- Associated Press - Sunday, January 21, 2018

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A Parkersburg woman has sold two nature photos to a company that markets a nationwide line of bird seed and bird-related products.

Sharon Carper, whose avocation is photography, in 2016 shot the photographs of a tufted titmouse and a male cardinal at her former residence on Ashby Ridge where she used props in helping to lure the birds to the seed marketed by Wild Birds Unlimited of Carmel, Ind.

Wild Birds purchased the non-exclusive rights to the photos for use in its marketing and advertising materials, Carper said.

The shot of the tufted titmouse shows the bird with a sunflower seed in its beak.

“It just happened to be a really good picture,” Carper said.

Carper, a real estate agent who is an amateur photographer, is no stranger to success behind the lens.

In June 2016, she won a photo contest sponsored by “Daytripper” magazine and ViaAir in the “Come Home to WV” contest. She shot a photograph of three people at Point Park in Parkersburg, which she titled “Fisherman’s Tale,” which was published in the July 2016 issue of the magazine.

Also in 2016, three of her photographs placed in the top 25 from 22,000 submissions for a Pier One Import photography contest. In December, a photo she took in June of an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly atop an ironweed plant was selected by the 2018 Roadsides in Bloom Calendar sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Highways.

Both photos purchased by Wild Birds were taken with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II digital SLR with a 300 mm Tamron lens, Carper said. From experience, she knows where different species of birds will land upon a feeder, so she has her camera focused on that spot.

For example, the titmouse would go directly to the source of the seed while a chickadee will go to the highest point, she said.

Carper’s dream is the day when her hobby becomes her vocation.

“I would love to do that,” she said.

Wildlife is a particular interest, said Carper, who got into a bobcat cage at the West Virginia Wildlife Center in French Creek in Braxton County to shoot a photograph of the animal.

“I was so excited,” she said. “I was not afraid or anything.”


Information from: News and Sentinel (Parkersburg, W.Va.), http://www.newsandsentinel.com

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