Tag : farm

03 Oct 2016

Making quick friends

7746-2As the week goes on the color gets better at my Vermont Fall Foliage Photography Workshop. We hit several of the local hotspots and found some nice color and cool scenes.

We have a great group with two people from California, two from Florida, one from PA, Ohio, NY and CT. It is always fun to watch a group of people who don’t know each other quickly meld together with their common interest of photography.

02 Oct 2016

Vermont Fall Foliage Photography Workshop off to a good start

7672This is the first shooting day of my annual Vermont Fall Foliage Photography Workshop at my home in Woodstock, VT. The weather this summer in Vermont has been hot and dry with drought conditions prevalent throughout the state. Early predictions were that it would be a bad season for foliage but it looks like it is just running late, like two weeks late. During the scouting I did last week, I found several pockets of beautiful color but there is lots of green showing in most areas.

So we are focusing on the nice areas, which will mean more driving than I like to do but it gives my out of town guests a good chance to see a lot of the Vermont countryside. We ventured north on the famous Rt. 100 and stopped at a cool barn along the road. It took some work but we were able to line it up with the color in the hills. It was a great way to start off the workshop.

19 Oct 2013

Buzzing around in a helicopter


fhrm13Today was the annual Far Hills Race Meeting in NJ where 30,000 people try to outdo themselves and put on extremely lavish tailgate parties on a hillside while steeplechase horse races are happening. I’ve photographed the event from the air for over 15 years, buzzing the horses and seeing how many people wave at me. Usually we take the door off the helicopter and I put on a climbing harness and hang out the side. Last year we used a chopper that had a rear door that slide open so I could hang out. I meet the helicopter at an airport about three miles from the event and when it landed today I wasn’t real happy. It wasn’t the same machine we used last year and all the doors were on. The pilot said they didn’t want to remove the door, he didn’t say why, so I was stuck shooting through a small sliding window. That took all the fun out of it, plus the ability to move around much. The pilot pointed out right away that it was a twin engine jet helicopter, which is good since there is no logical reason those things should fly. Even though I didn’t get to wear the harness, it was still fun zipping around the countryside.

On the way back to the airport, I saw this abandoned grain silo and small building with a road curving around. It looks pretty cool, I’ll have to try and find it from the ground.

08 Oct 2013

Scouting for leaves in southern Vermont

barn_birch-2318I have my annual Vermont Fall Foliage Photography Workshop this weekend in Woodstock, VT. The workshop is sold out with people coming from CA, NE, KS, CO, NC, NJ and NH. We had wicked rain and wind yesterday which beat the leaves pretty bad, so I decided to head south today and see how the leaves look.

The foliage around Woodstock peaked last week but there is still good yellow and orange leaves hanging on. The deep reds didn’t appear this year, I think it was the lack of a killer frost, that is what usually makes the reds pop.

I found this nice scene on a back road south of Springfield. I like when I can get the white of a birch intermingled with colorful leaves.

16 Aug 2013

Learning about the New London, NH, area

20130816-LEF_128320130816-LEF_1252I have spent a lot of time scouring the backroads of Vermont looking for great photo locations but I haven’t crossed the Conneticut River much to see what is in New Hampshire. After a recent workshop I got an invitation from Mary to show me around the New London area and I took her up on it today. There are several lakes and large ponds in her area and very few near me in Vermont. We started the day a bit after sunrise and caught the mist rising on Little Sunapee Lake, it was a beautiful day and there is plenty to shoot there. We drove around the lake to an esker created by the glaciers that nearly cuts the lake in half. OK, I didn’t know what an esker was either and Mary explained that it is sand and gravel deposited by a river flowing under a melting glacier. It made a nice background and good place photograph Mary on the trail.

20130816-LEF_1383We went to several lakes and ponds and I learned the New England difference between a lake and pond is not the size but the depth. In theory, light can hit the bottom of a pond but not a lake. She then took us to Muster Field Farm, a collection of historic buildings that are preserved on a farm that was where the local militia was mustered and trained, thus the name. By the time we got there, the light wasn’t great, but I was amazed by the boards on a barn, I’ve never seen boards that wide, it took only eight to cover the barn’s side.

05 Jun 2012

Stormy skies make for dramatic photos

Stormy skies and bright sunlight make a strong contrast.


I had to pick my wife up at Newark airport tonight. First I had a meeting that was over by 7 p.m., so I had about an hour to kill. I was too far to go home so I headed over to a county park for a walk and see what pictures I might make.

Natirar isn’t your average public park, it is 400 acres that was formerly owned by the king of Morocco. The main building on the property is a brick forty-room Tudor-style mansion that was built by Walter Graeme Ladd and his wife, Catherine (“Kate”) Everit Macy Ladd (think big department store) in 1912. Another building on the property had been leased by Richard Branson (think airlines, records, adventures) and is now a high-end restaurant.

The rest of the estate has hiking paths through rolling hills, open fields and along the Raritan River.

