Oh my, we were late in getting to the Sacramento Zoo and the small parking lot in William Land Park was almost full. And, the big yellow school busses were dropping off school aged kids. It was going to be a tough day of photography! I’m guessing the big cats already enjoyed their bones, because the ones that were in their enclosure were just about to nap.
One cheetah had begun to rest when the other one came over and this happened.
When we got to the giraffe enclosure, Cheyenne, the new young giraffe was out in the yard. What a treat!
All in all, it was a pretty good morning at the zoo after all. Next we went to the WPA Rock Garden, and I’ll show you that in my next post.
As photographers, we look for unique lighting situations. This week Ann-Christine suggests we look for images where the sun is lighting our subject from behind. I’ll admit that I take advantage of light without planning for it. I’m thinking I should get up early for that sunrise, but…… Or stay up late for sunset, but…. Or plan for the blue or golden hours, but… I just enjoy being out there with my camera photographing in whatever light nature gives me.
I’m a little late with my response, so I’ve had the chance to see many wonderful responses already. Here are some of my photos where I’ve put the sun backlighting my subject.
You know I photograph lotus flowers each year. The next two images are from the same shoot at Land Park’s pond. On the left, the lotus seems to be bowing under the sun’s strength. On the right, the sun creates translucent petals.
Other floral or leaves. Almond blossoms are backlit and in shade. Autumn leaves seem to be soaking up the sun so they can continue to change their color. A tree captures the sun on the back of its leaves during autumn.
Animals. I’ve chosen a deer and a horse. I enjoyed the glow the sun gave their bodies as it shined behind them.
When the sun is at your back, you create a self-portrait–your shadow.
My next images were taken just a few minutes or seconds apart. See the difference the setting sun makes in this landscape. I may have worked with the color in the second image, but I really can’t remember. You can still see the difference.
Finally, this challenge must end with a sunset!
Thank you Ann-Christine for this enjoyable challenge. Backlit images are so relaxing. Please remember to link to Ann-Christine’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag in the WP reader.I enjoyed seeing all your still life images last week and got many ideas. Next week Sofia’s challenge is on Mood: Places, photography styles, situations or portraits where moods are recognizable.
If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info.
I had two motivators for visiting the Sacramento Zoo recently. 1. I was gone for almost a month and hadn’t seen the new baby giraffe now named Cheyenne and, 2. I wanted to test out a new lens. With my Nikon, I had an 18-200mm lens which was a perfect walk-around lens. Unfortunately, Fujifilm doesn’t make a lens with that type of zoom. Recently Tamron came out with an 18-300mm lens for Fuji and Sony. So I bought the Fuji mount. The only drawback is its lack of an aperture ring on the lens. I was told that I could assign that function to the front dial and use the top dial to change the aperture.
When I purchased the lens, I was told that Fuji would make the switch automatically and when I put my Fuji lens back on it would revert back. I played with it while at the zoo and didn’t quite do it correctly. I ended up with sharp but noisy images. Thank heavens for Topaz!
The zoo didn’t disappoint. The cheetah was walking around; not running.
The red panda was walking the branches instead of sleeping.
The giraffes were being giraffes. Have you ever seen a two-headed, six-legged giraffe? We did get to see Cheyenne, but she was behind a fence and quickly went back inside with her mother.
The river otters were in their hammock.
And the lions were preparing for a nap.
One of the Okapi was out eating.
I almost forgot the alligator.
So, this was my morning at the zoo with friends Marlene, Laura and Ray. It’s good to be home and doing photography with friends.
I’ve had a lot of fun this morning playing with Lightroom. I’ve not done anything else, but I’ve had fun thanks to Bren of Brashley Photography’s challenge: Bringing Softness.
First I started with flowers. I did a select subject in LR and then inverted the selection, used the radial filter so some of the flower would be soft and then finished with moving the clarity slider over to the left. I also added a vignette.
Then I wanted to see how the technique would work on animals. I picked the Capybara (world’s largest rodent) and orangutan at the Sacramento Zoo. This wasn’t as easy as flowers but I did pretty much the same technique. I wanted their faces to remain sharp.
