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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Wildlife Portrait

Here's a couple of shots from earlier this year - just wanted to add a few images to this nicely growing thread).


Double-crested Cormorant Portrait (Anhinga Trail, Everglades, FL):





Great Blue Heron Profile (Wakodatatchee, Florida):



Keep 'em coming!
 
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Rob Peterson

New member
Return of Hercules!

I returned to the Dallas Zoo last Saturday to participate in one of their Photo Safari events. The Photo Safari is special because the Zoo's full time photographer, Cathy Burkey, hosts the group. We enter the Zoo an hour before the gates open, get a briefing from Cathy, then she guides us around, driving a cart that carries our gear. Occasionally a manufacturer's representative will attend, and allow Safari participants to work with new or expensive gear, e.g., a 1Ds II or a 400mm F/2.8L.

Cathy prearranges our visit with the keepers of four enclosures. The keepers generally preposition food in the enclosure, and release the animals once the Safari group is settled. For the gorillas the most special treat is a "popsicle," fruit and nuts in ice with an embedded rope used to hang the ice block from a tree limb.


Hercules contemplating which treat to extract next.​

This is the same lowland gorilla, named Hercules, whose portrait I posted eary in this topic. He's a silverback, in his upper 30's if I remember correctly.

Bob
 

Jeff O'Neil

New member
Thought I'd add a couple of my own for consideration.

The first is a crop of a shot taken through almost white plexiglass after years of abuse. This Gibbon decided to stand up and I jumped a railing and pressed the camera right up to the plexiglass. This is called Darwin. This is a crop of the original shot.



Next is Charles a Silverback gorrila. I found Charles almost pouting in the corner. The zoo attendant expalined the other's had been quite..ahem..frisky that morning and Charles was rejected and not invited to partake. Hence he was hunkered down in amongst the rocks all afternoon.


Hope you enjoy looking forward to comments.

Jeff
 
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Darwin indeed! Definitely captures an "evolutionary" feel/idea, and I think having it face away from the camera helps.

And "pouting" is quite to the point - I've seen that expression on my kids/grandkids!

Thanks for sharing.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Bob,

That gorilla sure is interested! Now how does he geet the apple? Does he wait, puzzled or has he have insight and know the sun will melt the ice or else does he smash it with a stick?

Anyway, it is a revealing portrait!

Thanks for sharing,

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jeff O'Neil said:
Thought I'd add a couple of my own for consideration.

The first is a crop of a shot taken through almost white pleiglass after years of abuse. This Gibbon decided to stand up and I jumped a railing and pressed the camera right up to the plexiglass. This is called Darwin.

Next is Charles a Silberback gorrila. I found Charles almost pouting in the corner. The zoo attendant expaline the other's had been quite..ahem..frisky that morning and Charles was rejected and not invited to partake. Hence he was hunkered down in amongst the rocks all afternoon.

Hope you enjoy looking forward to comments.

Jeff
I must say I thought this first one, the gibbon, was a trick image of an actor in an ape suit for Halloween! The hair on the back of the neck looked, at first, like it was from the head part of the costume. The long arms? Well I am not seeing them move. Still, the ground looks genuine enough. As Don points out, this does make Darwin look smart!

The Siverback is of course handsome and those big eyes too good even for movies!

Asher
 

Jeff O'Neil

New member
Ahsher..the web sized photo does not doi it justice....it is a beautiful print.

From the moment I got home and cleaned up the picture....and truly this was shot through a milky whilte plexiglass....it took a lot of time to get it visible..I was in awe of the animals physical structure.

I understood why Darwin said we came from the apes.

Jef
 

Jeff O'Neil

New member
As for Charles..well he was pissed! He is the resident senior gorilla and had been chased off by the females that morning. So he sat..from what I'm told all day in the corner. I caught him in very dim light and thanks to RAW was able to pull this picture out of the capture. All were shot handheld.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jeff,

I now realize how incredibly long the gibbon's arms are. They almost reach his feet, They are, it seems, double the length expected from human proportions. Still, from the posture, at least, the guy looks like an actor on a movie set! Do you have any more pictures? I'm interested to know what benefit there would be for man to lose all that hair?

