Silent Beauty

A normal bustling street is now devoid of people, an eerie calm surrounds you as you feel like the last person on earth. Similar scenes are playing out across the globe as we all deal with the coronavirus threat. The flowering trees with their heavenly scent take your mind off the fear swirling in your head for just a moment, then in the distance you hear someone sneeze and you make a bee line to your car and hit the gas to get out of town.

Fire and Ice festival

This is the only shot I did this year during the Fire and Ice festival held in Lititz, Pa.  My enthusiasm to go out shooting has been very subdued the last six months due to my medicine but on the upside the negative thoughts I was being bombarded with on a daily basis have become pretty quiet and I have been more social in general. So while I still do enjoy shooting, my creativity seems to get dialed down as well and while I wish I could post photos more often here, It can be a struggle to get motivated to go out, so my apologies for the infrequent shooting right now.

Lititz Christmas Window1

 

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.

Rainy Night Solitude

This is the old train station in Lititz, Pa which now serves as a visitors center. The large building in the back is the former Wilbur chocolate plant that closed and has been renovated into a very beautiful Restaurant, Hotel, select market shops and more. Little by little more rooms are lighting up as the project advances. This was a few days ago and I shot this in the middle of a steady blowing rain storm that was a real challenge to work in. One detail I like is the shadow that was cast toward the camera when I backlit the town clock. Because of the rain, I had very few people going into the park which made it nice to shoot.

Springs and Fall

I took this image in the Lititz Springs park and I am not exactly sure if this is the main spring or an area that holds the water from the springs, but you could see it flowing up from a few places in the area. This was taken with my 17-35 zoom at almost its widest view and I am backed up to a wall that goes around the springs from the steps on each side. This was taken on a night that was supposed to have bad storms and winds were maybe 20mph but it stayed dry while I shot. Thankfully the leaves surrounding the water were sheltered by the wall but out past the wall they were being blown all over the place. The green in the water was algae on rocks and I was surprised how well it showed up.

Nights like this are great for having the place all to yourself but I did have a crazy situation arise that  was a little sketchy. At one point across the park I could hear some teen girl swearing and it was about two or three minutes later I notice two black males around 17 to 20 years old sprinting from one end of the park to the other? It was getting much darker than my photo appears and I was taking all this activity in from the shadows wondering what was up?  All of a sudden they see me standing in this area and come running full speed till they are literally three feet in front of me. The one guy immediately starts demanding to know if I just slapped his baby girl?  I told them how long I had been there photographing and they said “some white dude just walked up and slapped his baby girl across the face” and the one was itching to whoop somebody and his most memorable comment to me was ” I believe I am about to get out of my character if I catch this dude”  They kept asking me if I saw anybody run my direction, and I said no, but the funny thing is, I did have one shot in my series that actually had a guy in it that looked similar to what they described.

Bundle Up

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.

Holiday Decor

This is one of my favorite times of the year for photographing, and the small town of Lititz,Pa is one of my favorite places to shoot Christmas decorations. This image was taken last night and features a funeral home shimmering in festive Christmas decor. This town is very quaint and often times music can be heard echoing through the streets on a winter night. Periodically I will go into the local pizza place and get my order to go so I can sit outside along the main street and take in all the ambiance while I eat, even when its 30 degrees.

All Decked Out

The fourth of July is a time to reflect,as well as a time to enjoy with family and friends, and one local town near me does its best to celebrate in grand fashion.That town is Lititz,Pa and it seems everyone gets into the patriotic spirit in town as the old red,white and blue proudly waves all over town. Most photos shown are from the Moravian church that has made a tradition of placing thousands of flags across the grounds in neatly lined rows,and the rest include a funeral home done very tastefully and a flag lined main thoroughfare.

The Sutter

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Having the technical ability to capture lovely scenes such as this, is only part of what is needed to get the job done. Without cooperative owners,I never would be able to spread my artistic wings and pull a shot like this off. This is the lobby at the General Sutter in downtown Lititz ,Pa,and I was allowed to come in to try this shot.The restaurant was closed but the lobby was active so I set my tripod up in a spot somewhat out-of-the-way and crossed my fingers no one would bump my tripod or move any of the furniture. Halfway through the shoot,a gentleman sat down on the couch and said he wanted to watch me work, but after telling him he was in the shot,he high tailed it. Special thanks to owner Paul and his staff for helping me get this shot.

