car parked in the foreground would do to the shot. All the reflections in the wet street would be blocked, so when I saw it was clear I quickly got set up and started shooting so I would have something at least. To my surprise no one parked in front and before long the black sky started to brighten as daybreak inched closer and the shot I envisioned came to life. I hate pitch black skies and if I had shot in the dark, you would not even see the trees that stand out against the blue sky. For the bottom image I used a polarizer to cut glare on the wet brick and because of that the reflection of the tree really popped against the backlit brick. Maybe next year I can get lucky and have a snowy version of the square. Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Continue reading →
I have been fairly active shooting scenes relating to Christmas in the town of Lititz, Pa but not as on the ball posting them, but hopefully this will be the start of sharing new images. This shot features the window of the Atlas general store which has a cool display of what appears to be rolled paper made into trees.
This store called Olio and is one of the largest olive oil stores in the country and is right in downtown Lititz,Pa. This is their store window this year all decorated for Christmas. Not easy lighting this when the window is four feet away from the sleigh.
I will be sharing my images from the town of Lititz,Pa over the next week or two and they are all done using flash and light painting techniques. I go for a somewhat nostalgic feel and my hallmark effect is the cool versus the warm. This shot features a yarn shop that had a sheep in the window and a tree with knitted hats and scarves.
This is the second image I shot at the mansion tree event. I originally was not really interested in shooting this room,but I decided to see what I could do and am rather happy how it turned out. A good place to snuggle up on a cold winter night while you dream of hunting.
Well it is the time of year I simply love taking photos of all things Christmas related, and the coming weeks will feature scenes from a holiday tree event as well as scenes from Lititz ,Pa and shop windows there. This is the first shot featuring two bears riding in a very nice miniature sleigh as they head through some deep snow at the mansion tree event.
I went to an event last friday evening thinking I was going to get to photograph the most stunning Russian sleigh I have ever seen, but it turned out they put it inside to protect it,which makes sense,so a shot was not possible. Anyway,I left there kind of dejected about it and on the way home I passed this little scene and decided to do a shot here. Well I knocked and asked if they minded and they were fine with it,so I asked them to turn on some interior lights and they obliged. After getting so far with it,I wished the church lights were on,and so I knocked again and it turns out it was the youth pastor living here and he offered to make my wish come true. The only thing he could not do was get the large stained glass window lit,so in frustration I shined my bright flashlight on it and amazingly got it to show its color. I would not have guessed it would work but thank goodness I tried.
This is another wonderfully decorated room in the home of the flower shop owner featured in my post of December 17th. This room was full of tasty treats during the get together and the live rose arrangement on the table was what initially caught my eye. I was allowed to come back a day later when the food was removed and captured what I consider to be a very elegant setting. The use of picture frames,mirrors and various design elements form a cohesive layout that appeals to the eye. This is the result of dozens of flash exposures,both inside and outside and I even flashed the hanging lamp from the top,so you could see the design cut in the tin. Such a cozy setting is certainly a home for the holidays.
This image of a store display in the small town of Lititz Pa is just one more challenge I set for myself taking photos. I love the various scenes you see around Christmas time in this town and window decorating contests keep shop owners busy at this time of year. The challenge was to capture something half decent,while having to do everything from the sidewalk outside and while the store was closed and dark. Reflections everywhere on the glass from street lamps,traffic and other businesses was my first challenge and trying to light things was my second challenge.
The clocks were lit by flash at various angles through the windows,all the while blocking reflections bouncing toward the camera. A wide-angle used up close allowed me to compose the shot and achieve some balance and allowed me to see several clocks in the store.This was shot at five thirty in the morning so I had time to experiment without bothering anyone.The one thing I wish were different is the dark area in the bottom middle. There were various items piled on the table,which did not look good lit,so I left them in shadow.
This is yet another display from the historic mansion Christmas event. This display was created by a local bakery and the tree is adorned in fresh gingerbread ornaments that include snowflakes,trees and ginger bread men. There appeared to be other food items on the tree but I was not exactly sure what everything was.The left window sill features gingerbread houses and various other items round out the composition.The first exposure was done capturing the exterior light and then everything was lit by a hand-held deer spotlight in a very dark room. When you do this technique,you must be careful not to kick or bump anything as you light things or you get registration problems.
This was the only shot I did this year alone in the mansion,which can be a little spooky in the dark as you hear every sound in the old structure. Thankfully the strong smell of gingerbread filled the room and kept my mind from being distracted by noises. If only I would have had a big glass of milk,I might have been able to sample the bakery delights.
This is another Christmas display in one of the rooms at the old mansion I mentioned the other day. This display was done by the folks from the Hans Herr House,which is the oldest homestead in Lancaster County and is a registered historic landmark. It is a more natural setting,with no lights on the tree,and basic food related items that harken back to a simpler time. I lit the entire scene with a small hand-held flash with a snoot to direct the light in very small areas. The figure is very life-like kneeling at the tree and helps balance out the composition.
Well obviously Christmas is past, but since I love all things related to Christmas, I asked permission to shoot the Christmas display at a local shop tonight. That shop, called Sheldon’s Gallery and Frame Shop, features fine art and a variety of wonderful gifts throughout the year, and the owner was gracious enough to grant me access to shoot what I consider a lovely scene. The bottom image was taken of the exterior of the neighboring building and the gallery a year or two ago, and is also quite impressive architecturally speaking. I remember the evening quite well as a snow emergency was declared, yet I decided I was going out shooting anyway. The town was absolutely silent in a blanket of white as I happily took in the still of a winter’s night.