We all have dreams of going on a safari in Africa.
But how many of us have the deep pockets or the time to do this?
So a trip to your local zoo to photograph the animals may have to do for now. Here’s what you’ll need:
- a long telephoto lens (300mm and longer)
- a monopod
- a cart for your gear
If you don’t have a long telephoto lens, you can rent one from Borrow Lenses or if you happen to live in the Los Angeles area, you can head to Samys Camera.
They ship it to you.
And when it’s time to return it, you drop it off at Fedex.
With today’s gas prices, the less I have to drive, the better.
Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking at the zoo, I highly recommend a cart.
It weighs a mere 7 lbs and can hold 150 lbs.
It folds down easily to 25″ x 15″.
Where this cart shines is the size of its wheels.
I dragged my cart through sand without problems or difficulty on my visit to the Living Desert, thanks to its oversized wheels.
Most zoos are paved and handicap accessible, so you shouldn’t have any problems even in sandy ground.
This cart is just the thing for the photographer in your life who has more gear than they can carry.
The question is whether they own a bag that is big enough to hold everything.
I brought a Speedlite but I never used it because in most cases, the animals were either behind glass enclosures, fencing or just too far away.
I brought a 70-300 variable aperture zoom, specifically the Canon 70-300mm f4.5 -5.6 DO lens during my trip to the Living Desert.
Mouse over the image above to see why I like this lens.
At the 70mm setting, the lens is very compact and its physical length only changes when set at the 300mm end.
I like the fact it’s black and therefore low-key unlike the more expensive “L” series white lenses with red lines.
I purchased this used lens on ebay for $730.
Since most of my photography is portraiture and events these days, I can’t justify buying a long telephoto with a price tag in excess of $1K which I’ll use once-a-year.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my visitors here in the US. Make it a safe holiday. Don’t eat and drink too much.
I’m embedding one of my favorite video clips I shot in Malaysia.