Tag: San Diego Zoo

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Welcome to COVID-Safe San Diego Zoo

My wife and I walk around our neighborhood and go to the grocery store but not much elsewhere. That’s the state of our lives, and that of many other Californians, since Governor Gavin Newsom essentially closed down the state on March 19, 2020. Subsequently, “shelter-in-place” and social distancing orders worked, or seemed to, and spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—subsided. In June, California started to earnestly reopen, with restrictions placed to prevent resurgence.

But the pandemic savagely surged, shifting from older citizens to younger ones: People under the age of 40 account for about half of all new confirmed cases. One week ago, Newsom ordered partial reclosing, while Los Angeles and San Diego school districts jointly announced that kids would not return to classes as planned; for the foreseeable future, they will be instructed over the Internet.

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Tortoises in Black and White

Yesterday, my wife suggested a walk around San Diego Zoo, which wasn’t nearly as bustling as I would expect it to be on a summer-like-weather Friday afternoon. The place was by no means desolate of people, just not overly crowded. I wonder if increasing paranoia about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is one reason. People infected or showing symptoms are being treated or quarantined at UCSD Medical Center, which is just 3.7-km drive (2.3 miles) from the zoo. My apartment is even closer: 2 km (1.3 miles) as the crow flies and 3 km (1.9 miles) by road. If—gulp, when—the virus spreads locally, my family will be at the epicenter.

But back to the lovely afternoon spent with the animals—calm before SHTF, as the country’s self-described Preppers call it—I brought along Leica Q2, with the Film Style set to Monochrome. The result wasn’t as anticipated. Importing into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic, after returning home, the RAWs came in as color. I wrongly assumed that the setting would apply to the native files. Nope, only to the JPEGs.

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Cock-of-the-Rock

Confession: I conduct a test—to see how search engines or organizational filters might censor this post, or my entire site, because of “cock” in the headline. Or will something quite unexpected happen: Surge in traffic because of indexing that brings porn searchers my way? Now that would be hilarious outcome—and not my purpose.

The title refers to the name of the bird that you see in the Featured Image and its companion: The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, which is the national bird of Peru. He posed for my wife and I yesterday, during a San Diego Zoo visit. Vitals are the same for both portraits, which were taken using iPhone XS: f/2.4, ISO 400, 1/60 sec, 6mm; 12:50 p.m. PDT. The first is composed as shot; the other is cropped 3:2 and slightly recomposed. Neither is enhanced, or otherwise edited.

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Panda a Day…

To renew, or not to renew, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the budget to suffer the slings and arrows of haughty annual fees, or to take leave of a parade of animals—and by opposing end membership? Surely Shakespeare wouldn’t approve, but since he can’t come crying copyright infringement, well…

Our annual San Diego Zoo passes expire on April 30, and “Another year?” is question of the weekend. My wife and I trucked over to the animal refuge this morning and got great value from the hour spent walking about and looking at the beasties. But is that experience enough to warrant another year? 

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The Camel

For one of her birthday activities, my wife Anne wanted to ride the Skyfari Aerial Tram across San Diego zoo. We walked back through the park to the exit, despite detours due to massive construction of new habitats. Among my favorite animals: Camels and llamas; if you have never read my absolutely true llama story from 1980, please do!

Norwegian designer and photographer Martin Fagerås inspired me to even attempt a camel shot because of this brilliantly captured moment using Leica Q, which I also carry. I came across his Flickr when looking for shooters using the amazing full-frame compact. Obviously, I couldn’t compose anything as compelling as he did, particularly at the zoo.