Blog: Words and images

Brown Thrasher

060506SharWd076.jpg

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

I’m often asked what is my favorite bird to photograph and I admit when asked that it’s a difficult question to answer. The answer would vary by day and by season.

But if someone would ask what is my favorite bird to listen to, there’s one answer: the Brown Thrasher.

For those who have never heard a Brown Thrasher (or didn’t realize they had listened to one), the best description I can give is that a Brown Thrasher sounds like a more talented mockingbird. …

Capitol, flowers

060927DC069.jpg

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

The U.S. Capitol Building is an excellent subject for photography.

While the dome looks the same when viewed from any direction, the foreground changes significantly. Sometimes moving the camera location just a few yards to the left or right can create a much different composition with different objects framing the scene.

I have shots of the Capitol reflected in water and in glass, framed by green trees and by fall leaves, towering above a fountain and above a lawn, standing behind monuments and behind traffic, illuminated by the sun against blue skies and by artificial light against night skies.

Orchard Oriole

080427SharWd174.jpg

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

When people hear the word “oriole” they think of the flashy bright orange and black Baltimore Oriole.

But there’s another oriole that shares almost all the Baltimore Oriole’s range in the eastern U.S. It’s the Orchard Oriole, less flashy than it’s Baltimore cousin but still an attractive, interesting bird.

The male Orchard Oriole has rich reddish-chestnut feathers surrounded by black instead of the bright orange found on the Baltimore Oriole. …

Looking back

090710DC217.jpg

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

This is a photo of what turned out to be a cooperative female western lowland gorilla in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I’ve learned from my many photo forays to zoos that a cooperative animal is one of the most important factors for getting a quality photograph in a zoo.

Every time I post a photo taken in a zoo, I make the same statement: I have more difficulty getting quality photos of animals in a zoo than I do in the wild.

Tree Swallows: Nature’s aerialists

When it comes to widlife photography, there’s one thing I look forward to every spring — besides warmer weather and longer periods of daylight, of course. It's the return of Tree Swallows to the fields of Central Ohio. Tree Swallows are the subject of my featured gallery for March.

It’s a treat to watch Tree Swallows in flight. The birds are the ultimate aerialists as they conduct acrobatic flights to pursue and catch flying insects. They dip, dive, dart, turn, twist, climb and hover, often in rapid succession. …