Grabbing the camera as a after thought and visiting the local zoo

Went to 5 sisters zoo today with the kiddy. Thought I might as well take the camera in case I get the opportunity for a few photos. I wasn’t disappointed actually the opposite.

The zoo has grown and blossomed into a zoo on par or better than Edinburgh zoo. It’s very family orientated and has so many animals that you can really enjoy your day out. As a photographer it gives you so many opportunities for some good photos. I will go back again on my own so I can spend the time on photos and don’t have to worry about the little monkey I brought with me running away and joining the zoo’s troop. They should have the 4 new lions by then.

Some of the photos were shot through the fence or through a glass wall. As long as you get as close as possible you can normally get away with it as the lens focuses on the subject in the distance but the further away the fence/glass is from the lens the worse the results are. The Lynx enclosure fence was a 1.5-2m away from me for obvious reasons so you should see some issues with it even though if you push the contrast hard enough you can sometimes get very good results.

Just because you’re under time pressure to get some decent photos doesn’t mean you should leave the camera at home, the opposite should be the case. Limited time makes for you homing your skills and shows you where you are lacking experience. I found mine today to be not knowing how my AV and TV settings would behave on my Canon 7D. That is due to lack of time/experience using them, I thought great I don’t have time to spend on setting let’s let the camera do some work for me. Hmm wrong I was, live and learn.

IMG_7085-fb This is under water and through the glass enclosure.IMG_7101-fb IMG_7106-fb Through the fence but it was against the lens so shouldn’t effect the outcome. IMG_7117-fb IMG_7190-fb IMG_7177-fb IMG_7137-fbThrough the fence but it was a distance away so it affected the photo. IMG_7214-fbIMG_7209-fbIMG_7233-fbIMG_7200-fb Photographs by Jacques le Roux …

Edinburgh Zoo 2014 Part3

Last part of Edinburgh zoo visit.

I tried to think about these photos as I only had a few left worth posting.

Normally photos are posting showing the whole animal and then maybe cropping it in. I did the reverse so people can maybe guess what it is a little before scrolling down to next photo.

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Photographs by Jacques …

Edinburgh Zoo 2014 Part1

Took my trusty Canon 7D and used the Canon 70-200 IS L II to Edinburgh zoo. Used the Canon x1.4 and x2 extender to give me a bit more reach at times.

I wanted to do something different from the normal animal photos, get a but closer to things rather than show the whole animal. Hope you like it and it makes up for me not posting up photos for a while.

The light wasn’t the best plus the reflection on the glass windows caused problems at times. A few things I learnt was I need to increase the shutter speed, 200ms was to low for moving animals and at times people wearing white reflected on windows and best to wait till they move on before continuing.

A few samples of the primates photos taken.
IMG_2304This photo is probably the one I like the most of all the photos taken. The shadows and the look in the eyes.
It’s all in the eyes as they say.
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Photographs by Jacques…

Blair Drummond on a sunny day

Went to the Blair Drummond safari park in Fife, Scotland on a sunny day in June of this year . Used the Canon 7D and 1D MK III from within the car and through the windows. Lenses were the Canon 300mm F2.8 L IS and a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II. A Canon x2 extender II were used as well.

Overall a learning process, I feel these photos are a good example of my first attempt and on the next visit I’ll be better prepared.

Few things I picked up on:

  • Try to take your photos as best you can while excluding any vehicles and fences.
  • Prepare your equipment on the passenger seat and change equipment over as need be.
  • Don’t worry about cars behind you they can over take if the road is wide enough.
  • Sometimes you will get a better clarity on your photo if you have a open window, it’s not always possible though for example being in the lion’s enclosure (wash the windows before going to the Safari park helps as well).
  • Having a extender helps a lot if the animal is a far distance away or for close ups but if the animal doesn’t want to move then there’s nothing you can do. The tigers didn’t move in the time I stood ready with the camera so that’ll have to wait for my next visit.
  • Take your time, don’t be rushed or you’ll miss a perfect photo opportunity.
  • Check your settings over before you start taking photos. I reset my camera back to default and didn’t realise I was shooting in jpg on the 1D till I edited the photos.

Here’s some of the photos I took on the day.
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Photographs by Jacques …