Friday, June 8, 2012


Zoos have come a long way during the last several years. However, some animals are still behind cages. They're now much larger cages, but still cages. And, unfortunately for photographers, cages have chain link fences, which can pose problems for us. Solution? Well, we can't tear down the fences, but through careful use of f/stops and focusing, we can make them virtually disappear.

Here is one example. I was photographing "Hank" at the Denver zoo, who, along with his other roommates, is behind this giant, enclosed chain link fence/cage. Hank was several yards from me, perched on a tree branch, and the fence was 3-5 feet from me. I was shooting at 300mm.

I used my tripod (yes, even at zoos), set my f/stop setting at f/6.3 (shutter speed was at 1/60). By doing so, not only did I convert the background to a backdrop, but I also eliminated the fence/cage. Can you see it? If you try really, really hard you might be able to notice--but it became part of the background--almost invisible. Try it. You'll amaze yourself. Have fun at your local zoo!