Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! My family and I spent our Saturday at the famous San Diego Zoo. It's one of my absolute favorite places in the world. There are so many beautiful plants and animals to look at and learn about. I Love taking my kids there because I can teach them about biodiversity and the importance of respecting the living things around us, both plant and Animal. I love that my five year old can look at a sign and tell me if that particular species is stable, threatened, or endangered and what that means. I love that I can teach my kids about the different continents and ask them what other animals would likely be found there. You can literally spend all day walking around our zoo and not see everything. We have annual passes so we go at least once a month and I see different plants and animals every time.
I love taking my camera when we go to the zoo. Zoo photos are some of my favorite photos to go back and revisit. I embarked on this particular zoo adventure with the intention of getting some high quality photos to add to the store inventory but that just didn't happen. I think it had something to do with trying to set up my shots while simultaneously keeping my children from falling into the various primate habitats. So I will just have to save that goal for a day when The Littles are with their grandparents. But I was still able to get some great shots, even if they weren't store quality. The zoo is always a bit of a challenge when it comes to photography. There are the enclosures themselves that can get in the way of your subjects. A lot of the enclosures have chainlink fences around them and it can be a challenge to get your Shot set up in between the links, while still maintaining the composition you want. You can soften the fencing in post production software to some degree, but it isn't always perfect.
Another problem that I had to deal with while we were visiting last Saturday was the variable lighting within the enclosures. There were really bright spots and really dark, shady spots within a single enclosure. When you are trying to photograph animals that are moving around between bright sun and dark shade, you end up having to constantly adjust your exposure. Photographing moving animals is hard enough, but add in drastic variations in lighting and it becomes even more difficult. A lot of times you will end up with a shot that has blown out highlights and darkened shadows. Again, these can be adjusted in post production processing to some degree, but it's not always perfect.
Even though the zoo can be a challenging place to photograph, I love doing it because I always end up with shots that make me smile. We got some pretty amazing giraffe shots this time because we got to feed them, which was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. The shot of the Capuchin monkey is one of my favorites from this bunch. Each animal has it's own personality that shines through in their photos, just like people do. I love looking into the eyes of each animal. Their eyes have something special about them and I love capturing that look with my camera. The zoo holds a special place in my heart and I can't wait to get back there and capture its beauty.