Focusing Through a Cage…

…or, Learn Something New Each Day… or, Did He Teach That in Class? Those are a selection of titles appropriate for this article. I visited a small, local zoo recently, the Santa Ana Zoo; my first ever visit there. Kat had been earlier this year and shared some of her shots in an article titled Monkeying Around. While the zoo has a few animals in open spaces, the majority of its collection are housed behind wire cages.

Humble Disclaimer: I spent my life taking pictures (many thousands of pictures) with a point and shoot style camera, with models varying from very inexpensive to slightly inexpensive. After my move to Orange County about four years ago, and landing a job during The Great Recession, I enrolled in a photography class sponsored by the local adult ed. It was a fabulous, very detailed class, with classmates who came equipped with all the latest “fancy cameras”, while I sat towards the back of the class, embarrassingly shielding my little Nikon point and shoot from view. I worked my brain in that class as never before, after having spent the workday reviewing and negotiating contracts (some serious brain strain for a former dress designer), and tried to absorb Shutter Speed, Depth of Field, Aperture, Lens Sizes, etc. My poor brain. For Christmas, 2012, I finally splurged on myself and bought a Nikon D5100 from Costco, complete with two lens (18-55 and 55-300) and carrying case. The world was mine! Sadly, most of whatever I “learned” in the photography class was long since gone.

Zipping back to the Zoo… I wandered through and came upon the monkey cages. Trying to focus on the animal rather than the cage became my unsuccessful goal in life, when suddenly, I noticed a guy with a Nikon similar to mine, and took the nerve to ask him “how do I get it not to focus on the cage?” Brilliant question! This guy was wonderful and expounded everything I’d ever wondered about the topic, while his sweet little daughter fussed at his knee, wanting to move along. I’d previously tried setting the lens to manual, but like a dummy, didn’t realize a second focusing thingy was on the lens. (I’m sure some of you are cringing or laughing hysterically at this very moment). A proud moment indeed! I called Kat and shared the news, as she isn’t much further along than me with “fancy camera” knowledge and was equally thrilled at this new world. Now my main problem will be if I have the viewfinder adjusted properly since sometimes I can’t tell what’s in focus. This gallery highlights a selection of the day’s shots. ~SueBee (photos by SueBee)


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Categories: Photography, Wildlife, Zoo


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8 Comments on “Focusing Through a Cage…”

  1. Aug 04, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Kudos to you, Sue! Nice shots here.

  2. Aug 02, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Always good to learn something. You put your advice to good use.

  3. Aug 02, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Some nice shots here.

  4. Aug 02, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Good stuff! Really like the eagle shots.

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