2/21/2008 Omaha, Nebraska
Review: If I’m going to operate on a 10-scale rating, there’s gotta be a 10. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo was, without a doubt, a TEN. An incredible zoo with an impressive collection in a wonderfully photographable display, this is the best zoo I’ve ever visited. While it helps that connections gave us a little behind the scenes access, the zoo would have been equally sensational without it. With incredible exhibits at every turn, and even a dining spot overlooking the tropics with big free flight birds, it’s no wonder my friend Judy and I managed to spend a whole day at this incredible zoo. (Check out Judy’s photos here and here)
Photographability: Finally, it’s as though a zoo has taken photography into mind as they designed each and every one of the exhibits. Natural barriers were implemented as often as possible, and if not, the glass was uber-clean and vertical wire fencing, a photo friendly barrier, was used in place of that dreaded ugly cyclone fencing. I used my Canon Mark IIn with a 70-200 f/2.8 zoom lens and a 28-70mm with a macro, variable ISO from 200-1600 depending the exhibit light as well as the Canon G7 to take some videos and photograph some of the aquarium bits. The G7 has an excellent macro lens and is really easy to use at the glass with the viewing screen.
Highlights: I’d heard the zoo was good, but hadn’t read up too much on the collection. The aquarium wing was really impressive and I was thrilled to see king penguins! Going inside the exhibit was a total unsuspected thrill and my all time favorite zoo photo is still from this zoo visit.
Lowlights: Seriously, no lowlights, aside from it being freezing, but that’s my fault, who goes to a zoo in Nebraska in February!
Pleasant Surprises: The World of Darkness was incredible! Not really a place for photography, never mind that i was too freaked to take photos, the place was like an amusement park ride, except we didn’t sign a waiver and I think my life might have been in more danger than I actually know. The rogue giant bull frog hoping along our path and the screeches from the muskrats gave us a real fright! Did i mention King Penguins!?
Would I Return?: Yes, absolutely. Though I might try to coordinate it with the College World Series in the late spring as opposed to a winter wedding in Iowa!
Rating: 10 (out of 10)