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Weekend Wanderings – Zooming in at the Zoo

Anyone who follows me on Google+ or Facebook will know that I went to the Melbourne Zoo this last week.  I had another One on One Photography session with the same person that booked a few of them and we decided this week to go to the Melbourne Zoo.  It was great, she loves animals and the Zoo is a great place to get photos of them.  I didn’t take the macro with me, but I took my very, very cheap Nikon 70-300mm lens.  It is a very cheap lens, you get what you pay for really, so you can tell me what you think.  I used it to zoom in a lot with the animals and the flowers.  I got so many images, that I am afraid, I will have to two posts on the trip, the second one, I don’t know when.

LC3_3423The Meerkats were playing around, and I tried to get lots of images of them, shame they blended into their background so much.

LC3_3435It was a gorgeous day there at the zoo, and it was looking fantastic.  There were flowers out everywhere and with my interest in the macro recently I tried getting some shots with the zoom lens.  I thought they came out okay.  I tried doing lots of zooming. It is very well to go to the zoo and get photos of everything, but I really wanted to try out zooming right in, getting as close as I could with that lens.

LC3_3667

The Butterfly house was perfect for that.  They move around a lot, but if you wait, they will sit still for you.  I did crop some of the other photos so that you could see the butterfly better.

LC3_3791When I was photographing the Giraffe I decided to try using the full frame as a cropped sensor, which in effect turned the 300mm into 450mm.  You could do the same thing on the computer, but it was good to try it.  It meant also that I could really compose the image in the frame.  I just had to remember to use the right lines for the composition.  I need to remember that I can do this more.

LC3_3901See that look on the Kangaroos face?  See how worried he/she is?  Well he/she had every right to be, that Emu started attacking them.  Very nasty.  The Emu wasn’t after the food, just wanted to scare them off, bully boy.  I yelled at him/her to stop, and then he started heading my way.  I thought I was going to get it.  Thankfully it stopped before it got too close.  It wasn’t nice.  I did get some good images of it though, which I will put in the gallery.

We didn’t see everything at the Melbourne Zoo and because I was there to teach her how to take photos, that took up a lot of time.  It was a great day though and I really enjoyed myself.  I am going to put more photos in a gallery for you to enjoy now.  I hope your weekend is going well.

89 Comments
  1. Love the Meerkats, I have yet to visit a zoo that had them. Great post

    March 30, 2014
    • We have quite a few in ours, they are very cute and always very entertaining. Thanks Victor.

      March 30, 2014
  2. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    Each picture is more beautiful than the last!

    March 30, 2014
  3. Reblogged this on How my heart speaks.

    March 30, 2014
  4. Beautiful photos. If that was with your cheap lens I’d like to see your good one. I’m not sure I’d appreciate the difference.

    March 30, 2014
    • I can tell the difference, there isn’t the sharpness that comes with a good lens. This one was very cheap, $165, so you can’t expect too much, but it isn’t bad. Thanks Mama.

      March 30, 2014
      • ~meredith #

        I love the composition of the large butterfly picture. Its wing and the leaf are amazing… they look like different sides of the same creature. Nice!

        March 31, 2014
      • Thank you Meredith, I have to admit I was quite proud with how that one came out, even better when someone else likes it too.

        March 31, 2014
  5. robert87004 #

    Leanne, I’ve been thinking about your previous macro posts. Wouldn’t something like the Nikon 105mm macro work better for you? It’s 1:1 distance is about 1′, instead of 6″. I should probably visit our local zoo, it’s been a looong time 🙂

    March 30, 2014
    • I think it would be so much better. I only have the 40mm because that was all they would lend me. I think if I ever had the money to get one I would most definitely get the 105mm. The Zoo can be great, yes, go see how much it has changed and what you can photograph. 🙂

      March 30, 2014
  6. Nice zoo pics! I love the giraffe pics a lot! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    March 30, 2014
    • I love the giraffes too Lisa, they were so oblivious to us. Thanks.

      March 30, 2014
  7. Wish I had been there Leanne. Loving the pics of the giraffe.

