As expected Edinburgh Zoo proved to be pretty challenging when photographing the animals, at times the ottars weren’t as active as I would have liked them to be and felt I captured better images before. Sometimes you depend on your luck of where they will be, it would have been preferred to have captured the ottars at a time when they were being fed, however missed that opportunity. For a lot of the animals it was difficult to photograph as the only available access was shooting down at them. Another issue which was expected was the backdrops, in some cases I couldn’t capture the animals without distracting fencing in the backdrop which destroys the look and feel of the images.
In some cases the animals were a good distance away to shoot such as the female meerkats, this proved problematic as they were closer towards the back fencing and by later that day they were put indoors for feeding where you could only view them through the glass window. The ottars were also difficult to capture not only because I felt I was shooting down at them from one side but at times were in awkward places to capture. At the other side of their enclosure I managed to get more closer eye level with them and capture some close up shots, although would have preferred more active shots. If revisiting Edinburgh Zoo I would like to recapture more images of the Ottars only during their feeding time as this may help capture more interesting and better images.
The weather throughout the day at Edinburgh Zoo was sunny however sometimes it was problematic especially when shooting the ottars which sometimes created harsh light and shadows, this is something I hope to avoid if doing a reshoot at Edinburgh Zoo or some place similar. During the day I don’t feel I captured a great many shots at least not to the standard I would prefer. The Zebra’s I managed to capture using my longer Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens and at eye level which I was pleased with, although considering whether or not to use one of the images I captured of one of the zebra with the trees to the background for my final 20 images.
The penguins were also problematic, not just for their environment which I felt wasn’t natural but shooting down at them. Likewise with the monkey’s shooting down towards them was problematic and felt they weren’t as active as I would have liked. It was for this reason I knew I wasn’t going to capture any images using pan technique. One of the tigers was indoors sleeping and the other in a difficult position to get to to capture, likewise with the lion nearer the wired fencing. My aim was to capture at least one or two images from this shoot of the animals and knew it would be challenging, given that I feel I could capture better I’ve left the best images from that shoot aside as I do have a photographic day shoot booked up north in the Cairngorms at the Highland Wildlife Park, from that I feel I may capture some stunning images especially of the tigers and some of the other animals. I may decide at a later date to revisit Edinburgh Zoo as I may have better luck next time.
Here are a sample contact sheet of the mistakes captured including those with distracting backgrounds:As clearly noticeable the first picture was way too under exposed; the second picture shows off focus on the ottar closest and the harsh sunlight which was off putting as I was struggling to get a balance between the brightest and darkest areas; the third image shows the slight over exposure due to the harsh sunlight; in the fourth image although I was pleased with the image of the monkey the backdrop show the blurred wired fencing; the fifth image the head of the penguin was out of focus diving in and lastly one of my favoured shots I struggled to capture as the reflection of the glass with people’s reflections shooting through a window at an angle ruined much of the picture.
Here is a contact sheet of my favourite images chosen from the shoot:The first two shots of the Zebra’s I was pleased with the focus and capturing eye level with the trees to the backdrop, although I felt more could have added to it; I liked the images shooting through the rocks as it made it feel a bit more natural, although I would have preferred more active shots of the penguins; one of my favoured shots of one of the ottars drinking water with its reflection, again I would have preferred to have captured the ottars eating and perhaps my favourite shot of the male panda eating bamboo, I would have preferred to have captured a more face on shot however but was difficult with the angle and space available for photographing the panda.