Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zoo photography can drive you batty

Hanging around

Cuz the light's seldom right. This cuddly little guy was hanging around the bat exhibit at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. The exhibit itself was dimly lit with red light, just like an old photographic darkroom. Shadowy winged creatures of the night hung from various objects in the glass enclosure.

I lit the puppy up with a hand held flash unit to the left side of the enclosure. If I had more time (and permission), I would have gridded the light to form a tighter spot of light on the bat then added a second flash with a red gel and fired it at the background to up the creepiness factor. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Lone honeybee

Ms. Honeybee was located in one of those beehive-behind-glass-in-a-dark-corner-of-the-room displays. Several hives were going at once, some with a ton of bees, some not so much. I shot a couple of the crowded hives with flash held at nearly a 90 degree angle to the glass for some nice sidelighting. One hive contained just a handful of bees, and I framed up a lone worker on the honeycomb.

To me, the shot speaks to the decreasing bee population worldwide and could be used to illustrate articles on the subject or environmental issues in general. At least I hope the photo editor who reviews my submission at Getty Images sees it that way.

One more selection of zoo shots coming up tomorrow to round out the week.

Photographs © 2010 James Jordan.

1 comment:

venetiakelley said...

Seems like when I go to the Zoo; most of the animals I'm reall looking to Photograph are either asleep or you can't see them.