On the Hunt…

Every year at the newspaper during the winter we do a weekly special section called Read the Indianapolis Zoo. Primarily in accordance with the Zoo of course because people don’t go to the zoo as much during the winter due to the cool weather. I don’t even go to the Zoo much when it’s nice outside, not except for when my mom comes to town, a date, or for a wedding. The cool part about shooting the ‘Read the Zoo’ section isn’t that the images go on trading cards for families and kids all over Indianapolis, but that I get real one on one time with some of the cooler animals that live there.

(Canon EOS1D MARK II, 1600ISO, Canon EF100mmMacro, 1/250th@F2.8. Canon 580EX Speedlight shot through the left part of the tank through the glass at 1/16th power, fired by pocket wizard)

Yup, I found Nemo. I’d say that was this guys actual name, except I’d be lying. The trainer that is assigned to escort e through the zoo from animal to animal is usually filled with excessive amounts of trivia about the animals. In fact they mentioned that this particular type of clownfish his actually poisonous. I had no idea, and actually can’t really verify that fact using online research as apparently there are a bunch of different kinds of clownfish.

(Nikon D2x, 400ISO, Nikon 70-200VR@200mm. 1/80th@F2.8. Single Nikon SB-800 Speedlight set to iTTL to camera left shot through the Lexan safety glass fired by SC-28 Off camera Cable.)

Speaking of Poisonus. This little (or actually very large) dude was shot through about an inch of Lexan shatterproof glass. This is the King Rattler and dang he was a mean looking snake. The year I shot this, I shot it with my own Nikon equipment because the newspaper couldn’t spare a 400mm during Football season for me to shoot some of the birds in the Atrium. He was awake, and obviously not happy he was in his 3 foot by 3 foot glass box in the dark. I didn’t spend much time on this guy…

(Canon EOS1D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon EF100mmMacro, 1/250th@F5.6. Single Canon 580EX Speedlight shot into a reflector to camera left set to eTTL while attached to a Canon Off camera cable.)

This little treefrog guy was a blast to work with. Lot of fun, great smile and very cooperative. Whether you believe it or not he was shot on a regular potted plant on the back counter in the staging area of the Zoo. The trainer pulled him out of his little environment and either he was too petrified to go anyplace, or he just didn’t care. Either way, it all worked out nicely. After about 10 minutes, the trainer put him back where he belonged where he again proceeded to just sit and hang out, and I moved to the next animal on my list. Really I can identify with that frog, although I go new places all the time. Sometimes you just don’t want to go and do what you need to do. Last weekend I was out shooting and ended up shooting a male stripper doing his routine. Was a little awkward, but ironically not the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.

(Canon EOS1D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon EF16-35L@16mm, 1/160th@F5)

These little guys are exactly what you’d think they are. Roosters. If there was anything more special about them, I don’t remember but whether you want to believe it or not we do have roosters at the zoo. I found it funny that we had roosters in the zoo, but I can imagine that there are a lot of city kids out there that had never seen a rooster, or would never see a rooster in real life. there are a lot of animals I suppose that you don’t see in the city, and really it only makes sense that the zoo give everyone that opportunity. Which would only make sense in the movie “I am Legend” with will Smith except that we at Indystar checked with the Zoo in Manhattan and they don’t have any deer there on display which is what Will Smith was hunting in his Shelby Cobra Mustang on the Island known as Manhattan….. More soon.