Creating Unique Images At The Zoo

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The longest lens I own is 200mm…  This tells you I am probably not a wildlife photography enthusiast.  So when I head to the zoo I am generally more interested in the people and their interaction with their environment than the animals.  Therefore, my lens of choice at the zoo is a paltry 35mm that pales in comparison to the elephant trunk looking (see what I did there) long lenses I see photographers struggling with from exhibit to exhibit.  This certainly doesn’t mean I don’t point my camera in an animals direction from time to time, as you can see above.  Which brings me to my tip…

I’d like to suggest that instead of taking wide-angle shots that include architecture, people, and animals or zooming all the way in to where you can see your reflection in the animals eye, that you land somewhere in between.  Try using the animal enclosure to strengthen your composition and don’t worry about fitting everything into the frame, often what you don’t include is more important than what you do.  The image above is obviously an elephant even though you can only see its head and trunk.  This is a form of minimalism.

What Is Minimalist Photography?

Minimalist photography is simply the elimination of everything but the most important aspects of a scene.  Simplicity is king when composing minimalist photography.  Things like empty spaces, strong geometric shapes, and contrasting colors are all strong composition builders when working on minimalism in your photography.

You can apply this style of photography to any place or subject, but I find it one of the best approaches to photographing the zoo and walking away with unique images.  So, what is your best photography tip for photographing the zoo?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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