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How To Take The Best Zoo Pictures In Today's Zoo

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Plan your trip if you want to get good zoo pictures.  A visit to the zoo is nothing like it was when we were kids.  Today it's more about the animals than about the people who come to see them.

A couple weeks ago we visited the North Carolina Zoo.  I've always loved visiting the zoo from the time I was a young child.

Some of my fondest memories were watching the animals and taking pictures.  But over time we've come to realize that it was getting harder and harder to have healthy animals to display in an environment that was like a human prison.

And so things began to change.  Now when you visit almost any zoo, you'll find animals in settings that are closer to their own in the wild.

Although I did get a few pictures, I came to realize that planning is key to the perfect zoo visit.  We arrived shortly after they opened.  

I became more and more curious as to what was a good time to visit this zoo.  Many of the displays were empty of the particular animal you would expect to see.

A very good example was the lion's den.  Before me were rocks and grass and lots of shade to keep our lions cool in the heat of the day.  But there appeared to be no lion around anywhere.

A woman in front of me was telling her friends, "I think I see the hair of him right on the other side of that fallen tree."  She stood on tip toes trying to show her friends where he might be.

I instinctively turned on my camera.  And suddenly he popped his beautiful head up as if to see what all the commotion was about.  I managed to zoom in and get two shots before he snapped his head back onto the ground.

We all laughed in glee, but I think I was the only one in the group quick enough to capture the shot.   I hope you enjoy it too.

We delighted in watching these giraffe as they sauntered around their area.  You can see another view of them all three facing your way in my free photo gallery.

You'll want to have a camera with a good zoom when you go for the pleasure of taking zoo pictures.  My camera only has a 12x optical zoom.  That is pretty good and I can get some pretty good long shots.

You'll notice with this picture, the sun had already risen high in the sky on the day we visited the zoo.  You want to be sure and take plenty of water for drinking too.

Most zoos are pretty long treks if you want to cover the whole park in one day.  We were there from open to nearly close and still missed some of the exhibits.

elephants at the zooElephant Leaving Pool After Joyful Display

The elephant area was fun and interesting.  We spent a lot of time watching this guy enjoying the pool.  On our arrival the only thing visible was part of his lower back and head.

He looked like a long aquatic animal of some sort.  You know he was an elephant because he kept spouting water from his trunk.

The 20 minutes or so that we patiently waited for him to come out was worth it.  I got to film him with my camera's video function.  I'll be sharing that with you soon.

victorian crowned pigeonsVictorian Crowned Pigeons

These beautiful birds gave us a really awesome show.  After almost stepping on them, I grabbed my camera for an opportune photo shoot.

I've seen them on nature TV, but this was the first time I got to enjoy them up close and personal.

When I first started watching them, I thought one was injured or even dead.  He lay there for what seemed like five minutes not moving.  

Finally after quite the display he got up and joined his partner in gathering quite an audience for some unique zoo pictures.

grassland buffalo at the zooGrassland Buffalo From A Distance

Many of your photo opportunities will be taken from far off.  I had to zoom all the way out with my optical zoom to capture this picture of a buffalo.

He shared space with Moose I believe.  But I was never able to get a clear shot of them.

bongo antelope at the zooBongo Antelope

Today I'm going to close my article on taking good zoo pictures with this photo of a Bongo Antelope.  This guy was grazing on the other side of his fence when I first noticed him.

As a matter of fact I just thought he was grazing.  Once home I noticed my first shot was of him with his head between the fence wires.

He perked up when I stopped because he had a baby close by.  It may take some planning to get good pictures but zoo experiences are so much more exciting than they used to be.

I can't wait till we get to go again.  I'll be sure and check out feeding times and best place to start and finish my zoo visit.  If you happen to be visiting the NC Zoo simply type that into your google search box.  They have an excellent web site with tons of information.

Hope you enjoyed your visit here.  

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