Posts By Danny Bonvissuto

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bird

Pecking Order: In addition to common seeds, suet, mealworms and fruits will attract a variety of birds to your backyard.

Got your big bags of candy hearts and cutesy Valentine’s Day décor on display? Good. Now it’s time spread a different kind of love by celebrating another fabulous February event: National Bird-Feeding Month.

According to Martin J. Warbler, the unofficial and completely made-up spokesbird I created for the National Bird-Feeding Society, bird-feeding is — amazingly — the second most popular hobby in the United States, right behind gardening.

More than 55 million Americans over the age of 16 feed birds around their home, according to the National Bird-Feeding Society. “They’re not just people who lug a big bag of millet around, filling up feeders—they’re niche restaurateurs whose establishments my fine feathered friends and I patronize on a daily basis,” says Mr. Warbler.

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garden photography

“One of the most important things a professional photographer every told me is to shoot flowers backlit,” Baldwin says. Photos courtesy of Debra Lee Baldwin.

When I say, “I’m going to sit down and read the owner’s manual for my camera,” what I really mean is, “I’m going to earnestly read the first two pages, immediately forget everything, flip through the rest, then give up and fall asleep.” And I am not alone.

“As a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune, I learned how photos define and illustrate the essence of a story,” says Debra Lee Baldwin, award-winning nature photojournalist and author of three gardening books, including Designing with Succulents. “But my eyes would glaze over and my brain shut down whenever someone tried to explain bracketing and F-stops to me.”

If your backyard is full of beauty that your pictures can’t convey, these tips will teach you how to capture the richness, depth, texture and color of professional nature photographs — and put an end to pointless pointing and shooting.

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