A Day At The Zoo
January 18, 2009 by Jamie
Yesterday I took a trip down to the San Diego Zoo with my friends Sarah and Mark, their daughters and their nephew JD. Unfortunately because Bryan has been sick lately he didn’t join us. The reason why Sarah and I planned this trip was so I would have something to scrapbook at one of her Crop Nights. Yes as I said before in my digital scrapbooking blog, I plan trips just so I can scrapbook them. We were surprised when we arrived at the zoo that there were not that many people there. The first thing we did is ride the tour bus that takes you around the facility. I found that it was very difficult to take photos while in a moving bus because I’m to clumsy to attempt to stand up in a moving vehicle. Sarah didn’t seem to have the same problem, her pictures were coming out fantastic. She also had the luxury of a 300mm zoom lens which allowed her to get really awesome face shots of some of the animals. I used my 70-200mm but I longed for more zoom.
After taking the bus tour around the facility we decided to walk to Cat Canyon. There were many different large cats in this area however, the zoo separates the cats from the visitors with a wire enclosure. This is definitely safe for the visitors but horrible to try to photograph through. I wish they could come up with some sort of material that would still be safe for onlookers but also be good to photograph through. After walking around for awhile we sat down and ate and relaxed for a long time. The San Diego weather was perfect that day. Although it was really hot in the sun it was very nice in the shade. We discussed what we wanted to see next and I explicitly opposed going on the Monkey Trails. Call me strange but monkeys are the creepiest creatures in the world, they are my biggest fear so I would rather not walk through a whole trail of them. We decided we wanted to go see the polar bears which were all the way on the other side of the park. We could either walk there or take the Skyfari which is a gondola ride that takes you high above the park. I agreed to take it even though I am scared to death of heights not to mention the fact that the gondola glides on what can only be described as a thin rope of death. Okay I know, it’s a steel cable but that really changes nothing. As the gondola lifted off the ground I closed my eyes out of sheer terror. When I eventually opened them I noticed the view was incredible. I took a great shot of the California Tower at Balboa Park. Also Sarah asked me to take a photo of Mark and JD in the gondola behind us which was hard because I thought if I turned around in my seat the gondola would tip over and I would fall into the gorilla exhibit. Luckily that didn’t happen.
We got off and walked over to the polar bear habitat. Both of the polar bears were asleep when we got there but one of them lifted his head a few times giving me a chance to take a good photo of him. We then made our way back but stopped at one last exhibit; the Indian Gharial. This thing was very prehistoric looking and kind of scary. He looked like a big alligator but he had a long, thin snout with lots of huge teeth. He actually swam out into his pond and we got to see how large he was; he was absolutely beautiful. We ended our zoo day at closing time but hopefully I will go back again to see the animals that I missed. Unfortunately I was having an “off day” photographically speaking. I’m not really satisfied with many of my animal shots so I only posted the few that I thought came out the best. I might go back there just so I can do a re-shoot.
Check out more photos in the GALLERY!