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Monday, 17 February 2014

A Day at the Zoo Part Two

The first day of sunshine in recent weeks following such devastating wind and rain and I'm down at the zoo. The sun shone brightly, casting long shadows and creating some lovely contrast. It being a zoo some of the backgrounds were less than desirable but you work with what you're given. 

The giraffe is a fine example: haloed by the sun, I framed a portraiture of the giraffe but the building behind is unsightly. Oh well, I didn't have an alternative on this occasion. 

I was/am having further issues with my long lens. Tamron 70-300mm has always displayed a lack of sharpness at certain focal lengths as well as a basic lack of clarity between the features of the picture. This issue is now coming to a head and I am currently researching which long lens I should upgrade to.

Any thoughts? Recommendations would be welcome...

In the meantime I make do with it.

I was unfortunate in being unable to capture the new baby giraffe at Paignton zoo, as a new parent the mother was keeping her new born close at hand. This beautiful specimen is a part of the family.

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

This Rhea was seen idly grazing in its own habitat. I felt this composition was more appealing and interesting than the usually walking shot. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

In the sunshine, a pair of Sulawesi Crested Macaques played and wrestled. I watched them tussle on the grass, chasing each other over and around the features of their habitat. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

Hamadryas baboons are fascinating to watch. Often they'll be seen lounging around on their rock, preening and grooming, which as is described on the various information plaques is more a social practice than for hygiene. It did however take a comical turn when a male baboon viewed the rear of a nearby female before examining it more closely. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 135mm, 1/1600s @ f5.6, ISO 640

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 135mm, 1/1600s @ f5.6, ISO 640

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 135mm, 1/1600s @ f5.6, ISO 640

Another group of baboons, huddled together. In terms of its composition I like this image, but it does show what I was referring to earlier with the lack of sharpness. This group had settled down and weren't showing signs of going anywhere fast so I figured I had time to check my auto focus settings. With the shutter speed at 1/5000th of a second and the camera having focused properly, there should be no reason for such a lack of sharpness, and yet here it is. 


Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 280mm, 1/5000s @ f5.3, ISO 1000

Tapirs apparently grow the white tips out of their ears, but on this one, they are still shown. Probably not the most flattering shot.

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 230mm, 1/2500s @ f5, ISO 1000

I have a friend who when seeing these next two images may think "Ooh, a giant hamster!", (Chuckle I'm looking at you). The Capybara (shown) like to live near water and their write-up on the zoo website states that their eyes, nostrils and ears are all at the top of the head and stay above the water when swimming. Funny then that I saw them diving the other day. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 116mm, 1/400s @ f4.2, ISO 1000

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 240mm, 1/400s @ f5, ISO 1000

Lionesses sort of speak for themselves... lazy sods

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 230mm, 1/320s @ f5, ISO 1000

Chilean Flamingos

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/8000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

One of the King Colobus Monkeys, this one casually grazing. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 185mm, 1/3200s @ f4.5, ISO 1000

Two East African Crowned Cranes, of of which is outstretching its wings. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 125mm, 1/3200s @ f4.2, ISO 1000

Emperor Tamarin... posing.

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/2500s @ f5.6, ISO 1000