Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Swimming Tiger . . . Reflecting Duck

I spent another couple of hours with the Malayan Tigers this morning. It was cold and overcast, and pretty dark down at the bottom of the Tiger Trail canyon at the San Diego Zoo. Apparently just the right conditions for a tiger to take a swim.

The deep pool is right underneath the railing at the viewing area, I had to lean out quite a ways to see him, but even then you still can't see the entire pond because of the way the cliff is cut. Of course, if it was constructed in such a way that you could see it, then the tigers could probably get out. I don't think that would be such a good thing. All I had with me was my 300mm lens, which is not a zoom. That meant there was no way I could get the entire tiger into the frame at that close range. Oh well. None of these first 3 shots are cropped by the way, that really is all I could get.

One of their new toys is this big round thing that appears to be maybe a section of palm tree trunk. At one point Connor was playing with it, and it rolled down the hill. He went looking to see where it ended up.

A couple of us were joking that it probably rolled right into his brother Christopher, who was out of our view at the very bottom of the hill. We figured with Connor peering over the ledge like that it wouldn't take Christopher long to notice. We were right - it didn't take long at all.

Here are a few more shots of the 2 of them from this morning. This first shot of Christopher might be a bit out of focus, but I like the way he looks in this anyway.

For the first time in quite a while I saw one of the Snow Leopards up and towards the middle of the enclosure. Usually they are all the way at the top, and all I see is maybe a head.

On the way out I stopped off the see the Mandarin and Wood Ducks (and a bunch of Mallards too) in the little lake near the entrance. The lack of bright sun in the sky meant some nice reflections on the water.

I'll end this post with the first shot I took this morning, of one of the Mandrills looking deep in thought.

Click here to see a few more images from this morning at the San Diego Zoo.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Few Hours With The Tigers

I spent about 3 hours today at the San Diego Zoo, pretty much all of it in one spot. In between visiting the entire time with my friend Stan, and also with several other Zoo visitors, I did manage to get a few shots of Christopher and Conner, the 20-month old Malayan Tigers.

This turned out to be a particularly good day for closeups, with great light. 

This next shot is not cropped by the way, he was almost too close for my 300mm lens. Probably just a few feet past the minimum focus distance.

Sometimes I get the feeling I'm being watched.

Click here to see more images of Christopher and Conner, the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo, from Saturday, December 29, 2012.

Coffee and Cod

Coffee and Cod . . .  or, more specifically Espresso and Baccala. But not consumed at the same time.

I took a little walk around San Diego's Little Italy last weekend with a new camera. First stop was Caffe Italia for an espresso. This is a place that really does understand that it doesn't take all that much water to make a good cup of coffee.

I stopped in briefly at Filippi's, just to take a quick look around.

Being that it was right before Christmas they had stocked up on baccala, the big slabs of salted cod.

On my way back to the car I passed by the brick wall of an old building on the corner of Ivy and Kettner Street. The Los Angeles company that marketed Ben Hur Coffee, along with Ben Hur tea, spices and flavor extracts, opened their San Diego sales office in this building in the 1920's. 

The Ben Hur brand has been gone since the mid-1950's, but the mural is still on the wall of the building.

San Diego Museum of Art

I picked up a new camera, a Fuji X100, about a week before Christmas. One of my favorite places to test new cameras, especially ones designed for travel (or just "walking around") photography, is Balboa Park and especially the San Diego Museum of Art. Plus, it gave me chance to hit the museum bookstore to find a Christmas present for Heather.

The X100 is one of the most quiet cameras I've ever come across. It really is pretty much truly silent when set up properly.

The Temple Palace Mosque exhibit has some great subjects for testing new cameras.

Even though the lens of the X100 is fairly wide, when it's focused on something close you can get a nice blurry background.

The newest exhibit, Masterworks, looks interesting.

One of the employees of the museum is also an artist who creates, among other things, beautiful hand-painted silk scarves. I bought one for Heather. The X100 handled the mixed lighting in this shot with no problems. I, on the other hand, did not think about taking this picture until after I picked out Heather's scarf, so it's not in the picture. You can see where it was hanging though.

You can see more of Lucy Eron's hand-painted silk scarves at her website, NightSkyArt.

Click here to see a few more images from Balboa Park and the San Diego Museum of Art, all taken with the Fuji X100. There are also a few images from Little Italy in the same gallery.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Sunset in San Diego

I saw this as I was pulling into a parking lot near my house on the way home from the Zoo this evening.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day At The San Diego Zoo

I got a little Christmas present this afternoon, in the form of one of the Amur Leopards being up and walking around. When they were younger - about a year ago - they were always chasing each other around their enclosure. Lately they seem to spend a lot of time acting like most other cats - just sitting around.

If you want to see what the Amur Leopards looked like when they were younger scroll back through the blog archives below to March and April of 2012.

Of course, I had to stop by and see what the Malayan Tigers were up to. Actually, I spent a few hours there.

That's Connor, one of the two now-20-month-old Malayan Tiger cubs.

HIs brother Christopher was watching us from behind some cover.

Ever wondered just how high these guys can reach? Well, I've been on the other side of those doors in the center of the next shot, and can say that they are at least about the same height as a regular doorway - over 7 feet tall.

Later in the day they took Christopher and Connor in and put out Ubon, the large male. I've seen him jump up before too - I think he can easily reach up and touch something at about 8 feet. He's noticeably bigger than Christopher and Connor, at least for now.

Click here to see a few more images from Christmas Day 2012 at the San Diego Zoo.

About Me

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.