Friday, 24 March 2017

Shubenacadie Wildlife Park

We try to drag the kids out to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park once each year, and winter is usually the best time to do it. The weather isn't too warm, so the animals tend to be out and about, rather than hiding in the shade somewhere. 

The various cages and fences at the wildlife park present challenges to the photographer. In the case of the exotic birds, you can at least approach right up to the side of the cage, and I was able to shoot through the openings in the wire mesh of each cage to get the next two images.

Blue-eared Pheasant. It was fairly close to the cage, and far from the wall at the back, so this close-up of its head nicely blurs the background to make it less obvious the bird is in a cage.

Red Golden Pheasant. Someone on my Twitter feed remarked on the resemblance to Donald Trump, and now I can't avoid seeing it every time I look at the photo.
Fortunately, the Peacocks are allowed to roam freely throughout the park, so I didn't have to shoot through any fences. This is the first time I think I have seen one just sitting there, rather than wandering around.

The wolves and foxes add to the challenge in that not only are they behind chain link, but there is an additional railing some meters away from the fence so that you can't put your fingers through the fence (and potentially lose them if the animal is feeling peckish or peavish), which prevents one from getting the camera right up to the fence and shooting through the openings in the chain link. If you are skilled, careful, or at least lucky, you can sometimes shoot through chain link without it showing up in the image. I set my 70-200mm lens to its widest aperture (f/4), providing its narrowest possible depth of field, and as long as the animal was far enough away from the fence I managed to get a few images without the image being noticeably degraded by the fence. 

Arctic Wolf.

Although we were there in January, the snow on the ground itself had mostly melted, or perhaps just hadn't fallen under the trees. I liked the way the snow on the pond contrasted with the remaining colour in the trees and undergrowth in the photo below.

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