I started hiking up a trail to a field where I hadn’t been before. I was feeling lazy and even though I had my photography gear in the Jeep, I took only my iPhone. I’m not big on iPhone photography but I am a huge believer the best camera there is is the one I have with me.

The evening was one of those where sunshine and storm clouds battled for supremacy of the sky. Those are the lighting conditions I love, sunshine hitting my subject with dark skies in the background. The light creates drama, contrast and color saturation that can’t be beat. I’d much rather be outside shooting on a stormy day than a blue sky without a cloud. The light is just better and possibility of dramatic sunsets. Wide open clear skies can be downright boring if you are including the sky in the photo.

15 Oct 2011

Two horses bask in the morning sun.


The fall foliage season is strange this year in Vermont. Some areas had two peaks of color, some none. I drove from Woodstock to Addison looking for color along the way. The leaves are down in Killington but just peaking in the Castleton area only 20 miles away, but a much lower elevation. But the weather wasn’t very good, lots of spots of rain.

Earlier in South Woodstock I came across this little barn with a couple of horses out front. I like the way the sun came across the horses and the barn. The satellite dish was an extra touch.

30 Sep 2011

Finding pictures when the foliage isn’t cooperating

Fog engulfs at house at Billings Farm National Park in Woodstock, Vt.

The week before Columbus Day is usually a great time for fall foliage in Vermont. Not this year. I started in the central part of the state, where it is green, and drove north to within a few miles of the Canadian border, where it is green. Last year it was spectacular this weekend, especially in the Northeast Kingdom but 2011 is proving to be a late year.

Since there wasn’t the normal color, I had to aim for something different. This morning there was a nice bank of fog at sunrise in Woodstock, so I made a couple of nice pictures at Billings Farm, which in Vermont’s only National Park. I really liked the way the light and fog engulfed the house.

23 Oct 2010

Helicoptering over the Far Hills Race Meeting

Tailgaters pack the hillside at the Far Hills Race Meeting.

Today was my annual helicopter flight over the Far Hills Race Meeting in Far Hills, NJ. The race meeting is steeplechase horse races on a large farm where 30,000 people pack onto the hillside and infield area and kinda watch the horses run. The main purpose of the event is to raise money for a local hospital and for people to consume too much alcohol and show off their riches. The tailgating event draws the high-end crowd, people bring their Rolls-Royces and have large catered parties, complete with ice sculptures, the finest wine and food.

I’ve been photographing the party from the air for at least the last 15 years for the organization that puts on the event. I started in a little Robinson helicopter that I barely fit in, then for many years I chartered a Bell Jet Ranger out of Princeton. It was my favorite, they’d take the door off and I would wear a climbing harness and hang out the side. It was fun and expensive. Last year they found a local guy with a helicopter who donated the ride, which saved lots of money. I rode in that one again this year, it is a six-seat Bell 470. The original owner had the interior done in leather to match his Porsche. It is really nice but I can’t ask them to take the door off and risk something flying in and ripping up the leather. So I just slide open a little window and shoot through there.

A barn in a Bedminster, NJ, field.

08 Oct 2010

Vermont foliage shines at sunrise

Killington mountain peaks out behind the rolling hills of Pomfret, Vermont, as the sunrise illuminates the colorful fall foliage. (Copyright 2010, Loren Fisher)

Killington mountain peaks out behind the rolling hills of Pomfret, Vermont, as the sunrise illuminates the colorful fall foliage.

As the sun rose over the hills of Pomfret, Vermont this morning, I was overlooking the scene at “The Pinnacle,” which is a special place a neighbor is gracious enough to allow me to visit whenever I like. It was a clear morning and I got to the top about 30 minutes before the sunrise. It was about 38 degrees and the wind was blowing hard. I grabbed an extra coat as I left the house but it still was chilly. I could see for miles in every direction. Killington mountain is about 35 miles away and I could see the ski slopes.

Colorful fall foliage surrounds the First Congregational Church in North Pomfret, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Colorful fall foliage surrounds the First Congregational Church in North Pomfret, Vermont.

I have been wanting to be at the top all week to see the sun light up the fall foliage on the hills and in the valley. The weather hadn’t cooperated until today. I was anxious to see how much damage the recent wind and rain had done. The foliage was nice and scenery is spectacular any time of year. I knew the North Pomfret Congregational Church would stand out among the trees. Since there hasn’t been a hard, killing frost, the red leaves are missing, so the scene wasn’t what I was hoping to see, but it is still very nice. There is always next year.

See Loren’s photos fall foliage photos this year.

07 Oct 2010

Vermont weather clears and foliage puts on a pretty show

A farm in Woodstock, Vermont is surrounded by colorful fall foliage. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A farm in Woodstock, Vermont is surrounded by colorful fall foliage.

The clouds and rain finally cleared this afternoon and I found a couple of new locations to photograph the fall foliage. I headed south from Woodstock to the town of Reading. Right on the border I saw this nice little farm tucked away on a small dirt road. I’ve driven past there many times but I hadn’t noticed it before. The light was right, so I stopped.

