Tip of the Day: Zoo Photography

Get as close as possible to the animals, without putting yourself in danger. Bring along a lens with a longer focal length to combat the challenge of shooting from long distances. Also, crop your images as much as possible to convey the look of closeness and intimacy, and focus on the eyes of the animal will add a more personal element.

Zoos provide some great photo ops too They are great places to practice shooting, but they also come equipped with their own unique set of challenges. You’ll have to deal with distance between you and your subject, movement of your subject, shooting through cages and glass, and less than optimal lighting conditions. As you can see, the zoo provides some great obstacles that you can practice overcoming.

Get as close as possible to the animals, without putting yourself in danger. Bring along a lens with a longer focal length to combat the challenge of shooting from long distances. Also, crop your images as much as possible to convey the look of closeness and intimacy, and focus on the eyes of the animal will add a more personal element.

Shooting through glass almost always gives a reflection that can be difficult to erase. If you can’t avoid shooting through the glass, take a second to clean it. You don’t want any fingerprints in your frame! Use a lens hood or your hand to try to eliminate the reflection. Something difficult but worth a try: take a step back and try to get a shot of the reflection of the people watching the animals.

Shooting through a cage can be difficult, but if you can’t avoid it, get as close as possible, use a long focal length and large aperture. Usually, you won’t even notice it.

Animals move, so shoot with a fast shutter speed to capture the action. Try switching to shutter priority mode, using a fast shutter speed, or setting your camera to sports mode if you’re a beginner. Also, shoot continuous frames so that you don’t miss any of the action!

Follow these tips, and you're next trip to the zoo will provide the ultimate opportunity to practice your skills. Read more at Digital Photography School

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