Picture This | Animals | Adult Winner

"Goldfinch"-It won't be long until the goldfinch is in it full yellow plumage a sure sign of spring.

Phil Andraychak, of Lilly, won The Tribune-Democrat’s “Picture This” promotion for the animals category for his photo of a goldfinch.

The judge chose this photo because Andraychak has achieved one of the keys to a great wildlife photo – a tight image.

“The goldfinch is sharp with a clean background,” the judge commented.

“The goldfinch has brilliant yellow and black coloring, framed by the yellow spring wild flowers makes this photo ‘sing spring.’ “

Andraychak took this photo last summer from his gazebo in the backyard.

“My wife plants different species of flowers, butterfly bushes and thistles that attracts different birds,” he said. “I have gotten some outstanding shots from the gazebo.”

He has captured a variety of birds, from northern orioles to hummingbirds.

“Good source will attract good wildlife,” he said. “We have three feeders outside with various types of food.”

Andraychak states that photographers don’t have to go far to capture that great photo.

“You don’t have to go much further than your backyard for good pictures; sometimes its right in your backyard. I love my backyard, I have a wonderful opportunity for photos.”

Taking pictures of birds can be quite challenging.

“Birds can be a little flighty,” Andraychak said. “And there is a lot of tall plant life around the gazebo that I have to move around to get a good picture of a bird.” 

He even took photos back in college when he was taking criminology and had to take a photography class. Now, when he’s not working, he enjoys taking photos.

“When people see me out, they always say, ‘Where’s your camera?’ ”

There have been many times when he was out and didn’t have his camera with him, causing him to miss a few photo opportunities.

“Today, as I was working, I saw two cardinals fighting for territory (I believe), and I was wishing I had my camera,” he said. “I kept thinking how nice the colors would have been to capture the brown, dead-looking tree and the reds of the cardinals.”

Andraychak also had won in the animal category on Oct. 23 for his photo of Annie, a stray cat on his porch. He had previously won in the sports category on Feb. 26 for his photo of a Penn Cambria High School football player kneeling on the field and on Jan. 29 for his “Powered by Milk” baseball photo. 

All images submitted will be included in a slideshow at www.tribdem.com.

This week’s “Picture This” theme is people and family.

Photographers can submit only one image through 8 p.m. Wednesday by emailing photocontest@tribdem.com. Winning pictures will be published April 16.

With each entry, the photographer’s name, address and phone number and some information about the image must be included.

Only entries that meet the above requirements will be considered for judging and appear in the weekly photo gallery.