Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

Posts tagged “Zoo

One Leaf

One Leaf

The recent warm weather at the Calgary Zoo had snow melting in places. The layers of deposits in this unused enclosure were melting at different rates, exposing the strata. A leaf that had been frozen in the snow was being freed by the heat of the sun.

In the best light…


Musk Ox Horn

Musk Ox Horn

The Musk Ox has one of the most distinctive horns in the North American animals department. I reminds me somewhat, of the African Cape Buffalo, in that it starts in the middle of the skull and spreads across the entire head. The shape however, is different. On looking at them closely, you can see that there is almost a wood grain pattern on the outside of the horn. The Musk Ox at the zoo seem quite passive but the lore of the musk ox is that they are active in their defence of the herd. Photographing a large animal through a fence can introduce a large number of distracting items. Using a long lens at a wide aperture allows you to narrow the focal point and reduce the subject area, leaving the distractions behind.

In the best light…


Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Morning Stroll

The elephants at the Calgary Zoo have always been one of the most favorite exhibits at the Zoo for my wife and me.

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Ram Tough

Ram Tough

On our recent photo walk to the Calgary Zoo, we visited one of our favourite exhibits, the North American Wildlife. I happened to see this Big Horn Ram just walking into a shaft of sunlight. The back lighting highlighted the horns and spine of the animal. I liked the warm browns of the the animal contrasting with the blue tones of the rocks in the background.

In the best light…


Regal Walk

Regal Walk

A King Penguin takes a stroll on a Penguin Walk at the Calgary Zoo at a recent photo walk. The penguins are taken out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 AM, weather permitting. The penguins only walk on days that are above –25c and below +10c. They are walking to raise money to help support penguins in the wild.

I pretty much stayed with my 70-200mm f/2.8 the whole day at the zoo, wanting to reduce background clutter. On the Penguin Walk, the tough thing is to try to get yourself situated where you have a good view and a background that you can deal with. You can get quite close to the birds, but no touching.

In the best light…


Preening Time

Preening Time

Finding a single Penguin among a large group can sometimes be difficult. At our last photo walk at the Calgary Zoo, the penguins were one of the specific items on our shot lists. This one stood apart from the crowd on a bit of a hill and quietly preened it’s feathers. The wall of the building was in shadow at the time creating a nice darker background to shoot against. Again, I used my 70-200mm f/2.8 for it’s narrow depth of field.

In the best light…


Happy Feet

Happy Feet

The Penguin exhibit at the Calgary Zoo is now nearly one year old! This is a photo of a King Penguin in the outdoor enclosure. I like their comical waddle as they wander around. This year the Zoo has started a Penguin Walk, where the birds are walking to raise money for charity. Money raised will go to helping penguins in the wild.

I used my 70-200mm for better reach and a it’s large aperture f/2.8, to isolate the subject.

In the best light…


Deconstructing The White Wolf

White Wolf

Well, not deconstructing an actual wolf but rather how I came to finish off this image.

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Whooping It Up

Whooping Crane

I was very glad to see the Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) at the Calgary Zoo. There are only two North American crane species, the other being the Sandhill Cranes.

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Single Swan Swimming

Single Swan Swimming

The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) is the largest species of water fowl. This specimen at the Calgary Zoo is a fine example. Of course there is very little color in the swan itself other than black and white. The Trumpeter has a black bill and lores and the back ground colors seemed distracting to me. I converted the image to monochrome with Color Efex Pro 3.0 in Nikon Capture NX2.

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 70-200mm @80mm, f/3.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 500

In the best light…


Mallard Drake

Mallard Drake

At the Calgary Zoo, the ducks come and go as they please. The zookeepers keep the water flowing and there is often open water there. So, the wild ducks just fly in and enjoy them selves in the zoo.

The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is fairly common in the Calgary area and can be photographed in many areas along the Bow River. I liked the shadow the trees in the back ground were casting on the water. The lighter area that showed some of the reflection of the sky and matched the lighter area of the rear of the duck. The ripples on the water retained a silky smooth look while the waterfowl itself remained in sharp focus. The drake’s reflection is slightly distorted, yet is still pleasing.

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

In the best light…


Hitching A Ride

Big Horn & Friend

The Big Horn Sheep exhibit in the Canadian Wilds area of the Calgary Zoo had an extra visitor inside the enclosure. A magpie had landed on the head of the sheep and seemed to be cleaning at the base of it’s horn.

This was just a fun kind of image that I thought I’d include for your enjoyment.

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO 500, hand held

In the best light…


Red Panda

Red Panda

We were lucky enough to see the Red Panda while it was active. The staff had placed fresh bamboo in various locations in the red panda enclosure and this fellow was actively seeking it out. The other red panda was relaxing on a wooden platform. I thought this one looked like it was in a slightly more natural looking setting.

The Dustin Hoffman character Shifu from Kung Fu Panda was supposedly a Red Panda.

The Panda’s coat was in marvellous condition and shone in the bright light. I used some tonal contrast to increase the detail in the foreground snow and some sharpening on the fur and I was done.

In the best light…


Bison

Bison

Often when you are at a zoo, the backgrounds are not the best, and cages can get in the way. The American Bison (bison bison) enclosure at the Calgary Zoo has a heavy gauge wire fencing and metal bars surrounding it.

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Tiger, Tiger

Tiger In The Snow

Tigers (panthera tigris) are the largest of the big cats. They are the things of our dreams and of our nightmares. They command our attention and our respect. For me, they are a thrill to watch, even in the zoo. Wild populations have declined by 50% since the 1990’s according the IUCN’s Redlist. If you’d like to see the amazing detail in this image, you can view the original size on Flickr.

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Snow Leopard

Leopard In The Snow

My last post was of a Mountain Lion and this one is of a Snow Leopard, but neither of them is about an Apple operating system. The snow leopard is on the endangered species list and has been for some time. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/22732/0 The snow leopard (panthera uncia) is normally found above 10,000 feet in Central Asia, but seemed quite at home at 3500 feet in Calgary. The cat was difficult to photograph as it moved fairly quickly in it’s enclosure which was surrounded by a large steel grille, but I managed to make this portrait.

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 200, handheld

In the best light…


Cougar Town

Cougar In The Snow

After I go to the zoo, it just follows that you’ll see animal pictures. This week I’ve chosen 3 images for “Cat Week”.

With the mild weather,  the cougar [(Puma concolor), also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the family Felidae, native to the Americas] was quite active in it’s enclosure in the Canadian Wilds at the Calgary Zoo. The large cat became quite agitated when someone, walking their dog, stopped on the walkway outside the zoo. It’s easy to see how cougars having urban encounters prey on loose pets.

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, f/3.5, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, handheld

In the best light…


Like An Orchid’s Perfume

Yellow Orchid

Our trip to the Calgary Zoo found us in the Enmax Conservatory. Coming in from the cold, my fast glass fogged up instantly. My P6000 point and shoot was ready to go much quicker in the high humidity, jungle like environment.

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