Primate Portraits at the Zoo

Yesterday I took my Nikon 1 J5, a couple of lenses, and some extension tubes to the Toronto Metropolitan Zoo, spending half a day with my wife wandering about and capturing images. This short article shares some primate portraits captured at the zoo. All images are presented as 100% captures without any cropping.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-3200

One of the first places we stopped to capture some images was at the orangutan exhibit. Only one individual was on display at the time of our visit.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-3200

Shooting through thick, heavily soiled glass is always a challenge but with a little patience I was able to capture a few different facial expressions of the orangutan.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm, efov 189 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-3200

One of the gibbons was close to the edge of the display area, affording me a few quick image opportunities before it moved on.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm, efov 189 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-3200

The harsh sunlight actually helped to add a bit of drama to the photographs, also creating a few challenges in post. The spot weighted DxO Smart Lighting tool in PhotoLab was quite helpful in balancing out the highlights and shadow areas.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-1600

We also captured a small selection of images at the lowland gorilla exhibit. The area around the display was extremely crowded as throngs of people strained to see a mother gorilla with its two-week-old baby. I was unable to get any kind of decent shooting angle so I concentrated instead on a large male.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-3200

He lumbered around the upper part of the display, affording me a number of image opportunities.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO-3200

The male gorilla eventually sat down against a large stone to rest. Even then he remained a bit animated.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-800

One of my better shots of the day was him examining something he had picked off of his face.

While it is easier to use an EVF-equipped camera with the 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, I did appreciate the higher resolution sensor of the Nikon 1 J5 and its additional dynamic range and colour depth.

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held using Nikon 1 gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6, and the Nik Collection.

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