Better Photo: Lesson 2


Note: If you have the book you’ll notice I’m not going in order.  Because, honestly, that would be way to organized and unrealistic for my crazy life. 

Lesson 2: Get thee to a zoo


My oldest son has been begging to go to the zoo since he learned they have penguins there.  When looking for something to do for his birthday, it seemed like the perfect spot.  That the Better Photo book had an assignment to photograph animals at a zoo made it a double win.


We spend all of the morning and a few hours into the afternoon at the zoo and many of the animals weren’t on display due to the excessive heat.  Even so, I ended up taking 316 photos and it’s been crazy trying to narrow down the ones to post.  I know professional photographers would find all sorts of issues with the ones I took but, personally, I was super proud of how a lot of them turned out. 

Better Photo suggests being super conscious of the background to try and make it look like the animals aren’t in captivity and it gave great pointers about working with critters behind glass.  It was a lot of fun but made me realize that to get consistently good photos it takes a hell of a lot of work, patience and a big memory card!! 

GET IN CLOSE: Miotke suggests getting as close as you can to a subject to help make it look like you are photographing the animals in the wild.  In other words, hide the obvious human things like cages, water and feeding troughs.  Although these animals were housed in “free roaming” habitats, the super zoom came in handy to get in closer even though they were super far away.



FILL THE FRAME: I had trouble with this one.  I never could seem to balance “filling the frame” with getting way to close and losing detail.  I think this is one I’ll have to keep working on to get any consistency.  But the colors (on the toucan especially) were stunning straight out of camera.



BEHIND GLASS: I went and read a lot on the internet about this because the book was somewhat vague with tips on this.  I took A LOT of bad shots behind glass until I finally found a trick that worked for me.  It helped that this little guy had just had his cage cleaned so there was no streaks on the inside or outside and by holding the lens directly against the glass and then tipping the camera a few degrees off the glare was minimized. 



The rest of the shots were just attempts at putting all of the suggestions to work or I just liked how they turned out!



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