Following up on Rey’s post of yesterday, here are a few more scenes from our recent expedition into the impenetrable, dark and uncharted depths of… the local family zoo.
This bird and it’s companions were penned in a wire mesh enclosed structure, which made getting a clean shot a bit of a challenge. By opening up the aperture to it’s widest stop, f/5.6, at the (equiv) focal length of 255mm, the wire mesh went sufficiently out of focus to get that clean shot. Had I had a faster lens, the remnants of the wire visible in the background would have vanished as well. Shot at 1/640 second, I also center weighted the meter on the bird, since I feared the strong backlighting would have thrown the subject into near silhouette.
This is Ramses, the King of the Jungle. Most of the time we were there, he basked in the warm rays of the sun, confident of his place in the world. However, he did become a bit agitated later on, as you’ll see. Shot at f5.6, 1/800 second, 255mm (equiv) focal length.
He had an innocent expression that looked up as if to say “Play with me?”, which I would have but Rey insisted I climb back over the fence and get out of the pen.
In order to get this tight a close-up, I had to shoot my Nikon 18-200 zoom lens racked to it’s full length, and I shot at a too slow speed of 1/160 second. I say too slow because I should have been in the vicinity of 1/300 second based on my focal length, (see this post for a full explanation). But steady hands and Nikon’s VR system helped to make up the difference. The finished product was sharpened a tad and also cropped slightly.
Evidently, Ramses had some new found energy after all that sun worshipping, and decided to get frisky with a nearby lady friend. She, on the other hand, would have none of it, and eventually, Ramses headed off to contemplate his rejection.
These big cats moved very swiftly and this encounter was over in an instant. Fortunately, my Nikon D90 was still set at ISO 2000, since we had just left the dim Tropical Forest exhibit. I was in aperture priority mode at f/5.6, so that left the camera to set a lightning fast shutter speed of 1/4000 second, which froze the action nicely. I reset the ISO right after this but was happy that the timing worked out.
Black and white conversion in Topaz B&W Effects.
All in all, a good time was had by all. Watch for more images from the zoo in future daily posts. And thanks for visiting 2 Guys Photo!