…because I love this region. I’ve lived in London, England, Springfield, IL., Dayton OH., Franklin, IN., and many other places. All of them were home – some for years. But after any long stay away from western Pennsylvania, I can feel my soul relax with a sigh upon my return.
This is where I started this studio, and despite the recent slow economy, the place I choose to remain.
Now, continuing with the theme of attachment to the region…
I’ve said before that one of the surest ways to cease taking photographs for the pure creative enjoyment is to start a photography business. In fact, over the years, it has been in recognition of this that I make an effort to create images that are pleasing to me personally. If they appeal to others, wonderful.
One of the benefits of living in western Pennsylvania is it’s beauty. That is especially true of Lawrence and Mercer counties, my home area. Here, we have several thousand Old Order Amish with their well kept farms as well as the farms of the “English” (non-Amish) and the many small towns, most of which have deep ties as agricultural centers. We also have Westminster, Thiel and Grove City Colleges as well as Slippery Rock and Youngstown State Universities.
These combinations yield a quaintness to New Wilmington, Mercer, Grove City, Slippery Rock, Stoneboro, Sandy Lake, Jackson Center and many other local towns that is really a throwback to late 19 and early 20th century America. It’s a part of why I opened my studio here 25 years ago, and part of why I remain, despite having worked all over the world, even briefly living and working in Houston, TX.
The churches, towns, farms, and family run businesses that dot the countryside are the visual evidence that, in the largest sense, Man (and Woman) have been cultivating, shaping and honing this land for centuries.
The photo below is along a road named Covered Bridge Road, you’ll never guess why. It was a beautiful fall Sunday, and I just wanted to get a few shots.
This next photo was on the plateau across Neshannock Creek from the farm above. Several miles separate them physically, as well as the fact that one is an Amish farm, the one below is not. The beauty is evident in both, however.
Then all too soon, across the valley, the sun set…