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Practicing Photography: Denver Zoo Edition


One of my favorite places to play with my camera is the Denver Zoo.  It’s like the opposite of the museum– there, I go to draw, because the animals don’t move.  The zoo, I go to photograph, because they do.  At the museum I’ve learned a lot about how to draw and at the zoo, I’ve learned a lot about how to photograph.  Basically, the City Park area of Denver is my art school.

And I learn more, every time I go.

Like the museum, I have a zoo membership (if you flip through my wallet, it screams “geek”) and it’s not unknown for me to drop in for an hour here or an hour there with camera attached.  Want to see what comes of such visits?

Sure you do.


I really like that one. Such gorgeous colors.

I tend to like the Denver Zoo’s Tropical Discovery building (aka: REPTILESOMG!) because you can get very close to the animals, which is good for those of us still using our dinky18-55mm kit lens.  Plus, I love reptiles.  They’re just so gorgeous.

And they have a chameleon, which is always a bonus in my book.

Denver has a relatively prolific Komodo Dragon breeding program.  I find them beautiful (and potentially venomous).

They just opened a whole new exhibit, Elephant Passage, which hosts not only elephants but other animals of Asian descent.  This includes Fishing Cats, which are guaranteed to make me squee like a small child.  It’s a cat with webbed feet! WEBBED FEET!  I have high hopes for these additions, and the new exhibit is totally worth checking out this summer.

Speaking of feet, holy bejeezus.

I think this one is my favorite so far:

What are some of your favorite places to hit up when you want to play with your camera and maybe learn a thing or two?  Got any fantastic zoo pictures to share?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/16/2012 12:46 AM

    Amazing set of pictures!!

  2. 07/16/2012 8:00 AM

    These are gorgeous! How do you deal with the glare from the glass?

    • 07/16/2012 8:16 AM

      First off, no flash. Second, get really, really close to the glass (I’ve been known to rest my lens on the glass) and if you’re still getting glare, try to block out the light with your body, hand or a piece of paper. Zoo maps are useful for this purpose. So are friends who are at the zoo with you (“Two inches to the left, please.”). It might take a little wiggling to block the light on the glass without blocking the light on the subject, but hey, that’s what works for me.

      • 07/16/2012 8:27 AM

        Thanks! I’ll make sure to grab a map and bring a tall friend next time I go to the zoo. :)

  3. 07/16/2012 8:46 AM

    I don’t know when a good off-time would be to go for photography, but I’ve seen some amazing photos from the Butterfly Pavilion up in Broomfield. I’ve tagged along with the kids a few times but it’s always been very busy.


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