San Antonio, TX – San Antonio Zoo (HDR)

I have been traveling alot recently and decided to take a day off yesterday. We took our little one to the San Antonio Zoo.  It was a beautiful day…sunny and 73 degrees!  All the Texas kids are on Spring Break this week. So the Zoo was crazy!  It was my first ‘real” zoo ever!  I had been to small town ones, but never a city zoo.  I was prepared with my new Nikon 70-200 VR and Teleconverter!  It was a great zoo to visit!  They have many open cages to view these magnificent animals.  I wanted to see the Tiger, Lion, Giraffe, Elephant, Kangaroos, Hippos and this big little guy….a Rhino!

We had a fun 3 hours walking around.  This little guy was around 6000 lbs.  Looks to me like a teenager?   He walked around alot and posed for some shots.  My wife and I did get a little sad for the animals as we walked along.  They seemed bored…I suppose most zoo animals do.  But I am sure they are taken care of well…they are safe and hopefully live a decent life?    Anyway its a great place to take photos.  We talked during our visit how great it would be to go on Safari!  I’d need a bigger lens for that trip!!!  …and a window camera mount!  Ah to dream!

I did alright on my shots…Got a few good ones.  I was shooting f/4 to try and get some bokeh working…but I think next time f/8 to f/11 (a few more stops up)….especially on a sunny day.  Unfortunately, the Lion, Tiger and Grizzly Bear were no luck!  This was my best shot of the day.   I thought the Rhino skin in HDR might work well.   Since it is almost impossible to shoot an animal in true HDR (due to movement)…this is an HDR via the Single RAW method.  Worked fantastic!

While we watched this guy…something spooked him and he took off on a quick sprint!  WOW!  Amazingly fast!!!  If this dude hit your car head on…your car would surely lose!!!!!   They are like a little tank!  I’ll get another shot up soon and post more details on this wonderful zoo!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8 + Nikon TC-14EII (1.4x Teleconverter)
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 180.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/2500 sec (Single RAW HDR)
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Lightroom 3.0