Photographing Wild Animals - Presentation by Jacci Schipp-Benz

 Sun Bear (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz 2017

Sun Bear (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz 2017

This week we had a long awaited presentation by our member Jacci Schipp-Benz.  Jacci is a passionate animal lover, she has about a 100 pets (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and has spent years volunteering at Taronga Zoo.  Her passion extends to photographing zoo animals in such a way that they don't look captive and she tries to capture something of the personality of her subjects.  In other words, create a portrait of the various animals she is photographing.

Jacci's tips for making animal portraits in zoos and wildlife parks:

- Become a member – go as often as you like,

- Focus on a different animal group each time not try and get around the whole zoo

- Get there before opening - less people, have a coffee and get to the animal you selected before anyone else does :-)

- Go on overcast days – colours pop more, the light acts like a large soft box, no harsh shadow/highlights from enclosures - less people

- Animals are fed early morning, mid to late afternoon so that's when they are most active

- You can shoot through scratched finger printed reflected glass:

- Use a rubber lens hood against the glass at an angle and adjust to minimise reflections

- Scratches and fingerprints become unnoticeable as depth of field is sharp on animal , not on glass (shoot with a wide aperture)

-You can also shoot through cage bars and wires

- Rest the front of your lens parallel on the cage, focus on subject

- The cage becomes unnoticeable as depth of field is sharp on the animal , not on the cage

- Wait until the animal is closer as this is always a better shot than at a distance and cropping. 

- Stand still with camera to face and watch through the lens moving it around to follow the animal

- Shoot with the animal's eyes looking at the camera..... mostly 

- Images look better sharp from eyes to nose

- Catch lights in their eyes, makes the image more emotive 

- Research the animal and its behaviours

And the last tip, be patient.  Great shots come to those who take the time to wait for the magic moment.

To see more of Jacci's Images, go to www.vision.images.com.au or click HERE...

 Elephant photographed at Taronga Zoo (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz

Elephant photographed at Taronga Zoo (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz