Blog: Words and images

Lighting the lab


I admit it was a bit surreal photographing the glow of a vintage light bulb — the subject of my photo of the week — while standing in the laboratory of Thomas Edison, the man who invented and commercialized the light bulb.

The lab and other related buildings all looked as if Edison and his staff had just left for a lunch break. Experiments and supplies were strewn on tables. Various materials were hanging on walls.

But what made it surreal was the location. Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory no longer stands in New Jersey where Edison created many of his inventions in the late 1800s. …

View from the stage


I’ve made numerous visits to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., and have many photos of solemn scenes showing seemingly endless rows of identical white headstones that cover the site's rolling hills.

And I’ve spent hours in quiet solitude, watching the tomb guard march the 21 steps to cover the distance in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns before turning, pausing, and marching the 21 steps again.

But until a 2017 visit I had never turned to the west of the Tomb of the Unknowns and entered the Memorial Amphitheater, the subject of my

A new day


I like doing travel photography, wandering around a city grabbing photos of both iconic and little-known scenes to add to my photo collection.

And I’ve learned through the years that the best time to head out for some quick shots is shortly before sunrise. There are fewer people on the streets at that time to obstruct the view. Plus the directional lighting in the early morning is excellent for photography.

A few years ago we decided to make a stop in Charleston, S.C., to play tourist for a couple of days while working our way back north from Florida. …

At the zoo


A zoo visit, the subject of my featured gallery for April, provides opportunities to photograph unusual animals, but getting quality photos is challenging. It's often more difficult for me to get quality photos at a zoo than it is in the wild.

It seems like it should be the other way around. After all, I know exactly where the animals are at a zoo. There are maps and signs. Can't miss 'em. Just walk up to the pen and start shooting.

Except there are often high fences to shoot through. Or glass walls, usually covered with scratches behind a coating of sticky fingerprints. …

Pair of terns


Just about every May I head up to Ohio’s north coast, along the Lake Erie shoreline, to get photos of warblers during their spring migration. 

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Magee Marsh and the many other parks that line the southwest coast of Lake Erie are filled with warblers for a couple of weeks each spring. The birds gather to rest and feed before making the long flight across the lake to their breeding grounds in Canada.

I always return from the trip with some nice photos of a variety of warblers.