Friday, November 16, 2012

I Dreamed of....Something


During this time of year, I begin to dream of far away and exotic places.  Of course exotic doesn't always mean tropical:)
So like many, I start throwing ideas out there on where I'd like to go.  The list is long and the money is little.  On a tight tight budget, I could afford Central America which would allow for some fun birding, plant and overall wildlife photography.
Of course Africa is always there as is Asia as is South America.  Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia.....
So I had gone to the zoo to practice and observe elephants and birds earlier this year.  Granted, I'm not one for zoos but when I'm looking for some practice on different subjects, I head over there.  Mostly all of the photography on this blog is real wildlife discovery(98 percent of it anyhow) but the reason behind going to a zoo is to study behavior so that I can track the critter and get the shot down the road in the wild.  And I find a lot of joy in the observation.
When I'm out in the field, I get only one chance and this was important to note for myself from previous work.  Sometimes when I find the critters, I take the shots but they weren't what I had wanted because I hadn't thought about how I was going to set up the shot.
So for example, the peacocks.  Do I get the head shot?  Or do I do the full body?  With the longer lens, it can be tricky.  The head is in focus while the body is out of focus or vice versa.  And of course the lighting is always a challenge here in the desert.
So I decided to work on feather detail because I had time to organize my thoughts.  With the elephants, I worked on the dust bathing and wrinkles, etc.
So hopefully this will make me better at tracking and making a better photo composition.
And while doing all of this, there is the wildlife interacting with the zoo animals.  That also allows for some on the spot practice.  Grackles grabbing human food and snacks on the ground.  I'll say it again.....people are pigs.  Thankfully many birds thrive off of human nastiness.
But the bigger question, with funding being tight and budgeting a big factor, where or where will I go?
More tomorrow....

22 comments:

Bob Bushell said...

The elephants are always the best in every way, brilliant.

catmint said...

dear chris, it's definitely cowardly, and opting out, but although i love wildlife I tend to spend more time photographing plants. Unless It's a VERY windy day, tracking and composition is so much easier! Looking forward to finding out your destination ...

Ragged Robin said...

I am not overkeen on zoos either Chris but they are good places to practise wildlife photography. Some great shots there - really love the peacock pics. Good luck on planning your holiday :)

eileeninmd said...

Where to go there are so many places to choose from. Love you shots of the elephant, heron and peacock. I have a love -hate relationship wit zoos. I love the animals but hate to see them caged. Great shots, have a wonderful weekend!

Joop Zand said...

Nice shots Chris..... lovely peacocks

Greetings, Joop

Pam :) said...

There's nothing I enjoy more than a fun trip to the zoo and I haven't been in a very long time.. bye, bye, me and my inner-child are off to you know where :>)

RoeH said...

Amen! To the people part. I just got the book The Elephant Whisperer. I just love those guys and cry when I see them in those small 'cages'.

Thérèse said...

Perhaps a wildlife volunteering?

Phil said...

Good idea Chris. We have a zoo close by but I never go and maybe should do so, to as you say practice on large and small and their movements. Can't advise you as where to go but I did enjoy a trip to Mexico - sun, sand, sea and a decent selection of birds.

sweetbay said...

I think you would like the zoo in Asheboro, NC. The herbivores have large places to roam in and the aviary is fantastic -- lots of tropical plants and the birds are used to people and just do their thing.

I hope you can get away -- a great refresher for the mind and spirit!

TexWisGirl said...

i hope the zoo animals are comfortable and tended well.

Adam said...

cool peacock

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Tricky tricky question Chris..if the budget allowed I'd definitely recommend Africa. I grew up there and it is a totally amazing place. I one hundred percent agree with you about litterers, they make me crazy! I just don't get it how some people can treat the world like a trash can, grrrrrrrr!!

Gaelyn said...

Oh yes, I can see you are dreaming of far away places. While in Africa last time the elephants became my favorite. Zoos are conflict for me.

Betsy Adams said...

Oh I certainly understand TIGHT budgets.. Our retirement monies are quickly fading --due to the stock market!!! Scary!!!! We had hoped we could go on another big trip in 2013---but right now, I don't think that will happen. With this economy and the uncertainty with healthcare, etc.---we are one of trillions out there who have to take stock of our monies and hold TIGHT.... Hope you can find somewhere you can afford to go...

Hugs,
Betsy

Giga said...

Uwielbiam patrzeć na słonie, to olbrzymie i piękne zwierzęta. Żal mi ich jednak w Zoo. Ale tam je tylko mogę zobaczyć niestety. Pozdrawiam.
I love to see the elephants, a huge and beautiful animals. But I feel sorry for them at the Zoo. But where I can see them, unfortunately. Yours.

Diane AZ said...

Beautiful images, Chris! I guess I never studied a peacock's face before, I'm surprised by the markings and also that's quite a sharp looking beak too!

Diana of Elephants Eye said...

feel sad for your little elephants. At least they are safe from poachers.

Ellie said...

Isn't it a pain being on a tight budget - just think of all the places we could go if money was no object.
I love your elephant pictures - but then I love elephants :))

Stiletto said...

I love the headshots of the peacocks. I have taken photos of them but only concentrated on the plumes because they are so distractingly beautiful. Thanks to you, next time I'll go for the head, which is actually more interesting.

Marie said...

Interesting thoughts on practice with a camera to get the shots you want. I have a very pitiful little point and shoot digital with a bad zoom capability, and I have an older Nikon that uses film, and two lenses. I have recently started using the Nikon again, and am hoping for some really good shots. (Keep an eye out for some future posts) I love your peacock head-shots! By the way, I feel like you do about zoos (and I imagine, circuses) even though I will go to a zoo and try to enjoy the animals and appreciate the learning experience the zoo provides. But I have to ask, have you seen the documentary called One Lucky Elephant? The title is misleading. It's a disturbing film. It has made me even more upset about elephants in captivity. Just curious to hear your thoughts.

laura.forestdreams:) said...

i love elephants! of course ALL your pictures are great...but elephants are just such incredible creatures!

gorgeous peacock head shot!!