Over the weekend, I made the long-awaited return trip to the Jacksonville Zoo. My previous visit was in 2013. The goal was to use all of the lessons I’ve learned since then to capture some amazing images. Arriving at the Zoo at 9am, I did not know what exactly to expect. Capturing animals that are constantly moving in most cases is always a challenge. I just wanted to do the best I could while focusing on having good Composition for each shot.
The first successful image is the one above of a duck resting in a pond. Ducks often use this space to take a bath. I simply had to wait for the moment this particular duck would stand in the right position to fit the Composition I was looking for. It was a definite reminder that capturing good Nature Photography requires a lot of patience. After several failed attempts, I finally captured an image that has a calming affect to it.
In 2013, I was not able to capture many decent shots of the flamingos. They were too far away for a close-up with my 105mm lens. However, this passed weekend, the flamingos were oddly gathered at the front of their fenced-off area. Nearly in touching distance to those who walked by.
To be honest, I was in shock. Several flamingos grouped together in close range for my 105mm lens. I decided to count my blessings and took about 40 shots of the rather large group. Still, the lighting conditions were not ideal since harsh sunlight broke into many of the scenes through the trees. However, this group of three flamingos were standing together in the shade. I absolutely love the Color of their feathers.
Finally, I headed for the section of the Zoo dedicated to Asia. I was hoping to capture several Photographs of colorful Koi fish. However, most of the koi fish were not seen and the few that I spotted did not have much Color on their scales. Yet, this single orange koi swam near and I captured as many photographs as I could before it disappeared again.
Most of this session was spent waiting for the right moment to get a decent capture. Overall, I admit feelings of disappointment. Despite this setback, I was able to capture a majestic-like moment of the koi swimming away. I’m not sure what the smoky appearance is on the water’s surface, but it does add interest to the scene.
Out of the Photographs I’ve edited so far, this one is my favorite.
The next step is to send these photographs to the Printer to make sure they do not print too dark and the Colors are accurate. If everything checks out, I plan to add these images to the website ideally by this weekend.
Eric C. Jackson