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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

IN THE FIELD: OLEY VALLEY COMMUNITY FAIR

October 16, 2018 2 comments

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to the Oley Valley Community Fair. This fair has been a community tradition for 72 years.

First a bit of history…

The Oley valley is a fertile farming area in southeastern Pennsylvania where all sorts of livestock is raised and crops are grown. The valley encompasses several townships. In fact the history of the Oley Valley goes way back to the first German settlers of the early 1700’s. The township of Oley was formed in 1740 and in 1983 the entire township was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Daniel Boone was born in the valley. His family had a small farm where he lived until his early teens.

There are some neat old homes in fine condition in the town of Oley and many historic farmsteads in the valley.

Now back to the fair. I visited on the second day of the fair just as the gates where opening. Good thing I did because several exhibiters I was chatting with, mentioned that in a few hours mobs of people would descend on the fairgrounds.

 

There were several buildings/exhibit halls filled with baked goods, home canned goods, quilts, crafts, photography, examples of veggies, fruit crops, and all sorts of plants and flowers, all grown or made by adults as well as children. Local business were represented in yet another building. Outside in the fairgrounds, tractors and farm equipment were on display as were other forms of recreational equipment such as boats and all terrain vehicles. Open air buildings and tents housed exhibits of sheep, goats, pigs, cows, and rabbits to be observed and even petted if you wished. Ribbons and some cash prizes were awarded for the best of the best. 

There was a bandstand where one could sit and listen to various musical groups while resting one’s feet. Food is another big thing at this fair. I seriously doubt you could go hungry. The amusement rides and the tractor pulls were a big draw along with the antique and classic car show. I missed the really big tractor pulls which were held the day before, but it was still fun to watch the smaller ones. And by the way, what is a community fair with out a pumpkin growing contest? Well I have to admit I have never seen in person so many huge pumpkins. The winner was a huge 799 pounder. 

It was a great day for meandering around the fairgrounds and I am looking forward to visiting again next year. Maybe I’ll even try some of the famous French fries…it was a little early in the morning this time around.

 

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IN THE FIELD: A MONTH APART ll

October 14, 2018 Leave a comment

So far this year this country has seen the whole gamut of weather. Good and bad. Some areas have had a relatively normal spring and summer. 

Other areas not so much. There have been forest fires, tornados, rain, flooding, hurricanes, and in much higher elevations some snow.

Where I live we have seen more good than bad. Although, we did at times have an over abundance of rain and when the rains finally cleared out, we received a fair amount of sunshine. So most farmers crops grew like weeds.

Back in late spring and early summer I had taken a few photos of a nearby farm. I posted them a few entries ago. The first photo showed the fields ready for planting and the second photo showed that corn and soybean crops had been planted and were growing nicely. The photos in this post were taken in mid August and then again in mid September. In the second photo the corn, which is about seven feet tall, is ready to be harvested and the soybeans which are the green plants in the foreground will be ready to harvest any day now. 

I wonder what comes next…fallow fields or maybe winter wheat. And then snow. Time will tell.

 

 

 

INSPIRATION AND ASSIGNMENTS: LOOKY WHAT I SEE

June 30, 2018 4 comments

 

Most of the subject matter I photograph falls into the “nature” category. Flowers, trees, scenics and everything in between are typical subjects. There are times when architecture even comes into play.

While out shooting these “typical” subjects, I am always on the lookout for something fun, different, or the unusual.

Images that don’t have a specific category on my computer yet, and could be classified as unusual, or different or fun, are stored in a folder I have named “Abstracts”.

Here is a photo that has just been added to my abstracts folder. I would bet that most folks have seen this a time or two.

