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San Francisco Zoo, Nikon & San Jose Camera Wildlife Photography Workshop - August 4th, 2013

     

The event started the night before at the Aperture Academy gallery, in Campbell California, where Wildlife Photographer Stephen W. Oachs gave an information and educational presentation. Stephen talked about a variety of topics that included gear, common settings he uses for Wildlife, tips and tricks and also went through a slideshow of images teaching a variety of aspects by example.

The next morning began bright and early at the San Francisco Zoo. Coffee, Tea, and muffins were available upon entering the grand hall. There was an awesome spread awaiting all the participants. Nikon brought a ton of gear, and it wasn’t just to drool over, they were actually loaning this stuff out!

The line formed early, and the early bird got to try out the best gear. San Jose camera had a nice setup for everyone, and it was fun to see all the participants in their San Jose Camera caps. Hoodman was also there, displaying their very cool product line, as well as Tamarac, who displayed some nice tripods and camera bags.

The real fun began in the African area. Many species of animal roam in this expansive region, but the favorites are the Giraffe and Zebra. The Zoo even has a new edition in this region, her name is Erin and she’s absolutely adorable. Paul from Nikon and Matt and Ellie from the Aperture Academy were on hand with some big glass. Available to try out were a couple of 600mm lenses, as well as a 400mm and a 500mm. The day was off to a splendid start.

Grizzly Gulch was next up and the large lenses were set up to capture the two female grizzle bears in their enclosure, as they anxiously awaited feeding time. It was great to see the smiling faces of all who clicked their camera body’s, on to that big Nikon glass. Watching the bears eat mode lots of folks hungry. Good thing it was lunchtime. Again, back at the grand hall, a nice spread of food awaited all the guests. The lunch hour seemed to fly by, as the photo tech talk floated around the room.

After lunch the group made their way to the Gorilla enclosure. The action was intermittent, but for those who stuck around, it really paid off. One thing that wildlife photography teaches us is patience.

With a short stop to capture some graceful Flamingo photos, the group checked went to check out the big cats. It was apparently nap time, but one again, for those who were patient some nice yawing and stretching shots were captured.

The final photo session of the day was very cool. The participants got to try out some macro lenses, and not for flowers, but for animals. A close encounter with a beautiful horned owl and some vibrant reptiles was a great way to top off a fantastic day.

Comments


Terry McCafferty - August 7th, 2013 (10:57pm)

The zoo trip was outstanding, I had a ball out there capturing what I could. All the venders, Nikon, San Jose Camera & the Aperture Academy were very helpful and eager to help where needed. I will be attending more of these in the future, keep up the good work!

TMc

Rennis Kauffman - August 8th, 2013 (7:40am)

Very good outing - well organized and great people (participants & staff). Got a lot of info on new products. Elle gave me some great tips on a new lens I have as well as my upcoming Tanzania trip.

Mary Johnson - August 8th, 2013 (10:38am)

This was one of the best all around days I have spent! Lots of friendly, knowledgable folks and opportunities galore to shoot the animals under excellent circumstances! I was able to try a 400 mm Canon Lens with the generous help of Paul from SJC and got two of my all time best shots of a prairie dog and meerkat!
Advice (from Ellie and Matt) on shooting through nasty plexiglass during the grizzly feeding netted a very fine series of images as well. This was an outstanding value for all participants and I would sign up again in a blink! Not to mention the two hour "how I did this" presentation by Stephen Oachs... loved it!

Mary Johnson - August 8th, 2013 (10:38am)

This was one of the best all around days I have spent! Lots of friendly, knowledgable folks and opportunities galore to shoot the animals under excellent circumstances! I was able to try a 400 mm Canon Lens with the generous help of Paul from SJC and got two of my all time best shots of a prairie dog and meerkat!
Advice (from Ellie and Matt) on shooting through nasty plexiglass during the grizzly feeding netted a very fine series of images as well. This was an outstanding value for all participants and I would sign up again in a blink! Not to mention the two hour "how I did this" presentation by Stephen Oachs... loved it!

KELLY COLLIN - August 8th, 2013 (11:01am)

Had a great time! Well organized!! I loved that you got us all together in the morning, but just let us go do our thing for the day! I liked seeing others from our group throughout the day in the zoo(not behind cages). I met some great people and visited San Jose Camera yesterday and purchased a few NEW things. So excited to use them at the Reno Air Races. I would love to share photos upon my return.

Michele Williams - August 8th, 2013 (3:43pm)

This was a great event. Very well organized. There are very few deals available anymore but this had such great value. All of the hands on help was amazing. I got to try out all 3 Nikon formats and found a use for each one. Now I just have to go through all of my photos.

Patrick and Karen Draper - August 8th, 2013 (8:15pm)

We had a terrific time! We got lots of excellent advice and pointers from Jim, Paul, and the Nikon guys, not to mention the other attendees. The zoo was a perfect place to practice and try out new lenses. We'll be coming back for more workshops in the future!

Barbara Herlihy - August 11th, 2013 (8:46pm)

What a fabulous day! Hadn't been to the SF Zoo in decades but what a treat to see it through the eyes of a 600mm lens! The ability to try out wonderful Nikon products was like a dream come true! The Saturday lecture was excellent and I had been looking forward to this event for weeks since I first got SJ Camera's e-mail months ago. and it did not disappoint. Everyone connected with the event was helpful and informative. Can't wait to take another class. Who knew how much fun it would be to watch a giraffe stroll around his enclosure and then look directly at you which you could only see if you were using a high-end professional camera? Thanks again!



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