The World Wide Photo Walk 2013 at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The Kilamanjaro Safari trucks ride over some rough roads, so there's a significant amount of bouncing around in the vehicle. Combine that with the fact that the truck never stops when animals are near and it's pretty tough to get a shot that isn't blurry. I switched my Nikon 70-200mm lens to Active VR and it did a great job, though.
We had a lovely day. Not too hot, though I welcomed any breeze that found me. Plenty of good company, including many friends that I've met on previous World Wide Photo Walk outings. We even ended up at a restaurant that I like – Flame Tree BBQ inside of Animal Kingdom – where I could pretend to eat many of the animals we just photographed.
I joined the walk lead by my friend Kevin Graham once again. Over the past two years, he lead his World Wide Photo Walk at Epcot. It's a great place for photography, but the timing also coincides with the Food and Wine Festival, which makes for horrible crowds. It was much more comfortable at Animal Kingdom, even if part of the photo walk included riding a safari truck through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.
Talk To The Animals
Having been to Animal Kingdom many times, I've learned how to develop a rapport with the animals. Let's face it, they seem grumpy. You'd be grumpy, too, if you had millions of tourists shoving cameras in your face all year long and talking about you as if you weren't even there. The secret is to talk to the animals.
Other people do this, but they don't seem to do it the right way. They speak as if talking to a cute little kitten. Don't try that with a gorilla or a tiger who could easily rip your face off. That's not what they want and it's not what I do.
I talk dirty to the animals. Especially the tigers, since they're all female.
That's right, lick it! Show me your tongue. Now roll around, you filthy girl!
You can hardly blame me when I grew up to songs like this one from Gilda Radner #NSFW
Here's the image I submitted for the World Wide Photo Walk 2013 contest. Most people would probably expect some animal photo from a walk at Animal Kingdom, but there were plenty of alternatives. Some shot portraits, some textures. There were plenty of environmental features to shoot, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's results. I even managed to shoot a school of fish underwater.
I shot this image at f/2.8 for a shallow depth of field to give it more of a sense of mystery of walking through the African savanna and not knowing what to expect. Besides, who really wants to see a giraffe's ass in perfect focus?