I also tried buildings in Boston. I’m not sure the technique worked as well. The radial filter became my friend. I wanted some of the building to remain in focus. In the corner building on the right, the doorway should be in focus.
I’ll finish with my landscape experiment. The first one on the left is from the Tulip Festival at Ananda Village. I think the clarity technique added a dreamy softness. The middle image is from a trip to Port Costa and taken on the way. The dreamy look is more slight. The last, on the right, is from the Port Costa trip also. I liked the way the background was made slightly soft while the railroad tracks in the front remained sharp.
Thank you Bren! I love learning new techniques, especially when I can use software I already have. Remember to link your response post to hers and use the Lens-Artists tag. Last week we saw and read about many differences with Amy’s challenge of East meets West. I enjoyed all you responses. Next week, Ann-Christine will present the challenge.
I will be on vacation through March 17th and not posting. I’ll see you all when I get back.
If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info.
Three weeks of constant rain had just ended. The greater Sacramento area had experienced downed trees and flooding. It was the first day of sunshine. We wanted to get out with our cameras, but where? We chose to visit the Morningsun Herb Farm in Vacaville. It promised not to be too muddy.
It was a short, fun outing. This description is from their website: Our family-owned nursery and display gardens have been in operation since 1995. We grow over 500 species of herbs, vegetables, unusual and drought-tolerant perennials and pollinator plants. We specialize in a huge selection of lavenders, propagating over 45 varieties in our greenhouses. Our display gardens, located in our family walnut orchard, are wonderful teaching tools for gardeners, chefs, herbalists, and crafters. The gardens are also used by amateur photographers and artists for inspiration. Bring a picnic lunch to relax in the gardens, and some extra treats to share with our donkeys (although we may post special diets due to doctor’s orders).
They did welcome us, allowing us to freely roam the area. Here are some of the buildings.
I found two sculptures of interest. The first shown are two images of the same sculpture. I thought the cactus looked happy.
I did find the farm animals. This goat had an itch before it went to the fence to get acquainted with me.
And, of course, they had a store.
Lastly, I liked this weathered bench with a shirt thrown on it.
We were glad to get out and happy to be welcomed at this small herbal nursery.
I find that I’m getting lazy when I photograph. I used to do as Patti suggests in this week’s challenge: bend down, sit down, walk around and even lay down to get the shot. Now I find that I stop myself after I take one shot and begin to walk away. I think it’s more physical aging than being lazy.
Sometimes I don’t have to bend down to get a different perspective. Sometimes I just walk around and aim the camera up. This red sculpture is found in Roseville’s Sculpture Park. While it’s a well known landmark, Roseville has cleverly hidden it behind a shopping center. But it can be seen from the freeway. Maybe the sculpture came first and the shopping center second.
My next example is of stepping back and changing position to get a different scene from the same area. This was taken at Fort Ross Historical Park in Jenner. I’ve never seen wild Calla Lilies, but they are here. We start out with a larger view of the coast and then come in to find the wildflowers (you can barely see them).
Sometimes it’s patience that gives us a new perspective on a picture. This Orangutan at the Sacramento Zoo required patience as I waited and followed his moves.
Finally, it’s taking a shot of many and bringing it down to just one for a different perspective. These poppies were found in Sutter Creek, Amador County.
Thank you Patti for reminding me to position myself to get the “one subject three ways!” When you post on this challenge please remember to link to Patti’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We all enjoyed finding our special treasures as prompted by Tina last week. Ann-Christine is hosting next week’s challenge.
Early this month we decided to beat the heat and went to the Sacramento Zoo when it opened. To our surprise, it was pleasant weather wise. However, the animals were being ornery. I don’t know why they turn away when they see a camera! Many weren’t in their enclosures and the nocturnal animals were sleeping early.
The orangutans were playing and eating in their enclosure. Finally one decided to turn around.
Thank goodness it was bone day, and the lions and jaguars were still gnawing at their treats.
By now we should have a new baby giraffe. I guess as soon as it gets a little cooler I’ll get down their to see him/her. The docents are hoping for a girl because she would get to stay. If it’s a male then when he gets to a certain age, he’ll be sent to another zoo.
