I was driving around looking for shots when I noticed a buggy that seemed to be tail gating another buggy,but as I got closer it became apparent it was being towed. Here they are arriving at a buggy repair shop in the heart of Amish country.
I passed this display on my travels and just had to return and shoot it. This is the result of many pops of my flash,and several ambient exposures. The main ball on the carriage is covered in plastic, which at first kind of made me wish it was off,but after dusk,the plastic helped with the glowing effect,so it all worked out. The owner told me this setup cost $17,000, and they are going to do tourist rides and weddings, using a real horse of course. It supposedly was in a popular TV series based in New York City. I am sure many cinderella’s will be drawn to take a ride.
While this looks like two steam tractors racing,it actually is a competition to back up and hook up to something. This was shot at the rough and tumble reunion in Pennsylvania and the event includes all kinds of powerful machines from the past. You should see the drivers work the steering mechanism on these things,as it’s a real workout.
This might be the last pair of images from this subject unless I come up with something more imaginative. To be honest,I was somewhat disappointed with my burning steel wool result and perhaps that’s because the rusty subject gets lost in the burning embers? I only tried about five steel wool spins due the fact that I was right by a busy highway and I didn’t want the cops harassing me. The bottom image is the same as the top except for sparks,and that was light painted using my flash.
For those not familiar with burning steel wool, you need fine grade steel wool,which burns better than coarse,and a device to spin it. I took a steel kitchen whisk, which holds the steel wool inside and then I took a wooden handle and mounted a pulley with a screw that allows the pulley to freely spin and then attached a steel cable to the pulley and whisk. I simply load the whisk with steel wool,light it and then start spinning the thing rapidly. As the air hits the wool,it becomes a raging flame thrower, so wear protective clothes,eye protection etc. Always have a fire extinguisher handy and do it when its damp outside at your own risk. One steel wool pad burns about 30 seconds or so and you should also keep your camera out of the ember zone.One guy on the net had a Nikon 14-24mm lens get messed up when an ember fused on his front element.
Captured this Amish youth heading down the road on a tractor and upon closer examination,you can see he is hauling his transportation with him on the back. The two-wheeled scooter is the transportation of choice for Amish youth,as bikes are frowned upon. Last year I spoke to an Amish guy who I noticed coming up a hill at a rather fast pace,and it puzzled me how he was doing it? Turns out he had an electric motor added and it was all hidden on the frame. It intrigued me enough to think about buying one since he said it ran about $400 for everything. Well in the year since he got his,price went up to near a $1000 so I will stick with the bike for now.
I am not sure exactly why the girl is crying,but seconds before, the horse-drawn cart behind them had stopped and it had a wagon behind it and a blanket covering it. Maybe it had a pet or something she wanted,but when it left,she started wailing. Just like that, big brother pulled up on his tricycle and took her hand.This all took about 10 seconds from start to finish.I was lucky enough to capture it. shot with an 80-400mm.
This digger could take a serious bite out of almost anything it dug its teeth into. I lit this in overcast conditions with a flash and the bucket alone was lit with one series of eight flashes on multiple exposure on my camera. I set the shutter speed to the highest allowable on my camera at a 250th of a second and set the camera to record 8 exposures on one frame. Eight shots were just on the edge of possibilities because each ambient exposure built up on the frame as I shot,so you have to watch for overexposure when you do that many on one frame. My usual technique is to overlay separate frames,but multiple exposure allows flash to build up on the frame with each blast,so you effectively can make your weak flash more powerful.I wish they used this thing to give you a scoop of mulch for landscaping,although my trailer tires would explode when it dumped the bucket.
This little scene features the porch at the Lititz historical society. The antique mail cart sits on the porch during the holiday season and society members fill it with wrapped packages and greens. I added multiple flash pops to various area to highlight things and the Moravian star was lit by flash with a snoot on it to avoid shadows on the ceiling.It might look better if it was actually turned on,but its the best I could do at five thirty in the morning. I liked the warm interior and the cool blue of dawn. I have no idea how old this cart is,but it must go way back in time.
This is another example of experimenting with deer spotlights on a subject. Admittedly,I still need more practice to master this technique,but each try proves to be fun. The top photo is no spot light and the bottom is the result of about twenty separate twenty-second exposures at f11 using the spotlight. I used a wireless remote to fire my camera and also use a laptop to review what I did on each exposure to keep track what was lit already and as a reference if I need to shine the light at a different angle for better effect. Doing that also keeps you from touching the camera and creating registration problems. My spotlight has a diffuser and a snoot to keep the camera from being able to see the light source as I stand in the scene. The steamroller has the name Fordson on its radiator grill.
