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Thread: Local Zoo Outing

  1. #1

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    Daniel

    Local Zoo Outing

    This sunday I plan to head out to a small little local zoo, its has about 20-30 exibits. From the looks of thier website the area seems to be covered in broken shadows. Could anyone suggest some techniques I can use to try to make some good photos? I dont really know what "style" photos I am going after other than to capture natures beauty, maybe animal portrates?


    The gear I plan to bring:
    Olympus E-500
    40-150mm lens w/ UV filter
    ND4 and CPL filters will be in my pocket
    Monopod?
    Tripod?

  2. #2
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Local Zoo Outing

    One tip. If you are shooting through a chain link fence, for example, try to use a long focal length and get the lens as close as possible to the obstruction and it will mostly disappear.

    My experience is mostly shooting animals in the wild, but at the focal lengths you have I think a tri or mono pod is more of a hindrance than a help. Others may disagree!

  3. #3

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    Re: Local Zoo Outing

    Sunday's are usually busy days and a tripod will just be a nuisance for other users. It won't be much help anyway so best keep yourself light and flexible. A mono may be useful if you need to raise the camera over a fence or heads of other spectators. You should have a remote release if that is what you may be doing.

    Of course we would like to see your shots here.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Local Zoo Outing

    Hi Daniel,

    I can see the CPL might be useful when shooting down through water, or at an angle through glass, however, the 1.5 - 2 stops you'll lose may be critical - expect to work at high-ish iso.

    Get the map and the feeding timetable and work out where you might want to be (or avoid) at those times.

    If the weather is sunny, I'd recommend doing a full circuit of all the exhibits (as it is small) as soon as you get there, making note (mental or paper) of which viewing platforms/windows/enclosures will be favourably lit at which times of day compared to when you 'survey'.

    Remember the suns rays/shadows will move at 15 degrees an hour, so 3 hours is 45 degrees, six hours 90 degrees.
    Then revisit areas most favourable soonest and get on to the others later, but don't forget the feeding times.

    Wear dark clothing, so your own (and partner's) clothes don't reflect brightly in any viewing windows you need to shoot through. A microfibre cloth might be handy to polish off visitor gunk on them too.

    If you have a fast lens too, that may be handy for the DoF that David mentioned. Also, if you have a P&S with a lens small enough to fit between the mesh, take it with you too.

    I find the vari-angle LCD is a boon too, for holding a camera above your head, or down low, to get shots over/under obstructions, although I'm not sure if the E500 has one.

    Have a good trip,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 1st November 2012 at 10:28 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Local Zoo Outing

    To avoid the distracting shadows that you asked about, try to go on a cloud-covered day. The shadows will still be present but they will be softer and perhaps more appealing.

  6. #6
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Local Zoo Outing

    If you will be shooting through glass Daniel, a collapsible rubber lens hood can eliminate the reflections and they are quite inexpensive, usually under $10.

    Here is a link to some tips for shooting images at a zoo.

    http://www.phoenixzoo.org/learn/anim...oto_tips.shtml

  7. #7

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    Daniel

    Re: Local Zoo Outing

    Thanks for the tips guys. I will see what I can work with on tomorrows outing. I will be sure to post some the the "better" photos I can will link to my Facebook photo album to see all of the photos without bombing the site here.

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