Archive for the ‘Tennessee’ Category


Posted: August 24, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Tennessee

Where did I take this picture at? Count Chocula’s vacation villa? Tim Burton’s private screening room? Rob Zombie’s recording studio? No. It was at the Polar Bear exhibit at the Memphis Zoo, in Tennessee. I thought it was an interesting contrast to the nice cuddly posters they had at the entrance. But I like it; it’s a little dark, a little creepy, and it lets me know that if I enter this door I may literally have my face torn off by a rabid polar bear. And personally, I think that’s the kind of positive reinforcement people need before they decide to enter a polar bear den.

Click the picture for full resolution


Asian Zing

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Nikon D40, Tennessee

One of the coolest aspects of a zoo, is when they decorate the area where the exotic animals are with exotic props. Of course, it’s all fake… those rocks are just papier-mâché, and that building doesn’t actually have monks in it, etc… but even though you know it’s not real, you still like to go with it, pretend, and get all emotionally jacked up before you see those Panda bears don’t you? Maybe that’s why Disney World is so popular…

This shot came from the Asian section of the Memphis Zoo. Along with the Pagoda thingy in the picture above, they also had a huge bell that periodically gonged, concrete fanged-Lion & Buddha statues, a pond filled with exotic ducks and fo-bamboo fencing near the Panda exhibit.

Fancy Bikes

Posted: August 7, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Tennessee

There is a section of downtown Memphis Tennessee, on S. Main Street that contains a series of eclectic shops. Most of these are artsy-type places where you can get a glass of wine and just peruse at your leisure on a Saturday night. This was one of those places. The shop itself was brick and mortar on the inside and out, and specialized in vintage-looking bikes that sold at high prices. However, the place was set up perfectly for taking some shots. I love the color of the paint jobs on these bikes set off against the dark windows.

Click the picture for full resolution


Posted: August 6, 2012 in Nikon D40, Tennessee

Giraffe’s are pretty awesome animals. I think it’s because of their being so odd and different from many other animals. I mean, think about it… when you go to the zoo what animals do you want to see? Is it the sheep and chickens in the American Barnyard section? Or is it the exotic animals?

I love taking pictures at the zoo. It’s like a mini safari. If you have a nice zoo that isn’t all concrete and chain link, you can even get some interesting backgrounds too. Here’s a tip the next time you go to the zoo… If you have an awesome scene but it’s blocked by bars or a criss-cross mesh-style screen, try this: Get as close as you can to the screen or bars (but keep safety in mind, don’t get pulled into a cage by some willy-nilly monkey). Then take your longest lens and zoom as far in as you can, and adjust your aperture setting to as wide as it will go (Wide equals a small number). Take the picture and see what happens. If you did it right, those bars or screen magically disappear in the focus!

This shot was of a giraffe in mid-chew at the Memphis, Tennessee Zoo (which is wonderful and should be visited if you’re in this town). I love the expression. I could just see her saying “Heyyyyyy!”

Due North

Posted: July 8, 2012 in Nikon D40, Tennessee

Sometimes if you can’t find any other direction to find something cool to shoot, just look up. Hopefully it will be a nice day, and if you’re lucky there will be some nice clouds. Trees, like the pine-variety shown above, are also cool to shoot looking straight up. I took this at the Memphis Botanical Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee. If you ever get the chance to go to Memphis, you need to check this place out. I took a ton of pictures while we were here; but out of the bunch, I chose this one to share. Why? I just loved the perspective!

Click the picture for full resolution

Hairy Monkey

Posted: June 9, 2012 in Nikon D40, Tennessee

So what do you suppose this guy’s thinking? These monkey’s are always very expressive, and quite regal looking too, when properly groomed of course. Maybe he’s like one of those animals in the Madagascar films, and he’s got aspirations, perhaps a lady friend, maybe he’s contemplating a coup d’etat of the existing hierarchy later on in the afternoon. On the other hand, maybe he’s just thinking about throwing some poo at the kid who keeps on yelling for him to “do something.”

This was taken at the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee. Having never been there at the time I was a little unsure as to what it would be like. Let me just say this; if you are ever in the Memphis area, you MUST check out the zoo. It is a very neat place to visit. The grounds are very well maintained, the animals appear to have nice large enclosures, and the park is laid out in such a way as to have a nice flow through all the exhibits without too much backtracking.

Click the picture for full resolution


Posted: June 8, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Tennessee

This is a section of the Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park, in Cordova, Tennessee. If you are in the area (and especially if you have kids) you need to visit this park! There are all sorts of cool structures, slides, swings, rope webs, teeter-totters, and paths to draw your attention. This image was taken going through a cage/tunnel thing. We spent a few hours here on our visit, and the time flew by.

Shelby Farms itself is a really cool place. There are numerous bike and walking paths, hiking trails, fishing ponds, open grassy areas for the dogs to run around, and even a herd of American Bison you can check out. In the wintertime they put up a huge display of lights you can check out as you drive your car through the park. We weren’t there at night, but from the thousands and thousands of extension cords and light displays, you could tell it would be pretty amazing.  

Click the picture for full resolution