Safari World Bangkok as regular readers and workshop clients know, is one of my favorite short day trips.  There is so much to enjoy, yet the greatest story untold lurks beneath the surface.  I won’t be telling that story anytime soon, but you’ve already seen many hints in my past pieces Safari World In Bangkok  , Safari World Critically Sharp , Safari World, A Second Take , and Safari World Landscapes. There is also A Tiger Story and A Bear Fight.    And let’s not forget Trounced By My Assistant!  Many good memories well documented. 

The best time to go is either when they first open in the morning where you’ll often be able to following behind the various feeding trucks, or in the late afternoon right before closing time.  During the heat of the day, especially if no food is forthcoming, the animals are largely inactive and the excitement level low.  But a cool rainy morning around feeding time brings out much activity, animation, and will keep you and your camera busy.

 

The rhino’s are a bit of a mystery.  They have a fortified pen with heavy electrical hot wires, yet one or two is often seen roaming in far off areas of the park where if they wanted they’d be able to ram a truck full of Japanese tourists who didn’t have enough sense to turn off the flash on their point and shoots.  They’re not always the same rhino’s roaming free or in the pen.  It appears to be totally random.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/320th  ISO640

The rhino’s are a bit of a mystery.  They have a fortified pen with heavy electrical hot wires, yet one or two is often seen roaming in far off areas of the park where if they wanted they’d be able to ram a truck full of Japanese tourists who didn’t have enough sense to turn off the flash on their point and shoots.  They’re not always the same rhino’s roaming free or in the pen.  It appears to be totally random.   

 

The bears are always fun and almost human like in expression and behaviors.  Watch these guys for a spell and you’ll start to understand where the animation for the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney came from.  The crows and bears get along quite well and you’ll notice a certain crow will become ‘attached’ to a certain bear

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO1250

The bears are always fun and almost human like in expression and behaviors.  Watch these guys for a spell and you’ll start to understand where the animation for the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney came from.  The crows and bears get along quite well and you’ll notice a certain crow will become ‘attached’ to a certain bear. 

 

Look at this guys broad shoulders, biceps and pose.  He’s just hanging out with his crows and having a good ol’ time.  Notice the claws?

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/250th  ISO3200

Look at this guys broad shoulders, biceps and pose.  He’s just hanging out with his crows and having a good ol’ time.  Notice the claws? 

 

Of course bears love to eat and their table manners are often better than many humans I know.  Here, he’s caught a fish and munches on it quite carefully without dropping a single tantalizing morsel.  The dexterity exhibited in how they use their claws in amazing.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F4  1/250th  ISO800

Of course bears love to eat and their table manners are often better than many humans I know.  Here, he’s caught a fish and munches on it quite carefully without dropping a single tantalizing morsel.  The dexterity exhibited in how they use their claws in amazing. 

 

This male Canuk bear is seated on a rock telling everyone a story.  All around him other bears are his audience as he vocalizes one experience after the other.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO2500

This male Canuk bear is seated on a rock telling everyone a story.  All around him other bears are his audience as he vocalizes one experience after the other. 

  

You’ve seen this before as a Feature Photograph.   This was a terrible day for photographs and I was trying to create a timeless composition with seemingly little to work with.  Until I opened my eyes and became creative with the controls and processing.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/250th  ISO250

You’ve seen this before as a Feature Photograph.   This was a terrible day for photographs and I was trying to create a timeless composition with seemingly little to work with.  Until I opened my eyes and became creative with the controls and processing. 

 

There is a large (4-5 acres) manmade wetlands area which attracts wild seabird populations from the world over.  Depending on the season you’ll see different assortments of birds from different regions.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/320th  ISO125

There is a large (4-5 acres) manmade wetlands area which attracts wild seabird populations from the world over.  Depending on the season you’ll see different assortments of birds from different regions 

 

This big Rhinoceros was roaming free that day, nothing between this steely gaze and my truck.  I was hoping my truck was faster!  Notice the sores all over his body?  Makes you wonder if they’re wounds or infections.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO320

This big Rhinoceros was roaming free that day, nothing between this steely gaze and my truck.  I was hoping my truck was faster!  Notice the sores all over his body?  Makes you wonder if they’re wounds or infections. 

