Monday, September 17, 2007

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

What photographer doesn't love a trip to the zoo, especially on an overcast day with no shadows, no crowds, a great camera and lots of happy animals? These photos were all taken on my recent trip to the Toronto Zoo, including the Canadian section that I had not been to in years: it has a beautiful, fully natural pond that let me quietly grab dozens of swan photos, including some rather unconventional ones.

The zoo is a great place to experiment for anybody trying to "learn" their digital camera because there are photographic challenges exclusive to it as a location. For example, shooting through glass and fences are things that can scare off some but with the manual and override options on digital cameras today, and the ability to take hundreds of photos without "wasting film", there is really nothing to lose but a bit of extra time to capture great photos. For fences, the key is to use your manual focus setting and a very narrow focal length (ideally F4.0 or lower) to blur them out (e.g. the tiger head-shot below). For quick animal shots, using the panning quick-setting can be a good idea as can selecting your camera's shutter priority feature and upping the shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second or faster. In some of my own shots I chose to use an aperture priority because I could get the essential depth that I wanted and my camera very nicely chose my film speed to match (not something any film camera would have let me do!)

I took more than a hundred photos, and my daughter almost matched me, so it was hard to pick just a few to share with you here. Please enjoy...

ISO 100, 1/60, F8.0

ISO 100, 1/100, F8.0

ISO 100, 1/100, F8.0

ISO 100, 1/100, F8.0

ISO 200, 1/125, F7.1

ISO 200, 1/50, F7.1

ISO 1250, 1/640, F3.3, manual focus

ISO 200, 1/60, F7.1

ISO 200, 1/80, F8.0

ISO 100, 1/400, F5.6

4 comments:

cherie said...

you got some nice shots at the zoo. tigers are my favorite wild animal!

Jane said...

These are wonderful!!

Lynn/annasmom said...

Nice shots!

pdxscrappinmamma said...

Like the tiger and the little tiger cub.