Date: 30th April 2013
This shoot was literally in the last week of the project and I was feeling pretty jaded about going to the zoo again. I suppose it's much the same scenario as you see everyday. We lose the ability to "see" the things that are all around us. We become blind and miss the small details that are there if only we look. The unique thing about the zoo is that no two visits are really the same although it can feel that way.
I have discovered that you very little or no control over what the animals will do. An example of this is the lions. I have been trying to get a good shot of them for months but each visit they are either out of sight or just lying around doing nothing. The same was true with the otters until yesterday, they were never out and about. I happened to mention this to one of the keepers and she told me to go back between 12 & 1pm. This proved to be very good advice as they were very active and anticipating being fed. The keeper also cleaned the glass which greatly improved the chances of getting good images.
Along with patience you need a keen eye to try to anticipate what the subject is going to do. I strongly believe that the more knowlege and understanding you have of your subject the better the chance of getting good images.
When shooting groups of animals try to look for pleasing patterns and shapes. In this case the otters seem to move as one almost. They are often clustered close to each other and during these times try to capture them all looking in the same direction.
It's very easy to become so captivated with the subject that it's easy to forget the basics. Keep in mind the direction and quality of light. Look out for distracting backgrounds.
Nikon V1 - 30-110mm lens
This camera continues to amaze me with it's performance, it consistently delivers tack sharp, vibrant images. Although the 30-110mm is a kit lens it's amazingly sharp with the image stabilisation really helping matters when light levels are low.