Oakland Zoo Photo Walk

Photo by Michael Maloney

Thank you to everyone who joined me for the Camera West photo walk at the Oakland Zoo on Saturday.

We had a great group of shooters who had the opportunity to photograph some amazing animals, including my favorite zoo resident, 5 month old Mocha (above & below), the first baboon born at the Oakland Zoo in over 20 years.

Photo by Michael Maloney

Long lenses on monopods helped us get up close and sharp images of the fascinating zoo animals

Jan, Richard and Trish take a break to check out their photos.

If interested in joining us on future photo walks, be sure to check out the Events tab on the left of this page. Sign up early, as they all fill up quickly.

See you on the next one!

Oakland Zoo Fun

David Cheung whips out his Canon S100 for a quick shot of Dianne Tanaka in front of the elephant enclosure at the Oakland Zoo.

I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came out for our Camera West Photo Walk at the Oakland Zoo this morning.

The weather was just about perfect and aside from the bashful lions, we saw our share of interesting animals to photograph. The biggest challenge of the day was not getting run over by all the baby carriages moms were pushing. I think zoos are enjoyed most by kids and photographers alike.

Most of our group were accomplished photogs so I felt more like a zoo guide than a photo guide but that’s ok as long as we all had fun!

Rather than post my photos of our outing, I’ll link you to David Cheung’s Flickr site. David, one of the photo walk participants did a much better job of documenting our morning at the Zoo than I did. Check out his photos here.

And speaking of photos, today’s participants will soon be sharing their photos on our Camera West Photo Walk Flickr page, so be sure to check them out later in the week. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

As always, check out our future photo walks and workshops on our Events tab to the left of this post. We have some good ones coming up!

Shooting Through Fences

Meet Ginger a beautiful tiger who resides at the Oakland Zoo with her three sisters. I was fortunate that she was in a posing mood while I was there leading our Camera West Photo Walk this morning. (more on the photo walk in a future post)

Ginger was quite photogenic…only problem was, she was behind this pesky chain link fence which was about 5 feet from me.

I had no other options but to shoot through the fence. But where is the fence in my photos of Ginger? It’s there but just not visible as I used a long lens and a wide open aperture, plus my subject, Ginger was about 30 feet from the fence. The long lens, in this case about a 300mm and wide aperture of F4-5.6 allowed for a shallow depth of field so the fence was invisible. Had I shot this with a wide angle or a small aperture, the pattern of the fence would show.

In the photo above, Ginger was quite intrigued by a baby crying and came up closer to the fence to investigate. Note now, the fence is more visible, causing some irregular patterns on her back and on the cement wall, ruining my photo. The fence was now about 5 feet from Ginger rather than the 30 feet in the first photo. Ginger btw is crouching behind a cement wall that you see running just below her eyes.

Now Ginger is right up to the fence. no way to make the fence disappear here unless you are a Photoshop genius with too much time to spare.

So, if you are ever in similar situations shooting through a fence, No worries! You can make it magically disappear if you can get close to it with the subject far away while using a wide open aperture on a telephoto. The longer the telephoto the better, also the closer you can put the front of the lens to the fence, the better your image will be. And one final tip, you need to use single point auto focus, or go to manual focus to avoid the camera from locking focus on the fence.

One last photo for you. Check out the teeth on Ginger! I’m sure glad that fence was there!

September Photo Walk : The Oakland Zoo

Michael from our Camera West Walnut Creek staff is leading a series of monthly photo walks. Each month, he picks a different theme, subject or location.

For our September photo walk, we will visit the Oakland Zoo. No need to fly to Africa to go on a photo safari! We go on our own mini safari right here in the bay area. Michael will lead us on a photo walk thru the Oakland Zoo where we will photograph all kinds of interesting, unpredictable animals.

This photo walk is ideal for beginner and intermediate photographers, and for those who want to brush up on their photography techniques. With Michael’s guidance, you’ll get a chance to sharpen your skills, get very comfortable with your equipment, and work with a variety of composition, lighting and outdoor conditions…all while enjoying the company of some amazing animals.

Whether you want to prepare for an African safari or an Alaskan adventure…or just photograph your pets, this photo walk will give you the techniques and confidence to make photos you’ll be proud of.

Saturday, September 29
Cost : $25.00 + Zoo admission

We must limit this to just 12 participants so sign up soon! All of our previous workshops have filled up quickly.

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.