Shooting In The Zoo

Posted On: July 15, 2011
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I recently spent some time in Calgary Alberta and took the opportunity to stop in at the Calgary Zoo, (which I was told was very worthwhile).  Being a suburbanized Vancouverite, getting to the zoo on a regular basis isn’t in the schedule, and our Vancouver Zoo is virtually non-existant, sans our amazing sealife displays & beluga whales.  My goal was to see and photograph animals that I’d not seen before with my own eyes, such as the majestic tiger, and gorillas.

One of the biggest issues most people find when they go to take imijs of the animals at the zoo is there are large cages, wires, ropes, etc. in your face.  This makes it exceedingly difficult to acquire an imij that will not be marred by an unnatural object.  The best trick I’ve found is to use a lens that has the ability to stop down  as far as f/2.8, with a strong zoom setting.  This type of lens gives you a very shallow DOF (depth of field) and will focus past the barbed wire, metal posts & ropes to your subject, essentually blurring out the unwanted object from the scene.  The imij below of this handsome tiger was achieve by using such a lens.

Nikon D300, Nikkor f/2.8 70-200mm zoom