One of the most beautiful, yet undiscovered countries of the world is the large island of Australia. This amazing island has so much different animals, and scenery to see, it just has to have a moment to have amazing photos to show for the PHOTOS OF THE WEEK. Let’s see if we can learn a little bit about AUSTRALIA:
Australia officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. Australia’s capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney.
You can see why they call this country “down Under” because of it’s location on the globe. It truly is a large country down under all the other countries.
There is so much to see and do at this amazing place. These photos were collected from the website: https://www.facebook.com/SeeAustralia/ If you liked these photos and want more, you must go to this link. You have seen just a drop in the bucket of what photos are presented.
I know all of us would love to be wildlife photographers, but, to do so takes a huge investment in equipment and time and expense in going to far away places to do it right. No one knows how much time and expense it takes to be a good wildlife photographer until you can follow the life of a good wildlife photographer. I follow a friend of mine who is a great wildlife photographer and see how much time he spends at home, vs. the time he spends in the wilds and the amount of equipment he has in his equipment bag, and believe me, it is mind-boggling. (See: http://www.robswildlife.com/ )
So, the next alternative is THE ZOO! Hardly the same, I know. Funny, how it seems as I do photos for my blogs, and I try to collect photos for wildlife photos, I often wonder if the photos that are posted are ones taken at the zoo. If they are taken correctly, there may be a chance that we could never tell. Some zoos today have improved the environment for the animals to look more like their natural habitat. That makes it even more natural for us as photographers to get realistic photos. A tight crop of the animal and you may never know that they are behind a fence. But, in comparison to a wildlife photographer, who DOES include the surroundings the animal is in, then it is obvious that you have two different types of photos.
Let’s take a look at some general rules of taking pictures at the zoo, so you can enjoy the pictures and so will others:
GO EARLY IN THE MORNING:
Go early in the morning, this is when the animals are the most active and there are fewer people to have to shoot around. If you haven’t done it ahead of time, when you arrive, check out the zoo activities. Feeding times and any exhibits you may especially want to photograph are good to have planned out. If your zoo has an aquatic exhibit with performances, schedule your day to be in that area to catch the show. You should be able to get some great action shots. But be careful where you stand. If the zoo has large animal displays, people in the front tend to get pretty soaked and we all know water and cameras don’t mix. You’re better off positioning yourself up and back and using your telephoto lens.
HAVE ALL YOUR CAMERA EQUIPMENT READY IN ONE BAG, READY TO GO:
Have your camera bag ready to go with all the equipment you’ll need for an easy day at the zoo. Consider using your rolling backpack camera bag to make maneuvering through the zoo effortless. Besides your camera and telephoto lens, take along a tripod, if your zoo allows them. If not, ask if a string tripod would be allowed. They’re not as effective, but they will offer some stability. Have plenty of memory cards and batteries. If you have a lens hood, take it along. Since you won’t necessarily be able to have the sun where you want it and you will also be taking shots through glass, you’ll probably be able put one to good use.
BE POLITE, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU ARE THERE IN THE PUBLIC:
Be polite. Don’t forget that the primary purpose of the zoo is for everyone, especially families, to enjoy a day together viewing and learning about the animals. Don’t spread out and restrict the view of other visitors for extended periods of time. If your zoo does allow tripods, be courteous in setting it up. Choose a location where you can get your shot without inconveniencing others. Don’t set up on the sidewalks. Follow the rules, and be considerate of the other visitors.
SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST AT THE ZOO:
You can get phenomenal shots and still operate safely. Again, follow the rules. Never cross barriers to get a closer view. The animals don’t understand you’re just trying to take their picture. To some of them, you could be breakfast. Safety always needs to come first. With the right equipment and techniques, you don’t have to climb fences to get that awesome polar bear picture. You’ve packed the right equipment in your camera bag to photograph safely.
USE A SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD WHEN SHOOTING THROUGH A CAGE:
You can use a shallow depth of field to blur any unwanted background and produce a great wildlife photograph. Many of our nation’s zoos are housing their animals in more natural settings, without the use of bars. There are still, however, many zoos with animals in cages. To photograph through a cage try to find a wide opening, if there is one. To take a picture through the bars, use a longer focal length and a wider aperture and get as close as you can, safely. Be patient and take your shot when the animal moves towards the back of the cage.
When photographing in glass enclosed exhibits, use your lens hood to reduce any glare. If you don’t have a lens hood and see glare in the glass, just move slightly until the glare disappears. If you’re in a dimly light, glass-enclosed exhibit and need your flash, use a diffuser and angle your camera to the glass to avoid glare from the flash.
If you follow these simple tips, you should end the day with a memory card loaded with fabulous wildlife images. Just remember; be prepared, follow the rules, stay safe, be polite, and have a great day at the zoo.
