Monday, August 31, 2009

A Visit to the Zoo (Part 1)

ready, steady, shoot! (by brandoneublogspot)
On a beautiful day, a group of Fotoholics brought their gears and headed to the Melbourne Zoo for some shots. (Photo courtesy of Brandon)

IMG_6330 (by changyang1230)
Photography in the zoo is a tricky business. Since visitors are usually kept a fair distance away from the animals, a good quality telephoto zoom lens is very useful in photographing the animals up close. For the unfamiliar, telephoto zoom lenses are those that are able to "zoom in" a lot and give you a magnified view of subjects from a distance. Here Lynn is seen holding a piece of expensive glass (Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS) that happens to be the same glass this picture is taken with.

IMG_5277 (by changyang1230)
The difference between a "standard zoom" lens and a "telephoto zoom" lens is this,

IMG_6331 (by changyang1230)
and this.

Like the previous pic, the second shot is also shot from behind the wired fences; however the telephoto zooming and the high aperture value (f/2.8) have rendered the fences invisible. Furthermore, the second pic is shot from a further distance away from the first pic. Also noteworthy is the pleasant "bokeh" (the blurring of the background) in the second picture.

Innocence (by changyang1230)
Despite the obvious advantage offered by a telephoto lens, all is not lost when all we have is a standard lens. In the zoo there are still many other interesting things easily captured with a standard lens like unsuspecting kids,

Sniffing the Morning Air (by changyang1230)
lizards that are sniffing the morning air,

Pursuit of Happiness (by changyang1230)
and naughty little turtles.

IMG_6334 (by changyang1230)
I am not too much of an animal lover, probably because I have not really visited many zoos when I was little. Growing up in a small town in North Malaysia, the nearest Zoo to me is some three hours drive away. Before coming to Australia I have probably only been to the zoos two times.

IMG_6372 (by changyang1230)
Compare that to Melbourne. Melbourne Zoo is just a 30-minute walk from my house, and there are two other zoos just one hour's drive away (Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary). The zoos here are quite children-friendly. Here a girl is seen patting a giant tortoise while having picture taken by the zoo staff - an up-close package sold at a price of 20 dollars.

IMG_6536 (by changyang1230)
Meanwhile, this boy is saying hi to an orangutan for free.

[to be continued]
[Continued here]


jasmine said...

oh. i didn't know high aperture values do that (blur the fence). interesting.