Blog: Words and images

Grasshopper Sparrow

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

This isn’t necessarily a rare bird, but it is a somewhat rare find.

The bird is a Grasshopper Sparrow. While not rare, the population of the Grasshopper Sparrow has declined 67 percent in the last half century because of habitat loss. 

A photo of a Grasshopper Sparrow is a rare find because the bird stays hidden in fields of tall grass. It will occasionally pop up to sing for a few seconds from a plant stalk or the lowest point on a fence, but its song sounds like the buzz of a grasshopper or cricket so it isn’t noticed. …

Night traffic

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

I have many photos of New York’s Times Square in my files that show the lights and sights. In this photo my goal was to show lights, sights and activity. 

I wanted a photo that showed Times Square with traffic in motion.

But there was a technical issue. Capturing the blur of traffic in motion requires a slow shutter speed while keeping the camera steady to prevent camera shake from blurring the surrounding sights. 

Posing Goldfinch

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

In late summer and fall the fields in local parks turn yellow. Goldenrod blooms, joining yellow flowers like Maximilian sunflowers, black-eyed susans and daisies, to form a blanket of yellow. 

Often hidden in this blanket are hundreds of American Goldfinch. The birds breed in late summer, much later than other birds, when yellow flowers in the fields help camouflage their presence.

Toward the clouds

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

At times when I head out with my camera I’m looking for a shot of a specific subject.

In this case, the subject was the sky.

I was in Washington, D.C., on business but was free until midmorning so I headed out with my camera at sunrise to get some shots. As I left the hotel I noticed a few wispy clouds in the blue morning sky so I decided to try for shots that could integrate a foreground subject with the sky and clouds.

Seeing Vegas at night

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As the television commercial says, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Unless you get photos, of course. Then they become the subject of my featured gallery for July.

Whenever I went to Las Vegas on business trips I tried to find time to head out after dark for photographs of the various casinos and sites along The Strip.

I rarely had time to scout and plan photos in Las Vegas like I do in other cities, so the photos I captured are typically "grab shots" - images of whatever caught my attention during my short walks.