Blog: Words and images

Seed time

Chickadees are fun to watch, but difficult to photograph.

The birds are in constant motion, clinging to plant stems or trees — sometimes right-side up, sometimes upside down — in their never-ending search for food.

I found this chickadee, the subject of my photo of the week, bouncing from plant to plant at the edge of a forest in Sharon Woods Metro Park, north of Columbus, Ohio, on a late November morning. I grabbed about a dozen shots showing the bird in different positions but this is my favorite from the group.

Boulders in hollow

I enjoy taking photo hikes in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio. The waterfalls, deep, rocky gorges and towering, forested hills make Hocking Hills State Park one of my favorite areas for photography. It’s about an hour’s drive from my house, but it’s worth the trip.

I was hiking through Conkle’s Hollow in Hocking Hills State Park a few years ago when I came across these large boulders in a creek bed in a narrow gorge. It was early fall, so there were deep red and orange leaves on the water and on the boulders. …

Shaker brooms

One of the things I like about photography as a hobby: I never know what will catch my eye and make me spend time photographing it.

For example, when my wife and I were walking in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, southwest of Lexington, Ky., a few years ago I never could have guessed I would be spending about 10 minutes studying hand-made brooms hanging in a shop display trying to find the best angle for a photograph. But it happened and it’s the subject of my photo of the week.

The layers of textures and the lack of color variation in the scene caught my attention, but a photo of a rack of brooms is extremely boring. …

Mallard reflecting


I seldom photograph ducks.

It’s not that I have anything against ducks. It’s just that they are a somewhat common sight and they aren’t much of a challenge to photograph when they are swimming.

As the metaphor (and cliche) for easy — “like shooting ducks on a pond” — indicates, anyone can do it. There’s no challenge to it.

But occasionally I’ll see a duck scene that’s too interesting the ignore, like this male Mallard (my photo of the week) I photographed on a lake in Sharon Woods Metro Park north of Columbus, Ohio.

From sun to shade


It’s not unusual for me to hike for miles on one of my photo treks without getting a photograph that I like.

Then there’s this photo of the week, taken only a few steps from a parking lot.

My wife and I were taking an early morning, early fall hike through hilly Slate Run Metro Park south of Columbus, Ohio. I had grabbed a few landscape photos during the walk, but nothing beyond routine forest shots.

When we finished the hike we decided to visit the adjacent Slate Run Living Historical Farm. …

The world in black and white


I like black and white photography, the subject of my featured gallery for June.

Maybe it’s because a black and white photo reminds me of my early days with a 35 millimeter film camera, shooting black and white because it was less expensive than color and much easier to process. It allowed me to learn photography through experimentation without wiping out the limited funds I had.

Drop a roll of Kodak Tri-X into the camera, take some shots, rush to my home darkroom, run the film through some D76 developer, then a quick pass through the stop bath and some time in the fixer before hanging it to dry and checking what I had.