Exploding Umbrella


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.

A Cold Sunday Walk


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.

Honest Days Work


This Amish family is hard at work on a warm september day harvesting their corn crop. One wagon moves along to catch the freshly cut stalks until it is full, and the next empty wagon is heading up the field to take its place when needed. This year has been a banner year for corn and fields will be a buzz with activity in the coming weeks.

Seasonal Sign

amish-fall-corn-cuttingThis is one time of the year I find very enjoyable for a variety of reasons. First,you can feel a change in the air and you know fall color is getting closer and the cold winds of the north will soon be bringing snow. It’s also a time to reflect on the summer gone by and watch local farmers harvesting their crops in the fields. As I have mentioned in the past,I like to find images of harvesting in which the workers are shown against a backdrop of farms to help tell a complete story. It’s a lot harder to find these scenarios but worth the effort in my opinion. Shown are Amish farmers cutting field corn to feed their cows over winter.

The Stroke Of Midnight


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.

Saddle up your Horse

amish-kids-harnessAnother day of driving around found youngsters out of school and having fun on the farm. I guess the scooter driver is trying to race the horse on the reigns. I like the way they are really in sync as they charge ahead. Hopefully the suspenders will not break or the horse might get a snap on the back.

An Autumn Postcard

This is another classic fall scene from the heart of Amish country featuring farmers hard at work bringing in the corn harvest. Pleasant temperatures and a mild breeze made for the perfect day to be out in the fields. A full complement of farms and silos provide the perfect backdrop to the men at work in the foreground.

Your Dream Ride Awaits

Fall is the time when the annual street fair comes to town and this carousel was calling to me to do a little light painting. Both myself and my good friend headed out before sunrise to do some shooting at the empty fair and I settled on this particular horse with its cool color scheme as my subject. The first glitch I ran into was the street lights were pretty bright,so my longest exposure was around 8 seconds,which limited my flashlights ability to be the strongest light source. I went to plan b,which utilized flash with a snoot attached and that puts the light beam in a very narrow area across the subject. The flash was attached to an extendable pole to allow positioning it wherever I needed without standing on the carousel and having it move . This shot is the result of maybe 30 flashes throughout the scene,including the ice cream stand on the left. Carousels seems to have a magical quality that captivates the imagination and transports you to another world.

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.

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.

Family portrait

These four horses were very inquisitive as I leaned against the fence post to take their photo. At first they showed little interest, but after I stomped my foot a few times and gave my best horse imitation, they suddenly lined up to see what the commotion was all about. I am not up on horse behavior, but I have seen them stomp the ground as some sort of sign in the past, so I tried it out myself.

Power and Grace

Another shot from the pasture the other day. It was interesting to watch the horses interact with one another. There was a good bit of running, some hoof stomping and even a few powerful kicks to set anyone straight who might not know who the leader was. This black horse had an air of power and grace that set him apart from the others.