2010 Website Newsletter – 1

New Book Project – A Photographer’s Guide To Ohio

The  writing for my new book, A Photographer’s Guide To Ohio, is nearing completion. Instead of organizing the locations by region within the state, as I had originally planned, it became clear as I started the writing that grouping the destinations by subject makes more sense, since I can include general comments, photographic tips, and a list of references for each subject, rather than spreading this information through five regional chapters. The photographic subjects are:

  1. Scenic Vistas
  2. Waterfalls
  3. Natural Areas and Preserves
  4. Public Gardens
  5. Barns, Bridges and Rural Areas
  6. Buildings

At the end of the book, we will include maps of Northwest, Northeast, Central, Southwest, and Southeast Ohio with color-coded tags that show all the destinations within each region.

There will be at least one photograph of each destination included in the book, more if space is available, and I will be adding a few new images of some of the locations during spring and summer while the detailed design of the book is carried out by Ohio University Press. Stay tuned for information on when the book will be available.

Slide Programs

Butterfly expert Dr. Jerry Wiedmann will host the 13th Annual Butterfly Identification and Monitoring Workshop at Penitentiary Glen in Lake County on March 27, 2010.  This one-day program is sponsored by the Ohio Lepidopterists, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Ohio Biological Survey, and Lake Metroparks. Experts will help you learn how to identify most of the butterflies you are likely to encounter in Ohio, and I will be presenting a 30-minute overview on photography of butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects. For more information on the workshop, contact Jerry Wiedmann at (440)-254-4230 or via email: wiedmannb@aol.com

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Metro Parks Photo Club in Summit County, Ohio will host my slide presentation, Wet & Wild: The World of Wetlands, at the Mingo Pavilion in Sand Run Metro Park, Akron on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm. For more information on this program, contact Paul Gallmeier via email: pgallmeier@windstream.net

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland


The David Leach Research Station in Madison, Ohio, part of the Holden Arboretum, provides one of the finest displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, and other flowering shrubs in the Midwest during late May and early June. This will be the focus of my program, Photographing Rhododendron Beauties, on Saturday, May 22, 2010. After a morning classroom session at Holden Arboretum on photographing flowering shrubs we will carpool to Madison to spend the afternoon enjoying and photographing the spectacular floral display at the Leach Research Station. For more information, visit Holden’s website: www.holdenarb.org

Leach Research Station, Madison, Ohio

Annuals and flowering shrubs, including an extensive display of lilacs, will provide wonderful photographic opportunities at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario, where I will be conducting an evening slide presentation on Friday, May 28 followed by a two-day garden photography workshop on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30. The workshop is currently sold out, but space is still available for the evening presentation. For more information contact the Royal Botanical Gardens via their website, www.rbg.ca or call Nancy Lee-Colibaba at (905)-527-1158 ext. 510

Lilacs at Royal Botanical Gardens, Ontario

Harbingers of Spring

Like much of the country, we have endured a cold winter with record snowfalls in many parts of Ohio. Warmer temperatures this week have melted most of the ice in the western basin of Lake Erie, but a fringe of ice still exists along the south shore of the lake east of Cleveland. The photograph below was taken on Monday, March 8 at 6:45 am on the rocks below the Marblehead Lighthouse in northwest Ohio, one of my favorite places to photograph ice in late winter along the edge of Lake Erie. You need a clear blue or partly cloudy sky for Lake Erie ice photography, with the best light occurring from just before dawn to about half an hour after sunrise.  Several small flocks of Tundra Swans flew over the lighthouse during my visit, and thousands of migrating waterfowl could be seen in large  groups north of the Marblehead Peninsula riding the swells on Lake Erie.

Lake Erie from Marblehead Lighthouse

For the next few weeks, as winter and spring flirt with each other, there will be many opportunities to photograph early wildflowers as they awaken from their hibernation in woodlands around the Midwest. You will need to position your camera low to the ground to take close-ups of these diminutive spring beauties, so a tripod without a centerpost, such as many of the Gitzo models, is invaluable. Rubber boots will help you navigate the muddy terrain where many of these early spring wildflowers are found, and a large plastic garbage bag makes an inexpensive, disposable ground cover so you can kneel or lie on the ground without getting too muddy. Diffuse light from an overcast sky is ideal for photographing these ephemeral wildflowers.  The images below are a few of my favorite wildflowers taken when snow still lingers in the Buckeye State.

Hepatica at Hinckley Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks
Salt & Pepper (Harbinger of Spring), Hinckley Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks
Skunk Cabbage, Rocky River Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks

Of course, wildflowers aren’t the only plants that bloom in the snow, and a visit to your nearest public garden, or even your own backyard, may provide other photo opportunities.

Reticulated Iris, Holden Arboretum
Reticulated Iris, Holden Arboretum
Daffodils in Snow, Holden Arboretum

Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography

Last week I joined some friends for my first visit to the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography in Canton, Ohio. I was not disappointed, for this extensive gallery, housed in the refurbished century-old A. H. Wilson Building in Canton’s thriving downtown Art District, includes some of the finest environmental photography I have seen anywhere in the Buckeye State, including hundreds of black-and-white images by Eugene Atget, Edward Weston, Margaret Bourke-White, Paul Strand, and many other  masters of photography. In addition, there is a wide selection of color photography by celebrated conservation photographers including Art Wolfe, Robert Glenn Ketchum, and Stephen McNulty, a young photographer in his mid-twenties who has already  traveled to many remote corners of the world, and who also serves as the gallery’s curator and general manager. The gallery’s owner, Tim Belden, is a long-time Canton resident and photography aficionado. The current exhibition, “The Unguarded Moment”, through April 2, 2010 showcases the color photography of Steve McCurry, whose images have appeared for many years in National Geographic Magazine. Later this spring, Clyde Butcher’s monumental black-and-white photographs of Florida’s wilderness and other locations will be on exhibit at the gallery, which is located at 520 Cleveland Avenue NW, Canton, Ohio 44702. Tel: (330)-438-0030. Website: www.josephsaxton.com

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