A few posts ago, I mentioned that cloudy days are some of my favorite days to take photos. The fact that we don’t have to deal with harsh shadows is the key. Because of that, we’re not limited to just early morning or late afternoon for good light. Below are images that I took this past Sunday at The Kansas City Zoo. It was a cloudy day. I have done some minor post processing work in Lightroom 4 but nothing took more than 2 minutes to do. All but one of the photos were shot at f 5.6 with an ISO of 1100 which is higher than I’ve done in the past. The higher ISO allows for a higher shutter speed in the lower light.
Why is there no electronic noise at this high ISO? These were taken with a Nikon D4. The D4 rocks at high ISO and generates little noise. Of course there are still limits as to how high you can go. It’s the reason I purchased the Nikon D4. Many of my wildlife images are taken in very low light. Of course, animals don’t stay still while you compose the shot. Because they’re moving a fast shutter speed is needed to get them in sharp focus. The D4 just rocks for low light photography!
The post processing adjustments that I’ve made include just minor exposure, white levels, some slight shadows and clarity adjustments. Most of which took less than a minute for the whole process. Oh yes, I also like to add a little vignette to highlight the subject.
If it had been a sunny day, I would never have been able to get this shot. Her heavy brow and deep set eyes would have been in such a dark shadow that we wouldn’t see her eyes. While they’re still pretty dark even in this light, at least we can see them.
Above is Radi a male Western Lowland Gorilla. Looks like he’s trying to recover from a hard night of too much fun. He now shares the exhibit with 3 females.
The following image is just for fun. As a colleague of mine once said, this animal has a face that only a mother could love. I personally think it’s rather cool!
Several years ago, I was very lucky to see a whole flock of them when I was in Kenya. It was very cool!
Well, I hope you can see why I like cloudy days to take pictures. I also hope that it inspires you to take your camera along on cloudy days too.
Some folks have asked why I take so many pictures of zoo animals. As a docent at the zoo, it offers me a great opportunity to share photos of these wonderful ambassadors of their species in a positive way. It’s also a great way to practice taking photos in all kinds of light situations before going out into the wild. These animals don’t stay still either!
In a few weeks, I hope to be posting some new images from Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Thanks for coming and please stay tuned.