A Few More Critters

A few more critters from this morning’s shoot at Parque Zoologico del Centenario here in Merida, Yucatan, MX.  All images captured in CameraRAW with my Canon EOS 5D Mk2 camera and Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM zoom lens with Tamron Pro SP AF 1.4x TC. RAW conversion and post-edits completed in PSE11.

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Portrait of a Monkey

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1/250s @ f/6.3, ISO 320, 280mm, TV-Priority, Natural Light, Handheld

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Lioness

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1/250s @ f/6.3, ISO 320, 280mm, TV-Priority, Natural Light, Handheld

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Lion

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1/250s @ f/6.3, ISO 320, 280mm, TV-Priority, Natural Light, Handheld

The Lion & Lioness I’ve shot before, but this particular monkey is a new subject.  These images were all captured using natural light (no flash).  The catch-lights in the eyes are all natural, and an added bonus—bringing sparkle and life to their look.  Obviously these are captive animals, and I’m able to approach very close.  The only real difficulties lie in shooting through chain link fencing most of the time, and low light shade conditions.  I much prefer capturing critters in the wild, but the zoo enables some terrific portrait type shots which I quite enjoy.  Many of these images were taken from just a few meters away, and my 70-200mm zoom lens with a 1.4x TC works well.  My 400mm fixed prime lens is actually too large, and lacks the necessary zoom capability required for this kind work.  Tight facial cropping (trimming) coupled with a heavy vignette, and enhancements to contrast, color and sharpening provide the traditional formal ‘Studio Portrait’ look.  

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2 responses to “A Few More Critters

    • I’ve photographed this big boy before and I just love him. He’s the only male in the enclosure and has about four females to keep him company. He is the master of his domain, until the ladies tell him what to do. I like that I can get so close to them, but wish I didn’t have to shoot through chain link fencing … but in the final result the fencing pretty much disappears.

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