Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station was walking along Van Brunt Manor road in Poquott on April 22 when this great egret popped its head out of the reeds. He writes, ‘I am not a wildlife photographer, but I gave this bird a go with my new Nikon 70-300mm lens. He was very elusive, but I managed to capture a photo of his pretty face.’


Dotty Connor of East Setauket happened on this beautiful sunset while walking around the Village of Port Jefferson on March 25. She writes, ‘I only had my iPhone 7 and a minute to capture this. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

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Compliments of Anita Jo Lago

Hometown: Stony Brook

Day job: Production Manager for Marketing and Communications at Stony Brook Medicine.

“The rapid pace of invention in photography technologies has changed what we are capable of capturing. The art in photography is expanding and nothing seems impossible in terms of imagining what a photo can be of, look like or what camera (or mobile device) it can be taken with. Creativity has no boundaries and is never ending. To be riding that wave at this moment is very exciting.”

Photographer: “I started taking photos back in the late ‘80s on film cameras. I got more serious in 2002 when I started travelling and wanted to capture what I saw during walks around cities. After my office changed locations in 2014, I found myself passing the Frank Melville Park in Setauket daily. That sparked my curiosity in nature and started my latest adventure in photography.”

Favorite camera: “I find the Nikon D850 and the Canon 5D Mark 4 to be very challenging and rewarding cameras.”

Favorite lenses: “For macro photography (extreme close-up photography), Nikon 200mm f/4, Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 and Canon 65mm f/2.8 are all fantastic lenses. They have taught me a true test of patience. Zoom lenses like the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G, Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 and Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E have a great range for capturing wildlife near and far.”

Favorite location: “Frank Melville Park is a hidden treasure. The environment and “vibe” of the park is peaceful. The Red Barn, Mill House and Bates House give the sense of history of the land and community. The North and South Ponds, the trails, the gardens, all contribute in ‘packing a punch’ when it comes to the beauty of nature and wildlife. Experiencing rare bird sightings, watching eggs hatch, nestlings learning to fly, bird migrations, reemerging turtles after winter hibernation, beekeeping … there are millions of happenings, hours of enjoyment, something for everyone. Every visit is a memorable one. Imagine taking photos there!

Other hobbies: “Besides spending time watching wildlife year-round, I enjoy computer technology, learning about mute swans, craft beer and finding a great slice of pizza!”  

Best advice to get that perfect shot: ‘Take photos of things that you’re immersed in, that you feel a deep connection with and that you love being around. If you shoot often enough, there comes a point where you don’t realize you have a camera in your hands and that your eye is looking through the viewfinder. There, you are in the zone — you found the sweet spot. Those are the photos that you will cherish as perfect.”

Favorite aspect about taking photos: Getting lost looking through the viewfinder. The excitement of seeing what I’m seeing is astonishing. There is so much discovery unfolding in nature that goes unnoticed. To have an opportunity to share those photo stories with others is extremely gratifying. It’s fulfilling to connect others to things they may never have an opportunity to experience and see firsthand.” 


Eight-year-old Eliana took this artistic photo of Victoria the bald eagle, during a visit to the Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Center with her grandmother who lives in Port Jefferson. Located at 249 Buckley Road in Holtsville, the Town of Brookhaven center is a haven for over 100 injured or nonreleasable wild animals and farm animals including a buffalo, black bear, fox, owls, horses, cows, goats and pigs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends and holidays. Admission is free.

Straight out of a fairy tale

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station ventured out in the rain on March 21 to capture this unique angle of the Stony Brook Grist Mill.

He writes, “Used my 10 mm f2.8  fish-eye lens and it didn’t disappoint. It captures every bit of color available. My lovely wife commented that scene looks like something from Hansel and Gretel.”

The Stony Brook Grist Mill is open to the public for guided tours with a miller on Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4:30 p.m., April 13 to Oct. 31.

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Michele Bacigalupo of Lake Grove recently snapped this photo of a beautiful sunset on her iPhone. She writes, ‘I call myself a sky chaser and lover of photography! My grandchildren tease me by saying I’m trying to capture the beauty! And what a beautiful sky it was!’

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Jaysun Vodopija of Lake Grove trekked over to Lake Ronkonkoma in the snow on March 2 to get an up close look at the lake’s latest mural by local artist and woodcarver Todd Arnett. He writes, ‘This was the first time I saw this beautiful masterpiece in person.’

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Last year's grand prize winner in the pet category - “Old Blue Eyes” by Carolyn Ciarelli

Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack invites all amateur photographers, including students, to submit entries for its 26th Annual Photo Contest.

Winners of the unique contest have the distinct honor of not only receiving recognition and prizes for their work, but also the privilege of helping to enhance the lives of the 460 residents who call Gurwin “home,” as winning photographs are permanently displayed in the center’s renowned Tiffin Gallery and throughout the facility for the enjoyment of residents, staff and visitors.

Photographers may submit up to seven printed color or black-and-white 8×10 or 8×12 photographs for a fee of $5 per entry.  Entry forms are available for download online at or by calling 631-715-2568.  The deadline for submission is April 15.

Winners are selected and notified in May.  A reception at the Gurwin Center for winning photographers will be held in June where they will receive their cash prize, award certificate and/or crystal trophy.