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.
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