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It's All Happening At The Zoo (1 Viewer)

Scott Merryfield

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A few from today. When we next visit, the new penguin exhibit should be open. We've been looking forward to that exhibit since it was announced, as the existing peguinarium was built in the 1960's and is very out of date.

One of the otters was having some fun
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I was reading an article this morning in a recent National Geographic about how endangered the world's vulture population is
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No leaves yet, so we can get a good view of the red panda where they spend most of their time
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The grizzly "cubs" are full grown
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The male wolf was out...
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...then he joined his mate
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The wolverine was on the prowl
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Scott Merryfield

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We made our first visit to the new Penguinarium today. It is really an impressive facility, and it's drawing such a large crowd that the zoo hands out tickets with a time for entry to keep the traffic manageable. We got there when the zoo opened, so our time was right around then.

I wasn't sure what the lighting would be like, but my 70-200 f/4 worked well (I also brought my 135mm f/2, but it would have been too long for many of the shots).

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Here's a unique perspective of the river otters, shot through a hollow log.
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Two of the grizzly brothers were out playing
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Both wolves were out. Here is the male roaming around.
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Both wolverines were out. This one was watching his keeper.
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Scott Merryfield

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Cameron,

It appears your lion exhibit is much more photographer-friendly than ours. The Detroit Zoo opened a new exhibit a couple of years ago, and the type of glass used makes it difficult to get a clear shot. I have no issues shooting through the glass in the other exhibits -- river otters, arctic foxes or the new penguinarium -- but the glass used for the lions is very thick and reflective. A circular polarizing filter doesn't even help. There are warming rocks right next to the glass to encourage the lions to lay close to the patrons, so it's great for viewing the lions -- just not for taking photos.

This is as good as I've been able to get. It has to be a sunless day, and at just the proper angle. Even then, the glass kills the contrast of the shot. I boosted it quite a bit in Lightroom, and it still looks washed out.

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Cameron Yee

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It was definitely sunless yesterday, but that's a typical day in Oregon. The glass problem you describe sounds like what I've experienced at San Diego. The only issue yesterday was that the auto focus had a bit of trouble locking on accurately. The exhibit provided a couple different views, but both were a fair distance away so it's good I brought my tele zoom.
 
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Scott Merryfield

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The focus did look a little off on some of the shots you posted, Cameron, but I wasn't sure if that was just Flickr softening the photo or something else.

As for the glass, fortunately only a few exhibits require shooting through it at our zoo, and it's only an issue with the new lion exhibit. Most of the other exhibits are completely open and very photographer friendly. From talking with some of the zoo volunteers, I am not the only photo enthusiast disappointed in the final design of the lion exhibit. The old penguinarium was quite bad, too, but the new one is much better.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Those swimming penguin shots look great!

Thanks. It was pretty much impossible to capture the penguins swimming in the old penguinarium, which was built in the 1960's. Between the poor lighting, dirty/clouded glass, and a limited underwater viewing area, we had pretty much stopped even visiting the old exhibit. The lighting in the new exhibit is much better, the glass is clear, and there are a couple of large areas to watch them underwater.

This is about the best I could get in the old penguin house - f/2.8, ISO 6400 and 1/160sec in the best lit area -- underwater was dimmer. The photo was taken over 3 years ago -- one of the last times we even bothered to go into the old building. It smelled like fish, too.

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Sam Posten

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I only brought my beat up Alpha 6000 to Animal Kingdom. Trying to get sharp and well lit pics on that safari bus hitting 30mph is fricking impossible. Really wish I brought my D500 and 70-300 instead. But.... The best camera is what you have with you, made the best of it.


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by Sam Posten III, on Flickr


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by Sam Posten III, on Flickr


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by Sam Posten III, on Flickr


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by Sam Posten III, on Flickr


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by Sam Posten III, on Flickr

I'm #1!

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by Sam Posten III, on Flickr
 

Mike Frezon

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I've been meaning to post my Animal Kingdom pix since our April visit. Now I'll HAVE to! :D

Sam: Doesn't that Kilimanjaro Safari drive you nuts? Disney WANTS you to take pictures. It encourages you to take as many pictures as possible...yet they intentionally make the ride as bumpy as possible... :rolleyes:
 

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