The San Francisco Zoo is not just a place for screaming babies and misbehaved children. It also happens to be a great location for photographers to hone in their wildlife photography skills. Aperture Academy’s SF Zoo workshop is a great introduction to photographing animals and offers a lot of practice shooting with a long lens while working with specific camera settings.
Once the entire group arrived at the zoo, I hosted a brief orientation so we could learn more about each other. After orientation, we dove headfirst into the camera settings that we would be using throughout the day. Once everyone was on the same page we headed inside to see what the day would have in store for us. Every day is different at the zoo.
The first stop on our list was the grizzly bears, but not before getting side tracked by a beautiful peacock, a few wolves, and two black bears. Eventually we made it to the grizzlies just in time for their breakfast. The group shot the bears throughout the feeding frenzy before moving on to some of the water fowl nearby.
The next stop on the list was big cat country. The tigers were not putting on a show so we moved on to the Lions where the male was out and about. After shooting the cats we meandered our way through the zoo being sure to shoot everything from Hippo textures to squirly river otters.
We made sure to take a lunch break at the Leaping Lemur cafe where we discussed photography over a meal. After lunch we headed to the beautiful but very stinky flamingos. This is one of my favorite exhibits in the zoo. I instructed the group to zoom in and photograph the details on their wings. Every flamingo wing looks different!
We then moved on to the Lemurs and made our way through Africa. We stopped at the giraffes, shot a few ibises, and looped back to the gorillas. Before we knew it our time at the zoo had come to an end. It was another incredible day with another incredible group!
Until next time,
Mike and the rest of the Aperture Academy team
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.