 

Here you can see he’s found a bit of water and muck to entertain himself.  The rhino pen has only very small and very shallow water, this larger and deeper body of water much look plenty attractive.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO320

Here you can see he’s found a bit of water and muck to entertain himself.  The rhino pen has only very small and very shallow water, this larger and deeper body of water much look plenty attractive. 

 

This is a closer look at both the unique leathery skin and interesting texture, but also the wounds which still look active.  None of the personnel knew what caused these wounds, and to be fair with only your naked eyes they could go undetected.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO320

This is a closer look at both the unique leathery skin and interesting texture, but also the wounds which still look active.  None of the personnel knew what caused these wounds, and to be fair with only your naked eyes they could go undetected. 

 

Here you can see one of the wounds open and seeping, bloody.  Parasites, infection, a virus or physical wound?

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO320

Here you can see one of the wounds open and seeping, bloody.  Parasites, infection, a virus or physical wound? 

 

These little guys ‘flitter’ in a huge way, small enough to make acquisition difficult, and flitters often enough to make capture neigh on impossible.  I’ve been able to get a few sharp enough to share, but many more were hardly sharp at all.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/250th  ISO500

These little guys ‘flitter’ in a huge way, small enough to make acquisition difficult, and flitters often enough to make capture neigh on impossible.  I’ve been able to get a few sharp enough to share, but many more were hardly sharp at all.

  

The same three storks from above, now on a mission to find lunch.  Their ability to cruise along with their underwater fish finding sonar active is amazing.  Every so often their beak dips down and brings up a fish, their beak raises to the sky until their neck is straight, and right down in the gullet it goes.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/320th  ISO160

The same three storks from above, now on a mission to find lunch.  Their ability to cruise along with their underwater fish finding sonar active is amazing.  Every so often their beak dips down and brings up a fish, their beak raises to the sky until their neck is straight, and right down in the gullet it goes. 

 

All of these images were taken during the same outing on a terrible day for photographs.  Creative processing was required to bring them out.  I like the glassy surface and reflection in this one.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F4  1/800th  ISO100

All of these images were taken during the same outing on a terrible day for photographs.  Creative processing was required to bring them out.  I like the glassy surface and reflection in this one. 

 

Another previous Feature Photograph carefully processed to achieve maximum detail and sharpness without unattractive artifacts.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/320th  ISO160

Another previous Feature Photograph carefully processed to achieve maximum detail and sharpness without unattractive artifacts. 

 

A 1:1 crop of the image above.  Critically sharp the detail on the beak, eyes, and gullet creates visual interest.

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F8  1/320th  ISO160

A 1:1 crop of the image above.  Critically sharp the detail on the beak, eyes, and gullet creates visual interest. 

 

This image of a plains antelope demonstrates that an unremarkable image can still create interest if its sufficiently sharp and exhibits fine detail.  Look at the chin hairs, and the hairs on the grass.  Fun!

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/250th  ISO400

This image of a plains antelope demonstrates that an unremarkable image can still create interest if its sufficiently sharp and exhibits fine detail.  Look at the chin hairs, and the hairs on the grass.  Fun! 

 

 The tigers weren’t even up to raising their heads.  Well fed, hot weather, and perhaps a bit of familiarity with visitors prevents them from leaping down from their loft and through my window.  Yet, the one on the right seems to be thinking about it!

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO500

 The tigers weren’t even up to raising their heads.  Well fed, hot weather, and perhaps a bit of familiarity with visitors prevents them from leaping down from their loft and through my window.  Yet, the one on the right seems to be thinking about it! 

 

Okay, I hear you.  Why the Texas Longhorns at an EXOTIC animal park?  There’s a small herd of these recently added, and they do just find alongside their African counterparts.  Even the rhinos show some respect.  But why prime beef?  Opps..

5d Mark II, 300mm F2.8L IS USM  @F5.6  1/320th  ISO320

Okay, I hear you.  Why the Texas Longhorns at an EXOTIC animal park?  There’s a small herd of these recently added, and they do just find alongside their African counterparts.  Even the rhinos show some respect.  But why prime beef?  Opps..  

I always do the drive-thru area of the park and will never go to the shows.  They have tiger, parrot, and other shows.. but in Asia the performing animals are almost always broken vs. trained.  It breaks my heart to see such things. 

If you’ve got a spare few hours, jump in your car and visit Safari World for a fun few hours.  If you don’t have a car, a taxi will take you through, or you can rent a car or jump on a bus, both available at the gate.