If you can’t afford to travel to get photos of some of the world’s most exotic animals, you can do the next best thing, which is to head down to the local zoo. There are a few things to keep in mind which may help you get better photos and enjoy yourself a bit more.
Going to the zoo early in the morning usually means there are fewer crowds and the animals are pretty active after a night’s sleep, unless they’re nocturnal of course.
You should also check out when specific activities are going to take place, such as the feeding times. You can get some great shots when hungry animals are ready to gulp down their food.
Any other types of shows and events are also good opportunities to get some diverse action images. Be careful if you’re around water though. You may want to use a zoom lens if you’re taking photos of dolphins or other aquatic creatures.
If possible, take along a tripod for stability and less camera shake and don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards. A lens hood is a good idea as you won’t be able to control the sun and you could be taking photos through glass. The hood will help to reduce any unwanted glare.
They may be cute and cuddly, but they all have their own instincts and could be dangerous. You always have to put safety first before taking photos. Animals don’t understand what you’re doing and could become agitated and violent at any time.
Using a shallow depth of field is a great way to blur the background and focus on the animal. Most animals are kept in areas that resemble their natural habitat these days instead of cages and this means you should have a good view of them.