Another deserted street sits eerily quiet during the Covid 19 crisis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This home is another gem from the town of Lititz,Pa. It shows what real architectural style can look like and what is lacking in todays cookie cutter home construction.The wrap around porch is amazing, the dome is super sweet as is the peak on the left. Seeing the reflection in the wet road made me stop to get this shot on Christmas eve as I headed home from a family get together.
With Santa looking over his shoulder,snoopy is on his best behavior in this Lititz, Pa window.This particular store called The Main Street Peddler has always been one of my favorites.The large panes,and quaint design afford a good view of the display and the lantern hanging above the door is a finishing touch.
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.
This image of the Bulls Head Tavern in Lititz ,Pa reminds me of paintings I have seen of Paris that show street scenes bathed in luscious light reflecting the warmth within on the rain-soaked streets. Painterly is the word that comes to mind and the contrast was pretty extreme so it’s a minor miracle I got something decent. Would have been better when the daylight was fading but thankfully it was still pouring and the reflections were great,even though I had to stay under my umbrella to shoot it. The bonus element in the scene that I like is the original 1963 london cab which one of the owners parks out front on many nights.
This Christmas window is located at a restaurant called Tomato Pie in the town of Lititz,Pa. It was pouring the night I shot this,and the main reasons I chose this view was the fact I wanted to stay dry and the overhang provided cover. Notice the many different tomatoes scattered throughout the display. This shot required some compromise because if I raised the tripod,I would get car lights reflected in the glass and the building in the distance would get cut off, and I would have preferred to be more parallel but the rest of the scene would have suffered. This would have been a good night to have a warm cup of soup and a sandwich while you watch the dedicated photographer working outside.
This is another one of my Dreamy Christmas window photos from the town of Lititz,Pa. My title refers to the fact that this shop is new to the downtown area and has a wonderful selection of home decor and holiday items,and they offer a full compliment of interior design services.The owner graciously helped me out by adding the small tree and wreath as accents to my window shop image.This image required me to use a polarizer to help remove the reflections of passing cars in the window glass and I also used a piece of foam to block reflections that were impeding the view of the gorgeous stars in the corner.This building once housed a great camera store that I frequented many moons ago,and the new owners have given it a lovely new coat of paint and made a very inviting place for shoppers to frequent.
Residents in the small town of Lititz,Pa have many unique traditions that make the community special and one that I find particularly beautiful is the Lititz Moravian Church’s Annual poinsettia tree that is set up on thanksgiving weekend in preparation for the first Sunday of advent. The tree features one hundred poinsettias given in honor or remembrance of someone and stands approximately twelve feet high. The beautiful tree is only up a short period because it cannot be watered in the sanctuary.
I remembered this is the time of year the tree is assembled so I headed over to see if there was any chance I could have access to taking a photo and I was pleasantly surprised by the gracious reception shown by the Pastor to my request. I essentially was given full access to do something for an hour and these two shots are what I accomplished. The well-known Moravian star is hanging at the front but was real tough to incorporate in my composition and was unlit at the time,so I never thought about including it till I decided to light it with my spotlight,but by then I was locked into my composition. The entire sanctuary was dark for my shots and I wished the lights could have been turned on but I forgot to ask about that,so I made due with my spotlight to do everything you see here.Even the lantern in the top photo on the upper left was lit using my spotlight ,and I think it looks like a real candle in there.I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to capture something so beautiful. Maybe someday those who view this image will get the chance to see this display in person.
Well it’s that time of year when I like to check out and photograph the unique shop windows in the quaint town of Lititz,Pa. This year the first one to catch my eye was the newly opened fiber arts destination with the catchy name of Ewebiquitous. I usually like to shoot horizontals but this one worked out in a vertical and features the exterior decorated window box and the sheep dressed in knitted Christmas stockings looking out the window. The owner had closed the shop for the day but graciously allowed me to come inside to light the yarn with some flash to highlight the colors.
This set of images were taken in the small town of Lititz,Pa in the area known as the Moravian Church Square. It is a gorgeous section of town that includes numerous old buildings and is right along the main street. This year I spotted a dazzling yellow Ginko tree on a friday night and took a shot or two before it got dark.I called a friend to tell him he might want to check it out,and he did just that on the next day.I called him to ask if he got anything and he said all of the leaves were off,to which I laughed and said there is no way all the leaves fell off overnight. He insisted it was true so on Sunday morning I headed over at sunrise to see,and lo and behold he was telling the truth. I was busy getting more photos in the pre-dawn light when the caretaker strolled by and said he was lighting the church and hoped that would not be a problem,to which I said go for it. The added illumination inside took the stunning scene to a whole other level in my opinion,and I was very thankful not only for the beauty before me but the ability to appreciate it and capture it. I joked with the care taker about the leaves not being cleaned up because he is a very efficient worker and keeps the property well maintained and he said the parishioners love to walk down the golden path as they arrive for Sunday worship so he leaves them lay an extra day.
This foggy evening found me in the quaint town of Lititz,Pa doing a photo shoot for a friend at Wilbur Chocolate and when I came outside to leave I was struck by the serenity of the neighboring park with its lamp posts glowing in the fog. I spent almost two hours roaming the park in the quiet of the night taking photos and saying hello to the occasional person walking through this mysterious setting. Lititz,Pa has a certain intangible quality that draws you in and makes you feel like you are in another time. A lucky break happened this night because the local high school band was practicing in the field in the distance and they had large portable floodlights which added the blue effect in the distance that contrasted with the warm lamp-post lights.
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.
Fourth of July found me sleeping in until my friend Morrie called to tell me about a wonderful display of flags in the town of Lititz. I quickly got dressed and headed there and was very impressed with the patriotic display that I found at the Moravian church in town.As I was snapping a few photos,the caretaker stopped to make sure the flags were not laying over and straighten those that needed attention,and he told me there were actually 1,776 flags meticulously lined up across the lawn.With his efforts and the help of local boy scouts, the scene was certainly worthy of photographing and a thank you to everyone who put forth the effort.When I first got there all I did was complain how breezy it was but after seeing how the flags were stretching out,I quickly was grateful for the breeze. Countless folks were snapping photos of this amazing scene.