Steam Power

rough&tumble-engines2

While this looks like two steam tractors racing,it actually is a competition to back up and hook up to something. This was shot at the rough and tumble reunion in Pennsylvania and the event includes all kinds of powerful machines from the past. You should see the drivers work the steering mechanism on these things,as it’s a real workout.

The Last Airbender

airbender-movieprop

Well I found out a tiny bit more about this machine since yesterdays post. It supposedly is built around a real Tucker SnoCat from years ago,actually moves and was a prop in the movie The Last Airbender. I never saw the movie but my wife claims to have seen it,and yet most of what I find on the net shows an animated movie and she claims it was a regular movie. Anyway it is supposedly a part of the fire nation military in that movie, and if you want to buy it, I can hook you up with the owner who is currently asking $13,000. This image was shot in infrared to add a little extra drama. It would make a cool lawn decoration if you had a huge estate. The owner told me he has more neat stuff of a similar nature if I want to check them out sometime,which I hope will happen.

Lincoln Slept Here

 

_mountian-springs-flowers2-copyThis is the only remaining structure left from the mountain springs resort built in 1848 and the rest was torn down several years ago ,with this part being restored. It sits on a steep hill and the large expanse of coneflowers made an impressive foreground so I made an attempt to capture the scene.The hill falls away fast,which necessitated me placing my tripod at maximum height and using my laptop to gets things lined up correctly. I started shooting about an hour before sunset and held in there till the sky started to light up with an amazing sunset. I almost wished I had gone with a wider shot because the sky was even more dazzling to the left of my composition but I was too locked in at this point. The shadows on the back wall of the porch are from my big flash,which I used to add detail under the roof line and I experimented with different angles till I got the shadow to fall on the wall between the windows,which shows the woodwork detail. Several presidents including Abraham Lincoln stayed in this building,so its kind of neat to capture it today.

 

Thomas in Amish Country

amish-watch-thomas

Thomas the tank engine made another appearance at Lancaster counties Strasburg Railroad recently and I was lucky enough to be driving by on a side road when I noticed this group of Amish boys waiting for the train to come. The entire crew of youngsters had just placed multiple pennies on the tracks as I was getting out of my car,and if you look closely at the boy in the pink shirt,you can see him looking at his penny on the tracks as Thomas approaches. I walked up behind them with my attention looking down the tracks so as to act uninterested and as the train got closer, I got into position to capture them enjoying the passing locomotive.

Its Christmas Time

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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.

Steam Powered Past

 

Machines from the past fascinate me, and these old steam-powered contraptions are no exception. Rough and Tumble located in scenic Lancaster county held their 64th annual threshermans reunion last week, and the event included all kinds of steam,gas and kerosene powered machines. This old steam roller with its massive iron wheels was one of many unique pieces I saw at this event.

 

Synchronized Driving

I photographed this crew this week harvesting what I think is wheat, but I could be way off. They have to work in close proximity to one another and their driving was spot on. This was taken with an 80-400 zoom and I could actually see them in the cab talking on two-way radios,most likely about the guy taking their photo. At one point,there were three tractors lined up to catch the crop, but they never went across the field with more than the two shown here.

Mechanical marvel

Pardon my brevity with today’s post, but I was hammered with two migraines in one day today, which is very rare for me, so as I type this, I pretty much feel like this machine is sitting on my head. Sometimes when the weather changes, These things can hit me for whatever reason. So hopefully I did not post this shot before, and my apologies if I did.

Color vs Black & White

I usually go with one image a day, but I thought Since these two shots are of the same subject, yet look totally different, it might be interesting to see color vs black and white, First, let me say the color shot actually makes no sense to the trained eye of a machinist, but to a layman like myself, it looked perfect. The set of bits on the right were sitting a short distance from this machine, so I decided they must be used on that machine and I proceeded to place them there. I was pretty far into the shot when the owner walked by, and told me they have no relation to each other, but I was already committed at that point. The black and white was the first image I shot using old oil cans, but for some reason it did not work in color, so I abandoned the cans for the bits. Either way, I like both shots almost equally,but I really like the textures in the black and white.

The Turret Lathe

This is another machine shop undertaking, and once again the layers of color and texture drew me to photograph it. The best I could make out was that it is a turret lathe, but don’t hold me to that. I checked in the folder I save my files in and I ┬áhad shot eleven separate files to light this as shown. Many times I will shoot triple that amount so I don’t miss any piece of the puzzle. As I have mentioned before, a sturdy tripod, a basic laptop and a few flashlights are all you need.

Working Late Tonight

Todays image is one of several from my shoot at the machine shop yesterday. This place has so much history and character in every nook and cranny, that I become overwhelmed at times trying to decide which subject to shoot. I chose what I believe to be a drill press for a shot at dusk because it was positioned right at the windows where the sunset colored the evening sky outside. The patina of oil,dirt,metal shavings and everything else provided the perfect canvas to light paint. Lee who owns the shop graciously allowed myself and a friend several hours of uninterrupted shooting, which was really appreciated. I picked the title because we started shooting around 4pm and finished at 9pm, and a worker from the day shift was still running a mill in the back room to catch up on several jobs for clients as we were heading home to bed. You couldn’t ask for a more accommodating crew than the guys who help us shoot there.

The Invincible Machine.

Nothing is really invincible, but this machine found in an old mill seems to be very well-built and has the name invincible on its front. A sticker on the beam says invincible cleaners, but I have no clue what it did in the mill operation. Evening light was pouring in the windows while I was lighting the gears and barrel, so we have a cold verses warm effect.This was shot in the same place as yesterdays post, and thanks to no heat inside, temperatures were near freezing, which was actually colder than it was outside. Perhaps that comes from the stream that runs under a portion of the building.

All Fired up

 

Actually I get fired up when thinking about potential subjects that I want to shoot, and the fire extinguishers are something I have seen for several years. I finally asked permission to shoot them,and even though I enjoyed trying, to be honest,I was planning to do better than this. The pile seems to have grown higher than I remember with newer models tossed on top, and even though I was hoping for lots of rust, flaking paint and so on, I gave it a go anyway. As I was standing there waiting for darkness, I noticed this rusty old farm implement behind the building and the owner said I could give that a whirl too, so I rushed around trying to see some sort of composition in near darkness. The resulting photos are not my greatest works to date, but not every shot is going to be a winner every time. Still I had fun lighting the stuff and practicing my techniques. I got a brief glimpse inside the place I took these, and it appears they have some really interesting old machine shop items that have lovely curves and angles to try light painting on. I am hopeful that the owner may allow me to try something on one of these old classic machines sometime.Thanks to Mr Martin for letting me try these shots.