Blog: Words and images

Flying low

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

This photo feels like fall, even though it was taken in late December near the end of the first week of winter. Brown Canada geese flying low over a yellow-brown field has a definite fall look and feel.

I shot this scene when I was making a rare visit to Pickerington Ponds Metro Mark southeast of Columbus, Ohio. It seems to be a nice park, filled with ponds and marshes, but it definitely isn’t photo friendly. …

Gathering of jays

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

Blue Jays are, for lack of a better description, the bad boys of the bird community. They are noisy and bold, they can be aggressive and they tend to travel in groups — kind of like a blue-clad bird street gang.

So when I saw these three jays gathered on a tree limb I thought it looked like the birds were plotting their next move.

They are very intelligent birds, after all.

Flower and small bee

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

There are times when I set out to photograph flowers. I grab a macro (or close-up) lens, a tripod and couple of flash units to provide controlled lighting, find a patch of flowers, determine which ones would be best to shoot, set up the equipment and go to work. It can be a lengthy process.

Then there are times when I’m on one of my wildlife photo hikes and see a flower that would be perfect to photograph. …

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.