Tina McManus

With me, it’s always been about the animals. Growing up in Lake George in the Adirondacks as a “free-range” child, there was nothing better I liked to do than roam the nearby woods and streams. While other kids were reading “Hardy Boys” and “Nancy Drew”, I was reading “World of the Whitetail Deer” and “Loon in my Bathtub”. My other passion was drawing and I would take my sketchpad with me on many of my woodland walks.

Throughout my life, various cameras came and went – including a Canon SLR film camera with a telephoto lens – but life moved on and photography was always put on the back-burner.

In 2011, I bought my first digital SLR, a Canon 7D. I eventually traded up to a 70-200mm f4 lens, but birds and wildlife still looked like tiny dots. When Tamron came out with their 150-600mm lens around 2014, it finally gave me the means to start photographing wildlife and birds and that’s when the fire really lit. Now, the twin passions of being out in nature observing animals and photography could be combined. I enjoy learning both fieldcraft, the art of finding, getting close to, and not disturbing the animal, and the technical side of capturing their story with a camera. My preferred lens is now a Canon 500mm f4.

When in 2015 I joined The Greater Lynn Photographic Society, I was initially reluctant to enter competition, but was prodded to by the person who urged me to join. That first season (2015-2016), I gained enough points to move from Class B to Class A. The next season, 2016-2017, I finished third overall. In 2018, I finished first overall in Class A and in the Annual Competition, my photo won Class A Image of the Year and I was moved to the Masters Class, where I now compete.

I get my greatest enjoyment when making images that capture the personality of my subject or that convey a sense of my subject and its habitat that makes the viewer care about nature and the need to preserve it.