Catching the perfect bird shot

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Budding photographers had the chance to learn more about taking good pictures at a workshop held at Waterville Library Jan. 25. The workshop was instructed by local resident and photographer Larry McKinnon.

The program was designed not only to provide information about taking good pictures but also to inspire people to enter the North Central Washington Audubon Society Bird Photography Contest which is held each spring. This year’s deadline is March 15.

McKinnon discussed what qualities make for a really good shot of a bird. The workshop provided lots of chances for questions as well as discussion among the participants.

Jennie Munson brought her daughter Elsie, who is 13. Both enjoy photography.

Munson said she wants to get better at it and she also wants to encourage her daughter who, she says, has a good eye for taking pictures pictures.

Munson said that it will help to have the contest as a near-term goal.

“It makes me go do it,” she said. She added that she will have to practice quite a bit to get a shot that she will want to enter.

“It will be fun to work on trying to make that a little more purposeful,” she said.

Elsie Munson agreed that the workshop was very helpful and added that it was “super fun.”

Munson enjoyed learning about the rules of thirds for composition, about complimentary colors and about how to make the background more out of focus so the subject stands out more. She also appreciated learning about the parts of the camera and how to use them.

Munson said she received a new camera for Christmas.

She hasn’t taken pictures of birds before but plans to enter the contest.

“Mom and I are on a lookout to find some birds,” Munson said.

There will be a follow-up program from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 22 where photos will be reviewed and assistance provided for choosing the best entries for the contest. More information about the photo contest is available on the Audubon website at