Siberian Tigress and Her Mate at the San Francisco Zoo
Okay, I admit it, I am lazy. While my ego would love to be capturing exciting images out in the wild where these beautiful creatures exist, to tell you the truth, it is too much work. So I joined the San Francisco Zoo this year and now I look for zoos and animal parks as well as botanical gardens in the many cities I visit.I have been spending a lot of weekends at the SF Zoo since I live so close to it. I live almost as close to the Oakland Zoo but the traffic on a weekend afternoon makes the trip back home unpleasant and long. At any rate, my intent is to take the Zoo out of the picture whenever possible. Other shots are included simply to provide a documentary image of that animal. It is not as easy as you think to get a great photo of an animal at the zoo. What if they don't come out. What if they just lay there. What if there are bars, fences, screens, or plexiglass between you and the animal? Or, it is in the shade at the back. So, you get the point. Here's a few suggestions for better photos at the zoo.
Use a 35mm or digital SLR with AutoFocus (AF) lenses. Mine are digital. I now use all Nikon bodies - D800, D600, D7000, and D2X .
Have a range of lenses from 14-400mm, all Nikon. I keep a different lens on each body so I have my entire range covered with 2,3, or 4 cameras, depending on where I am going to take pictures.
Use an external, hot shoe mounted flash with TTL and Exposure Compensation. Or use a high ISO with no flash to capture the natural colors and lighting that most often look better
Carry a monopod or a tripod if you can't hold the camera still. With telephoto, slight movement causes blur. The VR (Vibration Reduction) Technology that Nikon uses really helps, especially on the 200-400. Other camera manufacturers have similar technology available. I am now using a Manfrotto monoipod that has the pistol grip lock/release on a telescoping shaft with a Bogen side-mounted pistol grip ball head.
Be patient, wait
for the animal to look at you. Don't harass them to do so. Okay, so when no
one is around, sometimes I try to make a sound like the animal's prey.
Gorillas are challenging because I haven't figured out how to make the sound
of a banana.
So far I have seen zoos in the following locations:
Hong Kong, China
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Columbia, South Carolina
San Diego, with both the Zoo and Wild Animal Park, is hands down the best place in the US to go. Now I did see part of a special about the Bronx Zoo and it looked impressive, so I hope to see it next summer. Below are my images of living creatures. Play some music and enjoy the slide shows.
I have begun using Lightroom 4 to create web galleries for displaying my images. It is much easier and a lot nicer looking than what I have been doing previously.
And with that being said, here are the Animal images:
Bird photography is rather challenging when the bird is flying. But sometimes you can catch them perched. Like at a zoo.
Here's all the birds I've managed to get a click of:
Previously I had a new section here for Butterflies and Dragonflies. Now it's not so new, so I added images of all the bug pics I have. I mostly use a 105 macro lens for tese exceptfor e butterflies and dragonflies. Then it's a 70-300mm lens. And More patience.
Here's what I have so far:
Previously Since we're in the section for the Zoo, I should also share my images from my visits to aquariums. I did someunderwater photography briefly, way back when I was diving (anybody wanna buy some Nikonos underwater film cameras?). But that was then and this is now, so I go to zoos and aquariums. Still somewhat challenging, like bird photography, especially when you have to shoot through glass and water using a flash.
Without further ado, here's a few fish and friends to look at:
Fish & Friends
And lastly, I must include a gallery of Reptiles and Amphibians, especially since I am rather fond of frogs.
Reptiles and Amphibians
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