Busch Gardens

1/320, f/5.6, ISO 125, 270mm

As a life-long resident of the Tampa Bay area I’ve been to Busch Gardens theme park many times. I’ve experienced the rides, the shows, the animals, and the food quite thoroughly over the years. My wife and I decided to go there Saturday on the way home from her company’s annual picnic.

The parking lot, the tram, and the ticket counter were all where I expected them to be. But, to my disbelief, the entire interior of the park was radically different from what I had remembered. The birds were more colorful. The flowers were brighter. The elephants, tigers, lions, zebras, and the rest were all so alive and expressive. There were crowds and crowds of people laughing and talking and screaming. The roller coasters raced around our heads as we walked, amazed at it all. Somehow these things were so familiar and yet so strange and wonderful. No, there had been no remodeling or new construction. There was only the park that had always been.

After going through my exposures that night the answer hit me. The only change had been in my perception. Since taking up photography, I seem to be more aware of color, motion, light, and form than at any other time in my life (with the exception of infancy). Busch Gardens, as it turns out, is a wonderland of photographic opportunity.

Who knew this tired old theme park could yield such a wealth of subject matter? I suppose the real question is, why didn’t I think of this before? Weather prevented our return visit the next day but I plan to go back as often as possible. I could have spent the entire afternoon shooting just these flamingos. The 70-300mm is amazing for nature photography and it was worth every penny. More from that day will be posted soon.

(NOTE: If you live in the area you should know that they are offering tickets good for the entire year at single day admission prices!)

1/320, f/5.6, ISO 125, 270 mm

1/320, f/5.6, ISO 125, 300 mm

1/1000, f/5, ISO 320, 70 mm


2 Responses to “Busch Gardens”

  1. 1 rb
    April 8, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    More quality work! Keep it up. Lisa went to Busch Gardens today and had mentioned the year long ticket along with the beautiful animals.

    Amazing how close some of the photos look…like the flamingo allowed you into its world for a few minutes.

  2. 2 flashkube
    April 9, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for the kind words. You and Lisa should come along with us some weekend. It will do you good to get out of that office. ; )

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