Blog: Words and images

Sunbeams

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It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

Sunbeams, like the ones in this photo on the Old Man’s Cave Trail in Ohio’s Hocking Hills, add an eye-catching element to a photograph. But sunbeams (or crepuscular rays, for those scientific-minded readers) aren’t the easiest things to capture with a camera. 

I know techniques I can use to increase the likelihood of getting sunbeams in a shot: shoot shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset; place some sort of object — clouds, trees, buildings, etc. — between the camera and the sun to diffract the light; shoot in an area with moisture or dust in the air to reflect the light. …

A stylish-looking bird

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Cedar Waxwings, the subject of my featured gallery for February, are one of my favorite birds. They are very distinctive, with their shiny, silky feathers of brown, gray, yellow and black. They stand tall when perched, with their crest swept back stylishly above their black mask. Wing feathers have waxy red tips (that’s where waxwings get their name) and tail feathers are tipped with yellow.

It almost looks as if the birds are permanently dressed for a formal occasion.

I don’t have very many photos of waxwings in my files, but it’s not from lack of trying.