Oakland Zoo Fun

David Cheung whips out his Canon S100 for a quick shot of Dianne Tanaka in front of the elephant enclosure at the Oakland Zoo.

I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came out for our Camera West Photo Walk at the Oakland Zoo this morning.

The weather was just about perfect and aside from the bashful lions, we saw our share of interesting animals to photograph. The biggest challenge of the day was not getting run over by all the baby carriages moms were pushing. I think zoos are enjoyed most by kids and photographers alike.

Most of our group were accomplished photogs so I felt more like a zoo guide than a photo guide but that’s ok as long as we all had fun!

Rather than post my photos of our outing, I’ll link you to David Cheung’s Flickr site. David, one of the photo walk participants did a much better job of documenting our morning at the Zoo than I did. Check out his photos here.

And speaking of photos, today’s participants will soon be sharing their photos on our Camera West Photo Walk Flickr page, so be sure to check them out later in the week. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

As always, check out our future photo walks and workshops on our Events tab to the left of this post. We have some good ones coming up!

Shooting Through Fences

Meet Ginger a beautiful tiger who resides at the Oakland Zoo with her three sisters. I was fortunate that she was in a posing mood while I was there leading our Camera West Photo Walk this morning. (more on the photo walk in a future post)

Ginger was quite photogenic…only problem was, she was behind this pesky chain link fence which was about 5 feet from me.

I had no other options but to shoot through the fence. But where is the fence in my photos of Ginger? It’s there but just not visible as I used a long lens and a wide open aperture, plus my subject, Ginger was about 30 feet from the fence. The long lens, in this case about a 300mm and wide aperture of F4-5.6 allowed for a shallow depth of field so the fence was invisible. Had I shot this with a wide angle or a small aperture, the pattern of the fence would show.

In the photo above, Ginger was quite intrigued by a baby crying and came up closer to the fence to investigate. Note now, the fence is more visible, causing some irregular patterns on her back and on the cement wall, ruining my photo. The fence was now about 5 feet from Ginger rather than the 30 feet in the first photo. Ginger btw is crouching behind a cement wall that you see running just below her eyes.

Now Ginger is right up to the fence. no way to make the fence disappear here unless you are a Photoshop genius with too much time to spare.

So, if you are ever in similar situations shooting through a fence, No worries! You can make it magically disappear if you can get close to it with the subject far away while using a wide open aperture on a telephoto. The longer the telephoto the better, also the closer you can put the front of the lens to the fence, the better your image will be. And one final tip, you need to use single point auto focus, or go to manual focus to avoid the camera from locking focus on the fence.

One last photo for you. Check out the teeth on Ginger! I’m sure glad that fence was there!

Keeping You Informed

You have most likely noticed the recent multiple blog posts regarding our monthly photo walks, so I thought an explanation was in order. In an effort to keep you, our valued customer informed of the latest news, products, activities and announcements, we have been busy updating the Camera West website.

Part of this update involves getting all of our workshops, seminars and photo walks to be linked to the Events tab you see on the left of this page. When we post an event on our blog, it now automatically appears in the Events page. So when you click on the Events tab, you will be able to check out all of our upcoming events and not miss a single one.

Also remember that the Calendar link will not only list all of the Camera West events, but also other photography events of interest such as the recent Photokina 2012, local camera club meetings, other trade shows, Camera West holiday hours, etc.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy these efforts to keep you more informed!

December Photo Walk : Explore Fort Point

Photo by Michael Maloney

Come join Michael on another of his photo walks, this one exploring the historic Fort Point underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Point is a photographer’s playground. The brick architecture and symmetry throughout the historic fort offers a great lesson in composition. Spiral staircases, long dark hallways, moss covered bricks, weather worn iron and spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay are just a few of the subjects to get your creative mind thinking about light and shadow and composition.

Sign up early for this photo walk as it will be limited to just 12 participants.

Sunday, December 16
Cost : $25.00

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.

michael@camerawest.com

925-935-1424

Photo by Michael Maloney

Photo by Michael Maloney

Photo by Michael Maloney

November Photo Walk : Fall Colors of Napa Valley

Photo by Michael Maloney

Join Michael as he leads us on a photo walk through the beautiful Napa Valley where we will photograph the splendid fall colors of the vineyards.

November is a great time to explore the vineyards of Napa Valley. There’s a crispness in the morning air which turns the vineyards into a multi-colored canvas of greens and browns and reds and yellows – a photographer’s playground.

Plan to spend the day! Aside from shooting at pre-scouted, colorful locations, we’ll take a late lunch break and socialize at Gott’s, formerly known as Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena. We’ll also visit the Ansel Adams Gallery at Mumm winery for some inspiration.

Saturday, November 10
Cost : $25.00

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.

michael@camerawest.com

925-935-1424

Photo by Michael Maloney

Photo by Michael Maloney