My latest gallery comprises a few photos I captured during a family day out at Banham Zoo in Norfolk. I have to admit having the family around (including an over active and excited four year old running all over the place) isn’t ideal for trying to capture decent animal photos, and I didn’t get the time to hang around each of the enclosures as long as I wanted to.
As well as having to be with the family during the day the other big issue was the animals simply weren’t playing ball, and were either sunbathing (it was a hot and sunny day, which is rare for England), sleeping, hiding in their enclosures, had their back to the viewing area or were so close to the bars it was impossible to throw them out of focus using a wide aperture. I have been to the zoo at times where the animals play up to the camera and want to pose, but on this trip the animals simply didn’t want to know.
Most of the time it is other visitors that make zoo photography difficult, however this was not the case on this trip. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few people milling around looking at the animals but the zoo wasn’t that busy and there were no problems getting to the front of the viewing areas.
Given the circumstances capturing that “magical” photo wasn’t going to happen, however I gave it my best shot and below is a selection of the photos I did manage to get. (To see the photos in full resolution click on the link)
All of the photos above were taken using a Canon 6d combined with my general purpose Canon 28-300L IS lens. With a 28mm wide end and 300mm at the long end, this lens is useful for capturing a variety of different photos. I know there are lenses with “better” image quality than the Canon 28-300L IS lens but these lenses don’t have the same range of focal lengths. The other thing I need to point out is the image quality of the Canon 28-300L IS lens is superb (it is an L grade professional lens after all) and only marginally less than the other lenses I am referring to. In the real world (i.e. without going pixel peeping on the computer) you would hardly notice the difference in image quality between the Canon 28-300L IS lens and the other lenses I am referring to.
The Canon 6d is a great camera, and I love full frame however the speed of the auto focus lets it down, and this was an issue taking photos of animals at Banham Zoo. I do own a Canon 7d and I could have used this for faster (and more accurate auto focus) as well as increasing the 300mm long end to 480mm (which would have been useful) but then I would have lost the full frame quality and the 28mm wide end (which would have increased to 45mm). The only way around this is to use the Canon 1DX (a full frame camera with fast auto focus) but I don’t have the thousands of pounds needed to buy this flagship camera. Photography is all about compromising in these situations, and making the most of what you have, and that is what I tried to do.
All of the photos above are available to buy as prints or wall art, and are available on a range of products including post cards, bags, phone cases, soft furnishings etc. and if you want to take a look feel free to take a look at this site.