Salt Lake’s Hogle Zoo in Photos

I’m not going to lie: I am a seriously annoying person to go to the zoo with. I can stand around and take photos of animals forever, not to mention all the time I can spend trying to find the right combination of settings to shoot pictures through a fence or in a low-light environment. I’m not exactly a technical wizard. Still, it’s nice to have a few photos to show for it, and at least I can rest assured in the knowledge that, while my family may only occasionally tolerate me, at least the people of the Internet understand. Here are a few of the best photos from a recent trip to Utah’s Hogle Zoo. I hadn’t been to the zoo since I was just a wee bairn and I was delighted to find many of the exhibits updated and some fantastic-looking new sections under construction to open this summer.

Tigers: totally regal and stuff.

It’s sleepy-time in lemur-town.

This Pallas Cat was super-cute. It’s a Mongolian wildcat and apparently it likes to play hide and seek with the keepers and freak little kids out by trying to pounce on them through the windows. You go, Pallas Cat.

OMG WHAT BABY MONKEY. So cute, you guys, seriously. This is a Bolivian Grey Titi Monkey. Even its name sounds cute.

Speaking of Titi Monkeys, the adults are also freaking awesome-looking. And the males are the primary caregivers to the young, which is also fascinating. That’s pretty much my zoo-going default mode: I wander from one exhibit and one sign to another exclaiming, “That is FASCINATING!”

Here’s that tiger again, showing off his impressive teeth.

I got the feeling that this was possibly an evil giraffe. “I will eat all of the leaves on this tree. I will eat more leaves than I should… so that other giraffes may die. Mwahahah!”

Just in case you haven’t seen it, here’s Eddie Izzard’s bit on evil animals: EPICNESS.

Bat-eared fox? AWESOMESAUCE. I wish to snuggle it.

This is a spoonbill. I have really nothing witty to say about it.

This langur has the best hairdo ever seen on an animal. EVER. Both mohawk and muttonchops? You, sir langur, are truly a sir.

And in conclusion, here’s my favorite shot of the day: a little tamarin. I got a few nice shots of these guys because the light coming in through the windows in their exhibits caught beautifully on their golden fur. So cute, tamarins. So cute.

We had the good fortune to visit Hogle Zoo on a beautiful, cool spring day, and although there were about a million children there — and the bird show was cut short when the golden eagle went a little AWOL and couldn’t figure out how to get himself back down into the show area — we had a pretty awesome time. I can’t wait to go back to see the new exhibits when they open… but I’ll probably go alone, so nobody has to put up with my incessant photo-taking.

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8 thoughts on “Salt Lake’s Hogle Zoo in Photos

  1. You don’t have to answer this, it’s just a curiosity question on my part–how many not-so-perfect photos did you have to take to get each of these gems? I was at a dressage clinic on Sunday and took 1500 shots–don’t know yet how many are winners.

    • It kind of depends. For something like the zoo I go in knowing that the majority of my shots are going to be good art reference rather than good photographs. Trying to shoot through glass and fences, sometimes in low light conditions, and almost always at times of less than perfect daylight means it can be really hard to get any truly quality photos at the zoo, unless you’re going to one of the more ridiculously awesome zoos or at a time of year when the lighting is good while the park is actually open. For the shots I used here, I probably took maybe 10-15 shots of each animal, and after deleting the photos that were blurry or overexposed or in whatever way technically bad (which you’ll get a lot of when you’re shooting in trying conditions), I probably have like 200 left that I’ve hung onto in case I need them, and maybe a dozen that I really liked enough to pull into Photoshop and touch up. The biggest thing for me is recognizing when you’re in a position to get a good shot and taking your time with those ones… for instance with the lemur, the tamarins and the titi monkeys in particular, the light was falling very prettily into their exhibits and I got my best shots within my first few clicks of the shutter… but with the titi monkeys in particular I stuck around and took a lot of shots because the baby was being active and adorable and the lighting was good, so you never know what you’ll get. I wasn’t going to waste equal time with the rhinos, which were standing in glaring midday sun and not moving. Even though I like rhinos, I only snapped off a few shots of them and as I’d suspected, none were worth keeping.

      I probably take almost as many as you when shooting a horse show, though… that’s even trickier because you’re shooting for an audience (you might want the rider to buy the pictures of themselves), and you have to make sure you get at least some shots where both horse and rider have a good expression, you’re catching the horse at a point in its stride that looks flattering instead of awkward, there isn’t weird or crappy-looking stuff in the background, etc etc etc. It’s just another reason why I think the digital revolution is one of the best things to happen for photographers, regardless of what film purists might say… I can shoot as many pictures as I want without going broke paying to develop them, and I can check my shots as I go along to make sure I’m getting the pictures I need to get.

      • Thanks for your take on this, it pretty much matches mine. Sometimes I get to thinking that the pros just automatically take fabulous photos and never have to trash any! While here I sit sifting through 1500 of them…time to buy Lightroom, I guess.

        • I think you’ll find most pros will tell you that when you pay for a photog’s time you’re mostly paying for the post-processing. It’s always MUCH more time-consuming than the shooting. I think for people who have really good equipment it’s maybe easier to get to those good shots without so many wasted… I’ve always felt that the better your kit, the more it stays out of your way, if that makes any sense. You may get better shots with less effort but it’s still down to the photographer. I’m sure there are some people who only hit the shutter when they feel they’ve got the perfect shot in their viewfinder (particularly those who are still shooting with film), but I am decidedly not one of those. ;D

          I have heard Lightroom is amazing, but I don’t have it yet myself… I just flick through mine with my computer’s default photo viewer and delete anything that looks awful right off the bat. ;D

  2. I hate monkeys. Just sayin. However, Mackerdoodle, I love you.

  3. These are amazing shots! I love how you caught the tiger mid-yawn. (I try to do that with my own, much smaller house cats!) I always enjoy your animal photos. :)

    • Thank you! I really lucked out with that yawning tiger, but then it was yawning day apparently… I didn’t catch good photos so I didn’t post them, but I also caught snaps of a camel yawning and missed my photo op to get some yawning pics of an orangutan. I was joking with my brother that I ought to start a website called yawninganimals.com. :D

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