Asher
 

Jeff O'Neil

New member
Asher..I'll dig out the original shot tomorrow. I'll actually try and post it in it's oringinal form..very cloudy and what I was able to derive from photoshop. Sadly I'm not sure at this moment if I have the original. Computer and hard drive crash last month claimed some originals. And btw..I have read the forums extensively on long term storage since then!

Jeff
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Baby Giraffe with Leica R9 with Digital Back

This is my first try with the Leica R9 using a 70-180 telephoto lens ISO 400 at 1/500 sec, f2.8, no flash, hand held, manual focus, animals moving.



I really like the files. I developed them in AR then CS2.

This, BTW, is a crop 25% crop of a larger iamge.

Asher.
 
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Jeff O'Neil

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Jeff,

I now realize how incredibly long the gibbon's arms are. They almost reach his feet, They are, it seems, double the length expected from human proportions. Still, from the posture, at least, the guy looks like an actor on a movie set! Do you have any more pictures? I'm interested to know what benefit there would be for man to lose all that hair?

Asher
Asher,

Thank you for your kind comments. This was a one shot oppotunity. We were walking to another section of the Gorilla Rainforest pavillion when I spotted this fellow standing bt a stream facing away from me. He was in an area that the public generally does not visit. I slipped under a railing and pressed the camera right up against the milky plexiglass. I recall that due to the plexiglass I took three shots at different exposures as I knew I'd have a lot of PS work to make the picture turn out.
 

Jeff O'Neil

New member
Asher...impressive manual focusing! Giraffe babies and their moms are a little difficult to get both their heads totally in the shot..lol

Obviously you liked the Leica.

Jeff
 

Rob Peterson

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Bob,

That gorilla sure is interested! Now how does he geet the apple? Does he wait, puzzled or has he have insight and know the sun will melt the ice or else does he smash it with a stick?

Anyway, it is a revealing portrait!

Thanks for sharing,

Asher
I really like this portrait. I think that's partly because his expression looks so human, or at least we empathize with his feelings.

During the time I watched him he seemed much more interested in smaller morsels closer to the surface of the ice block. Because I've been part of a group I've never been able to watch the gorillas work on the ice block for more than 20 or 30 minutes. I gather the keepers prepare the "popsicles" with some regularity, so I expect Hercules knows how to deal with it. I'll be at the Zoo again Sunday, and I'll ask.

Bob
 

Mary Bull

New member
Asher, I certainly do like this picture of the baby giraffe--and its mother?

You arranged the shot so that we can almost reach out and pet the baby.

There have been three new young giraffes at the Nashville Zoo since last spring. I simply haven't had the opportunity to go see them yet. At the rate things are going, they'll be full grown before I get to view them.

The zoo provides natural habitat enclosures for all its animals. Special tours are available for zoo "members"--people who support the zoo with an annual subscription. It's on my to-do list to become a member and get some of those special privileges for myself.

Back to thepicture: The giraffe baby is wonderful and I am so happy that you decided to post it here.

Mary
 

Steve Fines

New member
Just found this forum. Lots of good names here. Hope my entries aren't too late to the party...


1.


"Snow"


2.


"Bear cub peeking"


3.


"Loon drying wings towards sunrise"
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
I agree with Mike, the polar bear watching snow fall is wonderful.
The other two are also great pictures, I wish I could take such pictures myself :).
Welcome!

Cheers,

Cem

PS: On a different note, hopefully you were at a safe place/distance when shooting those bears.
Just yesterday I have seen pictures of a man attacked in his tent by a bear. He barely survived and managed to kill the bear with a gun. It was not a nice sight how he looked after being half chewed up.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
There is something destructive, in my mind, about showing kids stories of bears eating porridge, wearing aprons and baking bread. Then one sees these Aussie and South African game "experts" that mess with wild anmals like they were tricky, but you can deal with them is you are reasonably careful.

Well that is all nonsense. It's bad for the bears and bad for us!

That beat in the snow is magnificent! I have the greatest admiration for wild animals like that. No one is there to give them first aid or to provide food they don't catch. I love to admire them. Just that.

Sorry to get serious, but with the melting of the ice caps, bears are being stranded on eice flows. Penguin colonies have died that way.

