1| First things first: Turn off your flash.
2| Second things second: You’ll want a lot of zoom.
Bring the longest lens you have. The longer, the better. And then remember to keep your shutter speed high enough to support that long lens. I brought a 70-200mm lens and adjusted my ISO to make sure I kept my shutter speed above 1/200 second.
3| The best time of day to shoot at the zoo? Morningtime.
Morning = fewer people & active animals.
4| Best time of day to shoot each individual animal? FEEDING time!!
5| Utilize shallow DOF to your benefit.
It’s advantageous to blur out backgrounds as well as foregrounds with fencing, rails, cages, mesh, etc.
6| When photographing through glass, get as close to the glass as possible.
(Full disclosure: I used my 35mm lens and placed it right against the glass). Use a lens hood. Or cup your hand around your lens to lessen the intrusion of reflections/glare.
But don’t make ALL the reflections go away … some are quite cute!
7| When photographing through fencing/mesh/etc., again put your lens as close to it as possible
. Again, use shallow DOF. Make sure you focus beyond the foreground to the animal. In some cases you can make the foreground disappear nearly entirely.
8| Just as with people portraits, go ahead and fill the frame
9| Can’t get close enough to fill the frame properly? Feel free to crop, crop, and crop some more
in your post processing!
10| Just as with people photography, focus on the eyes
11| Just as with people, cloudy days are AWESOME
. Like bringing a big, huge, light softbox with you. (not to mention, a nice, clean backdrop!)
12| Sometimes it can be fun to shoot the people
And if your husband is looking at you adoringly, you should shoot that, too.
(The smiling Teen is a total bonus!!)
13| Remember that some pictures just scream to be converted to black & white
Now, go to the zoo! And take your camera.