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It’s all happening at the Zoo!

If you want to work on your Animal Photography skills this summer, you have to travel no further than your local Zoo!  If you get there early, many times you will see the animals when they have first been put out onto exhibit.  At that time they are usually more active, exploring their environs for any changes from the day before.  Many times the keepers will have put out new items or food for them to discover.  This activity tends to go down as the day wears on and it gets hot.

Some of the exhibits may offer food you can buy and feed to the animals.  Some interesting pictures can happen here if you don’t mind having people in some of your photographs.  Here my son and his lady friend are getting ‘kisses’ from a giraffe.

Some of the animals are more difficult to photograph as they may be behind wire mesh or even plexiglass.  This makes it hard to get sharp, crisp images.  But, still are fun to shoot.  Here I have a Caracal getting ready for his day long nap.

Like most of the animals above, the African Hoofed Stock is susceptible to the afternoon sun also.  In the afternoon you are likely to find them sleeping under the trees toward the back of the display.  But, if you get there early, they may even take interest in you!

I took these pictures at a Zoo last Christmas.  So, really, Zoos are great places to shoot most any time of the year.  You will want to check with your local zoo as many have special days just for photographers (and may have special rules also).  They may open the zoo earlier than they normally do for the public on that day.  Sometimes, there is an additional cost involved to be part of that day.  In those cases, they usually provide guides that share valuable information about the animals and may escort you into parts of the zoo that the public generally doesn’t get to see.  Be sure to check with your local Zoo for these opportunities!

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