By Dena Burroughs  --  November 9, 2016

8 reasons to attend LA Zoo's Photo Day

It’s not always that I get up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday, but when I do, it’s because something special is happening. And so I was up bright and early this past weekend to attend the 27th annual LA Zoo’s Photo Day. I had me a blast, and while you’re too late for 2016, I want you to know the reasons you should consider Photo Day at the LA Zoo for the upcoming year.

1.       A couple of hours with unbelievable access – As you know, zoos are quite popular with children. There are lots of them, and each of them brings along a parent or two, plus strollers, bags, this, that, and the other. This is the reason Photo Day starts at 7:30 a.m. – to allow you two hours of zoo and animals just for you, the photographer. Those hours go by quick, but they are priceless. The regular public starts streaming in around 10 a.m., first slowly, and by noon, with a vengeance.

2.       Representatives of all the major camera houses are there – Nikon, Cannon, Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus. They will answer any questions you may have about your camera, plus they have lenses of all sizes for loan so that, even if you don’t own a fancy lens, you can still come out with amazing shots.

3.       Paul’s Photo team is prepared to guide you whether you are a newbie or a pro. If you know very little about your camera, they’ll even tell you which setting and lens to use. And to those who know lots about their gear, they speak in an odd language of millimeters, ISOs and formats, which I won’t pretend to have understood.

4.       Your fee includes lunch and a t-shirt. OK, maybe this is not a major attraction, but during lunch, if you are an extrovert, you can discuss your shots and your progress with your fellow photo-day-ers, or, if you’re like me, you can sit alone in a corner and eat your sandwich.

5.       Workout is taken care of for the day... heck, for the week! My Fitbit counted 15,000 steps by 12:45 p.m.! 

6.       They’ll introduce you to new technology, like this 360 degree small camera that will not only shoot an object in front of you but everything that is around you, allowing whoever you share your pictures with to really see a full picture.

7.       My camera is a Nikon D3100 and I used my 300 mm. lens (Is this how I’m supposed to say it?). Anyhow, it is a lovely camera that I’ve had now for a while and which I am positive I have never used to its full potential. Still, I just love some of the pictures I took at Photo Day. If you haven’t looked at the ones I posted above, please do.

8.       But whatever you do, please look at the set I’m posting below. I was just walking past a window when I noticed a girl feeding a Giant One-Horned Chameleon. I took a bunch of pictures, with just seconds in between them, of this animal eating crickets (or some other bug) with the pleasure you and I would eat a marshmallow. It’s an amazing sequence.

Photo Day at the LA Zoo is special. If you are a fan of photography, keep an eye open for next year’s installment of the event by following the Zoo’s website, or by visiting Paul’s Photo’s Creative Photo Academy.

Peter Manning Robinson's debut Refractor Piano™ Concert [April 2016]. Photo credit: Michael Rueter/Capture Imaging.