Zoo Photography - Taking Pictures at the Zoo - What Not to Bring

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What not to bring to the zoo

Most people, in their excitement to see the new baby elephant or the sea cow, would tend to toss in every camera gadget and digital accessories they can get their hands on into the poor, overexpanded backpack. As a result, they end up trying to figure out how to carry this heavy bag while attempting to hit the shutter. Obviously, this means that there won’t be a lot of good pictures. For the serious zoo photographer, bringing gadgets and accessories that are not needed at the zoo becomes a problem. Individually, these gadgets don’t weigh much, but when placed together, the total weight is significant. So what should you leave behind?

  • Remote flash cable – Unless the zoo photographer is willing to place the camera at more than two feet from his body, there is really no need to be bringing around the remote flash cable. The same goes for the remote cords and extension cords. (Average weight: 1.4 ounces)
  • Underwater camera flash – There is no chance to take underwater scenes. It is also dangerous to attempt underwater angles of alligators. (Average weight: 11 ounces)
  • Adapter rings – The camera that the zoo photographer brings should be assembled and ready already. There is no need to bring the extra adapter rings for other lenses. (Average weight: 1 ounce)
  • Extra filters – Before heading out to the zoo, the photographer must decide whether the polarizing lens filter or the ultraviolet lens filter will be used. And if one of them will be used, it should already be attached to the camera lens. The extra filters should be left behind. (Average weight: 2.5 ounces)
  • Flash bracket with umbrella – Aside from being bulky, the flash bracket with umbrella is appropriate only inside a studio. Bringing it will just irritate other zoo visitors as well as strain the zoo photographer’s muscles. (Average weight: 2 pounds)
  • Battery chargers – Instead of battery chargers, the zoo photographer should bring extra batteries that have been fully charged before the trip to the zoo. Where did you plan to use these chargers anyway? (Average weight: 2 ounces)
  • Tripod or monopod – Some zoos allow visitors to bring a tripod or a monopod but others don’t. Before hauling the tripod, the zoo photographer should check first with the zoo management to see if a tripod or a monopod is allowed. Keep in mind that some zoos allow monopods but not tripods. (Average weight: 2.4 pounds)

If you bring all the above camera gadgets with you, you’ll be carrying an extra five pounds with you.

This post is part of the series: Taking Pictures at the Zoo - Tips and Techniques

There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for taking the best pictures at the zoo. This series will provide you with tips, tricks and techniques that will have your zoo photos look like snap shots taken directly from the wild.

  1. Portrait of the Zoo Photographer - What it Takes to be a Zoo Photographer
  2. Zoo Photography Professional Etiquette - Rules You Should Follow When Taking Pictures at The Zoo
  3. Safety in the Zoo - 3 Tips on Staying Safe When Visiting the Zoo
  4. Taking Pictures at The Zoo - Camera Equipment You Need to Have
  5. Taking Pictures at the Zoo - What Not to Bring
  6. 4 Tips on Taking the Best Pictures of Zoo Animals
  7. The Best Times to Take Pictures at The Zoo
  8. 4 Tips on How to Take Pictures Through Bars and Cages at The Zoo
  9. It’s Not All About The Animals - Taking Photos at The Zoo
  10. Tips on How to Take Pictures of Zoo Animals Through Glass