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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 01 Sep 2009 (Tuesday) 22:45
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San Diego Wild Animal Park which tour?

 
mrfixitx
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Sep 01, 2009 22:45 |  #1

Hello,
I am hoping to find some advice on which Wild Animal park tour to take.

I will be in San Diego for a few days at the end of September with family. Unfortunately I will only have 1 day at the Wild Animal Park and doing the deluxe photo safari tour would be pushing it.

If you have been on both can you tell me which one you preferred and why?

I realize its only an extra $60 do the second tour vs. $90 for one but its more of a time issue than a money issue.

I currently have a 70-200f4L as my primary telephoto. I am considering renting a 100-400L for the trip.


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dudemanppl
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Sep 01, 2009 23:54 |  #2

I went a few weeks ago, don't be cheap and go on the free tour. Its useless with a 70-200, and there will be fences in all your pictures. But my family and I were too tired to go on the photo tour, so I don't know anything about that. I saw people on the photo tour and it looked like they get close enough to use the 70-200, but the 100-400 would be better to get closer (rent it).




  
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yonni
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Sep 02, 2009 00:20 |  #3

I went on the African photo caravan. It lasts almost 2hrs., and you will get up close and personal with the giraffes. Bring a wide angle lens. The wider the better. rent one if you have to. Also bring a 400. I hope it isn't too hot on the day you go, as the big mammals will likely be lying around. I think it's best to go Oct-Mar for the cooler weather. The cheetah run can be entertaining too, and you will get some nice shots with the 200 when you gather around the cat at the end. I tried staying all day with a long break around noon, but lugging around 2 bodies and the 400 took it's toll and I ended up missing three days of work with an inflamed hip. Not as young as I used to be.


John
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mrfixitx
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Sep 02, 2009 11:49 |  #4

Have you heard if the Africa tour has the same quality as the Asia tour?

I was hoping to only need one body but with with you talking about needing a wide lens I dont see anyway to avoid a second body at least at the park as I really dont see myself taking the 100-400L on and off in the middle of a photo safari. Plus I plan on wearing a photo vest instead of carrying a bag in so it doesnt leave me anywhere to stash the 100-400L as none of my vest pockets are big enough.

Thanks for the tip on the wide angle, I was planning on bringing my 18-55 IS I know not very wide but I dont want to take 4 lenses on the trip. Right now I am planning on taking the 18-55 IS for every day shots around San Diego. Either the 70-200 f4 or the 100-400L if i rent one(which I am strongly leaning towards) for the Zoos and Sea World. I am undecied about my 85 1.8 or the 100 f2.8 macro for portraits and low light indoor shots. I would expect the zoo's would have lots of nice macro opportunties but I am unsure how many indoor exhibits they have where the extra speed of the 85 1.8 would be needed vs. f2.8.


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JWright
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Sep 02, 2009 13:58 as a reply to  @ mrfixitx's post |  #5

My wife is an employee of the San Diego Zoological Society, owners of the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. We've done a lot of the tours at the WAP.

A 100-400 is going to be a little long for parts of the Photo caravan as the animals come right up to the tuck to get fed. That's why the recommendation to take a wide angle lens... You could probably make good use of it during your walking portion of the park, especially at Lion Camp. You need something at least that long to get good pictures of the Lions.

My suggestion would be to do the Family Caravan. It seems the best compromise on time, price and what you'll see. The Wild Animal Park main exhibit areas are divided up according to different continents, so you'll see different animals in Asia vs. Africa. Also, take LOTS of water. The Wild Animal Park can get into triple digit temperatures at this time of year...

Look HERE (external link) for my galleries from the Wild Animal Park and you can see what is possible...

The 100-400 is almost a necessity at Sea World as you want to sit up in the back of the amphitheater at the shows. While sitting close can be an advantage on a hot day, discretion might be the better part of valor, especially at the Shamu show...

IMAGE: http://johnwright.smugmug.com/photos/539989384_eHir3-L.jpg

John

  
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mrfixitx
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Sep 02, 2009 15:25 |  #6

Jwright,
Thanks the great information and the information about Sea World.

A quick question for you with the Family tour, it seems a bit kid oriented are there lots of childerns activities and stops?

I certainly dont mind childern but since I will be the only one going on the tour as we will not have any children along I just wonder how much of the tour is is activies for kids? Or are the kids activties also potential photo ops of animals that I would not see on the othe tours?

I would not plan on taking pictures of other peoples children durring any of the kids activities as some parents get annoyed.


Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships! - Ansel Adams (external link)
http://www.brandons-photography.com/ (external link)

  
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Tee ­ Why
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Sep 02, 2009 19:39 |  #7

I went with a cropped body and a bigma and got these shots.
http://tomyi.smugmug.c​om …o-CA/2650346_c4PAS#P-1-15 (external link)

No tours, just standing where everybody stands. I'd recommend renting the 100-400 though as 200mm is not enough. As for other lenses, I'd probably just go with one for convenience sake.


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Kekumba
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Sep 02, 2009 22:33 |  #8

Heh, was just there on Sunday. Editing my shots now, actually. I've got nothing to contribute, but I had to post. Make sure you bring sunscreen and a ton of water.


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JWright
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Sep 02, 2009 23:14 as a reply to  @ Kekumba's post |  #9

mrfixitx wrote in post #8571272 (external link)
Jwright,
Thanks the great information and the information about Sea World.

A quick question for you with the Family tour, it seems a bit kid oriented are there lots of childerns activities and stops?

I certainly dont mind childern but since I will be the only one going on the tour as we will not have any children along I just wonder how much of the tour is is activies for kids? Or are the kids activties also potential photo ops of animals that I would not see on the othe tours?

I would not plan on taking pictures of other peoples children durring any of the kids activities as some parents get annoyed.

I honestly don't know about the family tour. They've expanded their tour offerings in recent years and I don't know how they do the photo caravans these days. It used to be there was only a long tour and a short tour...

What I can do is refer this thread to my wife and maybe she can call someone and find out more information.


John

  
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monkeygirl
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Sep 03, 2009 00:11 as a reply to  @ JWright's post |  #10

mrfixitx wrote in post #8571272 (external link)
Jwright,
Thanks the great information and the information about Sea World.

A quick question for you with the Family tour, it seems a bit kid oriented are there lots of childerns activities and stops?

I certainly dont mind childern but since I will be the only one going on the tour as we will not have any children along I just wonder how much of the tour is is activies for kids? Or are the kids activties also potential photo ops of animals that I would not see on the othe tours?

I would not plan on taking pictures of other peoples children durring any of the kids activities as some parents get annoyed.

Hi I am Jwright's wife. The Family caravan is a newer tour and usually the family tours are geared more for children. The information that I found in the Zoonooz magazine (published by the Zoo) states the following "Meet a touchable critter, and then climb aboard a safari truck for an excursion through two of the Park's field exhibits. We use games and other fun activities to help you compare wild animal lifestyles with those of your family's! A giraffe feeding is included." This sounds like you may not enjoy it as much as one of the other tours offered. You can also call the Group Sales department to ask questions about any of the tours offered - their number is 619-718-3000.


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JWright
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Sep 03, 2009 00:59 as a reply to  @ monkeygirl's post |  #11

Thanks for helping out.

Now I'm better informed about the tours. We haven't taken a photo caravan in several years so I had no information about the new tours.


John

  
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mrfixitx
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Sep 03, 2009 08:37 |  #12

Jwright & Monkeygirl,
Thanks so much for the information!! I'm really looking forward to visiting the park and want to get the most out of my one day especially since I probably wont be able to come back to San Diego for a few years at the earliest.


Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships! - Ansel Adams (external link)
http://www.brandons-photography.com/ (external link)

  
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xn2b8r
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Sep 03, 2009 08:54 |  #13

Photo caravan is great at either length and they accommodate reasonable requests from polite photographers ;-)a but be aware that you'll be working in direct sunlight. Definitely bring a wide angle for close-ups of giraffes and Pat the air-snapping ostrich. A flash is helpful for filling shadows on the taller animals.


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xn2b8r
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Sep 03, 2009 08:56 |  #14

Oops forgot to mention - Calumet Photo in Escondido, 10 minutes from the WAP, will rent you just about anything, and at a very reasonable price.


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--Jeff
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JWright
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Sep 03, 2009 14:31 as a reply to  @ xn2b8r's post |  #15

Another feature at the Wild Animal Park that gives excellent photo opportunities are the "Animal Encounters." These take place at varying location in the park throughout the day. While you are not allowed to touch the animals, you can get very close and the handlers are very good about giving you opportunities to take pictures. None of the animals are flash shy, so you can use that for fill. Here's an example of the kind of image you can get at the Animal Encounters:

IMAGE: http://johnwright.smugmug.com/photos/517860212_txstF-L.jpg


The times and locations are listed in the park map.

Are you going to be able to make it to the Zoo as well?

John

  
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San Diego Wild Animal Park which tour?
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