"Lucy & Ethel" go to Amish Country

This has not been the year of the blog post. It’s been a very busy time getting oriented to our new home and new city, but it’s nice to be back and thinking about photography.

I find it very fitting that I enter into the summer season with antics from the most recent “Lucy & Ethel” outing. AKA: out shooting with the infamous Carla. For those of you who have read a few of my posts this should not be surprising.

Birch Tree

For this round, it was my turn to do the planning. And let me interject that I have a newfound respect for those people who lead, or have led, photo tours. Holy cow, what a job! Finding the right places and knowing the right time of day to get that exact light … Oy. Respect.

We decided that we were going to head to Amish Country in and around Lancaster Pennsylvania. Because this is Carla and me, and we are always plagued by poor conditions, we had multiple plans. Which essentially amounted to no plan. We got out our maps, GPS, and the attitude that we couldn’t get lost if we didn’t know where we were going in the first place. And off we went!

Center Line


It was a two-day adventure. Day one gave us a flat overcast sky with a lot of glare. Not fit for shooting, but hopefully we would be able to find something in the beautiful rolling hills. We had two big challenges. The first is that the people in these areas are the most fascinating subjects to shoot, but they don’t want to be photographed. The second challenge is there are not many safe places to pull off the road and set up a tripod. So we opted to pull off, shoot quickly, and not use a tripod. (Let’s just say there are a lot art shots in post processing!)

When in doubt, make art

On day two the forecast looked grim. We got our maps, pointed the car in the opposite direction, and brought our fun with us! (Dan and John, you taught us well!) We got very lucky, however, because after a few minutes of driving the rains stopped for the most part. It would trickle on occasion but it allowed us to get out and shoot. 

Horse & Buggy 

Because our plan was to have no plan, we just drove until one of us would say, “hey, did you see that?” Sometimes we would stop, sometimes not. We are a bit lucky in that it seems we are pulled by the same types of things. And every now and then we would say things like, “Wow, Chuck would love that one!”  (And we did try to get a few of those for ourselves.)


It was a beautiful area to shoot. Challenges aside I will want to get back there. Perhaps find a guide to help us do some scouting. And the autumn would be stunning with the change in color.

Weeping Willow


All in all it was good. It’s been a long time since we have had an outing and there is a reason I call it a “Lucy and Ethel” adventure. There is laughter and fun for sure. And for all of those photos we may not create we most certainly create memories and in the long run they generally turn out much better.  

Covered Bridge