    March 30, 2014
    • It was great Julie, such a beautiful day for the zoo and not too hot so the animals weren’t just lying around.

      March 30, 2014
  8. Meerkats are so interesting…they sit like little people, watching.

    March 30, 2014
    • They do Mary, they always draw a crowd too, people love it when they sit on top and just stare at them.

      March 30, 2014
  9. sandlera #

    I think your very cheap lens did a great job! Loved the butterfly.

    March 30, 2014
    • Thanks Anne, it is very cheap, but okay in a pinch.

      March 30, 2014
  10. The images of the Emu and the Meerkats are wonderful! I need to find a nearby zoo with a Butterfly Garden/home. That would be fun to shoot.
    I think the 70-300mm VR is one of the best FX/DX consumer lenses Nikon makes. It really has served me well over the years. It’s a great light weight telephoto lens for hiking, and traveling light.
    I use the Canon 500D close up lens with it often, and have made some lovely macro images. To me the 70-300mm VR is no slouch.

    Mine doesn’t see much action since purchasing the 300mm f/4, but I know if I were to sell it I’d regret it. Looking forward to the seeing the rest of the Gallery.

    March 30, 2014
    • I think there are good 70-300mm lenses, but it was very cheap, it isn’t the VR one, that’s for sure. It was only $165, but it is okay, and fine for me. I don’t use it very often, I don’t do the type of photography very often that needs it.
      That sounds like a nice lens, though I have spent all my money on the other end, the wide angle lenses. I love wide angle.
      Thanks, there are quite a few more.

      March 30, 2014
  11. Another great post Leanne, particularly loved the giraffe and zebra shots, I am going to Taronga Zoo in three weeks so you have given me some inspiration and if my zebras and giraffes behave half as well, I hope to get some good pictures of them too.

    March 30, 2014
    • The giraffes were great, it was nice to zoom right into them. Lot of fun for you then at the zoo too. I’ve never been to Taronga, but my daughters went recently and they said it was really nice. I hope you lots of great images, good luck. 🙂

      March 30, 2014
  12. A gorgeous post Leanne! Each pic is wonderful. I just love the animals and yes the funny little meerkats… and the butterflies… so lovely.
    Sounds like a wonderful day.

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you Robyn, it was a wonderful day. I love them too, the Meerkats are so funny. The butterflies are exquisite very hard to get them though. Haha.

      March 30, 2014
      • You got some magnificent shots Leanne 🙂 you make it look easy 😉

        March 30, 2014
      • It was sort of easy, just point and shot really, I know I shouldn’t say that, but I have got so used to my camera and how to use it, so it is like that sometimes. Thanks Robyn. 🙂

        March 30, 2014
      • Lots of practice. Good on you 🙂

        March 30, 2014
      • Thanks Robyn, I guess it the difference with knowing how to use your camera, I am sure it is the same with you. 🙂

        March 30, 2014
      • We do get used to our gear.
        Changing it up makes us really think 🙂

        March 30, 2014
      • We do, and yes, changing it can really make you think, too hard sometimes, 🙂

        March 30, 2014
      • Yes 😀

        March 31, 2014
  13. Jen #

    Don’t have much time to say anything OTHER than I love 3908! You caught such a great expression! Hope you are feeling better, too. 🙂

    March 30, 2014
    • Thanks Jen, I know what you mean, the expression was, I’m coming for you. I am getting much better thanks.

      March 30, 2014
  14. saundrafox #

    Giraffes are such amazing animals! This one seems like you caught him just getting up, before he had his first cup of coffee!
    Taking photos of animals is fun. But I find that timing is everything with them. Beautiful shots, there…

    March 30, 2014
    • I love that idea, before his first coffee, thank you, great imagination. Timing and patience do seem to be key. Thank you.

      March 30, 2014
  15. These are really great shots. Love how you captured the meerkats hugging and monkeying around. It’s always a bit challenging to take photos of animals as they move quite a bit. The photos make Melbourne Zoo look interesting.

    Today I went out to the electronic shops to look at laptops. What a pity that the shops don’t stock lots of the latest models. It is time you upgrade your decade old desktop. It must’ve been a very good one to last that long 😀

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you Mabel. I love Meerkats too. It is challenging, though it is pretty easy to fix the problem when the weather is that great. The zoo is great.

