If you enjoy photographing wildlife, I am sure you would agree that there’s no substitute for shooting in the animals natural environment, but, that will usually mean a long and expensive trip abroad. However, a more practical alternative is to visit your local wildlife park. It’s surprising the kind of results you can get. All you need is a digital SLR with a long zoom lens and a lot of patience. Your lenses should be able to cover 35mm to 200/300mm but be aware if you start changing lenses it could cost you the shot of the day. So instead be prepared to move forward or back if the subject moves. Do your homework on the layout of the zoo and pick your shooting points taking into account, visitors, feeding times, fences, glass, and the time of day for shadows and sun? A rainy day is not necessarily the best day as the sensible animals will be undercover and therefore not offering the most natural shots. In most zoo environments, you will have to contend with bars, glass or other barriers. Glass is less of a problem than bars, if you get right up to the glass to eliminate any reflections. Resting the lens hood on the glass also provides some support and reduces camera shake. It goes without saying that flash should be avoided as it would simply flare off the glass anyway. Why not give it a try next time you are looking for a project or just a day out.
Here are a few of my images….