Last year I took a
trip to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. I wanted to go and
see the baby elephant that had been born there not long ago. As I was
touring through the other exhibits I of course eagerly came to the Primate
It was a nice day and several of the gorillas were in the outdoor area
set up for them, that is when the idea struck me to do a photography experiment.
How easy, or difficult would it be to get a photograph of these gorillas
in an outdoor setting?
I had a simple camera - a point and shoot Pentax - so I had no control
over the exposure settings. The only added feature was a telephoto lens
but since I wanted the photos to be as close as possible to the naked
eye I did not use it.
Picture #1 - In the open - Photo is un-touched in either
conventional or digital manners. I am surprised at the loss of detail
in the scanning and posting of it here. Anyway, this is a photo of two
gorillas in plain view in the center of the photo. They simply appear
as dark objects, in the actual photo it is easier to see them.
Partially concealed - Again in the center of the photo where the
twisted ropes start their twist on the left side and behind the ropes
is a gorilla. And also once again, just a dark object, this time however
the gorilla doesn't look much different than the areas of shade in the
Quite concealed - Even though the gorilla in this photo is not
even trying to hide it is even more difficult to find him. He is again
in the center of the photo vertically and a little above center horizontally.
He is looking directly at the camera and his face is the dark area behind
and just below the light colored objects that are shaped like an upside
down slightly flattened out V.
was surprised when I received the photos back from the processor. The
exposures are good, but if I handn't made a note of where the gorillas
were in the photos I would not have been able to say for sure where, or
what they were in the number two and three photos.
Photo # 3
While this was just a simple experiment the photos do not show what is
more easily seen in real life. I also noted that in photo number three
that if I had not watched as the gorilla had gone into the brush,
would not have been able to find him, especially if he would have sat
No wonder our big friends are so hard to photograph. For the most part
I believe that they are trying to hide and know quite well how to conceal
themselves in their surroundings.
I hope you find my little experiment of some interest. Thanks again for
all the work you do in putting out the email news letters. I really look
forward to receiving them!
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