Blog: Words and images

Night heron up close


When I do wildlife photography in Florida I see a wide variety of wading birds, but its seldom when I can get this close.

I was walking through Six Mile Cypress Slough in Fort Myers, Fla., one February morning when I came across this Yellow-crowned Night Heron, the subject of my photo of the week, perched in bright sunlight on a limb about 15 feet off the boardwalk. I assumed it would fly off as I approached. Instead, it ignored me and continued to stare straight ahead.

I raised my camera with the long, imposing 600-millimeter lens attached and pointed it at the heron, assuming that would startle it. …

Taking The High Line


I enjoy taking architecture shots when we travel to different cities. There’s something about the lines and angles on buildings that makes me want to find different perspectives to turn the scene into an interesting photo.

But I have to admit that this scene, the subject of my photo of the week, surprised me.

We spent a morning walking along The High Line, a 22-block long public park in New York City built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. …



I have a number of very good photos of Common Yellowthroats in my files. This one accurately portrays the bird’s typical surroundings.

Yellowthroats, the subject of my photo of the week, spend much of their time bouncing through fields, staying close to the ground as they search for insects to eat. That means the majority of my photographs show the bird against a background — and a foreground — of plants or tangled branches.

And that’s a challenge for a photographer. 

Objects in front of or near a subject of a photo can fool the autofocus mechanism in a camera. …

Pasture scene


I was born in northeastern Kentucky and we return to the state several times a year to visit family and friends. It’s a beautiful state — the rolling hills of the Ohio River Valley, the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, the open fields and horse farms in the Bluegrass region in central Kentucky … there is always something to see, including some scenes that make you stop and say “wow!”

You could say I’m biased, since I’m from Kentucky. But non-natives tend to react the same way.

A few years ago Steven Kurutznov, a New York Times reporter, visited Kentucky with a friend to spend time touring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail each day and listening to live Bluegrass music each evening. …

In the kitchen


It’s easy to explain the creative spark that resulted in the photos in this gallery, my featured gallery for September.

It was boredom.

Snow and frigid cold had me stuck inside for a few days when I would have preferred hiking through area parks chasing wildlife photos. I decided to set up some lighting in the basement and do some macro (close-up) photography, but I was struggling to come up with a subject. During previous winters I had photographed a violin and completed a project on board games. …

Leading the peloton

Bicycle racing is fun to shoot, with the colors, the speed and the action. But I haven’t attended the Tour de Grandview, a popular local bike race, since 2011.

The reason: The scheduling of the event has changed in recent years. When I first attended in 2005 the Tour de Grandview was a two-afternoon event on Saturday and Sunday. Then it changed to a one-afternoon event. Then it partnered with several other Ohio races on the same weekend and became an evening event (the 2015 event was on a Friday night).