Blog: Words and images

A view of the city

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

I doubt if there’s a more recognizable skyline in the world than New York City’s. 

Much of the credit for that belongs to the Empire State Building. 

People who have never been to New York City recognize the Empire State Building. Maybe that’s because it’s played important roles in more than 250 movies (including many worldwide hits) since 1931. A skyline shot that includes the familiar art deco skyscraper topped by the 203-foot spire (which brings the total height to 1,453 feet) identifies a movie’s location as New York City. …

Spring cardinal

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

When people think of Northern Cardinals they think of the bright red male. 

Northern Cardinal is one of a number of dimorphic species of birds, where the color of the male differs from that of the female. The colorful male is very memorable and identifiable. The female is much less flashy.

But I’ve always enjoyed photographing female cardinals. Unlike the male, the female cardinal is more difficult to see — which makes it more difficult to photograph. …

Smithsonian castle

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

When visitors to Washington, D.C., plan a trip to the Smithsonian Institution their itinerary usually includes the Natural History Museum, or the Air and Space Museum or the new African American Museum, or the various art galleries that are part of the collection of 19 museums and galleries in the various buildings that form the Smithsonian complex. 

Facing the sun

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

I do a lot of bird photography. I guess that’s obvious from looking at my web sites.

But I do have favorite birds to photograph. The Eastern Bluebird sits near the top of that list. Maybe that’s because I don’t remember ever seeing a bluebird when I was growing up in Eastern Kentucky.

But there was a reason for that.

While Eastern Bluebirds have become a somewhat common sight in the Eastern U.S. and in Central Ohio where I live now, that wasn’t the case 25 years ago, when harsh winters, the destruction of natural habitat, the harmful effect of pesticides and competition with other cavity nesters combined to make the Eastern Bluebird a rare sight.

American Robins

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When I was browsing through my photo files a few months ago I was surprised by how many photographs I have of American Robins.

I seldom photograph American Robins. Heck, there are times when it seems like I intentionally avoid photographing robins because they are too easy to photograph. That statement may sound like a contradiction, but it’s fact. 

Robins are very common most of the year in my area so finding one isn’t difficult. They also aren’t as skittish as many other birds so they don’t fly off when I approach with my camera. …