Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fur-Lough Fotos Vol. 1

As promised, here is the first iteration of Fur-Lough Fotos! I took the opportunity on my unpaid day off to head up to the National Zoo. The weather was beautiful for an afternoon outside, not too hot and not too muggy. An odd occurrence here in D.C. in August, so I had to take advantage. 

I took several hundred pictures, 600 or so in fact, and these 11 are the best of the lot. I have to admit, I was having some trouble with the light. I wasn't totally on my game. I did, however, get to take my new toy - a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens - out for a decent spin. I think I was concentrating too much on using it and not on my settings. 

This first shot isn't from zoo, it's one of the wildflowers in my backyard. As you can see, I was working on close-ups in this set. 

Probably the cutest of the animals at the zoo, the Asian otters were a big hit with all the kids. The otters are Chowder (dad) and Clementine (mom); daughters Pickles, Saffron, Olive, Peaches, Radish and Rutabaga; and sons Pork Chop, Turnip and Kevin. You can guess which one is my favorite. 

Imagine for a moment, just how soft and furry this pile of otters is. They all kinda bunched up in a beam of sunlight and lounged about. Then some went for a swim.

Not all the animals at the zoo live in cages. This bee, and its pals were busy hitting the nectar and spreading the pollen.

This kori bustard strick a noble pose for me. This shot, along with the one of the bee, really showed me what my new lens can do. Crystal clear and sharp as a long as I get the shutter speed and aperture right.

I like the way this turned out, but flamingos have creepy looking eyes. 

A feeling I first had while watching one of the elephants was reinforced as I said welcome to the monkey house. I know that for many, most in fact, of the animals at the zoo, it is a refuge for their species. American zoos are places where species are kept from going extinct. That doesn't mean I don't feel sorry for the larger mammals. I look at the gorilla below, and the orangutans that follow, and know that genetically speaking, they're not all that different from you and me. And I know I wouldn't like spending my life in a cage. But, then again, no one's going to poach this big guy. 

The orangutans do have one advantage, it's called the O-line. The tower the ape on the left is holding onto is connected to several others by cables 45 feet off the ground. The orangutans use these to move about the park if they feel like it. They didn't feel like it on Friday.

This little gator or croc, not sure which, was just lounging about. 

Kinda like with the apes and elephants, I'm pretty sure this big guy would much rather be lunching on something brought down by some lionesses. But his meat/bloodcicle will have to do for the time being. 

I don't know if I was reading some thing that wasn't there, but it seemed to me that many of the larger mammals don't like being gawked at. This was especially true for the apes. It seemed like they made a conscious effort to keep their backs to the humans. I don't know, maybe it was my imagination. 

Not sure what Volume 2 will be, but stay tuned.