When photographing at zoos it it difficult to remember afterwards what you have seen. So, to aid my memory, I photograph the captions on the enclosures. Later, when I have identified the photos, I delete the caption photos to save space.
When visiting zoos, I am often disappointed that some animals that I would like to photograph are not outside. Animals are animals and have regular routines so it is often best to ask keepers about their habits, feeding times, etc. Failing that, try to come back later and the animals may oblige. I was very fortunate at Whipsnade Zoo and managed to get photos of European Lynx and Wolverines simply by returning just before closing time.
So, if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again !
I have just posted photos from our trip to London in the LONDON 2014 page.
I hope to post photos from London Zoo
I have been away for several days up to London and the Home Counties visiting the sights and also London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo. So I have many more photos to sort through and edit. In the meantime I will finish the blog entry for our SOUTHERN ENGLAND visit.
Keep watching for the LONDON trip as there will be some unique images in that page.
I've just been away for a few days near the New Forest visiting Arundel, Marwell Zoo, Beaulieu Motor Museum, Libertys Raptor Centre and a Shire Horse Centre. Loads of photos to wade through and edit but if you check in this week I promise you that it will be worthwhile as there are some very special photos I want to share with you.....
Here is a little taster - please look for the SOUTHERN ENGLAND VISIT page, which I will be posting to later today and for the next few days.....
We all know that the subject is important to a photograph, but sometimes we forget about how important it is.
Take a look at this photo.
It is pretty boring, but Why?
Well the horizon line about halfway through the photo doesn't help, but the only subject is the African plain which consists of acres of grass and a few bushes. Although there is a herd of animals in the far distance, it is difficult to see what they are. There is no real point of interest. The eye scans the photo, finds nothing to focus upon and you get bored very quickly.
Now look at this photo which is similar but has a subject.
The obvious subject here is a Wildebeest. However, although we can distinguish what it is, there are problems. It is central in the frame and that gives a "static", balanced composition. The eye is immediately drawn to the centre of the frame without looking elsewhere and then has no other place to scan. The animal although obvious is still quite small in the frame. While this shows it's environment, it doesn't show us much of the animal.
So from these examples we can see that there are a couple of important factors regarding Subject.
1. The subject should be OBVIOUS. It is the centre of interest to the viewer.
2. The SIZE of the subject is important to the viewer.
3. The POSITION of the subject is important. (See Tips - Rule of Thirds)
Even with cropping, the photo isn't great because magnifying the image introduces noise. But it is better than the original because the subject is larger, is better positioned in the frame and these is some foreground interest which also provides environmental interest.
The temptation of many photographers is to photograph what they see. However, depending on lens choice, the camera rarely sees a scene how the human eye sees it. This is particularly true with landscape photos. The eye scans the scene as your head moves to take in the whole scene. Therefore we see a composite view while the photo is a single frame. The result is often disappointing.
So choose the important part of the scene and concentrate on how to show it at it's best.
SELECT then COMPOSE.
Sometimes you don't always need a full spectrum of colour or detail to create a powerful image. Using the silhouette concentrates the eye upon shape and shape can be a powerful symbol.
Take a look at this WW1 photo taken by Ernest Brooks.
Could it have been as powerful as a "normal" photograph? I doubt it very much. You don't need to know who the men are, just their purpose. It is a powerful symbol of the grim reality of war, men resigned to their duty.
To take a silhouette, simply choose a good shape for a subject, then photograph against the light exposing for the light background and not the subject. Use Aperture Priority for greater control and adjust the exposure as required until the desired result is achieved.
I am a retired IT professional. I use my spare time by travelling and taking photographs. I love wildlife and history.