History Awaits

cloister-clinging-snow

This image taken at dusk features the historic Ephrata Cloister. It is a National Historic Landmark and looks even more special in a fresh blanket of white. Snow came fast and hard during the day,but clearing skies in the evening provided a perfect backdrop.

 

A Christmas Memory

sleigh orig

This winter scene came to be thanks to the generosity of the homeowner, the sleigh owner, and my crazy desire to live in the past. The red sleigh was loaned to me by a kind lady who I have done photos for,and the property was made available for my idea by a generous gentleman who entertains my wild photo ideas. The two photos represent my vision for the shot,with the top being the final shot and the bottom was my pre-planning stage to decide where to place it.

This property is an ideal backdrop for the sleigh and the building on the left was actually hand-built by the owner and his son several years ago. I put a light on a stand in that building to shine light out the window across the snow toward the sleigh and lit everything else with flash. From the light illuminating the sleigh to the shadows on the roof from the pine tree,I had to light every element. The old lantern was provided by the property owner as well,and the fancy gift packages and decoration on the sleigh was courtesy of my wife.

The tricky part in doing something like this is knowing exactly where you are going to place the sleigh,and if you look closely at the bottom shot you can see two yellow stakes at the runners leading edge,which were my target spots on the snowy night. I placed a stick in the ground to mark my shooting location and had to walk very slowly as I pulled the package laden sleigh into position.One of the annoying things I had to deal with on this night was the fact that it was still snowing as I started to get the sleigh off the trailer,so I had to keep a tarp over it and try and set packages in place on the sleigh with a tarp on top of it. Thank goodness the snow stopped just in time to let me finalize everything or else I would have had to scrap the shoot. I will definitely remember this night and the fun I had doing this shot.

Unlock your Imagination

I chose the title of todays post after my wife and I went out to eat on friday. The restaurant walls had several quotes stenciled on them, and one by Albert Einstein caught my attention. The full quote reads like this, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my own imagination.Imagination is more important than knowledge.Knowledge is limited.Imagination encircles the world”. As an artist, I am constantly looking for inspiration all around me, whether its music, photographs, art, ¬†or in this case an inspirational idea, one can enhance their own artistic expression by unleashing their imagination.

Whenever I read a quote like this, I think to myself, I sure wish I could say something so profound, yet so simple, but you can’t have it all I guess. On the topic of creativity, I have always been intrigued by how some people are seemingly born with the gift of creativity, others seem to learn it along the way, and others do not have an artistic bone in their body. Personally I don’t like to even say I am artistically blessed, because I am a small blip in the creative world, but I do feel I have been given a gift from God to capture the beauty around me. I know this because every time I see a gorgeous sunset or scene, I can feel something inside me stir, and am so grateful to have that feeling.

My image today features old locks and was made possible by the Burkholder family who have an antique business. They allowed me into their home to do two shots I had envisioned in my mind. One of the two images was this old group of keys and locks, and I wanted to photograph them in a way to accent their aged quality. I decided to use some old barn wood I had, and put some old lanterns in there as well. I light painted the scene to bring out the textures and shapes, and to make the lanterns glow,I held a lit match near the wick to simulate the glow, simply because these old antiques could not be fired up. The door in the photo is from an old prison and provided the background to complement my shot.

So in conclusion, I wholeheartedly believe that imagination is more important than knowledge, and I encourage anyone that follows my blog to imagine the possibilities you have each day to photograph what you love, and do it in a way that pushes your photos to the next level, and as you do so, may you find great satisfaction in producing something you are proud to put your name to.