Blog: Words and images

Above Pier 17

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

If I had my way, all my photo excursions would be before mid morning or after mid afternoon on sunny, blue-sky days. Bright, directional sunlight makes colors pop, adds contrast to a scene and, in general, creates a much more pleasant day for wandering around with a camera.

But I can’t choose weather conditions for photography when I’m traveling. I have to take what I get. That means I’ve shot in rain, in snow, in bitter cold, beneath dark, overcast skies … all the conditions you don’t want to encounter when you have one day to play tourist in a city.

Kingbird on green

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

The Eastern Kingbird is a distinguished-looking bird.

With its bright white underside topped by dark gray — almost black — feathers on its back, wings and head and white-tipped tail, the Eastern Kingbird looks like it is dressed for a formal occasion. And the Kingbird’s behavior — chasing after any bird, large or small, that dares to fly over its territory — makes it clear that the bird is indeed king of its area.

I had always assumed that the name “kingbird” came from a combination of the bird’s look and its behavior.

I was wrong.

It turns out that the Eastern Kingbird has a crown, although I’ve never seen it.

Traveler shadows

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

One of my favorite cities to visit is New York City. I guess that’s obvious from the number of photos of New York that I’ve posted on my website through the years. I’ve visited the city many times and have spent hours wandering with my camera.

And one of my favorite places to visit in NYC is Grand Central, especially during morning or evening rush. It’s a great place to feel the energy of a big city.

On an average weekday more than 750,000 people pass through Grand Central, a number that grows to more than a million on holidays. That’s why people often describe a busy place as being “like Grand Central Station.” …

A day at Keeneland

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There’s nothing better than spending a sunny day at the races.

It has beauty and color, with magnificent thoroughbreds in the paddock or on the track and jockeys wearing bright silks. It has excitement and drama, watching the horses fly toward the finish line in hopes that your horse arrives first. It has the thrill of victory (cashing a winning ticket) and the agony of defeat (throwing away a losing ticket). There’s food. There’s drink.

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It’s all part of a recipe for a fun day.

My wife and I visit Keeneland, the historic race track in Lexington, Ky., twice a year to enjoy some racing. It’s also an opportunity for me to grab some new racing photos (the track is very camera friendly). …