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Monday, April 30, 2012

Zoo Photo Session

Our photography group (Sean, Henry, Edward, David, Joseph, Ashley, Caleb, Treyton, Brianna, James, Rebecca and Jaron, along with moms-Michelle, Heather, Christi, Wanda and )  met at the zoo today to take pictures of all the wild animals.  We met under the large canopy surrounded by exotic, tropical plants.  I thought the director, Charlotte, was only going to greet us and send us on our way, however, she had just had a photo-journalism class earlier in the day and shared this information with us as we toured around the zoo.  This was a great opportunity!

We started in the small animal house.  This includes the tamarins, bats, some birds, and reptiles.  Charlotte spoke to the 4Hers about taking pictures through glass and with obtrusive lighting.  I also talked about trying to find ways to frame pictures with natural features within the cages.  I did not know my framing technique was going to include a snake constricting around a very large rabbit!  Once we went inside the reptile house, Charlotte mentioned the importance of avoiding reflections from the opposite wall of displays.

Then we headed over to the otter display.  Charlotte showed the group a trick to animals that like to move around a lot.  She told them to focus on a point where the animal likes to be most of the time and wait for the moment the animal enters that area.  I thought this was a good trick that might work well with small children was well...LOL!

As we sauntering over to the alligators, flamingos, raccoons, lemurs, and komodo dragon, Charlotte was joined by her education director, Alissa.  An awesome picture of the alligators was there for the taking.  Two alligators were laying their heads on each other with their big grins. I hope someone got that picture!  We also discovered that the flamingos were nesting!  We got several photos of the nests.  The other animals are always fun to get pictures in different actions or just sitting there.

We circled around to the hippo display.  We have several shots of the underwater ballet that takes place each day.  We also have several pictures of them coming up to the surface of the water.  We were told it is best to take these pictures in the early morning so the debris in the water has not had time to get stirred up.

We did not have a good photo opportunity at the giraffe display, so we moved on to the big cats.  We took pictures of the lions, jaguar, and tigers.  We also got a group shot with the jaguar.  It is not easy  to see in this picture but the jaguar watched the camera the entire time.  He patiently waited for the rest of the group to get in line and allow a picture to be taken...LOL!

Our last round of pictures was at the eagle and wallabies.  Some of our boys went back for more pictures in different areas as well.

We finished just as the zoo was closing.  A big thanks to Charlotte and Alissa for sharing their zoo with us.  And especially, for Charlotte for sharing her understanding of zoo photography!

I would also like to say that while we were roaming around the zoo, some of our club members (Treyton, Brianna, Caleb, Daniel, and Jonah, along with moms-Myra, Brenda, and Robin) were decorating the extension office for our annual county Leadership banquet.  I will talk more about that tomorrow and show pictures of all they accomplished with the decorations.  It is so nice to our club members so involved at the county level.  This is just one more way our 4Hers help to 'make the best better!'

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