Zoo trip!

Jul. 2nd, 2016 08:09 pm
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
[personal profile] imbecamiel
Had some fun stuff happening this week! Among other things, just finished up my first month as a full karate instructor (i.e. no longer assistant-instructor-in-training). I think it's going well - I've had some good feedback, at any rate!

The big event this week, though, was the trip Nef and I took in to the Cities to spend a couple days at the zoo. Officially, this was because our zoo membership was expiring and we wanted to get some more photos before it did (me for art/anatomy reference, her for graphic design), and they also had a new exhibit for the summer with anamatronic dinosaurs. Unofficially... we really wanted a getaway with just the two of us, and it was a good excuse.

It was an awesome trip, too! Couldn't have asked for nicer weather, the dinosaur exibit was very fun, and we ended up going to the bird show twice because it was so good. We basically hardly sat down for two days straight, and I don't even know how many miles we ended up walking - so pretty wiped out by the time we got home, but happy.

Nef got some really beautiful photos. I don't have a whole lot to share on that front, because though I took a fair amount I am a terrible photographer and was only using my phone, so I got quite a few that're useful for my reference purposes but not much that's particularly interesting or artistic in its own right. :P I think I'm getting a little better hang of photography generaly, though, so I've resolved to actually bring a proper camera that I know how to use next time.

I do have a few fun photos, though!



First off, the entrance to the dinosaur exhibit:

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You can't see the pterodactyls on the gate very well, but the whole place was really cool. They had the Jurassic Park theme playing, and a bunch of fog machines scattered around to create some fun atmosphere.

Also! A picture I am actually a little proud of! (Okay, I know, it's not super exciting. But hey, I'm learning. And it's in focus. XD)

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There was also a beautiful butterfly garden there this summer! Particularly fun for me because it was the one place where there was both decent light and the ability to get close enough to take pretty good photos even with my phone, so I ended up with a ridiculous number of butterfly pics.

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Most of the birds in the aviary were much too far away for me to photograph with my phone. (For most things it's basically useless beyond a couple of feet, seems like. Or maybe that's mostly my incompetence.) A couple of them were nice enough to pose for me, though. The little guy on the left was just adorable - very playful and kept coming over to us and posing like he wanted his picture taken, but of course he couldn't stay still for more than a few seconds at a time.

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And of course, had to spend plenty of time hanging out with my faves here, the Amur leopards.

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I actually took a little bit of video, too! We spent some time with them just before their dinner time, and the male was getting really impatient and started roaring. Very fun to hear!


(In case it doesn't embed properly, direct link here. I started up a channel to post this, and a couple of other brief clips, so if you want to see those they're here.)

Date: 2016-07-03 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kriadydragon.livejournal.com
Dang, your phone takes better pictures than my camera. Those are some awesome pictures.

Date: 2016-07-03 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imbecamiel.livejournal.com
Thank you! Usually 90% of what I take has turned out super grainy or blurry, but I think I'm finally starting to get a better handle on lighting and how to steady myself and focus things properly. It's been a learning curve. *g*

Date: 2016-07-03 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cairistiona7.livejournal.com
What a fun couple of days! And what a cool zoo.

Your pictures are great! You're actually onto one of the most basic rules of phone and digital photography: get it in focus first and you can pretty it up later. :) I don't know if you've ever heard of pixlr.com, but it's a site where you can do a lot of digital post-editing for a lot of very cool effects. You simply upload your photo to the pixlr express or the more technical one that's a lot like Photoshop (and whose name I can't remember because I usually just use express), play with all the filters and then save the result as another photo. You keep you original as is but have a nifty new version of it.

Pixlr has web apps and phone apps as well. I use it a lot for photos I don't intend to share on Instagram.

Date: 2016-07-03 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imbecamiel.livejournal.com
It is a really nice zoo! We were able to see more of the animal handling/enrichment than usual this time, being there so long, and it was just great to see the good work they're doing and how much they care for the animals' wellbeing. (Having read a fair amount about the history of zoos and animal handling, it makes the contrast with how far we've come all the more striking.)

Thank you! :D I've been so frustrated with my inability to figure out even the basics of photography, it's really encouraging to start to see some turning out. Oooo, though, pixlr sounds familiar, but I've never actually used it. I'm going to have to check that out! Thanks for the tip!

Date: 2016-07-04 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cairistiona7.livejournal.com
You're very welcome. :) For me, learning photography has been mostly trial and error and reading a lot of articles and watching tutorials. And realizing that it doesn't have to be perfect right out of the shutter but that post-editing is definitely a good thing. I remember back when digital photography first came out, there was a lot of pushback about editing the photos, that somehow it wasn't "authentic", but thankfully that attitude has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Pixlr's express editor is what *used* to be the editor on Photobucket. Photobucket "upgraded" to a simpler editor (which is useless) so I was glad to see that Pixlr's was still out there. It has a lot of really cool artistic tools that I like to play with, as well as really good adjustment tools. And the nice thing is that everything is "undoable", so if you don't like it, you can hit the undo button or just close the tab and it all goes away and your original is still intact. :)

Mature placement

Date: 2016-08-17 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
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