Story Behind Image

Buzzing for Milkweed by Todd Henson

Buzzing for Milkweed, a bumble bee flying beside milkweed flowers.

I love random walks through parks, camera in tow, looking for anything that catches my eye. I don’t go with any specific goal other than enjoying nature, but I’m completely open to anything that catches my eye. Sometimes that may be a nesting osprey with its young, a raccoon bedding down for a nap, a group of young red fox playing, or a bumble bee gathering pollen from a patch of milkweed.

We walked a trail along the edge of the bay, with water to the left and swampy land to the right. Occasionally we’d see and follow a monarch or zebra swallowtail butterfly, which eventually led us to a small patch of milkweed. There I found bumble bees gathering pollen from the flowers.

A bumble bee gathering pollen on milkweed.

Bumble bees are great subjects. They just don’t care about the presence of people. Some insects will fly off when you get too close. This is often the case for me with butterflies. But bumble bees just go about their business completely ignoring my presence.

I used my macro lens and I slowly moved in close to the milkweed and the bumble bee, trying to follow it the best I could. Often it’s best to pick a spot the bee seems to like, prefocus, and just wait for the bee to enter that spot. But sometimes I’ll also try following the bee. It’s not always successful, but it’s fun. On this day I was very pleased to capture the photos I did, my favorite of which shows the bumble bee in flight as it was approaching the flower, buzzing for milkweed.

Both of these photographs are available for purchase through my online store, run by Fine Art America / Pixels.

Fine Art Photography Prints by Todd Henson

Fine Art Photography Prints by Todd Henson


The Art of a Diving Duck by Todd Henson

The Art of a Diving Duck

When I photograph nature I’m often trying to capture interesting views of different species to share my love of nature and wildlife. But sometimes something more artistic can come out of my explorations. I’ll notice something beautiful, or something I think has the potential to become beautiful. And I begin exploring this, trying to find whatever it was that sparked my interest.

Diving Below the Glowing Surface

The 3 photographs in this post came out of one of these explorations. I had been photographing a Long-tailed Duck, a somewhat unusual species in Northern Virginia. It was very indifferent to human presence so I was able to spend a lot of time watching its behavior, and it was often close enough to fill the frame without need of cropping.

Across the Water

As I watched I kept noticing the patterns formed when the duck dove below the surface of the lake. Its long tail helped add an interesting element, either forming a fascinating pattern, or flicking droplets of water in fantastic patterns. I began watching specifically for the moments it dove, trying to capture as many variations of this as I could.

I think these 3 images best express what I was seeing and feeling as I watched this unusual duck repeatedly diving for food. I’m sure it was as indifferent to my excitement at the beautiful patterns it was creating as it was to my presence. But I’m very happy to have shared these moments with this duck, and thankful for the opportunities it gave me to explore my creative side.

All of these photographs are available for purchase through my online store, run by Fine Art America / Pixels.

Fine Art Prints by Todd Henson

Fine Art Prints by Todd Henson

Fine Art Prints by Todd Henson


Reflecting on a Long-tailed Duck by Todd Henson

Reflecting on a Long-tailed Duck #1

Reflections can sometimes add a really nice element to a photograph. In the case of these two photographs the reflections are of the Long-tailed Duck I was fortunate to photograph during early April 2019 on Lake Gardiner at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia.

I spent the entire day observing and photographing this male sea duck, who strayed a bit further south than usual during its migration. It spent a lot of time below the surface of the water feeding on the bottom of the lake. Each time it surfaced I was ready to create more photographs if it happened to be against an interesting background or if it performed an interesting behavior. In the case of these photographs I really enjoyed how the surface of the water, though still rippling, showed the reflection of the duck. I also liked the patterns the water was making.

Reflecting on a Long-tailed Duck #2

Click on the photos and look very closely between the duck’s eyes. You may see some small streaks of green from the aquatic plant life the duck was bringing up from below.

Do you like these photographs? If so, consider purchasing one from my online store. Reflecting on a Long-tailed Duck No. 1 and 2 are available as wall art or on a variety of products, such as greeting cards, tote bags and throw pillows.

Art Prints

Purchase Fine Art Prints by Todd Henson