 

 

 

 

IN THE FIELD: A MONTH APART

June 19, 2018 12 comments

 

In this part of southeastern Pennsylvania there are small towns and communities surrounded by farms. Interspersed among these farms are more farms. Corn, soybeans and wheat are the primary crops grown here. Most farms also raise various grasses which are grown for hay. Dairy farms are also prevalent. Whole milk and some wonderful cheeses are produced and sold in small co-ops. Organic veggies along with grass fed beef and pork can also be found in these small stores. And the eggs, oh the eggs…yummm!

On the way to and from work I often see folks out working the fields. And yes, they are up before sunrise. Watching the transition from fallow fields of late fall and winter, to lush crops of early spring and summer, for me, is a sight to see. Man and nature working together to the best of their abilities.

The farm in these photos is quite close to where I live. Literally about seven minutes away. I will be visiting from time to time to document the changes through the seasons.

These two photos were taken about one month apart this year. The first was taken on May 1 and the second on June 5.

 

INSPIRATION AND ASSIGNMENTS: TREES

June 5, 2018 8 comments

I have a special affinity for trees and it doesn’t matter what species of tree I may be looking at. To me they are all special. I honestly think my love for trees started when I was a young boy. My parents planted a Scarlet Oak in the front yard before I was born. Scarlet Oak trees are pretty fast growers and by the time my younger sister and I were able to climb nearly to the top, it was already taller than our house. Granted, it was a ranch style house and we were still youngsters, it was still big to us! My sister and I spent many a day playing in the tree. Mom always knew where to find us. Oh, by the way, the tree still stands in the front yard of our childhood home. It’s at least 60 feet tall now. Maybe taller.

Now several (well, many) decades later my love for trees continues. Whether it is through photography, woodworking or just visual enjoyment. And lately I have been doing a little exploring around the community where I live. Looking at trees. The area is nestled in a wide valley, surrounded by small and a few not so small family run farms. This area has been farmed for hundreds of years and most of the farms have been handed down over many generations. Though sparsely populated, in town there are two gas stations, a grocery store, a couple of small eateries and a few small shops. And tree lined streets. Yup, there are two.

Back to the trees…

Dotted among the farmland and rolling hills carved out by glaciers centuries ago, are groves of trees that have been untouched for a couple of hundred years. And then…what I find puzzling…are the lone trees some farmers leave to grow in the middle of their fields. 

Maybe they let them grow out there in the middle so some shade is provided for relief on a hot summer day. Or maybe, just maybe, the farmers leave the trees in the middle of their fields just because. I like that reason the best. 

Ya know…I would think that farmers are pretty well-read. So the quote that follows may be familiar to them. Just because…

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a

green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some 

scarce see Nature at all. 

But to the eyes of the man with imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”

William Blake

Letters

1799

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration And Assignments: Look Closely And You Will See

May 22, 2018 9 comments

This photo was taken just two days ago. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and  you folks will probably figure this one out pretty quickly. In this day and age of modern technology what you are seeing can be a pretty common occurrence if the weather and light all gel together. In fact, I would bet you have all seen something like this in your travels.

Inspiration And Assignments: View From Above

May 19, 2018 14 comments

I have been wanting to use this photo in a blog post for quite some time but was at a loss for words. Well it appears timing is everything.  A few weeks ago a good friend of mine came across a quote that she felt would be perfect inspiration for one of my blog posts. She turned me on to the quote and it turns out she was right on the money with this one.

“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

In many more words than Mr. Thoreau used, this has been my mantra for years. 

“I think that people will too often look and not really see. And if I can see for them, to show them what fascinates me about a single leaf floating in a creek, or the morning light highlighting a stand of trees or the seemingly random pattern in a pile of rocks…then I have shared that single experience, that split second in time with them. And if I can give them the opportunity to enjoy that one moment, then I have accomplished what I set out to do.”

Try to take the time out to “see.” It will make a world of difference in your life, and in your photography.

By now you are probably wondering what the subject matter is in the above photograph. I’ll give ya a few hints. It’s not a photo of a mountain range or of a river delta taken from a window on the International Space Station. I’ve never been invited to go up there.