John Gladitsch, Centerport Eagles Photographer, Dies

Photo: Ozzie Artphot with Auggie/ by Jacki Miller Feldbaum

A popular photographer who went by the name Ozzie Artphot died Sunday while he was taking pictures of one of his favorite subjects, the bald eagles of Centerport.

The Facebook group Bald Eagles of Centerport reported that John B Gladitsch was in the bald eagles area at Mill Dam Park when he collapsed.

Rob Schwartz, who founded the Facebook page and group  after he and his wife, Liz, noticed the eagles nesting near the pond in 2017, wrote, “To know John B Gladitsch was to love ’em. He was a kind old soul that the world was better with, than without. I will miss you Ozzie – along with many of us here.”

He said Gladitsch had been with the group since the beginning, traveling to Centerport from Brooklyn and Long Beach. He also contributed many photos to projects to raise funds to protect the eagles.

Gladitsch’s photos of the birds stood out for their quality even among the thousands of  spectacular images on the Facebook page, where he was a frequent contributor. He was known to other photographers and eagle watchers for his commentary and work.

He once helped a woman trying to assist two Japanese-speaking tourists locate the eagles nest, carefully pointing out the tree limb where it was nearly completely hidden from view, so that the visitors could shoot photos. At other times, he gave people advice on equipment or chatted them up about photos.

Many of his admirers expressed their sorrow but commented on his death occurring while he was doing what he loved, and that he could now soar among the eagles.

His Youtube channel showed a breadth of work beyond Centerport, with images of a silverback gorilla at the Bronx Zoo, and rainbows at Niagara Falls.

Gladitsch, who lived in New York City, also worked as an actor.

Schwartz said that Gladitsch was especially proud of his heritage, descending from the Gottschee community, Austrians who settled in the 1300s in what became Slovenia.

This will update when we have more information.


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