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.
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.
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.
Another ice sculpture from the Lititz fire and ice festival this past weekend. This particular one was located in front of the post office and despite my complaining over the brutal temperatures,the upside was there was no one else out to get in my way while I did the photo. Brutal cold just makes the whole process more complicated,from batteries that die too quickly to tripods that are harder to operate to fingers that hurt so bad you almost want to scream,but you push on because you love the experience. I guarantee every time I see this image, I will instantly remember the whole experience including the bitter cold.
Last night a light snow moved into the area and since the small town of Lititz,Pa was holding its annual fire and ice festival this weekend I decided to brave the elements and get a few shots. I woke at 5 am today,went back to bed and laid there pondering the choice of staying nice and cozy in bed or going out into 2 degree weather with thirty mile an hour winds that made it feel a wonderful minus 18 degrees. Well I finally mustered the enthusiasm to get bundled up and head out and this shot of old man winter blowing his air was very apropos for the day. I lit this with flash and intentionally did a shot to cast the shadow onto the snow for added interest. Ice is very tricky to light and getting the right angle takes a little work to reveal the carving details.
I shot for about twenty minutes till my two batteries were drained, and then I sat in my truck with the heater warming them up to bring them back to life for a few more shots. I bounce back and forth between really enjoying mother natures intense weather and asking myself what possesses me to go out in weather like this? Inevitably I must take a glove off to change camera settings and today that was a really numbing experience after about a minute of the glove off. The upside was there was only three other brave souls that I encountered taking photos of these things and they all had cell phones. The guys who carve these do a great job using a variety of tools from chain saws to grinders to blow torches and the event is always packed with visitors from near and far.