Zoo offers a good opportunity to click interesting pictures of different subjects – animals, observers, scenery and so on. However, taking good photograph in the zoo requires you to keep certain things in mind, for example, preventing the fences from spoiling your shots, etc. Here are some useful tips and techniques you should know for taking great pictures in the zoo.
Prefer close-up shots
You should always show the animals nearer. Everyone looks the animals from a fairly long distance, so you should develop a feeling of intimacy in the pictures. It can be a challenging to get the close-up shots of the animals, but experiment with different focal lengths to get a closer look.
Click the pictures in their natural habitat. Never ignore or delete the background of the subject you are shooting. The context of the subject you are shooting must give a natural look to the picture and the viewer must not feel the subject is aloof from the background or distracted from the background.
Remember rule of thirds
Click the animals according to the rule of thirds, highlighting the eyes of the animals. When highlighting the eyes of the animals in rule of thirds, you will develop a prominent position to the animal and a personal connection between the subject and the viewer.
Some animals in zoo are kept in glass cages; shooting from glass is very challenging. So, while shooting the animals from these obstacles, you will get reflections in the pictures. It’s very hard to shoot from the glass, but by changing different angles, you can avoid glass refractions. Lens hood can also be used to avoid glass refractions.
Shooting animals inside the cages
This is the worst part of shooting animals; it’s very hard for any photographer to shoot the animals from wires or cages. Sometimes you can see bigger gaps in cages where you have to zoom to get a closer look. What about cages which have smaller gaps? Set the camera into aperture priority mode with wide aperture and narrow depth of field for deleting the cages.
Necessary accessories for zoo photography:
Make sure you have the following accessories with you:
Camera and lens: Many experts suggest DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) with a longer focal length lenses. You can also use telephoto lenses with preferable camera settings such as ISO, white balance, aperture, shutter speed, etc.
Tripod: This is very necessary as you will be using telephoto and longer focal length lenses. You can also use a monopod if tripod usage is not easy in the zoo.
Lens hood: You cannot set a specific time for clicking images in zoo. You should always be ready in any lighting conditions. If you are shooting in midday, then the lens can show glare, so lens hood is very useful to control the lens glare in the photos.