good photos from the zoo – part two

Creating Good Animal Photos from a Captive Environment – Part Two

Last zoo post I was sharing some ideas on learning wildlife photography skills while photographing captive animals. See Part One here

great white egret photoI followed this Great White Egret until the reflection was completed from beak to tail. The black and white treatment brings the bird to the highest contrast attention

One of the essential skills is to learn to queue on behavior. This means learning to see when the behavior will change. What will happen when you look at the feathers shaking in a certain way or excrement fall from a bird. These are indicators that signal flight or a change of wing position and either of those can lead to a more interesting photograph.

tiger from the phoenix zoo photoProcessed this image to BW also. Slight sharpening of the tiger using Skylum software as an Adobe Photoshop plug-in. I also softened the foreground and background with a gaussian blur as well as a darkening Curves layer  Significant help for me that increased my ‘keepers’ in photographing images of animals in zoos, parks and in the wild was a lens that has a long reach. The micro 4/3rds Panasonic Lumix system has been an enormous help. Being able to handhold an 800mm equivalent lens makes a huge difference because of the mobility and distance from the animals. The less you disturb your prey and having the ability to still fill the frame is golden.

tree trunk photoDon’t lose sight of other opportunities when photographing wildlife. This split tree trunk was good for an abstract look of colors and tones.

My main camera these days is the Lumix G9. The stabilization system gives an extra six and one-half to seven stops of hand-holdability. This means that hand holding a lens of 800mm equivalent at 1/60th of a second is very possible with sharp results. My favorite lens is a zoom lens – Leica 100-400mm f4.0-6.3

 

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

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