I like to do photography in the zoos during my leisure times as they offer plenty of exotic animals to shoot for without the expense of a safari trip. Even in captivity, animals make great subjects. This makes them ideal places to try wildlife photography.
To get the best results from the zoo, you need to have a more creative mindset. Think out of the box and challenge yourself to produce photographs that would make your animal subjects appear as if they are not in captivity.
Get your telephoto lens ready. A telephoto lens with a focal range of at least 70-200mm will help you get close up shots of your animal subjects with a smooth, blurred background that would minimize the zoo elements.
When shooting, patience is the key. Study the animals’ behaviour to help you predict their next move, making it easier to get your desired shot.
Once you have chosen the animals you want to capture, give yourself extended periods of time to camp outside their enclosures. This way, you will likely see them in a variety of positions and expressions.
One of my trick is check out their feeding time. They usually get more active during their feeding time.
Animal photography is not always about the getting close-up shots. To make unique shots, you can also consider on the composition by observing the interaction between the animals.
If you are not sure on what you want, ask yourself what is it about the animal that interests you. Does it have great colours or a funny pose? Are you amused with its expressions or actions? The answers to these questions will help you identify the potential points of interest for your image and determine how to approach the shot.
Lastly, keep yourself hydrated. You will be surprised how exhausting a shoot in the zoo can get, especially under our tropical sun.
As published on Canon EOS World Website
All text and photos by Wisnu Haryo Yudhanto, Singapore Event Photographer.
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