Thanks to PictureCorrect and Suzanne VanDeGrift for this timely article on how to take pictures at the zoo. I totally agree with everything that was written here. We have found that the best time to take pictures at the zoo is first thing after it has just opened. The feeding of the animals has just started, they are much more active, and the lighting is good, too. Every zoo is different. I know our zoo has some different animals than the zoo in California. So, it doesn’t hurt as you travel, to go and visit the different zoos. They are all very entertaining. The incredible thing I am seeing, at least here in the United States, is that the zoos are trying to get away from the “caged” look and creating more of a habit similar to what the animals live in naturally. So, taking pictures of these animals is becoming nicer and easier to do. The “caged” effect is going away. Our local zoo here where I live is under constant construction to help the animals have more of a natural habitat, and still keep the public safe.
Now, I want to take the rest of this blog and show some pictures that I have found from various zoos. I hope you will find them entertaining as well as inspiring as you go to the zoo this year. Here we go:
In October 1978, the cover of National Geographic showed a self portrait of a gorilla using a camera. I’m serious—you can look it up if you would like. The cover shot was a self portrait, taken by a gorilla, and by the standards of the day it was actually pretty good!
Each year 100 million Americans also take some pretty good photos. OK, admittedly not all of them are that good . . . but with auto focus and extremely high mega pixels, it is fairly safe to say that more people are taking better pictures than ever before. So the obvious question is where does that leave us “serious” photographers?
For those of us who know that “pretty good” is not good enough, we must push ourselves further; we must create with more artistic flair and emotional impact. The desire to move beyond the basics is what separates us from . . . the gorillas of the world. Technologically advanced cameras are now so readily available than anyone can pick one up at their local Wal-Mart just as easily as getting groceries.
A great camera does not make a great photographer. Learning how to create a great photo is not as simple as one might think. There may be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of books and magazines that will teach you the craft of photography. But learning just the craft is like running a race with only one shoe. Photography is both an art and a craft.
The craft is fairly well known; shutter speeds, f-stops, filters and the like, are an extremely important key to any photographer’s success. Of course, the craft of photography is only half the story; it’s the easy half that even a big ape could learn (yet not everyone does).
The other half, the one that even those who are looking do not always find, is the art of photography. There is a common misunderstanding that leads people to believe that “art is that which is pleasing to the eye.” While this may be true, in part, it is also incomplete. An art critic of the New York Times once said, “The function of art is to clarify, intensify, or otherwise enlarge our experience of life.”
Visit any National Park, go to a scenic lookout point, and just sit back and observe. Many people will drive up, jump out, shoot their picture, and zoom off again. This type of person is taking a picture. Simply put, he will take what is before him and discount all the creative possibilities, because he has what he wants.
On the other hand, wait a little longer and you will see someone who leaves his car slowly. He cautiously approaches the scene with silent reverence. His eyes explore like a small child in a toy store. He may stoop down low or strain his neck to see further than his body normally allows. This person is making a photograph. His mind is open to the creative possibilities.
HOW TO MAKE PHOTOGRAPHS:
If you want to make better photos, as opposed to just taking more pictures there are some basic steps you want to remember:
1. Photograph what you like best. Photography is like a love affair; it is not to be taken lightly. You do not share your heart with every person you meet. Likewise, do not waste your passion on areas of little interest. I, for one, would never be good at aerial photography, mostly because of a fear of heights.
2. Prepare yourself. Learn all that you can. Books and magazines are only part of the resources you have available. Web sites, podcasts, art galleries, and photography shows all enable you to expand your own vision. It is very hard for someone to think outside the box who has never even tried to open the lid. Give your mind something to be creative with.
3. Become one with your subject. When the opportunity arrives, let your eyes dance across the subject. Take in the highlights and shadows. The art of seeing photographically means to go beyond the surface. Take a moment; look at it from all possible angles. Whether your subject is living or not, treat it like your best friend. This is where passion comes from.
4. Think your shots through. What emotions are you feeling when you look through your viewfinder? If you can put your feelings into words, the next step is to put those words onto film (or digital media). Have an objective in mind when you go to shoot your photos and you will make fantastic creative images–not just take average snapshots.
5. Multiply the possibilities. The right subject at the right time is what great photography is all about. Shoot your subject several times from several different angles. If this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, don’t leave anything to chance. Take multiple exposures, as well. Remember, your camera always wants to average the light. If you want better than average results, push your equipment as well as your mind.
6. Take notes. A pencil is the cheapest piece of photographic equipment you can carry. If an image is a success or a failure it means nothing unless you can do it again. Don’t change too many things at one time, lest you end up still having no idea what made the image work. Document your efforts and don’t be afraid to learn from your failures as well as your successes.
Making a photo is like drawing water from a well. If the well is dry, it doesn’t matter how many times the bucket goes up or down. Your job is to keep those creative juices flowing. As you fill the well with knowledge and experience, more inspiration will come to the surface. What gives you style or makes your work unique is what you bring to the surface. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.