So, I decided to go to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant walk last week when they were in town. I had photos from ten years ago that had been lost in a computer crash of some kind, and I wanted to get some new shots while the elephants are still around! You probably already heard that the Circus has decided, because of public pressure being incited by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), to phase out the elephants in the show by 2018. For Huntsville, that might mean one more show in a couple of years, but even though they come around on a regular schedule, there is some variation and you never know.
The photography isn’t my best, but all things considered I was happy to get some decent shots. As noted in the captions, the train arrived late. While there was plenty of daylight when they first got here, the sun was already on the horizon and by the time the animals actually started to walk the shadows were gone and darkness was falling fast. I didn’t want to up the asa higher than 400, too much grain, so I went ahead and attempted to use the flash. A couple of long shots didn’t catch much light from the flash, and some of the others did. And, because of the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at the animal walk, I had to move from my first vantage point before I could take any shots as the animals emerged from the train cars. Getting out of that crowd might have resulted in being stampeded by one of the elephants! Instead, I went out front on the main route, and that turned out to be a good thing because I was able to get around to take the last shot “Star Butts” as the elephants headed into the sunset.
TECHNICAL NOTE: As you can see here I’ve finally installed a fancy slide show plugin for WordPress, but I have some ambivalence about it still. Assuming it works correctly, it seems to be a neat trick at face value, but it does have some drawbacks. It’s a conundrum on not-very smart phones for one thing, and it works best when configured from it’s own database as opposed to the WordPress library. That’s not good in the event I might want to change or upgrade to a different method, which would require rebuilding any and all slide shows already on the site. Oh well, it’s in a testing phase. Let me know how you like it.
© 2015 – Jim Casey
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