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Tag : farm

02 Feb 2020

Vermont’s Winter Wonderland

Each year I host a winter workshop from my home in Woodstock, VT. Early February is a beautiful time of year in Vermont and it is a lot of fun getting out and making pictures in the snowy landscape. One thing that I really enjoy is taking photographers out on a frozen lake, especially people who have never walked on water before. It initially sounds scary but when people see the huts and folks out ice fishing, then they realize it is very safe to be on the ice. 

There is something special about a snow covered landscape. The world becomes much simpler looking, everything is clean and free of distractions. I love making images that are simple and minimal and winter is the best time to do that. Before the workshop I drove past a pretty little white barn sitting up on a hill. There was a pure white blanket in front of it and a single white birch off to the side. The scene is one that I am always looking for, simple, clean and pretty. I was pretty happy with the shot and the others I made during the weekend.

22 Sep 2019

Facing the heat in Bucks County

I did a workshop in Bucks County, PA, back in July and it had to be the hottest day of the year. It was sweltering. Well, it’s September, how hot can it be? We found out! It was the hottest day in a month but again, we had a lot of fun getting out into the countryside. We drank a lot of water and stayed in the shade during the day and as the sun started getting lower the temperature dropped and we had a great day. There is something special about Bucks County, the rolling hills are perfect places for lovely farms, covered bridges and pretty streams. My favorite place is a private residence on a little dirt road with a small stream running through a green valley. A while back an old mill was moved there next to a large shed that looks like where Granny, Jedd and Ellie Mae could live. It sits on a small pond and is just a beautiful scene. The afternoon light pours and creates wonderful shadows.

04 Nov 2018

A beautiful day of photography in Bucks County

I had a lot of fun today doing a one-day workshop in Bucks County, Pa. Eleven people joined me as we toured the farm country, covered bridges and beauty that is Bucks County. 

One of my favorite places is a private little farm that has an incredible stone house and across the small dirt road is an old mill that was moved there many years ago. It was never a working mill at this location and I talked to the owner earlier this year and she didn’t even know when it was moved there. There are times when there is water flowing over the wheel but not today. Since it is private property we have to stay on the road to photograph it, which is OK because they have some small farm animals and even though the location is pretty secluded it seems quite a few people know about it. 

We went to a couple of historic sites including one that is part of Washington Crossing State Park. This near where Washington and his troops crossed the icy Delaware River during their surprise Christmas Day attack on Trenton, which was a turning point of the Revolutionary War. With the election coming up, it really struck me how we were walking on sacred ground, a place where people were willing to throw away everything they had, even give their lives in a war that was essentially unwinable, to gain freedom for themselves and others. We are lucky to live in a country where we are able to say what we think, express our opinions and be able to vote for our leaders.

We finished the day with something I love to do: light painting. We went to an old covered bridge that I knew didn’t have any street lights. There may be others but it is the only covered bridge I’ve seen over a canal. Everyone got lined up to make images and I got out my flashlight to paint the bridge with light. We did a few shots and a lady came out of a nearby house to see what we were doing in the dark. Her house is surrounded by No Trespassing signs, and even though we weren’t on her property I thought she might be coming out to give us grief. It was the opposite, she was interested in how we could make pictures in the dark. I guess she hadn’t seen anybody try lighting up the bridge. It was a fun way to end the day.

View some of the photos made by the participants.

28 Oct 2018

An autumn tour of the Connecticut countryside

Today I joined forces with friend and Connecticut photographer Ron Lake for a tour of the Connecticut countryside. Autumn is a beautiful time to get out and wander around the north western part of the state which has beautiful farms, rolling hills, waterfalls and great scenery. We didn’t hit peak foliage but it was still beautiful.

I spend a good deal of time in Vermont looking for cool farms but CT has some unique barns in that they don’t always go for the traditional red or white barn. They might be pink or blue, which is fun to see. I look forward to next fall when we can do an even more extensive exploration.

04 Feb 2018

Ending another great winter photography workshop

The worst day of any workshop is the last when I have to say goodbye to friends old and new. I had a group at this year’s Vermont Winter Wonderland Photography Workshop. I enjoy having people return to my workshops and meeting new folks. This workshop had about half returnees and half new to my workshops. It was fun to start the day at one of Vermont’s most photographed scenes, Jenne Farm. It is a beautiful location and we had a nice snowfall to add to the scenery.

It turns out today was photograph red things day. After leaving Jenne Farm, we went to the Taftsville covered bridge and then to the Red Barns in Quechee, where I posted a photo from on Thursday. It is funny how the same scene looks different every time I visit it and the Red Barns felt different today than they did on Thursday. They didn’t look that different although the sky was a bit different. I tried some angles I didn’t shoot the other day and tried one shot from about the same place. I enjoyed helping the workshop participants find angles that may have different than they have tried before and then see them exciting with the results.

I can’t wait to have another group come next year.

 

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

silo_aerial

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.