Saturday, July 23, 2011

Progress Report - 2009 - 2011

Last Sunday, at the start of this heat wave we decided on taking an outing - to the local ZOO!  Not as crazy as it sounds - it wasn't quite so hot as it is now.

The last outing to the zoo was in early 2009.  I was able to compare what I shot then to what I shot now.  The zoo here hasn't changed much, so I have a lot of very similar shots from each outing. (It's a pretty small zoo - especially considering that I grew up going to Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo.)  Overall, I had a lot more "keeper" shots from this trip.  I'm pleased with my progress.

Here's an example.  I used the same camera body (Rebel XTi), but different lenses for this shot - 85mm in 2009; 50mm in 2011 - I didn't have the 50 back then.)  The 2011 outing was shot in RAW; 2009 in JPEG.


The meerkat exhibit is pretty nice - a glass enclosure lets us get pretty close to the little guys.  I added a gaussian blur to the background to help him stand out more.

Before sharing this, I'm going to say - at the time, I liked it.  Really liked it.  But I didn't yet have enough knowledge to know better.  This is SOOC.

My apologies to the meerkat for chopping off one of his feet.


  • Things look good until we see something even better.  
  • There's always more to learn.  
  • Practice makes perfect.  (Or as close as we can get to perfect.)

I hope that two years from now, my future meerkat photo will look even better.


  1. How fun to have the same shot from 2009 to compare with! I have a shot from years ago that is similar to one I took the other day as well. It's so trute that there is always more to learn!

  2. I had never heard of a meerkat until "The Lion King" came out! Now I can never think of one without Nathan Lane's voice coming into my head! It sounds like your trip was a lot of fun!

  3. Even though I like the first shot, WONDERFUL improvement in the 2nd! The color change is so striking, as well as composition and DOF. Don't you just love RAW? I shoot RAW + jpeg, thinking MAYBE I'll like the photos well enough and not edit the RAW. . . . but, nah. . . I always have to see what I get with the RAW editing, and like it better. I got a point and shoot for Christmas, and can barely stand the shots from it because of my DSLR and what I know about RAW.