Blog: Words and images

Intersection of architecture, art

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I have a number of photographs of what I jokingly refer to as "art-itecture” — photos that rely on architectural elements to create visually pleasing or intriguing images.

It's difficult to describe art-itecture, the subject of my featured gallery for December, but I know it when I see it through the camera's viewfinder.

I don’t set out with a plan to add photos to my art-itecture files. Sometimes it just happens when I’m on a photo hike through a city. All the composition factors align — subject, surroundings, light, shadows — and I see art-itecture.

Surrounded

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Central Ohio has a strong amateur rugby team. I’ve enjoyed watching — and photographing — games through the years. I don’t understand the rules but at times it seems to be like a less-structured version of sandlot football games I played growing up.

No pads. No helmets (except for ear coverings worn by some players). And as I’ve learned from watching the games, lots of potential for injury.

But rugby, the subject of my photo of the week, seems to as much a lifestyle as it is a sport. That’s evident from the slogans on t-shirts and bumper stickers on cars that I’ve read at the games. 

Fluffy seed

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Chickadees are fun to watch but difficult to photograph.

I’ve now seen — and photographed — plenty of chickadees, the subject of my photo of the week. As funny as the name is (it is thought to have come from its call, which sounds somewhat like “chick-a-dee”), the birds are even more fun to watch.

They are always active in their search for food, often hanging upside down from leaves or tree limbs to access seeds, berries or insects. They are also very curious, investigating anything they find in their home area. …

Lamps and building

I'm always on alert for interesting architectural photos when I’m walking in New York City. 

Through the years I’ve captured a variety of what I consider to be intriguing scenes: shots that contrast new glass-and-steel architecture with older brick buildings; shots that focus on shadows cast on aging brick by metal fire escapes; shots of buildings reflected by other buildings.

I’m always looking for lines and angles, shapes and contrasts.

On this day I was wandering through lower Manhattan near the Brooklyn Bridge after a day of meetings when my attention was drawn to the vintage cast-iron twin street lamp posts lining Park Row. …

Butterfly in field

One of my goals when doing wildlife or nature photography is to have the subject of the photo isolated against an uncluttered background. That’s the best way to ensure that the viewer’s eye is drawn to the subject and not distracted by elements in the background.

It’s only a goal. It’s not a rule, as this photo of a male eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly demonstrates.

The butterfly, the subject of my photo of the week,  is shown against a somewhat cluttered background, something I would usually avoid. …

Blue Jays

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Blue Jays, for lack of a better description, are the bad boys of the bird community. They are noisy and bold, they can be aggressive and they tend to travel in groups — kind of like a blue-clad bird street gang.

They are fun to watch but difficult to photograph. They tend to leave quickly when I point my camera their way.

But I’ve been fortunate to capture a few images of Blue Jays in local parks and forests over the years. Some of the photos show a bit of the Blue Jay’s personality and occasionally regal behavior. …