Category Archives: Winter Park

Urban Ospreys

Sometimes you can get amazing photos of wild birds inside Florida cities.  Winter Park (and other places too)  put up  nest boxes around town to attract birds.  Ospreys typically  use them in the spring to raise their young.

Urban Ospreys 3Urban Ospreys 3

I met Kathy B. (www.flickr.com/photos/kbargar/) through the Orlando Camera Club and we’ve run across each other on photo shoots.  I saw her photos of this nest on Flickr and when I commented on how nice they were she was kind enough to share the location with me.

Urban Ospreys 1Urban Ospreys 1 – The young one’s stretching it’s wings. Mom looks a little wary – like she’s making sure she doesn’t get knocked out of the nest!

If you’re close enough to zoom in and fill the frame, and you can pick a vantage point that has foliage in the background – you can get some swell, natural looking photos of wild birds.  There’s no way to tell from these first two that the nest is located downtown.  Here’s a wider shot: The nest is on top of a utility pole and 40 – 50 feet away from the upper floor of a very convenient parking garage.

Osprey nest box in downtown Winter Park

I wrote about this once before back in 2011 (https://edrosack.com/2011/06/12/ballpark-ospreys/) but I think it’s worth pointing out again.  Be on the lookout!

When I first arrived, the chick was asleep and hidden, so I went to the other side of the garage and made this photo while I waited for it to wake up.

The track through Winter ParkThe track through Winter Park

And this crow was checking me out while I waited too.  I think it was expecting a handout.

Close CrowClose Crow

Anyway, I’m glad this didn’t turn into another “empty nest syndrome” like our expedition a couple of weeks ago.  And by the way, Tom M. checked and the eagles were back in that nest the week after we went, so they must have just been away while we were there.

I really like my close up photos.  I think they’re the best ones I’ve gotten of nesting Ospreys.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2018, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Winter Park at Night

Greetings, wonderful readers!  Things are a bit busy here at the Central Florida Photo Ops HQ this weekend, so I’ll leave you with a quick post and some photos from a stroll down Park Avenue through Winter Park last Wednesday evening.

A quiet night "on the avenue"A quiet night “on the avenue”

A path into darknessA path into darkness

Blue Hour MotionBlue Hour Motion – A train passing behind one of the fountains in Winter Park, Florida

I made these a little after sunset during “blue hour” – I like the look of the light.  You can see a few other photos I’ve made in Winter Park in this album on Flickr.


Sunflower update:  The flowers are in bloom and are peaking.  If you want to see them this year, you should probably do so in the next week.  Here’s a report from Jeff Stamer’s blog on his trip out there last week.

I haven’t made it yet this year, but plan to do so next week.


Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now, go make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Riding the Rails – Orlando's New SunRail Commuter Train

There are a lot of posts on here about nature / wildlife / landscape photography in our area.  But the blog isn’t only about those subjects – it’s about Central Florida Photo Ops in general.  So this week we have something a little different…

Central Florida’s new commuter rail system opened on May 1.  The first phase of SunRail is 32 miles long and connects DeBary to Sand Lake Road, with 12 intermediate stations.   The fares have been free for the first two weeks while they work the kinks out of the system.  And I had some free time – so it was a perfect chance to check it out.

Trains run every 1/2 hour during the morning and evening rush hours and every two hours in the middle of the day.  Getting there early gave me more opportunities to get on and off the train and explore nearby locations.  And sometimes the light is really pretty in the morning too!

A beautiful morning to catch the train
A beautiful morning to catch the train – at the Maitland SunRail platform

The trains are new, clean, modern, air-conditioned, and the morning I rode they were all on time.  They’ve been crowded with many folks riding for free to scope out the system.  But by the time I boarded last Wednesday the crush had thinned out – I had no problem getting seats all morning.

Northbound Sunrail
Northbound

There are plenty of scenic locations within walking distance of the SunRail stations.   Exploring them all would take longer than a morning so I only stopped at three: Orlando Health, Winter Park, and Maitland.  Finding subjects to point my camera at was easy. Here are two examples:

Seaboard Coast Line - Amtrak
Seaboard Coast Line – Amtrak Station

Lucy Bleuz and the Jazzy Dog
Lucy Bleuz and the Jazzy Dog –  they look like good places to eat

I didn’t try photographing from inside the train – motion and glare would make it tough.  But there are some interesting sights between stops.  If you want to try this, the east side of the car in the afternoon might have the best shots and light.

Initially, SunRail isn’t operating on weekends – so you’ll need to get around another way on Saturday / Sunday.  But if you have time during the week, it’s an enjoyable experience.  And did I mention there are photo ops?

You can see these and a few more photos from this trip in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now, go make some photos!

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Oviedo and Port Orange Camera Clubs

Just a quick post this week (a schedule update and one recent photo).

I’ve been invited to speak at both the Oviedo and Port Orange Camera Clubs next month.  I’ll talk about “Winter Photo Ops in Central Florida” and recommend things / places to photograph in our area this winter along with sample images.  Depending on interest and time, we may go a bit further and talk about other times of year too, or we may also discuss tools and techniques for any of the photos I show.   Questions on anything else presented are also welcome.

The Oviedo Photo Club meeting is on November 4th at 7PM in the Memorial Building in Oviedo (38 South Central Avenue, Oviedo FL 32765).

The Port Orange Camera Club meeting is on November 13th at 7PM in the Port Orange Adult Center (4790 South Ridgewood Ave. Port Orange FL 32127)

If any of you are at one of these meetings, please say hello – I love to meet readers!

And since we can’t have a blog post without a photo, here’s one I made at the beginning of October in Winter Park, Florida.

Stationary water
Stationary water

I liked this fountain, but wanted to make the photo look a bit different.  My normal approach might have been to use a very slow shutter speed to make the water silky smooth.  This time, I decided to use as fast a shutter speed as possible to “freeze” the water.  So I opened my aperture and ended up with a 1/8000 sec shutter speed.  The wide aperture also helped to blur the background and isolate the subject.  I don’t think you can make a photo like this with your cell phone!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos – and go to a camera club meeting!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Mead Gardens: Yellow-rumped Warbler

I met Kevin M. at Mead Gardens Saturday morning for a quick stroll through this downtown Orlando park.  Since the weather was cool and clear, we didn’t think the sunrise would be very good, so we slept in a bit.  It was a relatively short trip, but very pleasant.

We sighted Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, an Eastern Phoebe, an American Goldfinch, American Robins and others.  The smaller ones sure can be difficult to photograph – they’re in constant motion and when they’re still for a moment, it’s always behind a branch.  Here’s one image I did manage to get:

Yellow-rumped Warbler?
Yellow-rumped Warbler – this one was out in the open and still for a moment.

We didn’t see any hummingbirds, although other people have recently sighted both Ruby-throated and Rufous varieties by the feeder.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.