Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rock the zoo. Sacramento zoo and its rock stars.

"Are you shooting a show tonight?"
"No... nothing on. Bored. Maybe I'll go to the zoo."

Truth was, I'd seen someone-else's collection of black-and-white zoo-animal photos online this week, very highly-contrasted images, and I thought I'd "borrow" the idea and see what happened to it. That's how you learn and improve... see photos you like, play with the idea, see if you can do the same (or better), but usually find you are putting your own spin on it anyway and it turns into something unique.

The black-and-white concept bit the dust the moment I saw the flamingos. (Zebras don't count.) So I just shot from my own perspective... and guess what. Zoos are just like rock concerts.

There's the up-the-nose shot.
Sacramento Zoo giraffes

There's one of the stars (usually the drummer) who's hiding behind stuff, where light is not always perfect, and autofocus is useless. (This star is called Red Panda and it's the only part-decent shot I have of him/her.)

Sacramento Zoo Red Panda

The great moments when you capture members of the band as they play together, having fun.

Sacramento Zoo giraffes

The in-your-face-mouth-wide-open moment...

Sacramento Zoo snow leopard

... and all the long-legged dressed-up-pretty girls hanging out together and looking at their reflections...

Sacramento Zoo flamingos

That guy with the mohawk and goatee and loads of ink, standing close to the stage. He's always there.

Sacramento Zoo zebras

Even my obsession with close-ups of the performers' hands.

Sacramento Zoo chimpanzee

But darnit. I really, really thought I'd get away without a Miley moment...

Sacramento Zoo giraffes

More pictures of Alison Toon | Photographer's music photography can be found at

More pictures from today's visit to the rock star inhabitants at Sacramento Zoo can be found at in the Toon's Tunes gallery.

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