[/caption] Rose Tu, an 18 year old Asian elephant, from the Oregon Zoo gave birth to a healthy 300 lb calf on 11/30/12 at around 12:17am. The Zoo will choose a short list of possible names and then fans will have a chance to vote online.
[/caption] When most people think of Portland’s parks they usually think of 5,100 acre Forest Park. However, Washington Park probably has the highest concentration of points of interest in the entire country. The park may only be just over 40 acres but you will be surprised to find the following areas located within the park: Portland zoo, Children’s museum, World Forestry museum, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose test garden, outdoor stage with grassy sitting area, Portland Japanese garden, two of Portland’s reservoirs, Holocaust memorial, Sacajawea monument, the zoo railway station, several playgrounds, tennis courts and several miles of hiking trails. And you can’t forget that most of the park is very well manicured with thousands of plants and flowers that bloom during Spring and Summer. Washington Park is pretty much the icing on the cake when tourists visit the city. It pretty much closes the book as the most beautiful and greenest cities in the United States. This photo was actually taken within a few hundred feet from the Sacajawea statue. I attached my Sigma 50mm prime/macro lens and attached my warming filter in order to bring out the warming tones of the trees. I removed the CIR-PL since I wasn’t standing in direct sunlight and I didn’t want any camera shake or blur since I wasn’t using a tripod. I set the camera mode at Program/Normal and the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.7 which automatically set the aperture at F-3.5 and the shutter speed at 1/100 second.
[/caption] The Oregon Zoo is well worth the fee and you won’t be disappointed. The recently added Safari exhibit is an awesome addition and you will find yourself taking a lot of photos and waiting for that unbelievable shot. I know that the Oregon Zoo isn’t the largest zoo in the world but it’s a favorite since its built on a large hill and there are several walking trails that connect to one another so you can re-visit an exhibit without having to walk all the way around the park. Although parking is limited, you can park within just a few yards from the entrance or you can take the MAX light rail and get dropped off right near the park. The Zoo has a very intimate feeling and I’ve always felt that I can spend all day there without having to walk too far to get a second or third glimpse of one of the animals. I took this photo with my Canon T1i and my Canon 55-250mm telephoto lens. I removed my CIR-PL since it was mostly overcast and I wasn’t using a tripod. However, I made sure to attach my warming filter so I could bring out the warm tones of the animals. I also set the Picture Style mode in Portrait so I could concentrate on close-up shots. The camera mode was in Program/Normal so the aperture was at F-6.3 and the shutter speed at 1/320 seconds. The ISO was at 100 and the white balance at -1. It was about 12:00pm and even though the sun was pretty high there were low clouds that kept the skies very dreary. However, this was the perfect lighting to take portraits of animals from a distance. Almost all of the animals at the exhibit were either behind 10 inches of glass or wire fencing so I had to try to eliminate any glare. The fast 1/320 second shutter speed helped me keep the ISO at 100 and also kept the camera shake down. This was especially important since I wasn’t using a tripod and mostly kept the focal length at 250mm, like I did in this particular photo of the lioness perched on a rock staring at me. Because the focal length was at 250mm the field of view was short so the lioness really stands out and the blur of the dirt and grass makes it almost look like this photo was taken in Africa. Man, I wish!