Last weekend I was teaching a One on One at the Melbourne Zoo. It was the first time I have done one there, but I hope it isn’t the last. It was nice to wonder around and help someone learn how to use their camera.
The day was overcast, it was almost perfect weather for photographing the animals. Sunshine can make it a lot harder. When it is overcast the light is better, it is defused, so you don’t get all the sharp shadows and strong contrasts between light and shadow.
It was a great morning and we got lots of photos of animals that I haven’t been able to get before. The lions were great. Every other time I have been there they were lying down in a spot where you could hardly see them.
I know that a lot of people don’t like zoos, but I have to say that while I think it is sad they are locked up, they are also doing a great job to highlight the problems of their species. If people can see the animals, hear the story, they develop an understanding and want to help protect them. They feel a connection. I think the animals in the zoo are helping their own kind. I like the way the zoo does demonstrations with the animals, but also use the moment to educate the people watching as to where the animals have come from and what danger than might be in.
The seal show is a good example. They only have seals that cannot be put back into the wild, for whatever reason. When they do the seal show they talk about something to the audience that will try and help the environment of those in the wild. At the moment they are doing a lot about balloons and explaining to everyone how bad balloons are for the animals in the ocean. You see people letting off helium balloons all the time, but no one considers what happens to them. They don’t just float off into space, they go in the storm drains, or directly to the ocean and the animals and fish choke on them. It is a great way to educate people.
It was a good trip and I enjoyed it. I will have to remember it as a place to go in the future.