The 52 Project, Week 37: UF Animal Day

Less than one week from the events of Week 36, the University of Findlay hosted its annual, badly advertised "Animal Day". Each year, the day it's held on seems to change, so this week's roll was reactive, to the degree of, "Oh shit, exotic animals! Better get some snaps in."


Chinchillas, so soft they'll make your head explode.



There's not too much to say about cute, cuddly chinchillas that hasn't already been said. Their softness knows no bounds, they're fantastic pets, and within our generation will most likely become extinct in the wild. But millions of fluffy domesticated chinchillas are still ok too, right?



Now we're getting slightly more uncommon...



 Next up, we find the always-ready-for-a-picture-girlfriend, Lauren, carefully holding onto this little sneezing ball of spines we call the hedgehog. This little guy was great for holding one on one, but really starting whining and crying out when he realized there were a lot of other people around him. Not sure how much I like the out of focus background in this picture, it's a little too painterly for me, especially in the tones surrounding the hedgehog. Cute shot, none-the-less.



Everybody loved staring at this guy's sharp teeth.


Not often will you come across a tiny crocodile without some sort of protective band around its mouth. This little guy was being held by a large number of students, with no incidents to boot! Don't be fooled by his happy smile and kind eye, give him a split second of an opening and he'll go for it. Photographically, this also meant catching him with a fast shutter speed. 1/250th of a second can often be too slow for these guys.



Loving the silvery tones on this armored armadillo.



Another high-speed handful in this bunch of visiting animals was this playful little armadillo. When not being calm and protected in ball-form in his cage, he was skitterring about all over the plastic tables he was being "demo'd" on. In this shot, I had to use the close-up filter attachment to the Hasselblad's 80mm f/2.8 T* lens, meaning focusing his high-strungness was a nightmare. This was the "sharpest" shot I ended up with.



Kids, don't try perching a Great Hornbill at home!


If this week's portraits are starting to remind you of last week's Toledo Cat Show, there's a good reason for that! Same nasty lighting situation, same need for high shutter speeds, same film emulsion, same exact processing regimen. The only thing different is that this week, Lauren is holding a 45 year old endangered bird on her jacket. Luckily, this bird was a very docile female, who was a complete attention whore, denoted by it's "smug" look seen to the right. As if Lauren needed another reason to get excited about the upcoming animated feature, "Rio". >__>



Something Good: I've really dialed in how to shoot TMax 400 @ ISO 3200 and get predictable results while pushing in diluted D-76.

Something Bad: The background was a little busy in many of the shots, and also the heavy "bokeh" or out of focus areas really highlight the grain of this 3-stop push.

Something Learned: From now on, I'm always carrying an emergency pro-pack, 5 rolls, of Kodak Tmax 400 with the Hasselblad kit!

Next Week: An epic road trip to NJ and NYC with Lauren.