New Column: Photographers Showcase w/ Roy Woodford

Roy Merlin
Jim Wright, keeper of this blog, also writes a twice-monthly column for the South Bergenite. His latest column is on the new Photographers Showcase and Roy Woodford.

When I started writing this column a couple of years back, I thought of readers as folks who want to get outdoors more often, to get some exercise, and to see the beautiful birds and other critters that can be found in the Meadowlands Commission’s parks and natural areas at various times of the year.

But these days, a growing number of nature lovers in the Meadowlands are armed with camera gear as well as binoculars.

As digital cameras become increasingly affordable, more and more folks are photographing birds and sunsets at DeKorte Park and many other Meadowlands locales.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to reach out to all the photographers who may not be aware of all of the opportunities that await them here — or may not be aware that we at the Meadowlands Commission would love to share their photos with other nature lovers on the Meadowlands Blog (

Grebe2 roy
As part of that effort, the blog has a new weekly feature every Monday,  “Photographers Showcase,”  which promotes the folks who take so many beautiful pictures here.

Highlighted on the blog last week was Roy Woodford, a network engineer from Rochelle Park who can often be seen with a camera along Disposal Road, in DeKorte Park or along Mill Creek Marsh. He’s easy to spot — he’s one of the guys with a Hubble-telescope-size lens.

His amazing shots of raptors, herons and such-hard-to-photograph birds as merlins (at beginning of post) and pied-billed grebes (above) have enriched the blog for more than a year.

He says he uses two hobbies — sailboat racing and wildlife photography — to “escape from a high-tech, high-pressure job.” Herewith, more about Roy.

Why nature photography?
  I grew up in rural western New Jersey and developed a healthy appreciation for nature at a very early age.  It's only in the past two years that I've developed a taste for bird photography.  
   It's probably the most challenging and absolutely frustrating subject to choose.  That's what makes it even more special when I get the shots I envision.  I need to learn more … and practice a lot more … but I'm getting there slowly … the journey in and of itself is the reward.

Why photograph in the Meadowlands?
 I'm always amazed at what the Meadowlands has to offer — such diverse flora and fauna set in the midst of the endless sprawl of the greater NYC area.  Nature, with its will to survive and flourish, will never cease to amaze me.

What are your favorite photographs from the Meadowlands?
Here's a curveball for you.  My favorite shots aren't of birds per se.  Every now and then I meander back to my first love … the beauty and simplicity of black and white. (A link to Roy's black-and-white photos for the showcase are here.)

Thanks, Roy!

Want to be considered for the blog’s Photographers Showcase? E-mail me at


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