A view of my world in Central Illinois and places we go.

Posts tagged “Washington

A Visit to the National Zoo

IMG_8350-1This past weekend I once again accompanied my wife to Washington DC, she for business and me for pleasure. Rather than being housed near the overly-familiar Mall, we stayed at the very nice (and famous) Omni Shoreham just off Connecticut Ave and overlooking Rock Creek National Park, northwest of the central city and actually quite close to the National Zoo. So, I spent a lot of time at our nation’s zoo. Friday morning looked to be rainy, and stayed cloudy all day – this turned out to be an excellent bonus. Cool weather and overcast skies meant active animals with nice diffuse, shadowless lighting. FYI, I spent the whole day with my 400 mm lens on my Canon 7D, perfect for getting closeups – these are not cropped images. However, this lens will not allow me to get the whole animal and means you need to focus on the particular area of interest (generally the face and especially the eyes).

The National Zoo is known for its pandas, and there was a nice little audience watching them (mom, dad, and their daughter, all in separate areas), but I am always drawn to the “big cats” – see my previous blogs of visits to this and Brookfield Zoo near Chicago. These first of the tiger I especially like – his keeper was walking around outside the enclosure and this guy was keeping a sharp eye on him, possibly hoping for food. Those eyes just look right through you.

IMG_8327-1One more shot of the tiger, where you can see his teeth – the better to eat you with, my dear!

IMG_8313-1Can’t not have any lion shots! I was there early enough that all the big cats were just being released to their outside habitats. It was clear when this male lion got out. He strutted around, marked his territory, and then proceeded to bellow (it’s not really a roar) his presence to the rest of the zoo. Impressive!

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IMG_8388And, here is his pride. Click on an image to see it enlarged and allow you to scroll through them. Hit your “escape” button to come back here.

I’ll finish with this, as one has to have a shot of the pandas if you’re ever at the National Zoo! This is Bao Bao, the daughter, not full grown as yet.

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Top Summer Photos

This evening I will be attending the Champaign County Camera Club’s first meeting of the new season. I joined over the winter last year, so am still learning club protocol and members’ names. Tonight, though, each of the members are invited to present a maximum of 15 photos taken over the summer. I estimate I took about 6,000 photos since June 1 and includes trips to DC and, my fave place, Pentwater, MI.

So, picking a top 15 from 6,000 can be a bit daunting. I could easily pick 15 from Pentwater alone. But, I felt like I needed to instill some variety. I mean, I could do, like, 15 sunsets, you know? No, that wouldn’t do…although I have some GREAT sunsets. Here are the 15 I picked, from DC to Champaign, from July 4 to Labor Day, from bright colors to black and white and LOTS of water. Some flora, some fauna, and NO dog (I’ll save those images for another post). Enjoy!


A Visit to Washington D.C.

I had a great opportunity to visit Washington DC this past week. My wife was there on business, and I got to tag along and pretty much spend the days as I wished. As such I chose to spend most of it on the Mall. A friend that was with me, and had lived in the area about 20 years ago, had yet to see the WWII Memorial and neither of us had seen the latest addition to the area’s memorials, the Martin Luther King Memorial. Needless to say, we had wonderful weather and I would recommend seeing Washington in the fall. Summers in DC can be dreadfully hot (and humid). However, our mornings were nicely cool and although it did heat up a bit in the afternoons, shaded areas┬áremained ┬ápleasantly cool.┬áSo here are just a few images. The black and white images are from the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials, and were taken as part of a photo class with Washington Photo Safari with professional photographer David Luria. It was fun and I picked up a few tips.