Fuji X100 does the zoo

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by stillshunter, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Yes, yes I know, the X100 is not the premium choice of photo equipment for the zoo. However, I was treated to a surprise for my birthday. I was told the morning before, and moments before we were to board - with two hours to pack and get to the airport - that we were going to Melbourne to celebrate. So, being a city, and me usually photographing cows and sunsets I knew the X100 must be packed. Then the next day when I woke up in the city, on my big day, I was given another surprise....we were going to the zoo....and when we got there that I was booked in to meet the orangutans. :dance2: I cannot express in words how excited I was....and still am. If there is one thing I love most in the world - after my life partner of course - and that is our more peaceful and intelligent orange cousins. I shan't rant but nothing makes me well up or get's me angrier than knowing that our selfish idiotic ways are compromising, not only the quality of life but the very survival of these magnificent beings.

    T'was a great day. Actually a highlight of my life....and although I might have chosen something with a little more reach, the X100 was an excellent companion.

    I'll add a few more photos to this thread once they're processed. But here's the first I played with having just gotten back...

    [​IMG]
    Dewi by stillshunter, on Flickr

    Please feel free to add any more X100 shots from the zoo....
     
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  2. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    and here's Menyaru, the older brother of Dewi (the little 9 months old girl above)

    [​IMG]
    Menyaru by stillshunter, on Flickr
     
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  3. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
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  4. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    539
    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    Awesome photos!!!! The X100 is good for almost everything! :)
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Very moving, Mark. I find these images both poignant and upsetting. I feel very sad as I look at their eyes and faces and see them incarcerated. That said, I know I am reading into these pictures my own feelings. It's easy for me to think that I am feeling what's reflected. Am I anthropomorphizing? I don't know.

    I will say that I think all three are very well done. I keep feeling as though I'm looking at prisoners. However, from what you've written about the zoo, it must be a very good one, so I hope my feelings are wrong.

    They are very strong portraits.

    Are those balls on the outside of the fence in Santan's portrait?
     
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  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    Orangutans are just the most amazing creatures. You should visit Borneo one time.
     
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  7. Penny

    Penny SC Veteran

    384
    Aug 26, 2010
    Outside Liverpool Uk
    During the past year or so here in the UK there has been quite a bit of TV coverage of the plight of the Orangutans in Borneo which brings tears to my eyes and guilt at what we humans are doing to these lovely largely gentle cousins of ours.
    Thanks for reminding me Mark.
     
  8. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Thanks to each of you for your kind words.

    It's a double edged sword. Due to our hunger for the cheapest goods, and the locals need to survive, the habitat of Sumatran Orangutans and Tigers (not to mention the myriad other animals who've called that place home for thousands of years) is making way for monocultures of palm oil plantations. All this for the cheapest and fattiest (and most widely used) oil! Not to mention the meat and pet trade.....apparently the desire for baby Orangs went through the roof after the release of that B-grade 70's classic "Any which way but loose".... So there is no place for these animals to survive, other than zoos! Is this right ....hell no! As much as this angers me, zoos appear to have made huge progress in their keeping practices. The enclosures are big and filled with distraction and enrichment. Actually the balls you see in the photo of Santan are all a part of the Experience I went on. We stuffed all manner of objects with their favorite foods - dates, walnuts, sultanas, etc. These objects were then thrown on the net seperating us in order that the Orangs could be engaged in the process of getting their treats. Orangs have an astoundingly refined sense of hand-eye coordination and high order processing. As an example before heading on our experience we were given access to one of their enrichments - a wall of clear perspex which was a grid of 36 squares with random holes and obstacles. The objective was that a walnut is placed at the top and through small slots the user guided the walnut through and down the maze to be rewarded with a walnut that opens up into the last square. In our group the majority could not negotiate the first of the 36 squares!!! Orangs have the walnut in hand within 60 seconds!!! We see them poking random sticks around, but these guys fashion tools for each task and use them deftly! Sounds like us until we chose to take this talent to an extreme. So, again, the balls were a apart of the enrichment activity which keeps those acute brains active.

