Had a chance to take Robbie out to see some real live creatures thanks to a traveling show from Little Ray's Reptile Zoo and their exhibit of reptiles, raptors and insects.
Robbie had a blast and was able to see some really neat things (for a 19 month old) such as a 200lb boa constrictor, spiders, turtles, lizards and he even got to touch a crocodile!
Cool stuff for the little guy.
While I spent a good deal of time making sure no alligators were latching on to my son, I also got a chance to shoot a handful of shots under some horrible indoor lighting conditions.
Since I have no external flash at the moment and I hate to use the built in flash on my Nikon, I just set everything to Nikon's superb Auto ISO and fired away.
Of all things present, Robbie liked the owl best.
I named this guy "Snappy McBite Bite" aka "Smiley McSnapps Alot", aka" Rippy McShred Shred" and "Toothy McKill Kill". He wasn't too keen on the lens in his face and I was lucky enough that he gave me a little grin rather than bite my face clean off.
This shot of a yellow anaconda has become one of my favorite shots I've taken lately. While I set up to shoot this, it coiled back into this position as if it were ready to lash out and have me for dinner. At the time I wondered if my yellow and black Nikon neckstrap had anything to do with it's aggressive posturing. Either way, ambient light, no flash and an ISO of 1600 helped my pull this one off.
I've got to say, even though I'm sure the staff of the reptile exhibit are trained experts at handling the various creatures at the show, at the end of the day an alligator is still an alligator, whether or not you tell me it's docile and tame. There's a reason that they've been around for millions of years. It's because they are highly efficient killing and eating machines.
Letting my son sit on the floor some 6 feet from an animal with a bite force of up to 3000lbs/sq inch was not something I was prepared to do on the night.
I really didn't feel like kicking an alligator's ass that evening although if push came to shove it would have made for some interesting shots that's for sure.