Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Penguin Friend

I’m sure by now I have expressed my love of the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo a lot, but every time I visit, I am blown away! I don’t know if its because this is still a relatively new habitat for the penguins, but they actually seem interested in the people they see on the other side of the glass. During this visit, a child had a stuffed penguin and the live penguin was fascinated by it. Wherever the the toy went, the real penguin followed. I don’t know how that family was ever able to leave their new penguin friend.

About the photo:
What I love most about this photo is the story it tells. Its not the most artistic picture, but it highlights what goes on between both sides of the glass. The toughest thing about this photo was framing in a way that I didn’t get the children’s faces.

Photo Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 55-200 kit lens, handheld

Date Taken:
August 11, 2016

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. To plan your trip to the Detroit Zoo, visit Detroitzoo.org.

Kangaroos

Kangaroo PortraitDuring a visit to the Detroit Zoo this summer, I asked one of the volunteers at the Outback Adventure when the Kangaroos are the most active because I ever time I visit in the summer, the kangaroos are all asleep in the shade. What she should’ve said was come back in the fall. We visited the zoo again this past weekend so Chris could experience the new penguin exhibit. We got to the river otter and he was swimming around and having fun. I knew this was a good sign because in the heat of the summer, I never even saw him. So, as we walked towards the back of the park, my hopes were rising that I might get some interesting kangaroo photos. I love the Kangaroo (and wallaby) exhibit, The Outback Adventure, because once you enter the exhibit, there are no cages, no big ditches separating you from the marsupials. They ask you to stay on the path, but the kangaroos can hop right up to you. Have you ever seen a kangaroo hop? I never knew their tail was involved, but it seemed like that’s where they get the power for their long hops!

About the Photo:
If you’re new to photography, a trip to the zoo is a great, low stakes, time to learn to shoot in manual. After shooting my first wedding (an outdoor ceremony with changing light conditions), I realized that I should not always be relying on Aperture Priority mode. So, I used this as a time to practice shooting in manual. I knew I would need a fast shutter speed to be able to freeze any kangaroo movement (1/320) because of that, I had my lens as wide as it would go and I still had to up my ISO to 800 even though it was the middle of the day. I kind of wish I could’ve kept those fast lenses we rented for that wedding.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 55-200 kit lens, handheld

Date Taken:
October 15, 2015

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. To plan your trip to the Detroit Zoo, visit DetroitZoo.org.

St. Louis Zoo

Penguins

A few years ago I took a long weekend trip to St. Louis, Missouri. One of my favorite things about that trip was our visit to the St. Louis zoo. What stands out to me, years later, is the penguin house. This building houses penguins and puffins and the only barrier between you and the birds is a chest-high plexiglass wall. This makes for an excellent photo opportunity because there is no dirty, cloudy glass interfering with penguin pictures! And to sweeten the deal even more, admission to the zoo is free (some additional attractions do come with a fee). What could be better than that?

This is not one of my artistic photos, but how often to do get a shot of penguins without that gross glass getting in the way? And you don’t have to go to Antarctica to get it!

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To plan your trip visit stlzoo.org.

Detroit Zoo

Chimp in a Tree

This summer I took a trip to the Detroit Zoo. This was my first visit to the zoo in 13 years and wow has it changed since my last visit! One of my favorite parts was the new (at least new to me) Australia exhibit. You walk into the Australia area and there are no cages, no glass separating you from the animals. The kangaroos are able to hop right up to you! How cool is that?

They are also building a new penguin area that I cannot wait to see! The Polk Penguin Conservation Center is the largest project the zoo has ever undertaken and will feature a 326,000 gallon tank. Check out this video of the new penguin project! Did you know that the current penguin house was the first even space built specifically for penguins? What history we have in Michigan!

What I love about this shot is with the chimp hugging himself and the bare trees behind him, it looks so cold. It was in the seventies that day! A picture really is worth a thousand words!

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To plan your visit to the Detroit Zoo, visit DetroitZoo.org

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