Jack Rogers, East Campus geology professor, won the grand prize in a photography contest sponsored by WildBird magazine, one of two national birding magazines in the country.
Rogers said his winning image of a sandhill crane was taken on the edge of a retention pond near a friend’s house in southeast Orlando.
“I found them along the pond’s edge, the parents digging for food and the chick (known as a colt) following along waiting to be fed,” said Rogers. “The shot captures the moment when the colt is flipping a mole cricket to better get it into position to swallow.”
Rogers used a Sony DSLR camera with a 400-millimeter telephoto lens to bring the viewer up close. As the grand prize winner, his photo appears in the September/October issue of WildBird which is on newstands now. He will also receive a pair of Zeiss binoculars.
Rogers has dabbled in bird and nature photography most of his life, but took it up seriously when he moved to Florida eight years ago to teach at Valencia.
“I like to use my photography to share with others the beauty of our natural world and hopefully lead them to consider the value of preserving it,” Rogers said.
His images have been published in Florida Wildlife Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, and a variety of other publications, including a National Geographic book on bird coloration that came out last year. You can find some of his published prize-winning images here: http://www.pbase.com/paleojack/award_winning_and_published_images
Rogers also regularly donates his images to conservation organizations such at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society.
In addition to geology, Rogers teaches a course on nature photography which is offered in the spring on the East Campus. The course includes four field trips where his students practice in the techniques they learn in the classroom. Examples of the students’ work is now on display around the East Campus.