The Woodland Camera Forum will present a presentation on bird photography by Manfred Kusch at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in Norton Hall, 70 Cottonwood St. in Woodland.
Kusch taught for 31 years at UC Davis where he held appointments in French and comparative literature. He retired initially in 2002 and then, after still teaching a few courses on recall, definitively in 2005.
Subsequently, he is using his new freedom from professional obligations to devote more time to a lifetime interest in birds. He initially had a broad interest in hummingbirds in particular, and, encouraged by his wife, who had seen a photo presentation about tropical hummingbirds, he decided to try his hand at photographing these charismatic birds. Kusch signed up for a workshop in Ecuador, and the rest is history.
From hummingbirds, he has widened his focus to include all tropical birds and has traveled to Honduras, Costa Rica (three times), Ecuador (two times), Peru, Brazil and Colombia. This year he will cast his net even wider with trips to the Falkland Islands and later in June to Nome, Alaska.
“Having had no previous experience with photography, my learning curve has been fairly steep and my approach to bird photography is still evolving,” Kusch said.
Kusch plans to give a brief overview of his travels and will speak about the challenges of photographing often elusive birds in unfamiliar environments. He will define his aesthetic preferences, and will discuss the importance in bird photography of actually knowing birds, knowing something about birds and deriving pleasure from observing them.