Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lets Go to the Zoo Negara

I have made it to a point for myself that I would explore at least one place of interest in Kuala Lumpur each precious weekend, to maximize the whatever limited free time I have. So this week, I chose to travel all the way to National Zoo of Malaysia, which was situated surprisingly much further than I have anticipated originally. I almost fell asleep in the long bus journey, for the first time of my life in taking any buses, the lack of sleep over the past few days due to late night outings finally chipped into my system.




Why Zoo Negara? Blame all of it on that Brandon (click)!! He poisoned me several times with the pictures he took at the Zoo in Melbourne, so in the spirit of kiasu-ism he got me so inspired to try out shooting at the zoo. Yes Goodness, Brandon, see what you have done to me. After all, I am not quite done trying out my Zuiko 40-150mm (80-300mm equivalent) F3.5-4.5 telezoom lens just yet, and so far I am loving the pictures it is producing for me. Can't complain much for the first generation Olympus DSLR lens, it still performs well this very day.

Anyway, this was my second time to a zoo of any sort, the first time was at Perth, which was obviously much, much smaller and it had narrower animal variety compared to what Zoo Negara is exhibiting.

However, considering the small size, I did enjoy myself back then, since it was the first time I was seeing a lot of animals there. Unfortunately I did not have a camera back then, hence no records of pictures to show you guys. One particular animal attracted my attention, and I fell in love with it on the spot. It was the meerkat, gosh, it was darn cute and adorable !!!! If only I could keep one as a pet. Timoon from the Lion Kong, was a meerkat, the loud talkative creature who sticks to Pumba (the pig) all the time.




The Zoo Negara was very, very huge. It took me whole afternoon to cover the whole ground, which was sub-divided into a few parts, such as the Mammals, reptiles, birds, Savana walk, and Aquarium.

The planning of the whole layout must have been very detailed, and the setup of the place was amazing, with the variety of animals available for show to the public.

I was quite impressed, though I am sure this will definitely not be anywhere near the standards you find overseas, but it was worth the money you are paying for, especially for someone like me who is not that exposed to wildlife and all.


If you were there seeing this ape, you would have felt a tinge of sympathy for him (or was it her), because he was leaning on the glass panel, and the facial expression suggested that he wanted to get out very badly. And he was staring at the eyes of the people looking at him. I tried to capture that emotion, but I do not think the picture turned out quite like what I wanted it to.



A problem with highlight clipping (overexposed burned out white part of the picture) here, the clouds must have quickly shifted and I was still locking on the Auto-Exposure just before I fully pressed down the shutter. Sudden weather pattern change can be nasty too for noob-photographers like me.

Taking pictures at the zoo was a bigger challenge than what I have initially anticipated. Since the entire place was man made to contain the animals, and plenty of safety measures were taken to ensure the animals are protected from the dangerous carnivorous human beings, ermmm, I mean humans beings are protected by the dangerous carnivorous animals, whichever way you want to see it, it was not easy to get the shots that I really wanted most of the time.

The cages with THICK steel bars, the separating terrains between the foot standing position and the animal platform, and and the artificial man made items being placed all around the places just added miserably undesirable distractions into the pictures. It was not easy finding a good framing spot to isolate the animals.


In Perth Zoo, I get to touch and pet them.


I got tired of shooting pictures for few continuous hours, hence I sat down for a bit, and I saw this flower not too far from me. Check out the amount of details it captured, with the ants and the spider webs at the left side.


Something I end up doing too if I slack at work.

The animals hiding from the sun under the deep shadows at the corners also did not help much. Many of the animals would show their butts only, and I could not think of any way to make an artistic shot out of animal backsides. Or worse, some of the animals moved so fast that you could never really follow their movements. Or worse, some of them were sleeping under the broad daylight. No wonder kids like to throw stones at them.

I am sure many of you in KL have been to the zoo, and might think that theres nothing that special about it. In a way, its true, because its not the place you would want to visit again and again.



When I was a kid, and when the Zoo was just opened (I think), there was this advertisement on the TV by KFC with kids going around the zoo singing the theme song happily that went something like "lets go to the zoo and bring you friends along too". I could not remember the exact lyrics, but it did get stuck in my mind even until now, more than a decade later. This shows how scary advertising can be, having a lasting impact on children's fragile minds huh?

And so I have done my tourist thing for this week. I wonder where will I be exploring next week.


Any good suggestions and ideas?

The place I am going to must be a good place for photo-shooting too, or else my Ollie will be throwing tantrums.


  1. Wow, you manage to get the photos of the hippos. They are suppose to be notorious animal and yet, you manage to take the picture of the shy creature. Nice!

    Urghhh... I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300 I want Sigma 70-300


  2. hey hao,
    ahahaha the hippo ah !! I was just lucky lor, happened to be there at the right time.

    Ahahahaa, yeah man, get that lens !! Then go shoot leng lui from far far away.... eh dun forget to share ur "private collections" with me worrrr....

  3. Hey Samantha,
    I would have thought the lizard was scary LOL

  4. hao - the 70-300 sigma is quite slow on its maximum end (f4-5.6), since ur a canon user, why don't you get the 70-200 f/4? its the sharpest and best canon zoom around.

    robin, amazing pics! i like the one of the tiger and the hippo.

    yes, clipped highlights in oly slrs are irritating. sometimes i wished i had shot in raw to enable me to restore the highlights.

    i've updated my blog. check it out!

  5. Hey brandon,
    Thanks !! U were the one who inspired this entry ahahaha...
    Anyway, i love the facial expression caught in the tiger shot, but i hate the black horizontal concrete strip at the background, very distracting. Nothing I could do about it, but that stupid tiger went away from the water after that and disappeared LOL...
    Heading over to check ya blog now LOL

  6. hey hao,
    u better listen to the master !!!

  7. wahlau..i not master lah bro.. i jz giving my hunble opinions.. :p

  8. hey brandon,
    ur pictures are saying otherwise, ahahahaha....
    no worries, i will steal more of your ideas, since i can't steal any of ur lenses now LOL

  9. >>> this one looks like u robin! :D

    hao is a canon user..? yeah.. 70-200 f/4 is good, but isn't exactly affordable to everyone oh.

  10. erm... where's the lion?? :p I thought that Lion is the ultimate king of the jungle/zoo....

    hmmm ..... ;P

  11. hey allen,
    LOL.. yeah he is a canon fan, like u !! ahahha not affordable? get second hand !!
    Wah lau that photo ah? I look much moer cuter than that lor...

    hey johnson,
    LOL... the lion was sleeping !!!

  12. Now, who's afraid of the hippo??? I'm nice and cute! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  13. Wahhhh... do many poison inside your comment box one?? Hahahahahaha

    Brandon and allen, I love that 70-200mm f4 very much, but my budget is limiting me. My plan now is to get an used Sigma 70-300mm while saving for the 70-200mm. And yeah, I'm a Canon user :P

  14. hey suituapui,
    aahhahaa hippos are so adorable wei !!!

    hey hao,
    LOL now u realise my blog got poison comments ahahahaha....
    yeah, for now get the sigma first, then work and save up for better lenses.

  15. wah.. the iguana still there meh? actually the mouth got cut off or something..or mayb infection. So kesian man...

  16. hey chunchow,
    whoah, serious ah? how is that possible... quite kesian also...

  17. 70-200mm f/4 would still be pricey even for 2nd hand.. i think.. it belongs to the white family one wor.. dont play play..

    lol.. m not sure how much it costs for 2nd hand though.

  18. Hey Allen,
    ahahahaa but its still delicious I guess, anything with fixed aperture is delicious...