Saturday, September 08, 2007
A new slideshow
There are several very talented photographers at the Woodland Park Zoo. The main photographer Ryan Hawk was featured in an article in this quarters Zoo Magazine @thezoo. If you live up in this area I strongly recommend you buy an annual membership to the Zoo which qualifies you for an automatic subscription to the magazine and gets you access to the Zoo whenever you want to swing by (during business hours of course). Every time I visit the Zoo I see something new. Last week I found myself nose to nose with a couple of Giraffes. There is an amazing experience offered at the Zoo. For $5 you can climb a ramp and hand feed a giraffe. It is a unique opportunity to say the least.
The other thing I hadn't seen at the Zoo was my wife was walking along minding her own business when what had to have been a large, well-fed bird flew over her and relieved his bowels on her arm :) Picture Mr. Roper's grin after he says something funny about Mrs. Roper on Three's Company. That's the look I had on my face just moments before I ducked behind my camera and snapped a photo. Be sure to cast your vote for me as the most sensitive husband of the year!
All of the photographers are meeting later this week to get together and compare notes, observations, tips and tricks. Our assignment is to bring some photo's that we considered difficult to capture and to offer suggestions as to how to improve. For me, the most difficult area to shoot is inside the Orangutan exhibit. There is dim, green light behind thick uneven glass that truly makes it a challenge. I get my better Orangutan shots when they go outside. They are very photogenic so it's frustrating at times when they offer an expressive pose only to find it nearly impossible to get a properly exposed photograph.
The animals I find the most challenging to shoot...Up until last week the Sun Bears led in that category. My last couple of trips however I have gotten luck and found them offering some nice poses. Sun Bears are from Malaysia. They are the smallest species of bear and are very endangered. It is very rare to spot them as their display is so nice they have plenty of good areas to hide out. I stalked them out for several days in a row at one point and learned they are usually fed around 3:00. The keepers are good about putting their food out where people can see so the Bears have to poke their heads out for a few minutes at that time. Anyway, I've gotten some good shots of them recently so I think I'll take them off my list of most challenging.
The animals that drives me absolutely nuts there are the wolves. I have yet to nail a perfect shot of either wolf. It seems every time I head up the Northern Trail I see a wolf standing proud on top of their hill. I lower my monopod and put my eye up to the camera. By the time my finger hits the shutter the wolf runs off and I miss it...grrrrr. That's me saying grrrr, not the wolf. The wolf is saying hahahahahahahahahahaha!
Other very difficult animals to shoot...the bats. It's so dark in the night habitat it usually takes about 10 minutes for my eyes to adjust to see them. Even with my Canon 1D Mark III which currently is the best low light camera available on the market at ISO 6400 it's nearly impossible to get a good shot of them.
So, I'm going to bring some shots to our get together that represent my challenges there. I figured if I'm going to show off the shots I haven't been able to nail yet I should put together something that represents what I can do. I put a brief slideshow together of some of my favorite Zoo shots (including the shot of Lea with the bird poo). You can check it out here...