Big Cats – Inspiring Photo Subjects

Amur Tiger

Big cats represent primal forces. When you see one, even if it’s captive, the human response comes from deep inside the most primitive parts of our brain. Our alertness level perks right up. Instinctively, you sense something powerful and dangerous is nearby. Your DNA knows which one of you is more likely to be having the other for dinner, and not as a guest. (more…)

Awesome Color – The Rainbow Lorikeet

 A Rainbow Lorikeet shows off his color

My favorite creature to photograph this week is the Rainbow Lorikeet. They are an Australian native, so it’s not like you’ll find one in your backyard, but they are common in zoos. Often they are kept in walk-through enclosures like the one at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina. (more…)

Photographing a Lowland Gorilla

Lowland Gorilla PortraitYesterday was the day for photographing the lowland gorilla.  I’ve tried to get a good image of this guy several times in the past, with pretty much zero success.  The Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina is my favorite zoo from a photography perspective. Even so, the animals are often too far away for a portrait, even as an effective 600mm.  Sometimes there are other problems.  In this case, the lowland gorilla chose to perch himself behind the wire enclosure.   (more…)

SuperTelephoto Glass

A Ring Tailed Lemur

Telephoto and super telephoto glass is all about expanding your horizons.  Long focal lengths bring a much bigger universe to your camera sensor.  An old saying in photography is that the best long lens is your legs.  Well, sometimes just getting closer works, sometimes it’s impossible, and sometimes it’s dangerous. (more…)

Hamadryas Baboon in the Sun

Hamadryas Baboon

I got this shot of a male Hamadryas Baboon at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia South Carolina.  This big male was just chilling out, soaking up a few rays in the morning.  It was near perfect light, against a clean backdrop so the image just composed itself.  Riverbanks is a very photographer friendly location.  Many of the exhibits are like this one, with no glass or wire screen to obstruct the shot.  If you can be patient you’ll usually get some kind of decent shot. (more…)