Sidewalk Stroll

This is another shot of the Alden house in downtown Lititz, Pa. The star is one of many the boro used to use on their telephone poles at Christmas. There were retired and offered to the public and this one still proudly shines in all its glory on a side porch while Edison bulbs shimmer overhead.

Christmas Window1

I found a little time to capture some of the festive holiday windows in downtown Lititz, Pa and I will be sharing them through the end of the year. The first images feature Zest, a local shop that specializes in premium herbs and spices, as well as kitchen related home goods. They are one of several stores I can count on year to year to deliver a great window. I spoke briefly with the owner who told me the featured girl in the window was found at a large convention she attends. I tried to find the artist online but to no avail. I couldn’t muster the courage to ask what it cost but it was very well done.

After the Rain Ended

This image was taken last week as I headed home from work and it was one of the nicer sunsets I have seen in a while! As I pulled the company car into the work garage at the end of the day, I began to notice a few clouds starting to get a little color, but then I also noticed the horizon was perfectly clear and I felt there was a very distinct possibility that this was going to get good! I went back into work to tell a co-worker who enjoys photography that I hoped he had his camera along because the sky was about to light up! In less than five minutes the dull sky did a complete 360 and put on a dazzling show. My co-worker unfortunately did not have his camera and I eventually realized my tripod was not in my vehicle because I cleaned stuff out the day before and took it inside! Hand holding got me this image but it is fairly noisy because it was a very contrasty shot with the farm in deep shadow and the clouds blasted by the sun, so bringing out the shadows resulted in more noise than I usually like. Normally I would shoot maybe three to five frames to capture highlights and shadows and having to stretch a single file for the entire range means somethings got to give.

Fence and Fall Foliage

Alright folks, with all the negative stuff going on in the world these days, I have decided to offer you a visual distraction in the form of fall scenery from this year that will culminate on Thanksgiving day with one of my favorite recent fall images! For the next eleven days I have arranged the photos so each day’s image is a little higher on my list than the day before. You can see if you agree on my arrangement or have your own favorite order! My first offering features an old rustic split rail fence that makes a nice accent for the gorgeous trees!

Autumn’s Finest Show

For some reason this year has been a great time for me to find awesome fall foliage shots. I feel like I am in the ‘”zone” for finding pretty scenes such as the one above. I saw the color here when I was just up the road making a delivery and I ventured in to see if any nice compositions could be found. I drove through here last year and the color was good then, but this year it was like all the planets aligned and color was everywhere. This property is a Veterans Hospital and it seems like there are people watching your every move around the place. I tried to be as low key as possible as I meandered around this open area hoping to snap a few shots of the trees in all their glory. This locale was just loaded with trees all at peak color to the point I questioned whether I might be on one of my New England fall foliage trips?

All Aboard!

This image features what used to be a trolley/train station in a nearby town and it now is home to the local economic development team. It has a lovely courtyard on the opposite side which serves as a location for community based events to take place. The drizzly morning was just dark enough to allow the lighting to still register as autumn leaves frame the scene. Maybe a mug of warm apple cider or hot chocolate awaits your arrival inside helping to take the chill off and allow you a few moments to express gratitude for the beauty of the changing seasons!

Roadside Attraction

Fall in Lancaster County, Pa has been surprisingly colorful this year despite being somewhat dry throughout the summer. Right now seems to be about prime time for foliage but hopefully some more photogenic opportunities will present themselves yet. While this scene might not be your typical roadside attraction, I found it to be very appealing with the carpet of fallen leaves and the backlit foliage. I put my tripod as low as it would go to hide not only the street but other distracting items in the background. There is a whole high school campus to my right but you would never guess by looking at the image.

The Magic of Autumn

This is my favorite time of the year and the last couple weeks have me running all over trying to capture what I can before the leaves are gone and Winter sets in. Fall for me is a time where the chill in the air invigorates the soul and colors transform for one last dazzling show of the season. Its taking a walk on a blustery day with leaves crunching under your feet and perhaps a warm cup of apple cider or hot chocolate to take the chill off. This shot is a good example of finding beauty if you look hard enough, it is at the end of a school parking lot but looking west toward the setting sun provided a glorious backlit shot.

Summer Calm

This lovely farm and the daylilies that border the fence made a serene combination for this summer evening photo. I was also highly frustrated by the two horses who kept coming up to the fence blocking my view of the barns. They would stand with their back ends in my shot but not their heads. Every time the camera fired they would either become very attentive or just take off in a mad dash. I did miss a great silhouette shot of the one horse kicking his rear feet out to tell the other one to back off. I tried my best to horse whisper them into a good position but this is as close as I got.

Cascading Colors

This image captures one ladies love of color and gardening. I drove past here and was amazed at the sea of color flowing down from the porch to the sidewalk below and believe it or not it was much more impressive one week earlier but still very nice when I found time to shoot it. It is in a tough spot to capture with limited places to set up and shoot but I am satisfied with the result.

