Trip to the zoo

On saturday, 30th of August, 2008, I went to the zoo. This is the national zoo in malaysia.

That day I found something very interesting yet very challenging that I have never encountered.

While I was taking pictures of the elephants, flurries of storks were flying around because it was feeding time. I shift my attention to them and started to try to catch their pictures while in flight or during descent. This was very exciting but quite hard. Out of the many pictures that I took, I think none of it that I feel very proud of.

The main reason is because when the bird is in focus, sometimes the background is noisy which ruins the composition. When the background is good, the bird is out of focus. Since it's in flight and I don't really know where they are going, it makes it more confusing.

A few things I learn from this event are:

1. Stay at one place - Since there is no real way to determine where the bird will fly to or from, staying at one place at least have a better chance.

2. Understand where they are coming from and where they are going to - For my case at that time, they were feeding the birds so either they are flying from the feeding area, or going back to their nests. Even that, choose one, cause I tried to look at both, and kept on missing since they flew very fast.

3. Shoot - I waited too long to press the shutter. Maybe I was day dreaming or what, I am not sure but due to that, I lost many good opportunities because either they're too far from me or they have touched and descending into the water.

At the time, it was about 12 pm. Therefore I shut off my flash. Anyways, the birds are quite far from me for the flash to affect them so I feel that I am just wasting flash power.

What I didn't get to try is playing around with shutter speed. Maybe next time I go to the zoo again or any other places that have fast moving things, I will try that out.

Photo credits: Hasnul Hasan, Mingwei Chan.

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