Zoo Photography contest -- Help me pick?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DerekSalem, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    I realize I took a bunch of pictures (took 154 pictures and a video over about 2 1/2 hours not including instant deletions), but I could really use help deciding which to pick to submit. My mother loves the zoo (she's in a few pictures) and if I win I'd get a bunch of stuff including a year membership. I don't live here (I'm stationed on the other side of the country right now) but I'd really love to give my mom a year membership for free (not that my parents aren't well off or anything but I think it would be a nice gesture). Any chance you guys could help me pick a good picture to submit?

    I haven't touched *any* of these pictures at all. They've all just been straight uploaded from camera to PC to Flickr. Whichever I decide to enter I'll PP then reupload to see what you guys think. Thanks in advance all! The set's down below \/

    20100415 Cleveland Metro Zoo - a set on Flickr
     
  2. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    maybe narrow it down to your top 5.





    p!nK
     
  3. poof

    poof TPF Noob!

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    At first glance I like:

    IMG_1921 (what animal is this?)
    &
    IMG_1935
     
  4. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    I honestly have no idea what kind of animal 1921 is lol but the picture is a bit blurry I think for an entry. I can re-take the photo (military ID = free admission) but I've definitely heard a lot of good things about 1935 so far (the monkey). That looks like it could be my entry so far...
     
  5. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    Looks like a tree kangaroo
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, these five have potential:

    1894 (but that one needs a crop!)
    1912
    1933
    1935 and 1966.
     
  8. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    I agree with some others. Narrow it down to your top 5 or even 10. Also, if you think some of them are too blurry for entry why have them on your Flickr in the first place?
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In no particular order:
    IMG_1987 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Rather liked this one, but you are going to have to play with the contrast to lose that hazy look to the shot. It should work pretty well, but don't go too far or you will lose the detail in the black coat.
    Otherwise a good pose from the monkey

    IMG_1933 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    I like this pose, but I think the strong light from above and the angle of the head might both just be a bit too strong since at large sizes we don't get to see much if any detail in the eye area.

    IMG_1966 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    IMG_1963 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Wasn't sure which of these two frames I prefered, the first I think works better overall, though the second is more complete (tail is included in the shot).

    IMG_1935 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    IMG_1939 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Couldn't quite decide upon which post and framing I prefered of these two; however take not the sharpness of the mouth areas, the first shot has some blur from motion on the lower jaw whilst the second does not - in my eyes that would rank the second shot as superior. You might want to play around with cropping the second (maybe a little from the left side).




    Notable mention but not worth entering:

    IMG_1926 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Great pose from the cat, but sadly the bars have really messed it up (bigcats are often very hard because you can never get up to the cage to lose the bars in a shot). Sometimes boosting contrast will hide the effect of the bars and you might try it for this shot, though I think the colour of the bars is going to leek through and marr the natural colours.

    IMG_1906 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Just what the heck is this - some sort of demon bird? ;)

    IMG_1881 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Looks a little blown out in the petals but I rather like this shot,

    IMG_1877 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    I don't think this would work as a zoo photograph entry in a competition, but its probably one of the best shots in the whole set - a good even lighting and good focus, though I would have used maybe a little bit less aperture (bigger f number) just to bring the details out on the flower a little more with the added depth.


    Overall a few little tips:
    1) Keep an eye on all the animal, esp the paws and the back end, several shots were good, but had you clipping off bits of tail or leg from the animal which distracts and detracts from the overall finish of the image.

    2) Quite a bit of strong lighting, often the case as one cannot get into zoos in the early morning or late evenings that easily - a tip I have found is to underexpose (by up to one stop) during the brighter parts of the day; that can really help to save those highlights from overexposing. You can also combine this with flash so that the flash fills in the light over the rest of the subject when underexposing.
     
  10. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I looked up the contest rules, and as is with most... "All photos will become the property of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo." They're stock shopping. They can use them for advertising, postcards, etc without giving credit or paying royalties. It's a lot cheaper to give out a few passes and prizes than to pay licensing fees for top photos.

    If you don't mind giving away your work for a very small chance at winning a pass... Not I.
     
  11. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    Ya it's completely fine most of them are just for fun anyway.

    As for "why did I upload them to Flickr if I knew some were blurry"...I just uploaded the entire card from the day.

    And thank you all for your input thus far.
     
  12. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    And the sad thing is most of the haziness/blurriness is due to shooting through the glass/fences. I absolutely *love* IMG_1926 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! but it was through a green chain-link fence. Removing the fence would be fairly difficult since it's so faded all over the place.

    The monkey cages were the worst (fairly dark and the glass was *disgusting* from the inside). I was thinking about figuring out what day they clean the glass so I could hopefully get somewhat clean shots =P
     

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