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Thread: Lunch Break

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Lunch Break

    Giant Panda at the San Diego, California Zoo...

    Lunch Break

  2. #2

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    Re: Lunch Break

    Not only is this a very nice environmental portrait with great detail in the hair, but it is also your 4000th post. Yowza!

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Lunch Break

    I never noticed the number of postings... No wonder my wife tells me I spend too much time on my computer...

    Maybe, I should have posted this in landscape and nature... After-all, a giant panda is hardly a pet! But, then again, a zoo isn't really nature!

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    Re: Lunch Break

    Great shot. So hard to get a good zoo shot with a natural-appearing setting, but you nailed it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lunch Break

    Love these bears.....I have literally spent hours watching the pandacam when they have little ones. Great shot. Is this through glass?

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Lunch Break

    Debbie...

    No this is not shot through a glass. There is a glass partition but, I was able to shoot over it.


    Kevin...

    The viewing area is elevated a bit above where the Pandas live so when I shot, there was no distracting background. Of course, shooting at a fairly long focal length (176mm on a 1.6x camera) at f/4 gives me a thin enough DOF to knock the background OOF. The San Diego Zoo tries to house their animals in areas that look fairly natural. However, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (which used to be called the San Diego Wild Animal Park) has enclosures which look quite a bit more natural than the Zoo enclosures. Of course, there is more available space at the Safari Park.

    I just don't shoot unless I can provide a natural background for my animal portraits. Or... rather I try not to shoot and don't keep the images that have obvious man made backgrounds if I have inadvertently included a man-made BG...

  7. #7
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Lunch Break

    What a great image Richard. Just can't help but crack a smile for a Panda.

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Lunch Break

    These big wonderful bears are just fun to watch and shoot...

    Lunch Break

    The San Diego Zoo has volunteer Docents stationed at strategic intervals to provide information about the various animals. The volunteer told us about the Red Panda who, although shares the same general range as the Giant Panda, is no relation to the big fellows. The Red Panda is closer to the Raccoon or Weasel. The name "Panda" comes from the local word for "bamboo eater".

    Lunch Break
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 6th December 2012 at 04:41 PM.

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    Re: Lunch Break

    Like others have suggested Richard, the great achievement is in getting a shot inside the zoo to not look like a shot inside the zoo. In addition, however, these are just really good images. You've captured the moment so far as there being lots of interest in the scene (they're not just sitting looking at the camera) and you've dealt with the blacks and whites of Giant Panda very well.

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    I've got to admit...

    I messed up at the zoo. I again neglected to bring my clear glasses and I cannot see the camera controls very well using my polarized sun glasses and cannot read them at all without glasses. So much for old age...

    Some of my shots were over exposed. However, I was able to save a lot of them in PS CS6...

    I really think that I need to get a pair of clip on sun shades for my clear glasses. I want the type that can be flipped up.

    Regarding some zoo enclosures, I hate shooting through glass... There are quite often reflections to battle as was the case with this shot of an orangutan. See lower left of image. I cropped out most of the reflection and tried to use the clone stamp to further eliminate the problem...

    Lunch Break

    Sometimes polarizing filters can help but, often the "glass" is not really glass, but heavy plexiglass type material. Shooting through Plexiglass with a CPL can often cause moire effects...

    I have seen a black tent-like affair that you can attach with suction cups to the glass. The unit has a hole in the rear through which you can stick the camera lens to avoid reflections. I am going to play around fabricating a similar, but smaller shooting tent without suction cups. When I finally have it perfected, I will post it on CiC....

    I have tried pressing the lens hood of the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens against the glass but, that has only limited value...

    I wonder about cutting a round hole, the diameter of my lens. through the back of a rubber toilet plunger and just sticking the cup of the plunger against the glass. Anyone else have any ideas???

    The rubber collapseable lens hoods work fairly well but I want more ability to move the angle of my lens...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 6th December 2012 at 05:17 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: I've got to admit...

    Really excellent pictures Richard. As mentioned above, a Panda is always sure to bring a smile to anyones face, especially captured as well as that.

    I can offer no advice on the shooting through glass thing, but, as a glasses wearer myself I can offer one very solid piece of advice to you...............do not get some of those flip up sunglasses attachements!!! Even Kylie Minogue would struggle to look good wearing those! (plus they are heavy and make your glasses slip down your nose)

  12. #12
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    Re: I've got to admit...

    They are all wonderful images Richard.

    I think they are all portraits of intelligent beings, not just animals (except perhaps from the firefox). You can see that in their eyes. Zoo always make me sad, they are like a prison.

    All images seem well exposed and framed to me (ok there a part of the ear missing in the first one but no big deal ). Color and DoF also looks perfect.

  13. #13
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I've got to admit...

    Mitos...

    I noticed that part of the ear was missing but, Iliked the expression.

    Some zoos are better than others. The two zoos in the San Diego California area try to give the animals as much freedom as possible and have them in areas akin to their natural suroundings.

    The volunteer guide mentioned that the the average lifespan of a Giant Panda in the wild is 20-years while in captivity, they live to an average of 30-years. I cannot verify that statement...

  14. #14
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    Re: I've got to admit...

    Beautiful pictures, Richard. My dad had pictures from the late 50's of the San Diego Zoo that always made me want to visit. I finally did in 2006 and was not disappointed. It's a great zoo but looking back at my pictures, I did not manage to get any so natural looking as yours. I wasn't as into photography then but still... you really pulled off some skillful shots here!

  15. #15
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Not your typical zoo animal...

    They don't have to feed this female gorilla and her baby. I just love bronze statues...

    Lunch Break

    There are beautiful bronzes all over the zoo...

    Here are the paparazzi from my photo club...

    Lunch Break
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 7th December 2012 at 02:25 PM.

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