Paul McKenney with Mugsby da Bull
Paul McKenney with Mugsby da Bull

Using many of his excellent photos as examples Paul McKenney will give practical advice that can be used in the field to improve one's birding observations and to "Elevate Your Bird Photography.” Join McKenney at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Sanibel Community House for the eighth presentation of the 2019 San-Cap Audubon lecture series.

Birders love to create compelling images of their favorite subjects. Many birders are frustrated when their photos do not match what they wanted to achieve. Birds are complicated photo subjects starting with the direction of light, composition, focusing on the eyes and freezing action of movement. What is effective for shooting people and other animals very rarely works for birds. This presentation will give you an understanding of fundamentals and techniques that translate into successful bird photographs, what to avoid and most importantly, why. The emphasis is what in the field helps you achieve images you will want to hang on your walls.

McKenney is a Sanibel based bird/raptor, wildlife and landscape photographer and educator. He is passionate about capturing the beauty and behavior of birds, mammals and large reptiles and assisting others achieve their visions. He has followed his wife's longstanding advice, shoot what makes your heart sing. McKenney bought his first SLR camera in 1991.

While then engaged in a very full time legal career, photography quickly became a passion as it opened a whole world of visual exploration. Annual lengthy trips to the Eastern Sierras, U.S. and Canadian national parks and the southwestern U.S. followed.

Subsequent journeys took him to Costa Rica and elsewhere. McKenney also quickly learned that the best way to shoot better bird and wildlife images was to spend time with the subjects, falconers, birders and naturalists. McKenney grew up and lived in Metro Detroit until 2015 when he retired, and with the love of his life moved to Sanibel. A prime motivator for the move to Sanibel was ‘Ding’ Darling NWR where McKenney currently volunteers. He began teaching raptor/bird workshops and other photography education programs and workshops over a decade ago in Michigan. He now indulges his photographic interests full time.

This is the eighth of nine Sanibel-Captiva Audubon lectures to be held in 2019 on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. As always, all are welcome to attend. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and parking is available at the Community House as well as across Periwinkle Way in the Herb Strauss Theater parking area. A $10 donation per attendee is appreciated with proceeds after costs being used to promote conservation on Sanibel and in Florida.

For additional information, call Bill Jacobson at (239) 395-1878 or visit the San-Cap Audubon Web site at