One of our first excursions on our return to Arizona was the Phoenix Zoo. The zoo is well laid out and has a nice variety of exotic animals. Unfortunately, taking photos of animals is not one of my strengths. I continually spend way too much time trying to compose the shot only to have the animal scamper away or shift its posture, spoiling the shot. Moreover, in a zoo there are typically other impediments (challenges) to good shots--including artificial or low lighting conditions, glass, cage wire (which can be even worse in terms of using autofocus), or just plain distance--that serve as (probably lame) excuses for my poor results. At the Phoenix Zoo lighting is generally not a problem, as nearly all of the animals are outdoors. Also, I generally use my 70-300mm telephoto lens when at the zoo, so distance is not as much of an issue.
When I sorted through the photos that I took this time, I was somewhat surprised to see that most of the decent shots were of birds. That may be because they were positioned closer or because they were simply not as active as some of the other animals. Anyway, here are a couple of the bird shots that I took (and kept).
Not sure of the name of the above bird--I'm still very remiss in getting names. But I do know the following to be of pelicans.
I did like the topknot the above bird was displaying.
On last year's visit I got some very nice shots of the zoo's flock of flamingos. Unfortunately, this year we appeared to catch them at nap time and opportunities were few. I was reduced to taking shots of their feet . . . .
or of one of them giving me the evil eye.
I did like this shot, even though it is showing none of the bird's distinctive curved beak.
I did take some photos of the more traditional zoo animals, including a giraffe which I liked because of the angle of the shot.
And here is some sort of large lizard that was staring me down.
I also got a nice shot of his foot.
I found myself taking photos of just parts of animals, as in the above shot and in the photos below of a rhinoceros . . .
and an elephant.
And perhaps this last shot says it all regarding my overall evaluation of this photo shoot.