August, 2013

Aug 13

San Francisco Zoo–Nile Hippopotamus

Photograph of a Nile Hippopotamus at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, CaliforniaHippos are heavier than water and walk on river bottoms. They can run fast as humans and have killed more people than any other wild animal in Africa. The hippo is the third largest land animal and can weigh 4000 pounds and measure 12 feet in length.

Aug 13

San Francisco Zoo–African Lion

Photograph of a female African Lion at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, CaliforniaThe lion spends up to 20 hours a day resting. That certainly seemed true on the day I visited. I accidentally dropped my tripod and this female looked up to investigate the noise. The big male didn’t stir.

Aug 13

San Francisco Zoo–Sumatran Tiger

Photograph of a Sumatran Tiger and her cub at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, CaliforniaThe Sumatran Tiger is critically endangered, primarily by disruption and destruction of its habitat. It is estimated that there are about 550 wild Sumatran Tigers. The cub, named Jillian, is about 5 months old in this shot.

Aug 13

San Francisco Zoo–Reticulated Giraffe

Photograph of Reticulated Giraffe looking at a Yellow-Backed Duiker at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, CaliforniaWhether zoos should exist or not is a complicated argument. Holding animals captive for the entertainment of humans seems completely wrong, yet zoos do foster appreciation for animals and educate the public. On a recent trip to the San Francisco Zoo, I had a chance to see for myself. For the most part, I was impressed by the enriched habitats for the animals and the obvious level of care. Only the Polar bear seemed lonely and bored. It’s probably a mistake to project human emotions onto animals, but that was my impression. Most of the animals seemed to be engaged and interacted with each other and their environment. As a photographer, I wanted to see if I could apply portrait skills to the animals there. That is, I wanted to concentrate on the eyes, fill the frame where possible, and capture some of the essence of the animal. Over the next few weeks I’ll post some of my results. The first shot is of the zoo’s baby giraffe interacting with a Yellow-Backed Duiker.

Aug 13

Red Rock Canyon 2013–Mud Walls

Photograph of eroded canyon walls at Red Rock Canyon State Park, CaliforniaWe stopped at Red Rock Canyon State Park on the way home from Death Valley. The flat, mid-day light faded the colors of the rock walls but I liked the patterns of erosion. I desaturated the color levels by 75% for this washed out look.

Aug 13

Death Valley 2013–Telescope Peak

Photograph of telescope Peak framed by the window of an adobe ruin at the Harmony Borax Works, Death Valley National ParkA view of Telescope Peak framed by the wall of an adobe building at the Harmony Borax Works.