We’re getting ready for another trip and I bought a new Fuji 90mm f2 lens for the occasion. I wanted a portrait lens with just a little “reach” so I’ll be able to use it with the snow monkeys in Japan. This lens has received great reviews so I had to try it. Living only a mile or so from the San Diego Zoo has its advantages so I went over last night to take a couple of quick photos to play with the lens. The flamingos are one of the first things you see in the zoo so I used them as my test.
Here’s my entry to this week’s challenge “Half and Half.” I took this photo last week at the San Diego Zoo. I was there late in the afternoon hoping to get a photo of a young jaguar cub with some dramatic lighting and shadows. The photo that I liked was one in which the cub is partially in the sun with the background in shadows. It turned out that there is close to equal parts light and dark – half and half kitty……
While we were gone on our last photo trip to the Grand Canyon, the San Diego Safari Park opened a new Tiger exhibit called the Tiger Trail. This was a much needed addition as the old tiger exhibit was not good for either the viewers or the tigers – it was pretty much an open field far from view without much of interest (or even much shade) for the tigers. When we returned I thought I’d check out the new tiger home to see if it was an improvement. As you can see from the photo, it is now possible to get very close to the Tigers and get good photos. It is also in a nice shady corner of the park so the tigers have much better places to rest. They also have a couple of water ponds to drink out of or even play in. All in all, it is a tremendous improvement to the park. One tip – if you plan on going there, go early. I got there at opening and within an hour it was VERY crowded.
Early this year I had the opportunity to attend a limited unveiling of the giant panda cub, Xiao Liwu, at the San Diego Zoo. I posted a few pics from that visit. I hadn’t been back to visit until earlier this week. The “gift” is doing great and from all indications seems to be enjoying his celebrity. Here’s an updated photo of the little guy that I took during one of his snacks…..
My good friend ,(and even better neighbor) Mike, called me last week to invite me to a special viewing of the San Diego Zoo’s baby panda. The baby is named Xiao Liwu which means “little gift” and he is 5 months old. He has not yet been allowed out to be seen by the public so this was a great opportunity. We were allowed into his “classroom” area where he is being acclimated to being out with the visitors and public. There were about 50 or 60 enthusiastic zoo patrons invited to the viewing and everyone was thrilled. The Little Gift lost no time in winning everyone’s hearts – he was up in a tree when we were let in and had to figure out how to get down. After trying many different methods he finally worked his way down and sort of rolled back onto the ground. For the next half hour or so, he examined the entire environment of his enclosure and played with everything around him. He was definitely exploring the new world with wide, inquisitive eyes – what a great sight to see. I’m glad to be able to share my photos with you….
Here’s a full body shot of the little ball of fur – weighing in at a full 15 pounds….
This is an easy one. I recently got some new photo editing software that I’m experimenting with. My resolution is that I learn what the heck to do with all that capability in order to make better, and more artistic photos. I took this photo this morning at the San Diego Zoo – unfortunately the Tiger was pretty much always in the shade and/or against the chain-link fence. So I decided to take advantage of the dark shadows while adding a vignette in post processing to highlight the subject and eliminate the fence. This is the result…..(This is also meant as a teaser for the coming year – we’re off to India at the end of the month to see if we can catch an image or two of these guys in the wild!)
I can never resist young animals and this Jaguar young’n is no exception. This guy was born, along with his sister, about 6 months ago. I took this photo at the San Diego Zoo the other night as they were playing tag in the trees. I lucked out to catch this expression on his face. Happy Monday!
Well this week was definitely a challenge – and one that I could not think of an appropriate picture for! Not to be discouraged, I dashed out to the zoo and managed to take many “hands”. I had great fun doing this one – hope you enjoy!
There is no reason to have just two hands – many of the zoo creatures get great use of four.
Some of them make better use of their rear “hands” than we do with ours.
Hands are the ultimate eating utensil.
Hands (even rear ones) are great for scratching.
Sometimes your hands are so busy, you’ve just got to rest them – and you might as well join them!
Hands help you think! Like the chin scratch, the head scratch, or the essential wringing of the hands – we couldn’t make decisions without them.
Like wringing, hanging also helps you loosen up.
Every once in a while you take a picture – like for this challenge, and it touches you in a way you did not anticipate. This photo did that for me – I love zoos but am always conflicted with the animals in captivity. This photo certainly caught that dichotomy for me……
Hopefully not to end on a “downer” this photo of our closest relative in the animal kingdom reminded me of the things we share with them.
And to ensure we end with a cliche, Mom’s helping hands are some of the most valuable hands around…
I went to the zoo a few weeks ago and saw these two pigs chasing each other around and just having a fun time. I was lucky enough to see and capture them as they stood up and did a little dance for the two spectators that were watching them. I thought this was just a cute picture – of some creatures that don’t get called cute too often.
As in lying down. I happened to get this photo this morning at the San Diego Zoo. The first time I walked by the Polar Bear enclosure, they were nowhere to be found. The second pass had this guy up and playing around and then eating. Then he was plum tuckered out and had to take a nap. Unfortunately, the subject of this challenge also reminds me that the polar bear numbers are also down and we don’t seem to be moving very fast to save them – hopefully we will wake up as quickly as this big boy will.
I apologize for the political note but I hate to think of a world where these creatures are gone.