Sep 24, 2004

Taking Pictures at the Zoo

Tell a story
Any important event can become a picture story. An all-day outing is perfect for a photo story. Show the departure, the arrival, a picture of your destination's entry, a variety of events during the day, and the tired kids on their way home.

Capture the emotion
Concentrate on your child's reactions to the animals; how coarse a goat's coat is, the orangutan keeping cool under the bath towel, the penguins waddling about, the sheer size of the elephant and include your child's face in the picture too.

Lock the focus
We know you can't get close to the Bengal tiger, but do try to get as close to the fence as possible, then lock the focus on the tiger. The fence in the foreground will go out of focus and practically disappear!

Use natural light
It's not that shark eyeing you as he swims by that is your worst enemy at the zoo; it's your flash. Not only won't it be bright enough to illuminate the birds in the rainforest exhibit, but it's going to cause annoying reflections off the glass between you and the python or the shark. Trust your camera to do its best on its "no flash" setting.

Use your flash wisely
With a little planning, you can successfully use your flash. It's a great choice when photographing your daughter in front of an exhibit; it will brighten her face and draw attention to her. Flash is also good when you want more than a silhouette of her in front of the aquarium. Just be sure to shoot at a 45-degree angle so the flash reflection bounces away from your lens, not back into it.

Take extra batteries and memory cards
Wouldn't you be crushed if your camera stopped? What if you ran out of memory right at the crucial moment? The night before, check the batteries in your camera and snap a few pictures to make sure everything is working. Pack extra batteries and memory to take with you.