Air show Sunset

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Our local airport hosted community days this past weekend and there were a variety of aircraft on display.Thanks to the generosity of staff there,I was allowed access after closing to light paint several planes. I believe This plane is a Stinson Reliant v-77 Gullwing and was the last plane I was able to shoot at sunset.There was a lot of vendor junk in the background so I had to crop tighter than I would like to eliminate those items.

A Warm Seat Awaits

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Actually a warm seat awaits across the street at the Tomato Pie Cafe in downtown Lititz ,Pa. I photographed this ice sculpture yesterday and thanks to a stretch of bitter weather, it is still hanging around from last weekends fire and ice festival. The cafe recently added sunday hours and judging by all the footprints in the snow,it seems half the town was headed there. I light painted the scene to add some texture to the snow on an otherwise overcast and flat light morning. I would have preferred fresh untouched snow but folks must have been out and about saturday night leaving all the tracks so it works for a cool shot. This was the first day temperatures climbed to the freezing mark and seemed downright balmy while I shot this.

The Snow is Flying

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This mama bear and her two cubs are pretty cozy in the window at the Teddy Bear Emporium in downtown lititz. This image was a little challenging because I lit each snowflake individually and they were moving inside the closed store,so they were always bumping into the ones next to them causing problems while I was shooting.

All is Calm

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All was calm on this rainy night in Lititz ,PA as I looked for subjects reflecting in the glistening wet road. These old homes along the main street looked inviting with their christmas trees and lovely door decor. This town is such a neat place to walk at night and soak in the ambiance of a close-knit community.

Olaf and Sven

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Meet Olaf and Sven, a pair of edible characters straight from the movie frozen and made by self-taught candy aficionado Kathy Blankenbiller of Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, Pa.  Kathy uses her expertise to create amazing chocolate creations each year for the towns chocolate walk and this was her project this year. Sven stands almost four feet high and it took three men to help deliver him to this display.Both characters incorporate Rice Krispie treats,chocolate and candy clay.She began work on them in august and continued till octobers chocolate walk.This was photographed at Wilbur Chocolate and includes some chocolate making items in the background on the left.

 

The Chocolatiers Imagination

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Lititz Pa earned the distinct honor of being named Americas Coolest Small Town this year, and there are a variety of reasons for this accolade. From the small town charm, to the businesses that are an integral part of the community, to the residents that take pride in their town, lititz is one unique place that beckons visitors to return over and over.One of the attractions that draws visitors to Lititz is Wilbur Chocolate,which is famous for Wilbur Buds as well as countless other confectionary delights. The amazing display shown above is thanks to the creative genius of Chocolatier Kathy Blankenbiller of Wilbur Chocolate. Kathy spent countless hours making this masterpiece of nursery rhyme characters for the annual Lititz Chocolate Walk held on Columbus day weekend. It is currently on display in the Wilbur chocolate store,and is showcased against a backdrop of antique chocolate making items.

Kathy says the entire thing is edible and includes modeling chocolate,royal icing,licorice,Rice Krispie treats and more,and depicts at least 13 nursery rhymes plus a few jokes thrown in.I saw the dazzling display when visiting the store and inquired if I might record the masterpiece and the fine folks at Wilbur were very accommodating in allowing me to undertake this project.I cant wait to see what next years creation might be,but you can bet with attention to detail like this piece exhibits,it will be inspiring.

Merry Christmas

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This nativity is located on the square in the town of Lititz,PA, and a few years ago someone complained and the ACLU got involved trying to ban the display. Thankfully the land is owned by the Church and the ACLU and its misguided agenda were sent packing. Wishing all my loyal blog followers a Merry Christmas.

An Autumn Walk

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This image was taken this past weekend across the street from the Halloween home I posted yesterday, and after the three lamp posts came on,I decided to scoot across the street and get a quick shot. Between the lights,leaves and lovely homes,I could not resist capturing it. Again this was taken in Americas coolest small town,which is Lititz,pa.