One of the alligators was active and swimming towards the platform we stood on. He doesn’t look too friendly.
Last we have the okapi. There was only one out that morning. They are an amazing looking animal.
You’ll notice there are no flamingo pictures this time. All the birds are inside because of the avian flu. They even drained the flamingos pool. I hope they are back when we visit next. They are fun to watch and photograph.
Our zoo is planning to move to Elk Grove, a city south of Sacramento but within Sacramento County. More acreage is needed for expansion and to house the current zoo animals. But, it’s not going to happen overnight. They say the zoo will move in stages. I wonder what that would mean for the visitors and animals. Change happens!
During a photography competition, the judge always looks into the subject’s eyes–whether human or animal. Are they sharp and have a catch light. This week, Tina challenges us to focus on the eyes of a subject. Eyes are doorways into the soul.
I managed to find some images in my archives to show you. Let’s start with one I enjoy looking at. My friend and I were at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge driving the course. Towards the end, a bald eagle was in a branch right over the road. To get this picture, I climbed up through her car’s sunroof. Look at those eyes. What do you think he’s telling me?
Two more animals: The coyote is on the hunt. You can see that he is focused in his eyes. While the parrot, is just being colorful and beautiful.
Burrowing owls are very small, but their eyes are big in comparison. Is he flashing a do not disturb sign with those eyes?
I don’t capture enough candid portraits of people. Here are two that tell different stories. The first gentleman was sitting on a bridge bench. His glasses hide the despair in his eyes, but his body language speaks. The woman is taking a break at the Pirate Festival. Her eyes are narrowed and relaxed. To me she’s reflecting on a good day of fun.
Another of my favorites is this flamingo trying to sleep at the Sacramento Zoo. What is he trying to tell me as I snap his picture?
A dog’s eyes are a true reflection of what he/she is thinking. I think he/she wants attention. What do you think?
Eye focus equals communication. At Toastmasters we teach “eye contact.” Look directly into your audience’s eyes. You can tell immediately whether or not your message is reaching them.
Thank you Tina for this wonderful eye opening topic. Remember to link your reply to her post. Next week we begin our tradition of summer guest hosts during July. Next week Aletta Crouse of Now at Home will focus onTreasures. Be sure to look for her post.
I love our small zoo. Why? Because I can walk it and take pictures within 1 1/2 – 2 hours. But we need more land for a larger zoo. We don’t have many large mammals because we can’t house them. Right now the Sacramento Zoo is in negotiations to move to Elk Grove where the zoo could grow into 70 acres from its now 14.4 acres. That’s a lot more room for the current animals and animals to come. Aside from the longer drive time, I’m wondering whether I will love a large zoo as much as this one. That move is a few years away so let’s look at some pictures I took in my visit early in May.
Let’s look at the birds first. Where I could ID them, their names are in the captions.
Next we have one of the alligators, quiet, he’s sleeping! And the Chimpanzees are grooming each other.
The River Otters are in a glass enclosure which is difficult to photograph through, but they were in great positions.
It was a great day to photograph the Red Kangaroos in their new larger enclosure. They were just given something to nibble on.
The Cheetahs were trying to nap but this one kept lifting his head to see what was going on.
My last two pictures are of the Giraffe (They make such funny faces.) and the Red Panda.
Full and tired after finishing their bones, the big cats were sleeping. The Orangutans didn’t want to come out to play. The Zebras were still eating. Everything was as it should be at the Zoo. I can’t wait until I go visit again.
This week, guest host John of John’s Space has challenged us to post images of humor. It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor–I do but it’s mostly sarcastic. So do I usually take humorous photos? No, but I do find some situations funny, especially at the Sacramento Zoo. If you go to a zoo enough, you’ll find the animals either look funny or are in funny situations. The following are examples.
I’ll end with the giraffes. They have such expressive faces.
Thank you John for helping us find some smiles in today’s tense world. As you answer this challenge, remember to link to his post and tag Lens-Artists. And thank you everyone for joining in on last week’s colorful challenge. I enjoyed seeing and reading all your responses. Next week Tina will lead our challenge. Be sure to stay tuned.