      Try looking at Dell, we have been using their laptops and computers for years, and they rarely let you down. We got our youngest daughter a Asus and it has been crap. You can get Dell online and have it delivered. Good luck. Oh, my desktop, it is a dell.

      March 30, 2014
      • Most zoos are great if the animals are not sleeping. But rarely does this happen Yeah, it’s always easier to play around with photos if there is sufficient lighting.

        Thanks for the recommendation, Leanne. I’ve noticed Dell has a promotion going on this week. However, I’ve heard that some of its laptop screens lack brightness and are a bit dull, might not be too good for image processing. Hmm.

        March 30, 2014
      • Not good when it is hot either, I went last summer on a very hot day and it was horrible, they were all sitting around because of the heat.

        I have never heard that about Dell, you do have to make sure you get the right one for images, my husband always made sure of that. I do all my processing a Dell Laptop, never had a problem.

        March 30, 2014
      • If I went to the zoo on a very hot day, I think I would be sitting around there too under the shade. If the animals ain’t moving much, it would be too difficult for me to do so too 🙂

        The Dell laptop I was looking at was the 14″ one, and it only has 110nits of brightness. Whereas my current laptop has 200nits, about the average for most. Interesting to hear that.

        March 30, 2014
      • It is like that exactly, though heading the rain forest part is probably the best is always cool in their, well somewhat.

        Dell has a great website, so possibly better to look there. 🙂

        March 31, 2014
  16. very kewl …makes me want to go off to a zoo er wildlife park an take some pics..aren’t zoos jest 2 fun :).right on shots an i also enjoy ur merkat shots those guys are jest 2 kewl fer skewl and the zoo 2 🙂 lol. cya ..Q

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you, glad you thought they were kewl. 🙂

      March 30, 2014
  17. fun shots that I enjoyed taking the time to view slowly. I think you underestimate the NIkon 70-300. IN my opinion it is a real sleeper and in its price range.

    March 30, 2014
    • That is great to hear, I have to say I do like taking photos at the zoo. I don’t know about the lens, maybe I should give it more thought and more use. Thanks.

      March 30, 2014
  18. Beautiful images, Leanne 🙂 great variety here.

    March 30, 2014
  19. Fantastic images. Thank you:)

    March 30, 2014
  20. Great set of animal pics…how are you enjoying your new macro lens?

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you, I am enjoying it, though I think it goes back tomorrow.

      March 31, 2014
      • Oh, I thought you bought it–must have missed that. The company gave it to you so you can promote it or something similar?

        March 31, 2014
      • I think they lent it to me so I could show my students what a macro lens is like.

        March 31, 2014
      • Well that makes sense……

        April 1, 2014
      • 🙂

        April 2, 2014
  21. beautiful butterfly photos Leanne. My favourites of the day!

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you Carol, I loved the butterflies as well, I loved photographing them, just wish I could have got even closer.

      March 31, 2014
  22. Really great captures, Leanne. It’s striking how prehistoric a lot of the birds look – the emu in attack mode in particular.

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you Richard, the Emu in attack mode was a bit scary, well only when it was heading straight to me. They do look prehistoric, don’t they?

      March 31, 2014
  23. Nelson #

    I think the results of your “cheap lens” as you say are quite good. There will always be a more expensive lens but an expensive lens does not give artistic talent to the person behind the cam.
    A good photographer with a “cheap lens” will capture more artistic photos than a poor photographer with expensive lens. I have 3 lenses (soon I will have 4) with my cam and I try to work with those. I know they are not meant to give me all the results I want but I work around that with results that are sometime good and sometime just OK. I think it does offer me a different challenge

    March 31, 2014
    • They aren’t too bad, they do just lack that clarity that the better lenses have. I don’t think I would ever invest in a better lens of this sort, so I guess I have to make do with it and do the best I can with it.
      I think what you are saying is true Nelson, when you get some equipment that doesn’t do exactly what you want, then you do have to work out how to make it work for you. Thanks.

