Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wedding Season Break: San Diego

If you are here to look for our wedding photo blog posts, please scroll down to see the previous posts. Thanks!

Right after a few photo shoots, we jumped on the plane for our family vacation. When most families have their vacation in Summer time, we can only do it around Winter/Spring time. This year, we went to San Diego. I heard about San Diego Zoo when I watched Jurassic Park II (T-Rex escaped and ran around in San Diego). I was very curious about the zoo.

First of all, I'm a photographer. I care about travel photos. At the same time, I'm a father. I also care about home video because Ethan likes watching home videos. The experience in Tokyo teaches me one thing: Don't bring your work DSLR(s) to travel if you want to enjoy the trip. Last time in Tokyo, I locked the 5D Mark II in hotel room after the 3rd day. Olympus E-PL1 saved my back and my feet.

Important thing: You need to bring a camera with 400mm reach. If your longest lens is 70-200mm, you should leave it at home and take a cheaper/smaller super-zoom consumer DC with you.

We planned to visit San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and Sea World. We skipped Legoland because Jessie and Ethan couldn't play rides this year. The 7 days pass allowed us to go to these 3 parks anytime. The first thing we did in San Diego Zoo was taking the bus tour. It covered 70% of the zoo area with driver telling you some rough idea about animals and shows information. The tour was about 30~40 mins. The zoo had "Express Buses" every 15 mins cycling around the zoo between 5 bus stops. The park's cable gondola took visitors from one side to another side in 5 mins. The 7 day pass included the fee of all 3 rides.

We could see animals clearly. Closer than any Zoos near Vancouver but still need 400mm reach to take close-up photos.

Interesting... But I didn't need it. We took Express Buses

Bird Show: Need a camera with very fast frame rate to shoot. Birds were flying around my head very fast in the show.

Captured with 10 frames per second

Safari Park was a bit far from the center. We stayed at a hotel close to Sea World and 35 mins intensive highway drive was needed to reach there. It was a place for larger animals. Opposite to the zoo, animals were far away from us. I saw some people just turned off their small cameras during the bus ride. They couldn't see any animal clearly on their screens. Remember: 400mm lens!

Balloon Walk... Bad impression about balloon rides. It should be safe but they needed to pay me for doing that. (We still have a lot of wedding shoots coming. We don't want to take the risk...)

Safari Park was a one day trip. After the Safari bus ride, not many interesting things could be seen. We skipped the elephant show because of our hungry stomachs. A slow pace day. Lots of walking...

OK... The world famous Sea World! My first impression was... Where did the Mandarin-Speaking tourists come from? Yes, they were everywhere. A lot and a lot. They should be from cruise ships and they were gone on our second day visit.

We watched 4 shows. All good.

WET ZONE wasn't a joke. Need raincoat for sure.

Ethan loves this Elmo play area

Get wet? $5 would dry you up!

People who know me or follow this blog should know I'm a big fan of Olympus OM-D. Although we work with Canon cameras and lenses, I love using OM-D daily.

We brought Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 to the trip. I put an old Tamron 28-200mm lens on E-M5 for getting 56-400mm reach. The PRO series 12-40mm f/2.8 was super.

Like my travel photos? You can see the links below.

Raymond & Jessie
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1 comment:

  1. I always wanted to visit the San Diego zoo and your post about the trip is awesome.
    I love your photos by the way.