Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

We had a couple of trips to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the last month or so. Managed to get some really good shots, just haven’t had a chance to post before now.

One of the main attractions at the CM Zoo is the giraffes. They have a balcony-level viewing where you can purchase lettuce to feed them by hand. It’s really something to see such amazing animals walking up and being able to interact with them so intimately. Theo is always so excited for it but also seems so shy when they actually come by for the treats.

Theo feeding a giraffe
Theo feeding a giraffe
Giraffe Portrait
Giraffe Portrait

There was a baby giraffe born here recently as well.

Baby Giraffe
Baby Giraffe
Elephant Portrait
Elephant Portrait

We got really luck with the Rino this time. Normally this guy just likes to hide out in the back of his area and you can’t see much from the 80 yards or so away but he was more active on this day and got some good shots of him walking.

Rhinoceros Walking
Rhinoceros Walking

I always have a difficult time shooting through glass but there’s a nice lookout above the lion area where you can see them through open air. The male was down a little ways but the lioness was fairly level to my viewpoint just over a bit.

Lion Resting
Lion Resting
Lioness Resting
Lioness Resting

The tiger was particularly active on the day as well. Managed to get a few shots in motion as well as a couple of beautiful portraits.

Tiger Walking
Tiger Walking
Tiger Portrait
Tiger Portrait

The snow leopard was quite active as well. It was amazing to watch her moving around. I did my best to get a shot through the mesh.

Snow Leopard Resting
Snow Leopard Resting

The bald eagles are always photogenic. It’s hard not to get a good shot of them, it’s more about trying to decide which shot to show off. I really liked the bokeh in this one.

Bald Eagle Portrait
Bald Eagle Portrait
Porcupine Portrait
Porcupine Portrait

The orangutans were quite active in their area. It was really something to watch the baby interacting with the adults.

Orangutan Portrait
Orangutan Portrait
Orangutan Baby Nursing
Orangutan Baby Nursing

Wallabys have a neat survival trick — there are thick blood vessels near the surface of skin on their strong legs, so they lick them and as the moisture evaporates it helps to cool them down. Was really fun to see them actually doing this.

Wallaby Cooling Down
Wallaby Cooling Down

Caught this shot of the grizzly just waking up from a nap.

Grizzly Bear Waking Up
Grizzly Bear Waking Up

The moose was down in the lake portion of his habitat looking for a cool drink.

Moose in a Pond
Moose in a Pond

Always a great time at the zoo. Can’t wait to go back again.

Belated Update

I took a picture of this one a couple of days ago but it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. Here’s a slightly better shot.

Almost done with it I think. The arms still feel a tad rubbery to me so I should try to fix those. Pretty happy with the actual portrait though. Might do a bit more with the background but fairly pleased with that as well.

Theo (in progress)
Theo (in progress)

Weekend Update

Got a little more work in on this one. Added some brighter color to the Liverpool kit and fixed the tone of the hair. Getting close now. Still need to fully resolve the arms and the background is feeling too flat at the minute. I have some ideas for that but I want to ruminate on it a bit further before going all in.

Theo (in progress)
Theo (in progress)

Weekend Update

Haven’t had as much time to work in the studio as I would normally, but I did get a solid day in this past Saturday. Working more on the portrait. It’s really starting to come to life. Needs another pass or two and then, of course, there’s the whole rest of the painting which will need to be brought up to a complimentary level of finish. Getting there though.

Theo (in progress)
Theo (in progress)

Long Weekend Update

One of the best parts of a long weekend is that it often means I get extra studio time.

Got two session in on this one this weekend. Worked some more on the face the first day and finally got around to filling in the clothing during the second session.

Here’s the view after the first session:

Theo (in progress)
Theo (in progress)

And the second session:

Theo (in progress)
Theo (in progress)

Now that everything has an initial pass done, it’s all about seeing how far I can push the image.