Photo critique: Flowers & Lion

On saturday Tony and I went to the zoo so that I could teach him how to use his new camera (Pentax K100D).
He was very kind to pay for me and we spent about 3 hours wandering around taking pictures of animals and talking photography.

Flowers at the Johannesburg Zoo

I am currently using the trial version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and wishing every moment that I could aford to buy it. What an awesome piece of software. I tweaked all my photos from Saturday on it and I love the feature that you can apply the adjustments from any other photo to the current one. This means that if you have 3 photos all taken in the same lighting conditions, but composed slightly differently, you can give them all the same adjustments in Lightroom and then choose the best. I really like the above picture, although I think that I could have brightned it somewhat. Mind you, it does gove the feel of a late, slightly overcast afternoon which is exactly what it was. It may be said that the blue flower head at the bottom of the frame is distracting, but, without that flower head, there would be considerably less depth to the image and it would loose its apeal for me.

Lion at the Johannesburg Zoo

I almost envied this lioness having a snooze in the afternoon except that in her cage she has no freedom and that must be an awful way to live. You can still see the bars of the fence slightly in this image. This is because they were simply too far away from the lense to remove them completely. My zoom lens was almost at its full extension and the minimum aperture was f5.6. Maybe with a faster lens it would have been possible to reduce the depth of field further and completely remove the bars. That said, the impression of bars does give the feeling of looking at an animal in a cage, with nothing to do but sleep. In this sense, it conveys an accurate representation of what it was like to be there behind the camera. I have just now noticed the dark black bar across the top of the photo. I guess that I should have cropeed this out but once again it only adds to the impression of the animal being caged.

Next week we are going to try and go to visit the Johannesburg Model Aircraft Club and I hope to get some good shots there. On sunday Janita and I will be orienteering and afterwards will go and visit Pretoria Model Flyers near Rietvlei Dam. Next weekend should be a great opportunity for photos.

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