If He Hollers Make Him Pay

While I sit here and do battle with what we’ll simply refer to as the Plague of Peoria, it seemed like a good time to whip out another post.  This could be a sad time or joyful moment depending on your feelings towards the Indy Zoo mammals that have been bombarding you as of late.  If you can’t get enough of them and sit there continually refreshing your browser until the next post arrives.. you are going to be on the disappointment side because this is the last of the mammal shots – well technically not the last because there is one more but that will be a little bit different than these.  Now if you are sick and tired of these and are looking for the Hank William’s Jr. concert post well, you can start dancing now (how about an endurance test – you stop dancing when the HW Jr. post is actually made hehehe).

There are a lot of similarities in this post to the last one.  First off it is again about the big cat family.  Secondly, it contains a head to head competition with a certain someone else.  That certain someone else is in a bit of a pickle at the moment due to having difficulty navigating around the house with that giant ego inflation she received in the last set of comments.  Unlike the last post, I am going to make it more objective – not going to tell you who shot the pictures – you pick your favorite one or two and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.  In the meantime I’m interviewing for new brothers just in case.

If you didn’t get the topic from the title, how about now..

Yes folks, we are talking about the cute but oh so deadly Tiger.  This is one of the sets of shots that need some background to get the feel for the difficulty involved.  This specific enclosure has a visitor viewing area that consists of thick glass – possibly plexiglass – hard to tell at the time, but clearly difficult conditions when you are trying to get enough light through and not produce the shadow images as it passes through the glass.   Linda did impress me with being able to pull this off having only recently been taught by yours truly how to shoot on Manual mode (she doesn’t bring that up much does she?!).  She’s like my little Padawan.

As mentioned before, it was good and hot out and this particular specimen was doing its best to remain cool.  This must be serious business when it comes to cats because this one seemed to be only thinking ONE thing – what would it take to make it through that glass and snack on these idiots with their cameras. It is possible that the Tiger coloring just makes it appear pissed but Tony the Tiger doesn’t look that threatening.

Hit the jump to read more about these bad-ass killers

Continue reading If He Hollers Make Him Pay

A View from the Zoo

Greetings from the road to Terre Haute.  Linda and I are on our way back home from our trip to French Lick (chuckle) and thanks to being so far behind on posts this month I have resorted to using our travel time to pump a few blog posts out.  Today we have a special treat and by that I mean a guest photographer.  The first stop on our mini-vacation was to the Indianapolis Zoo.  Linda and I loaded up all of our camera equipment and headed out for a day of mirror slapping.  Later that night, Linda post processed some of her pictures for her peeps on Facebook (sigh).  I must say, she produced some amazing shots and thought I would share them with you.  Let’s start with the big cats.

That cat came out tack sharp with nice detail in the fur.  The tiger also has a look of intent as it stares down a small child with a face painting of a deer… kidding, it was actually watching his mate (below) taking a morning swim.  In truth, I would hate to be a deer that came face to face with that killing machine.  The composition isn’t the only thing that impresses me about this particular shot.  The fact that it even came out at all is a credit to Linda’s photographic abilities.  The tiger was actually behind GLASS at high sun.  One might be able to dismiss this as pure luck (hints of a certain sunflower picture), but then she pulled out this shot.

She also captured the tiger’s mate taking a swim in their pond.  Again, tack sharp (check), captivating expression (check), difficult lighting (check) with the added composition element of reflection (score).  All that is plenty enough but yes, it was taken through the very same glass protecting it from us.  She actually manually focused these shots to compensate for the false glass readings.  My only credit point is I taught her how to take pictures in full manual exposure mode which she is now downplaying as just a refresher from her 35mm Pentax days.  This is probably a good time to point out that it was extremely hot the day we were there which is probably why a cat (notorious for not really liking water) decided to seek relief in the stream.  “How hot was it?… it was so hot, even the cheetahs had their sneakers off and lounging in the weeds.”

Although not through glass, this big cat shot was nicely done as well.  It was actually in mid sentence asking us if we’d be willing to get it a slurpy (antelope flavored) to help cool down.  One of the features at the Indy zoo was to test your speed against a cheetah.  I had heard the programmed announcer (Tony Stewart who helped fund this exhibit) initiating the races which were going off about 3 minutes apart.  I was actually feeling sorry for the poor cheetah having to continually race in blistering heat until I came upon the race site.  It was just an electronic simulation consisting of lights representing the cheetah’s speed above a single lane track for the human to run on.  If those lights were accurate, that cat can move!    The heat was getting to everyone that day and most of the animals were seeking any shelter they could find in their natural pens.  The polar bear below was taking a snooze when we first arrived at the zoo around 9:15am.

Hit the jump to see a few more great pictures of wildlife at the Indy Zoo

Continue reading A View from the Zoo