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,

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.

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
lizards that are sniffing the morning air,

Pursuit of Happinessbr /> and naughty little turtles.

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.

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.