Regardless of where you stand about zoos in that you may feel you’re supporting their captivity, the place does provide education and awareness to the public about injured animals and what they do to bring them back to health. I admire and respect the animals inside. They’re genuinely amazing creatures and although people may not always have the means to travel somewhere exotic to view them in their natural habitat, you have to at least appreciate the opportunity to view and photography them enthusiastically up close.
I have a vague memory of when I visited the zoo during school trips, so I wanted to journey back through that experience again. With zoos, you can’t always anticipate getting the type of remarkable shots you drool over in a National Geographic magazine because the prospect of obtaining anything remarkable is not always up to you or the gear you have. It truly depends on whether the animal you’re eager to see would be happily available to photograph or completely hidden.
I saw several Canon shooters armed with a 70-200mm f/2.8 which is probably one of the most ideal lenses to use for getting those intimate shots. I shot entirely with the 85mm f/1.8 and there was only so much range that I could get so I couldn’t compete with these others guys other than to alter my approach of how I wanted my photos to be. I was among the few to obtain this multicolor shot of a Red-Knobbed Hornbill because when I later return to the exhibit, the birds were completely concealed among the foliage.