About

Contact:

mckenneyslight@gmail.com

 

About

Paul McKenney is a Sanibel Island, Florida 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. Paul also particularly enjoys photographing landscape and travel images. He has followed his wife's longstanding advice, shoot what makes your heart sing. Not only is that the most enjoyable, but also, yields photographs with impact. Paul 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. Paul's challenge is to effectively communicate emotion into a viewer's still image. As Jay Maisel famously said, "It's not about the F- stop." Why did he choose photography rather than painting or other visual expressions to communicate his visions? Paul could pre-visualize an image in his mind, but he simply could not paint or draw to save his life. He soon realized that with a camera and its different lens he could create what he wanted to capture. Paul became entranced with wildlife and eventually raptors. Annual lengthy trips to the Eastern Sierras, U.S. and Canadian national parks and the southwestern U.S. followed. Subsequent journeys took him off the proverbial beaten track in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Paul also quickly learned that the best way to shoot better bird and wildlife images was to spend time with the subjects and falconers, birders and naturalists. For example, he accompanied falconers hunting with their raptors, and learned so much about those birds' behaviors and their preys' proclivities. If one becomes a better naturalist, a photographer will also evolve into a better landscape photographer. Paul grew up and lived in Metro Detroit until he and the love of his life moved to Sanibel Island in SW Florida in late 2015. A prime motivator for the move to Sanibel was previous visits to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Paul currently volunteers at Ding Darling, a crown jewel of America's Refuges. Paul began teaching raptor/bird workshops and other photography education programs and workshops over a decade ago in Michigan. In 2015 after 41 years as a practicing tax lawyer he retired and now indulges his photographic interests full time. Paul is combines a retiree's travel time with photographic opportunities. Advances in digital SLRs and software have spawned photographers golden era. For example, "birds in flight" shots captured in 10 or more shots per second bursts can be frozen in time with every feather crisply sharp at 1/2500th of a second shutter speed. Now readily technology makes it possible to employ higher ISOs combined with excellent image quality at such speeds. Paul both captures images in color and also converts some to B&W. He is also intrigued with creating images invisible to the human eye via infra red (IR) light. Paul acquired an IR DSLR in super color, and also converts some of those images to B&W. There are no shortages of interesting subjects to photograph in SW FL.