04 Shoot zoo animals with environmental context
During a visit to a zoo, it’s all too easy to hunt for ‘trophy’ animal portraits and spend too much time stressing about wire fences, cage bars and other zoo trappings that give away the location.
So why not embrace the man-made environment and use that as a key element of your pictures? Ian Webb had great success doing just that during a trip to a zoo in Lyon, France.
“I’d visited the zoo once before and while watching the giraffes I noticed that the sun was casting really lovely shadows on the wooden enclosure wall,” he remembers. “The giraffes would walk up and down really close to it and in a line. I decided to come back with my camera.
“When I returned, I ended up waiting for quite some time – but just couldn’t get the shot I wanted. I was just about to give up when the door slid open for them to enter the giraffe house, at which point they all came in a line to go one by one inside. That was when I finally got the shot I was looking for.”
Get started today…
* Be bold with your photo composition – position animals small and off-centre, or compose the shot to show just part of them in the frame.
* Look for interesting reflections in glass.
* When shooting groups, include an odd number for more balanced images.
* On sunny days, expose for bright areas and allow shadows to turn black.
* Shoot in raw and experiment with different crops and colour treatments in Photoshop.
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PAGE 2: Shoot painterly plant portraits
PAGE 3: Shoot the beach during a spring storm
PAGE 4: Shoot zoo animals with environmental context
PAGE 5: Shoot reflections in puddles
PAGE 6: Shoot plane trails
PAGE 7: Shoot portraits with reflections
PAGE 8: Shoot water birds at your local pond
PAGE 9: Shoot images with motion blur