Dustin, thanks for swinging by and I appreciate your note. very glad the photos give you a smile. That’s what its all about. Cheers, Nj
Zoos are always tricky Cam but you can get some nice shots if you are patient. Not sure what you are using as a camera so some of this may not apply if you have a point and shoot but here are a few things to keep in mind that might help. Early and late in the day the animals are more active-especially in hot weather. When shooting through cages get as close to the cage as possible-use a lens hood if you can to protect banging the front of your lens. Use a wide aperture (small f number) and the shallow depth of field will often result in the cage “disappearing” in your image. Glass and plexiglass are tougher. Again, put your lens right up against it (if you have a hood!) or as close as possible. Wipe it with a cloth or your shirt. Try to shoot at a right angle to the glass if you can (less reflection) and you can’t use flash with glass. Indoor lighting at zoos is very tough so you will have better results outside. Be patient. Try to get down low-animal level. This can give you more interesting perspectives. Be very aware of the background in your shot. It is tough to get a great animal shot without “fake” zoo nature but you can minimize if you pay attention. I rarely shoot at zoos but when I do I try to concentrate on the animals that are more exposed and experiment with different types of shots. I would rather get a really good bird beak shot than a brown bear sitting on a plaster rock! :-) Hope that helps and good luck! NJ
Well Cynthia, follow your heart. I envy anyone who is in a position to study zoology-it never occurred to me 100 years ago when I went to school. Read as much as you can and be curious about everything. Sometimes creatures that appear boring and small end up being the most fascinating. And if you want to photograph wildlife, one of the most important things you can do is understand your subject-you are much better prepared to watch for interesting shots.
I am not sure I have “broken into it” yet, if by that you mean making a living. ;-) I kind of fell in love with it when I went to Africa for the first time in 2007. I have always done something creative, but that was my first time photographing wildlife. But it wasn’t until 2009 after returning from my second trip to Africa that I decided to really apply myself to it. So it is still very new for me. Good luck to you. NJ
Hmmm…well this is tough. I would like to come across as an adventurous, risk-taking, bushwhacking crazy woman swinging from vines and wading through croc-infested waters with a camera around my neck, but I am too arthritic to even pull that off in my own imagination. While perhaps not always intentional, here are some of the highlights of strange and crazy things that have happened in the course of taking pictures or traveling to take pictures:
-Sat motionless (except for my shutter finger) while a huge elephant bull stood 20 feet from us flapping his ears and trumpeting. I could smell his breath. I won’t say what he could smell off me…
-Had a white rhino approach the open jeep and walk up about 3 feet away to smell my foot.
-Sat on the end of my bed in my tent and watched as en elephant approached, and then pushed up against the side of the tent knocking furniture over as he reached for the tasty shoots under the platform.
- Stood looking out my open balcony at night and listened to a leopard vocalizing on the rocks behind our room. (My partner says this qualifies as stupid, not crazy)
- Had a gecko pee on my forehead while I lay in bed. (Ok-this had NOTHING to do with taking pictures but it was pretty funny in a disturbing sort of way)
- An insane, off-road jeep ride over very rough terrain (think boulders) and plowing over dead brush to track a pack of wild dogs. My spine still feels that ride.
- Being pelted with fruit by a troop of capuchins who I was tracking for an hour in Costa Rica. Actually, they ate the best (and softest) part of the fruit and just threw the cores at me.
I hope I qualify as an adventurous type…