Bird photography has become increasingly popular in recent years, for a variety of reasons. Prices of camera gear have dropped (and the quality of cell phone cameras has gone through the roof). Digiscoping has become ‘a thing’. Social media allow us to quickly and easily share our art. And we seem generally more focused on our natural environment—not in the least since the pandemic encouraged us all to spend more time in our local parks and enjoy the wildlife that inhabits them.
Andrew Mactavish is an expert wildlife photographer and Associate Professor of Media Arts in the Department of Communication Studies & Media Arts at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he researches and teaches about participatory digital culture with a special focus on the creation and sharing of wildlife media in online communities. Andrew’s photographs have appeared in a variety of publications, including Bird Photographer of the Year and the ABA’s Birding Magazine. His bird photography can be seen on www.birdsnaps.ca.
Paul Riss got started birding at a young age. When his dad was looking for a little more of a connection with his son, he took Paul to a local conservation area with some birdseed. That day, a Black-capped Chickadee landed on Paul’s hand and a birding monster was born. He has continued to watch birds since then. He is an active board member of The American Birding Association & recently appeared in a CBC documentary called Rare Bird Alert. Everything he does in the birding world is to promote it to a wider audience, change the way people view birding and birders, and promote bird conservation.
Together, Andrew and Paul will take you on an interactive birding and bird photography walk through Toronto’s High Park, where you will learn not only about the technicalities of cameras, light, and composition, but also about our relationship to the natural world, and the potential value of bird photography.