It was a bright sunny day with temps in the 70s a few days ago when visiting the Phoenix Zoo. We did a lot of walking while photographing many of the birds and animals.
Later in the afternoon we climbed aboard the last train of the day. The route would take us around the whole park, about a 30 minute experience. Late in the ride we rode past the lions and tigers. The warm afternoon sun was settling in the West and the opportunity for a “Big Cat” photo was perfect! But, we couldn’t get off the train. By the time we got back to the station it was almost closing time, and I asked the conductor if there was any way we could quickly get back to the lions and tigers. He said “Well, I’m not supposed to do this, but I have to put the train away for the day and we drive right past that point, so get back on and I’ll take you there.”
As a photographer I’m excited now. The subjects are there, the light is perfect, but can I get some great shots?
I ran between the lion cage and the tiger cage. They were pacing, in the light, and out of the light. At one point the female lion sat down. I stuck my camera through the fence, zoomed in and caught her in the sunshine!
Now, for his Majesty. Would he stop pacing and pause in the light? Yes, he did. I made every sound in the world trying to get him to look my way, but he had a mind of his own, so this is him!
I ran back to the tiger area but she was wandering around with not a good chance to get a photo. So it’s back to the lions and got lucky enough to catch them relaxing in the sun! How romantic…..
Back to the tiger. She is still pacing and I’m clicking away, but no photo that’s worth bragging about. And then, she jumped up on a boulder about 4 feet off the ground. She stood there looking around and seemed to be interested in a bird high above in the tree. Again I’m making sounds trying to coax her to look my way. Obviously she’s just not interested. (Been there before!)
At this point I put my camera in high speed capture mode. It’s clicking like crazy trying to get the shot. I must have taken at least 40 frames and in 1 frame, there she was, looking straight at me!
Sometimes you’ll get a great photograph when you least expect it. It's talent mixed with a lot of luck and being at the right place at the right time. (Click on photos for a larger view.)
Pictures tell a story and create memories. Photos are a universal language and create emotion and joy in your life.
Take your camera or cell phone and take a photo today!