The toughest thing about getting a good eagle shot at the Portland, Oregon Zoo is the chain link fence in the background. It has to really be a special shot for me to take the time to remove that fence, one link at a time. True, I’ve developed my technique to the point where it takes me about 15 minutes to remove it all but it’s still tedious work. I decided it was worth the effort on this shot. 🙂
Conditions were nearly perfect yesterday to take the ideal photograph. Novice photographers don’t understand that the best light to take pictures is not bright sunlight but rather an overcast sky. Yesterday we had a sunny day with puffy white clouds bringing plenty of even, subdued light to the animals at the zoo. That’s what I wait for. Here’s a shot of Zawadi where there’s just a trace of direct sunlight peeking through from behind a cloud. The great detail resulting from this rich light provides a wide spectrum of color variation that makes the big cat look more three dimensional.
The secret to taking good photos, especially in mixed sunlight conditions as you see in this photo, is to expose for the highlights, the brightest area in the scene. By doing so you retain the detail there that would disappear into blown out areas if you exposed for midtones or shadows. Once you lose detail there’s no bringing it back later with editing software like Photoshop.
As I photographed Neka interacting with a family yesterday we struck up a conversation about which of the lionesses appeared ready to deliver a cub. Neka was sitting calmly right next to the PlexiGlas window where the kids sat while Kya paced continually next to her. None of us had a clue which cat was pregnant.
I know the animals in the zoo are born in captivity but that doesn’t mean they don’t have interests. It was neat watching Boris sneaking a peek at Kis as she roved their habitat yesterday. He was almost stalking her as he crouched dowm, intensely staring at her every move. It would appear to be a social game they play as later it was Kia circling Boris trying to rest on a favorite rock. He became annoyed at every close pass she made to him.
During comments on one of my lion photos Natalie said it would really be cool if I could get the animals to smile when posing for my portraits. That would truly make me a Dr. Doolittle. Well Natalie, these are for you. whatsnataliedoing
I’ve never done this before but I thought you’d really enjoy “A Walk With My Camera” at afternoonwalks.wordpress.com. This young man lives in the Philippines and takes the most amazing Black & White photos of street life in his area. He happens to use a Fuji XPro 1 camera, the original X Series mirrorless changeable lens camera. Check his blog out and give him a shout out. – Bob
Our local zoo tries to make each member of a visiting family happy. They even provide a huge sandbox full of huge, well made, name brand toys such as dump truck & road graders. It’s a bit hit with kids.
They also have a small amusement area with mechanical rides and a carnival atmosphere. I have posted a photo capturing the entrance to this area. The zoo also provides a very popular train ride. I need to get on that one of these days and come back with pictures and a post for you.