Wildlife Photography at the zoo

Grecia Vasquez

Grecia Vasquez


October 7th 2020

  Visiting zoo with your family is one of the most common past time activity around the world. And people who like photography, visiting zoo becomes a special occasion. its the time when dads become wildlife photographer. but how  many do you we know, how to shoot animals in a professional way? no worries in this article that is what we will discuss about. After reading this article I am confident you will be able to shoot some exciting animal photos. 

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Equipment selection: telephoto lens priority

Before starting the introduction, let's talk about the equipment suitable for taking pictures in the zoo. For people nowadays, it is not necessary to carry a very professional camera . In fact, using a mobile phone can also take great photos.

If you are using a mobile phone, then I  recommend that you choose a mobile phone with a larger zoom factor, such as a 5x or 10x zoom mobile phone to take pictures, so that animals can be captured at the focal length. Of course, as a practitioner in the industry, I actually recommend that you use the camera to shoot. After all, the camera's sensor size is very large, which completely kills the size of the mobile phone camera sensor, so you can get better picture quality and photo effects.

If you use a mobile phone, the author has another suggestion, which is to use the portrait mode. Although it is a simulated blur effect, there are still some improvements.

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  If you use a camera, in fact, there is not much requirement for the camera itself, whether it is 1 inch, M4/3 format, APS-C format or full frame, the current camera image quality level has been significantly improved, so shooting animals is There is no problem. Of course, if home conditions permit, I still hope that everyone can carry a full-frame camera. After all, the volume and weight of the full-frame mirrorless camera are now well controlled.

    The most important thing is not the camera itself, but the lens. The zoo is not Kenya, so the lens does not need a focal length of 400mm, 600mm, or 800mm, ordinary 70-200mm, 100-400mm lenses are sufficient. Of course, if you don't have a telephoto lens, you can use a 24-70mm lens, but the 70mm focal length may not be able to achieve many better framing compositions.

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 If the focal length of the lens is insufficient, you can also consider using a high-pixel camera. After shooting, you can use post-cropping for secondary composition to achieve a better picture.

Shooting skills: Avoid taking pictures with bright light than the environment

    Then we talk about some shooting techniques for shooting animals. In fact, there are a lot of shooting techniques that can be elaborated, but the space is limited. We share some of the more important techniques with you. In terms of camera settings, let’s just say that I use AV (aperture priority) gears daily to control aperture, ISO and exposure compensation. The shutter speed is automatically matched by the camera.

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Aperture, in general, the maximum aperture of the lens can be used, but if you are shooting close-ups, you can reduce the aperture appropriately to avoid excessive blur and blur unnecessary parts; ISO is very simple, regardless of the intensity of the light Weak, if the animal is more lively, at least ISO 800 or above (ISO 2000 or above in a dark environment), to ensure a faster shutter speed, to avoid blurring the photo; the exposure compensation can be adjusted according to the ambient light.

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 In fact, in the above introduction, you can take a few photos by yourself, and you will understand after slowly exploring. What I want to share here is a problem that many novices often encounter, that is, the shooting environment. Many novices do not consider the surrounding environment when taking pictures. They just take pictures when they see animals. That's right, but I suggest you filter the environment. Some photos are not very good because the shooting environment is not good and can not set off the atmosphere of the photos.

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  Another very important suggestion is not to shoot animals in a high light ratio environment. Many novices do not have a deep understanding of the capabilities of the camera and the ability of the later stage, so they always feel that it is okay to take pictures in a large light ratio environment, and it can be perfectly repaired in the later stage, but it is not the case. Even a Nikon camera with great latitude cannot be perfectly restored when taking pictures in many high light ratio environments. If you must shoot, you should keep the details of the bright parts of the picture as soon as possible, and then repair the details of the dark parts in the later stage, so that the success rate of restoration is higher.

Experience sharing: catch the wonderful look of animals

    Finally, we share some of our experiences. In fact, everyone can take exactly the same photos when they go to the zoo, because there are only a few kinds of animals, and there are only a few kinds of angles that can be taken. Even if you choose the equipment, it may be exactly the same. We must grasp the wonderful looks of animals.

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I hope this article helps you to become the next big photographer. thanks for reading.

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