Sunday, January 24, 2010

Auckland Zoo and the Camera Result

Well enough about Mobility Saga's. Onto the real reason I went to the zoo. To try out my new Camera. Whenever I want to try out a camera, I always pick the zoo as a place to shoot. The reason is there is a wide variety of subjects - not only the animals, but people, landscapes and the zoo gardens are beautiful as well.

On Friday though, I was only interested in testing out my camera for speed. I was after fast animals. So my first port of call was the Australian Aviary. I don't know what they were doing, but the aviary was empty. Almost devoid of what makes it an aussie aviary. The Lorikeets and the King Parrots were simply.... gone!

However I did get a few Zebra finches, which move at the speed of a silver bullet. I was quite happy with the result...

The only thing I don't like about the above image is that you can kind of see the wire cage in the background. When I take Zoo photos, I try and avoid anything that looks man made in the background. This makes the image look more 'natural', as if you've taken the image in the wild, rather than in a zoo.

This one is better. I'm wondering if Zebra Finches Blink, or whether this one was feeling a bit dopey...

Regardless, I was happy with the performance of the 7D with these two bird shots. Both images I took on ISO 800 and a fast shutter speed. This does increase the 'grain' or 'noise' but I can live with that.

Onto the Hippo Pool. It was deserted at first as the keepers were raking up old hay and cleaning down the concrete in the enclosure. So the ducks had the pool all to themselves. This duckling swam to the beat of his own drum while the hippo pool was being cleaned. Instead of being with his other 13 siblings near to mum, it swam around the pool all on it's own for ages. I was amazed at how fast it could go, when it was all of 2 inches high! It was one plucky ducky!

There were others about - I got a group of three here, although my depth of field was a little bit on the narrow side as not all of them are in perfect focus. The joys of zoom lenses! While the water was a bit on the murky side, I loved the sharp reflections.

Then the Hippos came back. I loved the detail the 7D afforded me from such a distance. Wouldn't you love to get your hands on his nose hairs and pluck them! Do a proper facial on him! And look at those lips! Botox he doesn't need!

Keeping my camera on fast shutter speeds and high ISO helped freeze the water in this shot. A pleasing result!

Onto the Seal Pool to find two seals fighting. I was surprised how quick they were able to move for their size. It tested out the action shots, one I'm pleased with, the other not so. This one I was happy with - nice and sharp.

I also went and viewed in the underwater section. I had thought they were fast up on top, but underwater, they are like torpedoes. Whilst some of the water looks like it's 'noisy', in actual fact it's millions of tiny little bubbles from the creatures stirring it up in their play. They rolled, dived and put a real show on for me!

Onto the otters. These are the fidgeters of the animal world. They never stay still and are always a challenge to shoot. I got some good ones with my old camera (20D), but I have to admit the 7D made it easier... The burst mode per second with the 7D far outstrips the 20D so I was able to get lots of sharp images.

I love how it's brought out the detail in the water.

Lots of newborn chicks around the zoo. I guess wherever there's an abundance of food for the taking, there will always be high population of birds, and population explosions. The zoo has a number of bantam chickens running around and it seemed they all had lots of family... This chicken has been perhaps my best ever 'perfect' shot on the technical side - a perfect bell curve of light after taking it. Amazing!

Those are all the images I've processed so far - lots more to do. The downside of having a camera with such a huge amount of megapixels, is that I notice the processing is a bit slower. My 4gb of RAM in my laptop all of a sudden isn't quite 'enough'! But it will have to do!



You've got me planning to visit our Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago as soon as the weather moderates. Terrific shots.

Robyn said...

Yes - all the animals will be in hibernation up there. Best to wait til Spring when they will all have spring fever!

Although - if it's been snowing, some of the big cats in the snow would make lovely images.

I look forward to seeing them. Wish I could come with you!


Smalltown RN said...

What great photos...and that looks like a great zoo....I am going to be in Australia next year for my nieces wedding....I am so excited as I have never been there.....

Robyn said...

@SmalltownRN - glad you enjoyed the images. If you're in Australia, then Taronga Zoo in Sydney is a great zoo. But if you get to New Zealand, then Auckland Zoo is a must visit :)

Morgan said...

Hold it.... should you really have been operating such a complex camera when you already have the complexity of the mobility scooter to deal with? Two levers is quite enough without extra buttons to take into consideration.

Besides - surely it doesn't say on your drivers licence that you are allowed to operate such advanced equipment???