Monday, May 24, 2010

Ragunan Zoo

Last weekend, I went to a local zoo in my town with some colleagues to photo hunting. We agreed to meet up at the office 7.30 am, sharp. Sharp? Not really, eh...I over slept for I played pool on the other night. Heheheee...Ragunan Zoo is the cheapest recreation place to spend yer weekend. Okay, no longer pushes from they are:

I got lots of experiences during and after this photo hunting. With good preparation and high patience, you will easily reap a captivating Fauna photography. Below are the notes I could give in order to capture the photographs of animals or landscapes on the zoo:

1. Use appropriate Equipments

If you are photographing or observing animals in the wild areas, wear clothes and camera bag (if you are wearing a bag) which are fictitious and in tune with the environment so that your arrival is not obvious. Turn off autofocus sound so as not to scare the targeted object.

2. Focusing the Objects

Setting your camera Aperture Priority (AP) mode and select the shutter / aperture width (about f / 4 or f/5.6) to blur the background and focus the objects. In AP mode, the camera will set the shutter speed automatically, which can increase / decrease drastically with the changing weather and light levels during shooting.

3. Zoom in and Fill in the Frame

To get the best animal pictures, use a telephoto zoom lens with focal length around 100mm-400mm. This focus range is suitable for capturing images of animals because you can zoom in and out from a distance. All those photos above didn't use tele zoom lense. But you can play crop and fill to get a bigger picture.

4. Sharp Photographing Techniques

When using a telephoto zoom lens, set the shutter speed not too slow. If you want the picture remains sharp when shooting without a tripod, make sure to set the shutter speed faster than the lens focal length. For instance, if you do at 300mm zoom, then aim at speeds 1 / 300 second or faster, and increase the ISO value if necessary. Lens with image stabilization feature allows you to use slower shutter speeds than normal lens.

5. Faster Shutter Speeds

It would be better to freeze the animals movement with high shutter speed instead of lowering the ISO and low speed. Noise will not be a major problem if the image is very clearly drawn. So do not hesitate to increase the ISO to 800 or more to get higher shutter speed and sharper images. This is often done by professional photographers.

6. Use Manual Focus if Necessary

When you are trying to shoot animals in the cage (such as birds and monkeys), you often find it difficult to find the focus point if using autofocus since they are in a cage. You can use manual focus to get sharper images on your own.

7. Use Vivid Mode

If your camera has a vivid mode, use it to create a more colorful photos.

8. Be Patience

Last but not least, try to observe the behavior of animals to see which areas they love, where they eat, their resting place, and playground. Patience is the key to photograph this fauna.
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