Colorful fall foliage covers the hills of Reading, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Colorful fall foliage covers the hills of Reading, Vermont.

I like foliage reflected in water, so I headed for a pond I haven’t been to. It was nice but the foliage wasn’t good, so I drove north on a dirt road. I wasn’t seeing much until I popped out of the trees and headed up a hill. Off to the right was a spectacular view of the region. It was nearly a 180-degree view. There was a small house sitting in the perfect spot. I’d cut off my left pinky to live there. The sunrise must be incredible.

Colorful fall foliage covers the hills of Reading, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Colorful fall foliage covers the hills of Reading, Vermont.

I was there over an hour waiting for the light to be right for the shot I wanted. There were lots of clouds and the shadows were bad most of the time. At one point I could see rain falling in the distant hills and the sun was shining on me. The light was constantly changing and made every picture look different.

05 Oct 2010

Red Vermont barns look good on a cloudy day

Yellow ferns grow in front or a red barn in Queechee, Vermont (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Yellow ferns grow in front or a red barn in Queechee, Vermont.

It was another cloudy Vermont day. There are people who say that taking pictures of colorful foliage when it is cloudy gives you good color saturation. That doesn’t fly with me. Sunshine makes for better photos. But I’m not going to see the sun shine for a couple of days so I’ll concentrate on other things. There is plenty in Vermont to shoot. Like barns.

A final autumn leaf holds on to a maple tree in Pomfret, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A final autumn leaf holds on to a maple tree in Pomfret, Vermont.

After photographing the barn, I went to my favorite tract in Pomfret. It is owned by a neighbor in Woodstock and I’ve been given permission to hike it anytime. There is a large stand of evergreen trees, so I hiked through there. It is pretty hilly and I was walking in deep needles and leaves. It was very soft and I could feel a good strain on my calves when climbing the hills. I saw a maple tree mixed in with the evergreens. One lone leaf clung to a branch. Even though most trees still have plenty of leaves, this tree is done for the season.

03 Oct 2010

Misty morning makes for nice Vermont photos

A cow waits to get into the barn at sunrise on a misty autumn morning in Woodstock, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A cow waits to get into the barn at sunrise on a misty autumn morning in Woodstock, Vermont.

When I got up this morning, there was a rather heavy fog covering Woodstock, Vermont. It happens fairly often in the fall, the fog seems to lay in through the valley that surrounds the village. Usually when I head east toward the Conneticut River, it gets worse. It isn’t the fun, pretty kind of fog, it is fairly high and pretty much just blocks the sun.

The sun rises on Fletcher Hill Road in Woodstock, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

The sun rises on Fletcher Hill Road in Woodstock, Vermont.

Today I went west and south hoping to escape the heavy fog. As I drove up some hills, I got away from the worst of the fog. As the sun was coming up shooting through the trees. I stopped along a dirt road for a nice scene and then came upon a farm on top of a hill.

Fog settles into the valley at sunrise below a farm in Woodstock, Vt. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Fog settles into the valley at sunrise below a farm in Woodstock, Vt.

There was a large barn and cows out in the field as misty fog floated in the hills. One of the cows was wanting to get in the barn and stopped to see what I was doing or she wanted to pose for some photos. Either way, she made some nice shots.

After I was done with the cows, I was standing along the road to see if the fog in the valley would make a photo. I thought being on a dirt road in the middle of Vermont would be lonely, but three other photographers showed up. They were nice and one, Judy Lombardi, is from Vermont and she was happy to tell me some other places that make nice photos.

19 Aug 2010

What’s good: Rolling with the fog

A horse looks out into the early morning fog from his stall in a Pomfret, Vermont, barn. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A horse looks out into the early morning fog from his stall in a Woodstock, Vermont, barn.

It is never easy for me to get out of bed before the sun rises, but I know that is when I can make the best pictures. So I rolled out this morning and did my usual check of the sky to see if there any clouds. All clear, so I headed out along the Ottaquechee River in search of great light. I could see some fog in the distance and thought that could make good photos. The fog got heavier and by the time the sun was due to break through, I couldn’t see anything but fog. Sometimes it is hard for me to change gears, I was expecting and wanting a brilliant sunrise, but I got fog. I drove down a small dirt road that dead-ended at a farm. I didn’t see anything that made a good photo but I could hear coyotes crying in the valley. The fog carried the sound across the valley and up the hill. I couldn’t see them, but the sound was fun. About a mile away I saw a horse looking out of his barn into the fog. I didn’t get my pretty sunrise shot, but I like the horse.

16 Aug 2010

What’s good: A rafter of turkeys

Turkeys walk through a meadow in Woodstock, Vermont. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

Turkeys walk through a meadow in Woodstock, Vermont.

I was just thinking yesterday that I hadn’t photographed wild turkeys lately and I hadn’t seen any for a while. After a couple of morning thunderstorms, I went out searching for photos. Rain must bring out the turkeys because I saw five or six rafters of turkeys in fields. They were grazing in the fields, it looked like they were getting plenty of insects after the big rains.