      March 31, 2014
  24. That giraffe one is my fave. So so cute

    March 31, 2014
    • The giraffes were great that day, they often don’t come that close, so it was nice that they did. Thanks Alex.

      March 31, 2014
  25. Beautiful shots Leanne. Your pictures suggest that the zoo has a positive environment for the animals. Looks like a place I would enjoy visiting.

    March 31, 2014
    • Thank you Colline, our zoo does, they have done lots of work to try and ensure the animals live in an environment as close to their natural one as possible. You would love it, it is a great place to walk around.

      March 31, 2014
      • Another place to put on my list of things to visit if I ever get to Melbourne.

        March 31, 2014
      • Oh I do hope you get to come here one day Colline, I would love to show you around my city.

        March 31, 2014
  26. poppytump #

    Oh Emus … I must admit I’m none to keen on them Leanne .. those beady eyes and sureness about them .. Lol
    Super photos, lovely to be able to zoom in like that . The sleepy giraffe .. 🙂

    March 31, 2014
    • I don’t think you are alone there Poppytump, they aren’t the friendliest creatures, no social skills at all 🙂
      Thank you, it was good, and it is nice to decide that I will just do that. No worrying about what lens to use. The giraffes were among my favourites, though the seals were great and the tiger fantastic, oh, I haven’t shown those yet. haha. Bit of a teaser. 🙂

      March 31, 2014
      • poppytump #

        😛

        March 31, 2014
  27. Great shots! No better place to try out different lenses and practice techniques than at the zoo!

    March 31, 2014
    • Thank you, I totally agree, it is a great place to show things.

      March 31, 2014
  28. I love them all but my favorites are the swan(the water is incredible, and the zebra….I would love to try and draw them. Would you mind?

    March 31, 2014
    • No not at all, just let me know what you get, if that is okay, that didn’t come out right, I would like to see the end result if you are happy with them. Thank you.

      April 1, 2014
  29. Terrific post Leanne!

    April 3, 2014
  30. Great and fun gallery … I like visit the Zoo, but on the same time I don’t like to see all the wild animals captured – it all depends how the zoo is laid out. The two turtles is my favorite.

    April 4, 2014
    • They do a lot at the Melbourne Zoo to make the animals have lots of room and they have places where they can hide, so it is nothing to go there and not see them. They do their best to help the animals. Thanks Viveka.

      April 5, 2014
      • Nice to hear, I think Zoo has changed so much during the last 15 years .. it’s more about the animals welfare now and that’s so wonderful.

        April 5, 2014
      • That is true, they really are, certainly here, I don’t know about other places.

        April 5, 2014
      • I think in overall it has change a lot and the animals has much more space … we have a fantastic one here in Sweden – Kolmården, will write about one day – ages since I been … it has changed so much.

        April 7, 2014
      • I think you are right Viveka, Zoos have changed a lot which is good. I hate seeing goldfish in bowls now and they have no where to hide. I look forward to your photos.

        April 7, 2014
      • To have a goldfish in a round bowl with out any plants .. is cruelty – because the poor fish will go in insane, from just be able to swim around and around. I tell people when I see it.
        I don’t have any photo from my visit – when I moved back to Sweden I burned all negative and photos – I never looked at them, just carried them around with me around the world.
        But I can use google .. *smile

        April 8, 2014
  31. Lovely and fun shots! Zoo trips are so much fun and great places for photographers! 🙂 I LOVE the Meerkats! Our zoo in Pittsburgh has a small display for them, but I feel bad for them because they are in a building (with a habitat, not real dirt) and not enjoying the great outdoors! Anyway…lol my little zoo spiel. Otherwise, I love the place. 🙂

    April 4, 2014
    • They are Em, our Zoo has put so much effort into habitats for animals, it is lovely walking around it. The Meerkats have great space to move around here. I think the one they are in now is new. Thanks Em. 🙂

      April 5, 2014
  32. I missed this one from when you originally posted it. Glad you included the link on today’s post. Thanks! 🙂

    April 12, 2014
    • I thought the link would be a great idea, glad you got to see it. 🙂

      April 12, 2014

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