Pick to right Zoo
Stay away from crowds
Focus on the eyes
Look for textures
Look for interactions
Always look for a different angle
Fill the frame
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Going to your favorite zoo can be a great experience for you, and your family, but it can also lead to great animal photos that you would rarely capture in the wild. You can get close and personal with them and, by following these steps, you can create images that would otherwise seem taken from a wildlife portfolio.
This is the first step you need to take. The best zoos are the modern ones, with proper decorations and scenery. Plants, rocks, sand are all there to replicate the animal’s natural habitat and you should be able to use them in your photographs.
Animals are sensitive to crowds, and when they are formed in front of a cage or replicated environment, they usually run away. Try to pick the time of your visit wisely, and if weekends are the only time you can make it to the Zoo, try to go there early in the morning, preferably as soon as they open.
This is generally a rule that should be applied to portraits of people. However, there are certain animals that have unique expressions and looks and it would be a shame not to capture them.
Some animals will be passive when you visit the Zoo. Don’t walk away, and, instead, try to capture the texture of their fur or skin. Some patterns can make amazing photographs.
When an animal looks straight into the lens of your camera, it can be a magic moment, however, these times are rare and they usually require a lot of patience, Keep in mind, these are still wild animals, despite being exposed to people every day, so they won’t exactly do what you expect of them. Don’t jump around, shout or lose your temper in any way. It will make you look bad, and the animal turn away or become unnecessarily aggressive.
Individual pictures can be amazing, but the real magic happens when two animals interact with each other. It’s a lot like with humans and certain powerful emotions can make the difference between a good photo and an average one.
You might have limited space to move, but that’s no excuse for photographing everything from a single point of view. Move around as much as you can, and if it’s a real tight situation, move the camera or yourself in a way that will allow you to capture different perspectives of the same creature.
Composition can be a tricky aspect in photographing an animal exhibit. Even so, the best way to make sure you have a good composition is to fill as much of the frame as possible with the animal’s proportions. Also, sometimes, it can be a good idea to zoom in on the head or use a frame that is as tight as possible.
Image credit: zestmarina / 123RF Stock Photo