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Borders (March 15–21, 2006)

Wim Gombeer

How to get out?

David Goldwasser

Northwest Passage - Memphis Zoo

Memphis, Tennessee, USA

March 20th, 2006 - 12:42pm Central Standard Time

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© 2006 David Goldwasser, All Rights Reserved.



There are so many things to shoot for a border. I've already shot the river here a lot so I decided on the zoo.

I've enjoyed going to the zoo since I was a child, and over that time the animal habitats at zoos have been evolving. Relevant to this WWP shoot is the border that separates human from animal. It serves to protect both us and the animal, yet it should also allow us to observe the animals. Often in the past this border was made of metal bars, or a wire mesh. Sometimes the border was a moat that isolated the animal without any visual barrier. More often now, in particular for animals that spend some of their time in water, the border is made of glass, or rather a clear acrylic. Sure aquariums have been doing this for decades, but now we can also see how graceful hippos, penguins, polar bears, and of course sea lions are.

I intended to shoot the polar bears at the new Northwest Passage exhibit in Memphis that just opened this month. Today was the first that I was there and the bears were not swimming. The Sea Lions were happy to accommodate me. They are just getting acclimated to their new habitat (also at the NorthWest Passage). I don't remember the numbers but it is three times the size of their old exhibit and has air conditioning (or rather water-conditioning to 50 degrees or so. There is a long run that is connected to the main pool by the auditorium. At the end of the run is a 4 foot diameter hemispherical dome that projects into the pool.

I was happily surprised how transparent the dome was in my shot. I suppose the bright cloudy day may have helped. The sea lions did come close but didn't seem to want to come right up to the dome. The Sigma 8mm can be kind of scary, or maybe it was me? At any rate they were having fun chasing each other.

Click Here to learn more about the Memphis Zoo



Shot with Sigma8mm lens on Canon 20d. ISO 400, F4, 1/50th second. Shot on monpod (cap shots handheld)

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