I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year!!
The summer in the UK hasn’t exactly been the best we’ve had over the past few years. We Brits really enjoy talking about the weather and we are well known for moaning about it too.
So it was a good treat when my girlfriend had arranged for a trip out to Colchester Zoo for my 29th birthday. We were treated to one of the best days of the year so far with bright sunshine and a very hot day. Lovely jubely.
Colchester Zoo is a fantastic Zoo so if you ever get a chance to go then do it. There are a wide variety of animals to see and get close to including some natural wildlife that hangs around the place.
You are probably wondering why my first picture is of a Robin. Well, these Robins have been plotting against me for years and years. What they do is land in front of me when I don’t have my camera or when a wide angle is fitted to it. Whenever the 70-200mm f2.8 lens is attached, they fly away to not be seen. So when this little chap landed near me I got into a good position and snapped a few shots. He obviously hadn’t got the memo about avoiding my photos from his friends haha.
Like many other people, I’m not the best at dealing with the heat, I like it, but not when I’m walking around a big Zoo like Colchester. It seems that there are some that just enjoy a nice sleep whilst sunbathing in the the sunlight.
For some others such as this beautiful tiger, it’s a good time to have a good clean. This was shot through the glass which was really dirty. The main trick to shooting through glass is to cover the end of the lens hood to make sure you eliminate any reflections.
Positioning for a shot is vital and one of the factors to take into consideration is the position of the sun. For the photos of the vulture I had to shoot upwards and this meant I was pointing towards the sun. I had to move several feet to the left so that the sun was not behind the vulture.
You can see from this full shot that my positioning relative to the sun has provided a very nice evenly lit shot.
The close up of the head shows clearly how the light is hitting the subject.
There’s nothing more that I like than a nice simple shot at f2.8. With shooting at thiis aperture, you quickly realise how shallow the depth of field is. It’s therefore very important to choose your focus point. Generally, you should be setting your focus point for the eyes as this is the most important part in this frame. Look at that serious stare from him.
So, with setting the focus point on the eye, the next good thing is back lighting. Obviously for this shot, I couldn’t setup the lighting or position the lizard but I sure can work with the lighting I’m given. By taking a low vantage point it creates the impression of the lizard looking down at us and gives it a great sense of power.
Getting that focus on the eye is just the ticket.
Just reducing the position and exposure can make such a difference to the mood & atmosphere of the photo.
I hope some of this is helpful and you’ve enjoyed the photos and the tips from me.