Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's All Happening At The Zoo

It's been quite some time since I've shared some of my photography in one of my posts.

On Sunday, November 2nd, I had the opportunity to participate in the Los Angeles Zoo's 19th Annual Photo Day. Although I was operating a camera system, which was completely foreign to me, and dealing with a substantial learning curve, I did manage to get some relatively decent shots. What you'll see here are a few of my best shots from that day.

All of the pictures were taken with a Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 70mm-300mm zoom lens.
The gorilla picture, however, was taken with a Nikkor 500mm zoom lens at one of the telephoto stations, which was set up in advance for the photographers.

I loaned all of the camera equipment from various participating vendors, including my tripod. Being able to test drive this equipment was included in the registration fee as well as a continental breakfast, a box lunch, a nifty t-shirt (used to identify participants), and more.

This was the first photo day for me, and I was absolutely amazed at the extent of organization that was required to pull off this event.
It required the involvement of Mark Comon and his staff from Paul's Photo, the staff and docents from the Los Angeles Zoo, the vendors from companies such as Nikon, Sony and Olympus (Canon was a no show...::mutter::) and the participants themselves, not to mention others who are unbeknownst to me.

Since participants, numbering about 200, were allowed entrance to the zoo early, zookeepers actually brought out reptiles and insects for the photographers to use in close up shots: snakes, a tortoise, a blue-tongued skink, a hissing cockroach, a rather big millipede, a large walking stick and more.

Each hour was packed with options. Frequently, those options were on opposite ends of the zoo, and yours truly wanted to take it all in. Needless to say, I covered a lot of ground, hiking from one end of the zoo and uphill to the other end several times throughout the day while lugging my backpack, camera equipment and tripod.

All in all, it was a pretty remarkable day. I had no idea exactly how active I had been until the next day. I was so caught up in taking pictures that I was somewhat oblivious about the weight of carrying my daypack and transporting the tripod on my shoulders, of hiking up and down the zoo paths, of stepping up and squatting down for certain camera angles. My arms had a workout from setting up the tripod and packing up the tripod ad infinitum.

When I woke up the next morning, stiff doesn't even describe the state of various body parts. I was certain that had turned to stone or that someone had injected concrete into my neck and shoulders.

Yet, I can tell you this. I plan on doing it all over again next year.


Connie said...

How very cool. I do believe it! I do believe it's true!

Candace said...

I should have seen that one coming!

Did I set myself up or what?

You got me laughing as always, Connie.

You've also planted that song in my head, which will probably take root and stay there for the rest of the day!

tissa1020 said...

Hi- found you when I added Sajama to my "Favorite Music" - Sajama - DO you know Ruben??

HOW could I forget S & G??? We picked up a CD "Live 1969" at a Starbux one day & I introduced them to my daughter...

"And the animals will love it if you do..." THIS song was one of her favorites - I think I might be "the Zookeeper"...

- I bought the CD because - The Boxer - is on it.

Candace said...

Tissa: I might have met Ruben Ortiz and not known it at the time. My husband and I first saw Sajama and heard their music live at Universal CityWalk (Los Angeles).

If you like Sajama, it's quite likely that you would also enjoy Cusco.

"The Boxer" is yet another example of well-written lyrics. Even without music, the writing has a rhythm and life of its own.

tissa1020 said...

Cusco - yes - and lots of others that are played Saturday & Sunday AM on KSBR -

Just don't have Cusco listed...