Photography Project: Creative Zoo Processing

Photography renewed my love for the zoo.  I used to think it was a kid’s thing that parents had to begrudgingly do as part of the qualification of being a good parent.  Now I find myself jockeying with the kids for prime viewing spots (I do try to find a mutually agreeable arrangement, however sometimes it can be challenging when they are scrambling around my legs and monopod).  Our recent trip to the San Diego Zoo was a complete bust for me (as you can see from my “before” shots).  We had great overcast skies, but I couldn’t seem to find the zone.  So I thought I would turn my creativity to the processing side of the equation.  So here is my take on “zoo life”. Continue reading


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

When in Tucson, Mary and I strongly suggest you check out this museum.  It is not so much a museum, but a zoo, aquarium, and museum rolled into one.  Here is what you might see: Continue reading

Photographing Chimpanzees at the Zoo

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I write this post with some trepidation that I might stir up a debate about captive wild animals.  I am personally conflicted every time I visit a wild animal park or zoo.  I leave with a feeling that the animals should be free with space to roam, and also a much deeper appreciation for the natural world around me.  My favorite time to visit the zoo is spring and early summer.  There are usually baby animals, and I find the interaction of the “children” within their communities captivating.  Peter and I visited the zoo twice in a week, and each time we spent about an hour watching and photographing the chimpanzees. Continue reading

Creatively Photographing Zebras

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I will be the first to admit, I’m not a wildlife photographer.  But I do like to watch animals, and re-imagine new ways to photograph them.  The abstract quality of zebra stripes combined with a high-key image approach keeps me behind my camera for hours. Continue reading

Mary Andrade’s Favorite Photos of 2014


I am always amazed looking back at the end of a year, how much we are able to pack into 365 days.  As I started on the dreaded annual exercise of picking my favorite 10 images, I realized that Peter had 20!!!!  So I have 20 too.  Because images have such a strong emotional resonance for me, they are my memories, it is hard when they don’t make the final cut. Continue reading

Photography Tips: A Day at the LA Zoo


Peter and I have lived in LA for over 10 years, and I have never gone to the LA zoo. So I got a bee in my bonnet to go, well actually I bought a new lens and wanted to play. We went over Memorial Day weekend, which was crazy and fun all at the same time.

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A Day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (aka Wild Animal Park)

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I am not sure why they changed the name, either way, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Wild Animal Park) is the closest many of us may ever come to the wilds of Africa and Asia.  Mary and I have been to the Park several times in the last few years to photograph the animals.  Recently, we paid for a photography caravan that enabled us to get up close and personal with the animals in the large “Africa” enclosure.  It was more than $150 each, but I think worth the price if you want to get close.  Here is how to get the most out of your time there. Continue reading