Best Tips to Shoot Amazing Zoo Photography

Zoo Photography

You’ll need a lot of patience when it comes to shooting zoos. As a beginner, you may need to practice a lot to master the art of photography. But this doesn’t mean you can’t make great shots! Read on to discover how you can capture animals and wildlife in amazing ways.

1. Learn How to Use Your Lens

Zoo Photography

The lens on your camera is the most important tool you have. The type of lens you use determines the look of the final image you capture. So it is imperative that you learn to use different lenses properly. For instance, wide angle lenses give you a bird’s eye view of the zoo, while a telephoto lens allows you to get closer to the animals.

When photographing animals, it is essential that you get close to your subject to catch the moment. By choosing the right lens you can do just that. A wide angle lens gives you the widest perspective. And because of this, it can give you an advantage when capturing images of large groups of animals in zoos.

2. Learn How to Manage Your Exposure

Zoo Photography

You need to manage your exposure so that you get a balanced shot. To do this, you must understand the relationship between the aperture and shutter speed. Aperture refers to the size of the opening of the lens and shutter speed refers to the amount of time your shutter is open. Aperture and shutter speed affect the amount of light that gets into the camera.

A smaller opening will let less light in. This will lead to brighter shots. Conversely, a larger opening will let more light in. This will make the image darker. As you play around with the settings on your camera you will find that there is an optimum setting that creates a good balance.

3. Capture Animal Details

You can only capture animals in detail if you have the right focal length. A focal length is the distance from the lens to the subject. The more you zoom in on an animal, the smaller the focal length. So a 100mm lens will allow you to zoom in closer than a 200mm lens.

In addition to understanding focal lengths, you should also know the exact distance you want to shoot from your subject. Shooting from a short distance will give you a wider perspective, whereas shooting from a longer distance will make your photo appear closer.

You should also adjust the ISO of your camera. ISO refers to the sensitivity of the sensor in your camera. As the ISO increases, the image will be darker and your exposure will be shorter.

4. Consider Lighting

Zoo Photography

When capturing animals, you should take into consideration the amount of light available. Animals tend to move around a lot and you will find that your chances of capturing them in the ideal lighting conditions will decrease. If the sun is bright, you can’t use your flash. And if it is cloudy, then you will have to use artificial lights to illuminate the animals.

5. Choose the Right Format

You may also want to choose the best format for your image. Your camera has three settings. You can shoot in RAW, JPEG or TIFF. RAW captures the data in a file, which allows you to change the settings later on. In contrast, JPEG takes the data straight from the camera’s sensor and it is the fastest way to shoot. TIFF records the full information captured by the sensor and it gives you the flexibility to manipulate the image.

6. Choose an Automatic Mode

If you are new to shooting, it is important to start with an automatic mode. An automatic mode allows you to shoot without thinking about every aspect of the picture.

7. Adjust your ISO Settings

Your camera’s ISO is another important setting that you need to adjust. It refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. A higher ISO setting will increase the light sensitivity of your camera. The higher the ISO, the brighter your photos will be.

However, a high ISO will also cause your camera to become noisy. Noise occurs as a result of the sensor trying to pick up the small amounts of light. When you have to deal with a noisy picture, you will be able to see tiny speckles of dots in the photo.

8. Set Your Camera to Autofocus

Once you have chosen the best settings, you need to focus on your subject. It is important that you autofocus when you take a photograph. The autofocus feature automatically focuses on your subject. You can also use manual focus if you prefer.

9. Look for Interesting Backgrounds

Although the background can play a part in the overall composition, it should not be the main subject. If you put the subject at the center of your photo, you will have a balanced and pleasing image.

As a beginner, you will probably want to include lots of detail and keep the background as simple as possible. When you take a photo of an animal, you should ensure that you are standing at a comfortable distance. Try to keep your hands in a natural position.

10. Keep Your Camera Steady

It can be hard to capture great photos when you are holding a camera. You might have to steady it to avoid shaking the camera. This is where a tripod comes in handy. It helps you to stabilize the camera. You can also set your camera to take multiple photos in a single movement.

In addition to a tripod, you will also need to invest in a good camera strap. A good camera strap keeps your camera steady and allows you to take quick shots.

Do try different things and experiment. Your pictures will improve as you get better at capturing the animals and wildlife in zoos.

Other tips for you


First, you need to find your subject. Most zoos have a wildlife photographer section where you can purchase an animal identification booklet that lists all the animals present in the zoo. If you cannot find the animal identification booklet, ask a zoo staff member to help you. You may also ask to speak to a zookeeper to find out the animals in the enclosure.

If you don’t have time to go to the zoo, you can research the animals online. Many online resources are available that list the different types of animal in each zoo.

The most important step in shooting an animal photo is to prepare yourself. Make sure your camera is fully charged, and make sure the lens is clean and free of any dirt or debris. Put your camera on your tripod and place your tripod where you can comfortably see the animal.


When photographing a large group of animals, it is best to compose the image from a wide angle. Try to photograph the animals from different angles and from different distances. You may want to use a telephoto lens to capture a close-up view of the animals. This is because the animal’s eyes tend to be small and you may find it difficult to see the details of the eyes using the standard zoom lens.

Take your time when composing the image. Choose where you would like the animal to be located within the frame, and put this in mind as you shoot. This way, you will avoid capturing the animal in a position where they may look awkward.


One of the most challenging aspects of shooting an animal photo is the lighting. You have to make sure that you do not overexpose the animal. There are two types of lighting in photography, natural light and artificial light. If you photograph in the zoo, you should use artificial light. However, if you photograph outside the zoo, then you should use natural light.


Another challenge of shooting a zoos is the animals’ size. A zebra is probably one of the most recognizable animals, and yet they are only 6-10 inches tall! So, how can you capture the zebra’s unique beauty?

To photograph the zebra, you will need a telephoto lens. This is because the zebra’s eyes tend to be small and you may find it difficult to capture the detail of the zebra’s eyes. As you take your shot, the background can appear blurry due to the zebra’s movement. It is therefore important to have a wide aperture (f/8).


You may find it difficult to capture the zebra’s natural expression. You should try to photograph the zebra when they are standing still. When you take the zebra picture, you must remember to look for its body language. The zebra may be looking at you, or it may be looking away. It may even be looking at the other zebras in the enclosure. Be observant, and you will be able to capture a beautiful zebra picture.


Sometimes, you may not be able to take the picture you want. The zebra may be looking at the other zebras or even the zoo keeper. If that happens, you can always choose another angle or composition. Alternatively, you can move to a different location and photograph the same subject.


The zebra enclosure has many things that can be used as props. The main prop that you will be looking for are branches or sticks. These are useful props to use in order to create a certain mood or to enhance the image.

You may also want to use the fence and the enclosure as props. When photographing the zebra, you will need to compose the image from a wide angle.


Finally, make sure that you are patient. A great zoo photograph takes time and patience. It may take several shots to get a good zebra picture.