Autumn Arrival

I am certainly slowing down when it comes to shooting, but I still thoroughly enjoy capturing new images. This photograph was taken a few days ago in our local park which year after year never seems to disappoint in it’s display of autumn color. This park is very popular and I even played little league baseball here almost 50 years ago. Not sure if I ever told this story before but down the slope on the right is a pond and when I was in my early teens a bunch of my friends and I were sledding here. It was getting late and to be funny I pushed my friends sled toward the frozen pond so he would have to take a long walk to get it back! The entire pond was frozen except one 10 foot circle of open water at the edge where a spring fed in. Guess where the sled went? It went in and sank like a rock and I cannot remember how but my dad found out what happened the same day, so he loaded me up in the car to go retrieve the sled from the frozen pond! He stood there and ordered me to start walking in till I felt the sled! I think I was about waist deep and crying like a baby because all I could imagine was getting caught under the ice and dying. Needless to say we did not get the sled but my dad drove me to the store to buy a new one and deliver it to my friend’s front door the same night! I can tell you I never did that again!

The Simple Life

This old mill and farm house have been maintained as they were originally in the good old days and are open to anyone wishing to see history close up. I had the opportunity to photograph this old mill years ago and it contains some really cool old machinery. The caretaker shared with me that the entire mill operation would start up with the simple pull of one lever which would open the spillway and mother nature’s water power would get the process rolling. The garden incorporates flowers and plants that would be found here.

Farm field beauty

This was a gorgeous field of flowers that the family that lives here told me was clover? I missed the reason it was here but I thought they mentioned it was simply something planted between regular crops? Whatever the reason I am glad I happened upon it and got to capture it! The complementary blue sky rounds out the shot.

Mother’s Day Flowers

This image is one I captured at an Amish roadside flower stand right here in Lancaster County. What you are looking at is a small wagon full of Mother’s day flowers and was shot with a wide angle to fill the foreground with color. The flowering trees and red barn helped to round out the composition. The one thing that puzzled me was when the mother came out to ask if I got a nice picture? She then proceeds to say my name and she actually remembered it from 15 years ago when I had shot tulips here!

Fog Shrouded Morning

The fog on this particular day was quite thick and made it very hard to see what was on the road ahead. I was capturing the trees and fence here when in the Distance I could hear the familiar clippity clop of an Amish horse and buggy approaching. I had to make a quick decision on how to frame the image and then wait for buggy to hit the spot I wanted him in.

Romance is in the Air!

Apologies for taking so long to post my Christmas shots from Lititz but here is the first. The top image is my main shot but then I started wondering if I could get any people involved? It’s funny how things come together and the couple in silhouette was going by and I asked if there was any chance they would volunteer? The young lady replied “oh my word, I stalked your house to buy a photo years ago”! We laughed, they posed and it all worked out.

Almost Missed it!

I had someone reach out to me who enjoys my photos and they asked if I would be interested in shooting something on their property? I said absolutely and stopped by to peruse the options, of which there are numerous choices. The large wreath hanging on the barn has been put up for the holidays for many many years and adds a nice touch to an already picturesque barn. I was here last evening to try and come up with a game plan if we ended up getting snow overnight. We did indeed get several inches overnight and the bonus was it stopped before dawn, so blowing snow was not an issue. So I got here about an hour and a half before sunrise and decided on the angle and then waited for things to improve. Long story short, I shot the image I planned on and one or two others until I could not feel my toes and my fingers were screaming in pain. I gathered everything up, took one step and saw the lady pull in who originally contacted me. Within a minute or so, the fountain in this pond started up and what had been a frozen mess all morning with no hint of a reflection was slowly starting to reveal a mirror image! After it got clear she yelled do you want the fountain off? I replied just give me five minutes to get the shot. In what seemed like just a minute after the fountain turned off, you could see it refreezing quickly and the reflection was starting to disappear. I didn’t have the heart to ask her to turn it on again. After shooting for nearly two hours, this little chance event left me with what might be my favorite from the morning! On another note, My Mac computer seems to have bitten the dust and I am not able to post from home right now so be patient if my response time takes a day or two. The repair place says it is listed as obsolete by Apple, so even though it most likely is a simple part, they are not allowed to even try? I even offered to pay their $100 an hour fee to trouble shoot and they refused? This forced upgrade scheme is really a ripoff in my opinion.

The Historic Ephrata Cloister

This is known as the Schoolhouse at the Historic Ephrata Cloister and it is the site of the earliest settlers in our area. The two things that stick out in my mind about the place are they used wooden blocks as pillows, and the second is my hair raising experience while shooting here one late night. I was in the main area of the site snapping photos under a full moon around 10 at night. No wind, no one around, and the wooden screen door just around the corner from me slams!!! A chill went up my neck but I decided to look and of course no logical explanation to be had. I didn’t hang around for any more “activity”. I did remove some obnoxious power lines that were a total eyesore.

The Artistry of Iron

I often wonder how people a hundred years ago created things with such precision and only basic tools to make the item? I have always enjoyed the graceful flowing curves found in wrought iron fences, gates etc and this one at the entrance to a cemetery looked gorgeous with the autumn color behind it and the sun peaking through. If only you could have seen the position I was in to capture this, because there is literally a tree the same size as the one shown behind me and I am jammed up against it sitting on my legs two feet from the fence. I used my widest angle lens to barely fit the two swirling shapes. After five minutes in that position I could barely stand up reminding me how much of an old geezer I am becoming. As I was ready to finish up I got the brilliant idea to close the gate for another view! Only problem was the gate on both sides had long ago been encapsulated into the base of the trees and it’s days of closing were long passed.