One of my mentors, Herb Ascherman, told me once that you should do a self portrait on occasion for documentary purposes. It sounded like a great idea. As photographers, we spend so much time photographing the world around us that we sometimes forget, we are part of the narrative.
I recently photographed a family at Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley, PA which is right in the heart of the Poconos and only 90 minutes from either New York City or Philadelphia. It’s a wonderful place I enjoy as often as I can.
Once I had selected a location and had my lights as well as camera set up, I quickly tested all my settings on myself. I used Dynalite Uni400s with Jackrabbit batteries for lights and a Mamiya 645 AFD-III with a Leaf DM33 digital back to capture the image at ISO 100, 1/60th at f/8.
I spend quite a bit of time eating chocolate croissants and drinking coffee at the Pattiserie Fauchere in Milford PA, which is located near the Poconos and the Delaware Water Gap in Northeast Pennsylvania. The food is fantastic, the Wi-Fi is free and the people are extremely friendly. Even though it is a bakery and cafe, they also serve some very tasty soups and sandwiches as well as beer throughout the day. My personal favorite is the carrot ginger soup.In fact, I am there several times a week.
Benjamin the head pastry chef was kind enough to invite me into the kitchen to watch him and Carolyn in action one morning. While they start baking at 4:00 am, I did not come in to capture these images until after 8:00 in the morning. It’s always nice to be able to see where your food comes from. Maybe next time I can do a little food photography to show off some pastries and artisan breads.
All photos taken with a Leica M9 and a 35/2 Summicron.
Benjamin is the executive Pastry Chef at the Hotel Fauchere, which is a Relais Chateaux property located in Milford, PA. It’s a wonderful place to stay whenever you want a small place with excellent attention to detail and customer service while you are enjoying the Delaware Water Gap or some other part of the Poconos here in Northeast Pennsylvania.
The Patisserie Fauchere is a cafe and bakery next door to the hotel and is where you can enjoy a hot beverage along with your pastry or try one of their sandwiches for lunch. The Patisserie is not just about pastries, artisan breads and a cafe. They also serve bottled beer from various microbreweries. I always enjoy sitting there enjoying a chocolate croissant and coffee while I surf the Internet on my laptop.
I created these images using a Leica M9 with a 75mm Summilux shot wide-open at f/1.4. The camera was set to black and white so these images are straight out of the camera.
Geoacaching, which is the modern-day version of the treasure hunt, has turned into a very popular past time. In this game, participants use a GPS device to locate containers called a “geocache” that can be hidden anywhere in the world. The simplest geocache has a logbook where you can enter or log your success, while some can contain all kinds of items. You can take an item and leave an item of equal or greater value. You really never know what you are going to get so it really does feel like a real life treasure hunt. In fact, the geocache items are not always easy to find. In keeping with the spirit of a “cache” the containers are usually well hidden under rocks, fallen trees, inside benches, and sometimes even up in a tree.
My friend Bill loves to go geocaching with his wife. They also love to travel around the world so they always check the Geocache.com website for the coordinates of the more than 1.5 million geocache locations scattered throughout the world. They have actively searched and successfully found treasure throughout the United States as well as countries such as India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. Once players locate a geocache, they typically write about their experience on their personal blog or one of the many on-line communities dedicated to this activity.
It is an easy activity to try when on vacation. In fact, I did it for the first time at the Lodge at Woodloch, which is an all-inclusive destination spa located in the Poconos. I was accompanied by my guide John, who not only explained the history of geoacaching but also explained how to use the GPS units supplied to us by the spa. We used the GPS units to locate treasure stashed throughout the spa’s 150 acres. At each location, we found containers with items from the Northeast Pennsylvania resort’s gift shop though in a couple of instances we found a cache that simply had coordinates for the next goecache. It was a lot of fun and provided added interest to our hike that afternoon.