I noticed these scooters parked at a one room school the other day, and contemplated shooting them.As I drove up the road to turn around,I noticed a youngster about a quarter-mile up the road heading toward the school on yet another scooter. I imagined the possibility of him passing by the scooters and me getting a shot,but lo and behold he actually stopped right at them and I quickly snapped the shot.
Ever feel tiny and insignificant? Well that’s probably how the driver of this compact car felt as he hugged the curb and kept a little distance between himself and this rolling monstrosity. This huge Combine was on the move through several local towns recently as it made it way to the next cornfield for more harvesting, and it raised eyebrows more than once as it dominated the road. I shot this through my car window after I was lucky enough to get directly behind it. The only thing better than this would have been a smart car beside it,which would really look ridiculous.
Call me crazy, but this reminds me of some wild set of wheels from the movie Thunderdome. If you look closely in the middle underneath you can see a machine gun mounted,or maybe its just a muffler? Put some muscle-bound maniac on top going down the road at 100 mph and you have your own futuristic movie in the making. Shot this at the rough and tumble event, which showcased old farm equipment.
Here is another image from the thresher reunion at rough and tumble.For this image I mounted the camera on my tripod and shot several exposures utilizing a hand-held flash off camera. There is no way to get a result like this on one shot,unless you set up a bank of flashes to fire simultaneously. The exposure for the setting sun put everything in silhouette,so after capturing that piece of the puzzle, I moved to illuminating the tractor. As you can see from the smaller images, The starting shot with the sun was where I started and then lit each area as the example of lighting the front shows. A small detail worth mentioning is the use of a wireless remote to fire the camera from anywhere I need,so I can position the flash at the proper angle and then fire when ready.
Machines from the past fascinate me, and these old steam-powered contraptions are no exception. Rough and Tumble located in scenic Lancaster county held their 64th annual threshermans reunion last week, and the event included all kinds of steam,gas and kerosene powered machines. This old steam roller with its massive iron wheels was one of many unique pieces I saw at this event.
This image is one of those special moments that make being a photographer so rewarding for me. The young girls were riding on this miniature cart and were making their way to sunday church service at a local farm when they passed me at a covered bridge I was photographing with a friend. They headed on their way up the road and I decided to get in my truck and try and get one more photo of something I have never seen before, and figured never would again. They turned down this farm lane with others who were arriving on foot and I took this image through my open car window pretty quickly. Although I am extremely thrilled with the photo, For some reason I have this bad habit of tilting my head and consequently my camera when I shoot handheld,and the image was slightly tilted.My framing was less than ideal in this hurried moment so the image has a touch of tilt yet.
Something I missed was a shot from the front showing the miniature horse that was pulling them,and he must have been a little powerhouse to pull five youngsters. The other thing I really like about this image are the colors the people are wearing,and admittedly I am no expert on Amish ways and I have always wondered how or why they pick certain colors. they are usually very lovely hues and I have seen families dressed in the same color palette on more than one occasion.
This is the second image I am posting from the E-M-F car tour through scenic Lancaster county. The group made a planned stop at the Strasburg Railroad were they were treated to a special tour of the working railroad shop. The railroad welcomed the entourage of drivers and their antique cars with open arms and provided them Vip parking near the station. This image is the result of me climbing on the roof of my truck, setting up my tripod, and waiting for the train to pass behind the cars as it returned to the station.Passengers returning on this particular train not only enjoyed a tour through the scenic farmland but they also had an opportunity to walk around these special cars after they disembarked from the train. Sometimes gaining a little height can make all the difference in getting a shot and this was one of those times.
This past week I came across a group of car enthusiasts that were touring the countryside throughout Lancaster county. The group spent five days navigating the scenic back roads and also spent time visiting several county sites of interest. The group included owners of what are known as E-M-F cars, which are early 1900 vehicles built by Byron Everitt, William Metzger, and Walter Flanders. This image is the result of some planning, and a dash of luck, which I will explain.
I got the itinerary for the day from the organizer and decided on a spot to shoot them as they drove by. I took a few images at the location I picked and then decided I was going to get ahead of the group for a second attempt. The second spot included a covered bridge, but as I got to the road, it was closed for repaving,so I tried to find another road to access the planned route. Thankfully one lane was still open,and it allowed me to get this image of the cars coming through the bridge and a buggy waiting his turn as well. This image would have been all but impossible if the road were not closed to traffic for the road work. Usually cars file down this road one after another, but I actually set up my tripod on the road and shot a series as they all came through the bridge. These cars are full of character and draw a crowd wherever they go. If you want to learn more about them, check out E-M-F Company on the net. I may post another shot or two in the coming weeks.