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Old Aug 25, 2003, 2:13 PM   #1
kex
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Default Taking photos in the zoo

Hi there.
I'm going to the zoo next sunday to take some nice pictures.
And I'd like to ask what I have to look for.
For example: How do I take photos of animals behind glass?
Do you have any other tips concerning those wildlife photos in a zoo? Is there anything special I have to look after?
I'm also afraid my CF-Cards won't have enough capacity.
I got one 16 MB card and a 128 Card. The 128 MB card can take 202 pictures in highest resolution, the 16 mb card about 20, I guess.
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 2:48 PM   #2
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Hello Kex,
This picture of the little tabby cat taking a bath was taken at Colchester zoo Essex England. The camera ( a panasonic FZ1 ) was held against the glass to reduce reflections and any signs of finger marks and scratchs. Remove your lens hood to get the lens as close as possible to the glass.
I am sure your get some great pictures. Best of luck.

David
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 4:13 AM   #3
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thanks for your answer, David.
So the cam really has to touch the glass?
If so, isn't there a problem with the AF? Or will the cam just look through it?
I'm looking forward to sunday.
Hopefully, the weather will be fine. :?
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 4:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Elson
Hello Kex,
This picture of the little tabby cat taking a bath was taken at Colchester zoo Essex England. The camera ( a panasonic FZ1 ) was held against the glass to reduce reflections and any signs of finger marks and scratchs. Remove your lens hood to get the lens as close as possible to the glass.
I am sure your get some great pictures. Best of luck.

David
is colchester zoo good? i ask as im moving back up there for uni!
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 8:11 AM   #5
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OK, OK...this is off topic.

But I can't resist!

Here's a note from http://www.darwinawards.com/

Late 1989s, Australia) A rather impressionable student of kung fu listened with rapt attention when his instructor dramatically informed the class, "Now that you have reached this level in your training, you can kill wild animals with your bare hands!"

The martial arts trainee took the statement as gospel, and headed to the Melbourne zoo to test his mettle with the wildest animal of all: the lion. In the dead of night, he slipped into the zoo, leapt into the lion enclosure, and engaged a suitable king of the jungle in combat.

He would probably have lost a one-on-one fight, but he never got to try. His naive fight plan didn't account for the enthusiasm of the lion's pride for a tender intruder; nor did it give sufficient weight to the possibility that his instructor didn't know what the hell he was talking about.

Zoo employees found his remains -- two arms and hands -- the following morning, with shreds of red fur grasped tightly in his fingers.
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 8:24 AM   #6
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Much depends on the position of the sun relative to the glass enclosure. Perhaps the best "tip" I could give you is to take along a reasonably large piece of flat black fabric (cloth) and a friend to hold it behind you. Reflections are the primary issue with shooting through glass and having a black backdrop will remove all reflections and let you get shots you would not be able to get otherwise.

If your camera is an SLR type and the animals are behind chain-link or similar barriers, you can back off a bit and get OOF (out of focus) shots by using manual focus. The chain link will simply not be apparent in the shot if you get the proper distance between yourself and the fencing.

If you are using a fixed lens digicam, it's much more difficult to do this, but because of the generally smaller lens objective, you can sometimes poke the lens through the weave in the fencing.

In summer months, animals are most active and out where you can see them in the early morning and late afternoon. Also, at these times of day light is more amenable and softer so you will get better images in general. If the zoo has a "tour bus" with two levels, you can sometimes get better shots from the top deck where you can "see" over enclosures. A monopod may be useful, but don't bother with a tripod unless you are sure the zoo will allow it. Because people tend to trip over the legs, many zoos don't allow their use.

Telephoto adapters are VERY useful for fixed lens digicams in the zoo. A range of 200mm to 400mm plus a 1.4x extender is quite helpful for SLR's.

Lin
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 9:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kex
So the cam really has to touch the glass?
If so, isn't there a problem with the AF? Or will the cam just look through it?
Most digital cameras these days use a technique called, "contrast detection"...that means it looks for the difference in an area that is light and dark, and sees when this is the sharpest. There's a good, simple' explanation about it at http://www.howstuffworks.com/autofocus3.htm

The one thing that might cause concern is if you camera is one with an extending lens...sometimes these lenses wiggle, or you're afraid of harming the mechanism by pushing the lens up against the glass. In my case I have a filter tube adapter on my camera that screws into the body with a UV filter on it so I don't have to worry about that (along with all the other risks like banging the lens tube, scratching the lens, etc.).
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:08 PM   #8
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I have had good luck leaning my hands/camera against the frame at the edge of the glass, with the lens almost touching the glass (canon a70). There seems to be less finger prints, dirt, scratches etc. at the edge too. The only problems is can you get composition from the edge but it works in some cases. The lens adapter is good for direct contact with the glass too.
You might want to consider a teleconverter if you think you might be going to the zoo a lot.
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:50 PM   #9
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Default is colchester zoo good? i ask as im moving back up there for

Jayson if you get a chance visit Colchester zoo. Its well laid out and no bars. If you time your visit to each animal just before feeding time you will find them more active as they move about in anticipation of the meal to come.

David
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