Monkey See 2006-01-29
This is a continuation of yesterday's series from the zoo. While preparing that post, it occured to me that I saw LOTS of animals at the zoo, but the only ones I bothered taking pictures of were the apes. Well, I admit taking some shots of the elephants. I always think the elephants have such potential, but the shots never turn out well. Honestly, I hate zoo photos in general. I used to photograph lots and lots of animals, and then I'd come home and try to figure out what to do with the pictures. But I like these pictures because the expressions make such powerful images.
As you can see, the reason that I could take such close up shots of these characters (with a 50mm lens, by the way) is because I was looking through glass. The sun was hitting them well (a nice sidelight), and it all worked out. Only a few photos contained reflections. Obviously, in this shot of Reia, I wanted the reflection.
The top photo is self explanatory. I can't resist kids, and that includes the animal variety. Unfortunately, you CAN see a bit of reflection in that one, but...did I say I can't resist kids? I really like the middle shot of Reia and thought it might look better inserted in a series like this. I'll let you read into it whatever you will. The last photo is a different crop of yesterday's third image. This one is pulled further back to emphasize the isolation. I increased the shadow highlights using Photoshop, and I like that touch.I'm not sure which crop I like better. I chose this one to with a more abstract image in mind -- a strong personality in conflict (as you can see in the dark line that his face crosses). For the original crop, I made it tighter and included the same dark line plus an edge of the floor (a man made line) in the bottom right corner to increase the sense of enclosure.
For anyone still reading...
I don't want to sink to the level of, say, South Park humor. But these chimpanzees certainly have a knack for that genre. You may want to stop reading if you don't. While our kids sat watching, just inches from the glass, one chimpanzee walked to the side and stopped with his back to us. I would have preferred the other side. Then pooped (that's "unchi detta" in Japanese) into his hand, and he accomplished this like a pro (as I watched raptly). He turned, put the poop in his mouth, like a warm stogie bobbing up and down in two half coconut lips; walked back to us and, with a deft maneuver, stuck it on the glass like putting a pickle on a plate. Then he proceeded to eat it. Being that it was on a vertical glass surface and well lit (with sidelighting), we all had a very clear view. And when he was done, he did it again, and again. I told my mom (on the phone this morning), "Three times," but my daughter chimed in that it was six. I'm sticking with three.
You should have seen the faces of people in the crowd. They looked fairly surprised. Several took pictures with their cell phones. For a moment, I actually thought the whole chimpanzee show should be PG rated -- especially when my kids saw it for the second and third times.
Sorry for telling you the gory details, but you can thank me for sparing you the photo. (In the second shot, though, that smear in front of Reia's face is what's left of one...event.)
Ahem, I hope you like the photos. Seriously, try to wipe (err, erase) any unwanted details from your mind; and feel free to leave me some feedback on these photos.