    So, again, it is a double edged sword. In the present state to not have them in zoos with idiotically grinning folks (yep a threat signal..ironically enough) like me throwing inane puzzles at them and ogling at their dexterity, then they would cease to be as a species. Is there another alternative - like save what remains of their homes? I damn well hope so and will certainly do what I can to help during my short spin here.

    BB - I don't believe you're anthropomorphising at all. We don't show empathy with these guys just because they look like us, these fellow primates are more than simply intelligent and sentient. I've always wondered why Orangs seem so quiet compared with other primates; I mean just listen out at the chimp or gorilla cages.....or even worse turn you ear outside the cages and listen to the inane human chatter. The keeper said that beyond the rare warning and mating calls, Orangs main communication is through body gestures which are mainly through the face and eyes! So can an Orang be speaking at you with its eyes?....well pretty likely....and probably more sophisticated than our reciprocating with a pointed thud on the glass, a wide toothy expression and a guttural "ooo, OOO, ooo".

    Sorry for the rant all....photography's not my only abiding passion :blush:
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Mark, that's no rant but, instead, a very helpful explanation which I know that I am not alone in appreciating. I will be looking forward to more of your photographs from your surprise birthday trip to the Melbourne Zoo.

    And by the way, happy belated birthday!!![​IMG]
     
  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
  11. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Karen
    Dewi is a beauty, loving the ruffled, spikey hairdo. It sounds like you had a fantastic birthday. Who'd have thought that the X100 could do the zoo. I live near Edinburgh Zoo so I could give my X100 an outing there ... no orang-utans I'm afraid but they do have koalas! I know not all zoos are good zoos but many are making great conservational strides by working together in their breeding programmes, in their reintroduction programmes and in working with local NGOs to change human attitudes. For many species, the conservation work of the zoos are their only hope. It is sad to see animals in cages but sadder still to only see them in natural history books.
     
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  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    A couple of images from the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre at Sepilok, Malaysian Borneo in late 2009. With so many Orangutans displaced or orphaned, notably due to Palm Oil plantations, a number of rehabilitation centres like this have been set up in both the Malaysian and Indonesian states of Borneo. In 2008 I "bought" my fiance a sponsorship of a juvenile Orangutan named Marsha at the Australian Orangutan Project, not here in Sepilok but in Indonesia. Of course the money doesn't just go to Marsha but to the operation of the entire project.

    The photos aren't the best; it was a miserable, rainy day and I was shooting a 400mm equiv lens at ISO1600 at shutter speeds as low as 1/50.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Thanks Nic. My heart sinks with each and every photo of them captive.

    So I'll try this one of an Asian elephant being visited by his fellow countrymen....
    [​IMG]
    Strangers in a strange land by stillshunter, on Flickr

    ...and what seemed an interesting wall just a few steps away.
    [​IMG]
    Slow March by stillshunter, on Flickr
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Mark, please, please don't be shy about posting these pictures in larger sizes because that is where their full intensity and details can be seen. I hope everyone takes the time to click on them, and then use the Flickr option of clicking yet again to see them in a larger size.

    Caveat here - I know how one can feel sort of odd about posting multiple photos in a thread or a post...sort of presumptuous, maybe, however that is one of the reasons for Serious Compacts existence - to share our love and interest in pictures.

    To me the intensity of this elephant's look at his fellow countrymen...fellow immigrants no longer living in their original country...the watchers watching on both sides... And the intensity of your monochromatic tones work perfectly for this moment. One really must see it in a larger size to appreciate this image from the smallest yet most important details and not lose the overall impact of the scene, as a whole. At least that's how I feel as I find myself drawn in more and more.

    And the same goes for the next image of the sculptural frieze - seeing it in a larger size is where one can feel much more of what had to be an immense journey...

    Do you really need another camera, Mark?:wink:

    Great series - please keep them coming.
     
  15. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Thanks BB :blush: I really do appreciate the comments and your insight into "Strangers in a strange land". This was my precise intention on spying the scene. So I'm so glad I was able to transfer this to another. I feel very very flattered.
    BTW: I've replaced the above with the larger versions....though I still prefer the look of them 'mounted' on the Flickr black background.
     
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  16. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Nic
    You need to pester Amin to add a "Dark Style" viewing option here like he did at Mu-43. (Don't worry, he loves having more work to do :wink:)
     
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  17. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB