Tag: Paradise Pennsylvania

Workin’ for a livin’

Spring prep
Spring prep

It’s been said that if you choose a job you love you will never have to work a day in your life. But I think that applies more to a job like a motorcycle tester than an Amish farmer.

Wendell Berry wrote: “There are only two reasons to farm: because you have to, and because you love to. The ones who choose to farm choose for love.” I wonder if the horses feel that way too?

This Side of Paradise

No. 475
No. 475

No. 475 at the Strasburg Rail Road station will take you on a scenic forty five minute trip to Paradise.

But as a wise man once said: “When fears are screaming in your ears, try to hear the whispers of your faith and run into that dark path. That is how you reach the paradise.”

Note: If you feel like running you can save $20 minimum.

Bridging the Gap

Herr's Mill Covered Bridge
Herr’s Mill Covered Bridge

Charles Bukowski once said: “I can almost understand why people leap from bridges.” Butt wait..

The Herr’s Mill Covered Bridge in Paradise is moving to the Stone Gables Estate in Elizabethtown as part of a program to save and preserve Lancaster County’s historic architectural treasures.

The grand opening for the bridge will be April 22nd, 2019 so you have plenty of time to consider an alternate route.

The End of the Ice Age

Strasburg Rail Road
Strasburg Rail Road

I was at the Strasburg Rail Road yesterday watching them plowing the line all the way to Paradise (the town) with something called a wedge. It was a beautiful day and I could see that spring was right around the corner, as sure as I was standing there shooting icicles.

I was as sure as eggs in April, as sure as the steeple bears the bell, as sure as an obligation sealed in butter. But the Vernal Equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, it does not mean that the fairies come out to dance.

I will be up at 6:28 am on Monday though, camera in hand, just to make sure.

Nothing Is Black and White

Strasburg Rail Road
Strasburg Rail Road

In photography, a lot of things are black, white, and fifty shades of grayscale. People, animals and landscapes sometimes do look better in monochrome, but it’s also a way to compensate for the fact that the light was bad.

I took this at the Strasburg Rail Road station at 10:30am, too late in the morning for the best light. The left side, which I kept in color for scientific purposes, is pretty good but the rest is washed out, and the patch of sky on the top right was almost pure white. I liked the composition so I tried to make it work as a color photo but couldn’t. That left me with a couple of options.

I could tell myself that steam engines are awesome, and that color and sharpness don’t matter because it’s only a photo. Or convert to monochrome and call it done. I live close enough to go back and try to do better, so I converted the RAW file to black and white using Lightroom, in what could have been a ten second process using a Photoshop action.

The Strasburg Rail Road takes you on a 45-minute, round-trip ride through the tranquil Amish countryside to Paradise (Pennsylvania) and back. If tranquility is not your style but you like trains, photo opportunities are yours for the taking.

Starting in April they have trains that leave at 6pm on Saturday, and the best place to watch or photograph them is in the parking lot of the nearby Red Caboose Motel. Somewhere around 6:45-7:00 on those nights, they will be slowly chugging back to the station toward you, with amazing light low in the sky in just the right direction for a perfect trainspotting photo.

Note: it’s very easy to get excited and blow the shot completely, but remember, steam engines are awesome, and color and sharpness don’t matter because it’s only a photo.

Strasburg Rail Road B&W
Strasburg Rail Road B&W