Zebras, Giraffes and Rhinos, Oh My

1/500sec, f/5, ISO 320, 200mm
1/500sec, f/5, ISO 320, 200mm

We’ve now reached the last post from my photographers’ trip to Woburn Safari Park back in late 2012, and as you might have guessed from the title, this post is going to be a bit of a menagerie. On top of the aforementioned giraffes, zebras and rhinos, which I should note are amongst the easiest of animals to recognise, there’s also a bear, and an assortment of antelopey type things that I’m less certain of. Animals still aren’t really my strongpoint. I did A-level biology, but it turns out there isn’t as much wholesale memorisation of entire species catalogues as you’d expect a biologist to have (also it turned out I was much better at physics. And then went to university to study media anyway).

Unlike my last post from Woburn, in which we ended the day on foot covered in lemurs, these shots were taken earlier in the day when we were still being driven around in a Land Rover, getting up close to the sorts of creatures that want to eat you. Fortunately, most of those were the lions and tigers we’ve already seen; the worse these animals are likely to do to you is inflict a horrific, likely fatal puncture would with their horns, antlers or other spiky bits. But at least they won’t eat you.

1/125sec, f/5, ISO 200, 170mm
1/125sec, f/5, ISO 200, 170mm

That guy’s horns are a bit curved. Not so good for straight-through impalings, although I guess the roundness could cause a nasty wound. This next guy would do much better at a through-and-through.

1/500sec, f/5, ISO 320, 135mm
1/500sec, f/5, ISO 320, 135mm

Even so, his horns are pointing backwards which is a bit of a disadvantage. If you’re looking for a classic injury you need something with a front-facing horn and a penchant for running at you.

1/250sec, f/5, ISO 320, 180mm
1/250sec, f/5, ISO 320, 180mm

The rhinos were great. Like the lions and tigers, they are the sorts of creatures it’s just amazing to see in person, especially as we could get so close in the 4×4 we were in.

1/160sec, f/7.1, ISO 320, 300mm
1/160sec, f/7.1, ISO 320, 300mm

As I often do, I figured the textures of the rhinos (for there were two) would work really well in monochrome.

1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 200mm
1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 200mm
1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 180mm
1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 180mm

Fortunately at times the rhinos were prepared to pose together for me.

1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 180mm
1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 180mm
1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 105mm
1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 105mm

Although eventually they wandered off.

1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 70mm
1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 70mm
1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 300mm
1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 300mm

The next thing we saw was this thing, which is an animal of some sort, I think.

1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 90mm
1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 90mm

Probably.

1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 140mm
1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 140mm

Moooooo.

1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 235mm
1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 235mm

Speaking of moo, I can’t look at this next image without hearing “Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about.”

1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 100mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 100mm

As we continued to drive about, we caught sight of something asleep on a tree.

1/125sec, f/5, ISO 320, 160mm
1/125sec, f/5, ISO 320, 160mm

This is one occasion where if somebody had a sat-nav on them, it would have been perfect if it had randomly said, “bear right”.

And then, we got to the giraffes.

1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 300mm
1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 300mm

Fortunately the giraffes seemed to be quite keen to look directly at me.

1/500sec, f/5, ISO 320, 200mm
1/500sec, f/5, ISO 320, 200mm

Although, as is often the case, they also looked at some of the other photographers.

1/640sec, f/4.5, ISO 250, 90mm
1/640sec, f/4.5, ISO 250, 90mm

As part of the day, the tour guide had brought with him some food to tempt the animals. Because that sort of thing worked out really well in Jurassic Park.

1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm

At least it got their attention.

1/1000sec, f/5, ISO 800, 135mm
1/1000sec, f/5, ISO 800, 135mm

However it quickly started resembling something out of Giraffic Park again.

1/1000sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/1000sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm

And with all the attention, even the resident shy giraffe decided to chance a glance at what was going on.

1/400sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/400sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 120mm
1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 120mm

They soon took the bait.

1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm

I switched to my wider angle for a better view of the giraffe. They’re quite tall.

1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 18mm
1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 18mm

The wider angle lens (which was my 18-135mm back then) also allowed for a contextual shot including part of the jeep we were in. It undermines the ‘out in the wilderness’ feel but is an interesting shot nonetheless.

1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 18mm
1/1600sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, 18mm

With the giraffes fed, we continued on our safari, and soon came across a zebra. As you’d expect, I felt it would be a good idea to make the image black and white.

1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 250, 95mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 250, 95mm

I like the monochrome look, but if anything I perhaps should have upped the contrast a bunch more.

1/320sec, f/4.5, ISO 250, 130mm
1/320sec, f/4.5, ISO 250, 130mm

Looking at this guy from the front, it occurs to me that I’d never realised how truly peculiar zebras look. They’re black and white striped, with weird Mickey Mouse ears and Goofy noses. And yet, they’re beautiful.

1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 70mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 250, 70mm

And definitely given over to monochrome.

1/200sec, f/5, ISO 250, 140mm
1/200sec, f/5, ISO 250, 140mm

And with that, that’s the last of the images from my trip to Woburn back in 2012. Well, apart from this photo of whatever the hell this is.

1/100sec, f/5, ISO 1600, 180mm
1/100sec, f/5, ISO 1600, 180mm

Any ideas?

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CreativeSplatLongBlackVertical
Related Posts:

The Big Cats of Woburn
The Hawk Conservancy
Back to Bushy Park

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