Up Close and Personal at the Zoo with the Nikon 1 V2

Recently a Photography Life contributor, Alpha Whiskey, posted a great article here on some techniques that we can use to challenge ourselves as photographers. Finding ways to grow and stimulate our individual creativity is one of the most important things we can do to advance our skill level. I gave myself one such challenge this week and I thought I would share the results of it with you with images taken at the Metro Toronto Zoo.

Zoo Sample Images (1)

Since my brother-in-law was going to use the review sample of the Tamron 150-600 VC lens with his Nikon D7000 at the zoo to give me his perspectives for my upcoming lens review, I thought it would be interesting if I went to the zoo with only one camera body and one lens. So, I thought about the challenges I would be facing when shooting at such a diverse venue as the zoo: variable lighting with outdoor and building interiors, dealing with bars, mesh and netting, shooting through glass viewing panels smudged by the hands of thousands of young children…and a huge variety of subject matter. I made my equipment selection, and then came up with a theme for my challenge: ”Up Close and Personal at the Zoo”.

All of the images in this article were taken hand-held. They were processed from RAW files using DxOMark OpticsPro 8, CS6 and Nik Suite. No additional noise reduction was applied to any of the images in this article. Shooting details are found underneath my copyright on each image.

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Choosing to shoot to a theme helps us see the world around us in a different manner. Orangutans become even more human with their actions and expressions…

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Birds become more vibrant…

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Both the mass of and the details of animals become more apparent…

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Even to the point of seeing water droplets on a subject’s head…

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Or the texture of an ever-changing skin…

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Or finding a face only a mother could love…

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And others that many of us have learned to fear…

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For more sample images from my “Up Close and Personal at the Zoo” challenge, check out the below YouTube video:

If you were going to give yourself a creative challenge what would it be? If you had to limit yourself to one camera body and one lens for your challenge what would you choose and why?

Article and all images Copyright 2014, Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, reproduction or duplication including electronic is allowed without written consent.