Anyway, I love these pictures. The second has a wonderful bokeh. The last is magnificent. That should sell! I can see that as a large print, Magnificent.

So tell us where each was taken and how. There must be a story with each one!

The bear impresses me but in final thoughts, the last one, with the golden light on the neck of the bird is definately the best picture. The bear, white on white is technically harder to shoot and even harder to print.

The bird landing is however, just perfect!

Asher
 
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Steve Fines

New member
Asher Kelman said:
So tell us where each was taken and how. There must be a story with each one!

The bear impresses me but in final thoughts, the last one, with the golden light on the neck of the bird is definately the best picture. The bear, white on white is technically harder to shoot and even harder to print.

The bird landing is however, just perfect!

Asher

Hello,

Thanks for the kind comments.

The loon is certainly my favorite of the three. The quality of light, still head, sense of motion in the wings, pose, etc. all make it a little better than the average capture. It was taken from a canoe, 1dsm2 500/4IS handheld right at sunrise. I need to get a loon call, as I spent a lot of time chasing after loons last summer in the canoe and it would be much easier of they came to me. I could get a boat with a motor, but that would ruin (for me) being on a still Minnesota lake at sunrise.

The black bear is a cub in the rain. It was take in northern Minnesota. When the mother noticed a male approaching she sent her three cubs up the tree. I doubt he was really peeking at me - I just happened to be at the right angle. 1dsm2, 500/4 IS with 1.4x.

Polar bear - I was on a frozen lake in Northern Canada when this guy sauntered along. Had to get pretty low (lens about 15" off the ice) to make this work, as unless the snow had the dark background of the trees one couldn't see it against the sky. Ideally I might have gotten low enough to have the bear against the dark background, but then I would be bear food. I was with two guys with both shotguns and flare guns - when the bear got to close a flare was fired and he ran away. 1dsm2, 500/4 IS with 2x


Another comment was made - "This one should sell" - although the loon and bear are significantly more difficult to capture well and in my mind are artistically much more interesting, the black bear is the one that sells as it is cute.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Steve,

A loon's call? Is that a kind of whistle? If so how skilled does one have to be and how well does it work. Who comes, males or females or the chicks? Are loons monogamous? If so, isn't it bad that they check you out anyway? :)

Also, how are loons related to "loony" or as crazy as a "loon" ?

BTW, are they always here or do they migrate and do hunters/native Americans shoot them for sport/food?

Asher
 

Steve Fines

New member
Hello,

They have 4 distinct calls that I am aware of (I'm no bird expert, just spend a lot of time with them on the lake). It would have to be a recording played back on a speaker, as they are too complicated and different for one device to replicate.

I can distinguish males and females when they are together, but if just one flies in I cannot tell. So I really don't know who would come. They supposedly are monogamous, but then so are humans.

Their long drawn out call (looking for other loons), esp at night is a little spooky to some. I think that's where the reference comes from. Personally I just love the sound of them on the lake.

They migrate as they need open water to hunt.

I've never heard of anyone hunting them.
 

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Namibia

We were in the car stoped and the motor was not running.
The lions came to us with their mother.
Then they went away.
I had then a Nikon 5400 or 4500 ..



Approaching



They were right there and I called them clapping my fingers against the car !
 

Ivan Garcia

New member
Feeding time

These are Rockhoppers penguins.
I took the picture yesterday at Whipsnade wild animal park.



Canon EOS 5D 100-400mmL @400 1/500sec, F/8, ISO 1600.
 
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Mike Spinak

pro member
Ivan,

That's a lovely shot, though I'd prefer if there was a little more space to the left of the background penguin's beak.
 

Joel Slack

New member
Okay, I don't know who this "Steve Fines" character is, but I officially punted on the idea of putting any of my shots on here once I saw those amazing photos. I am so jealous I can barely speak!
 

Ivan Garcia

New member
Mike Spinak said:
Ivan,

That's a lovely shot, though I'd prefer if there was a little more space to the left of the background penguin's beak.
.
Thank you Mike.
The picture is full frame (no crop), you are right, with hind sight, a bit more room on the left would have given the picture better balance.
 
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