Hold still….hold still…..why won’t these animals hold still? Zoo animals are notorious for not taking directions. As a matter of fact, it’s rude to try to direct them. We don’t tap on the glass, we don’t yell or try to distract them. We come to the zoo to see animals doing their thing, not to get them to react to the people. Yes, it’s great when they look right at us or when they are playing with the other animals, but we should not want to bother them or disrupt them. This is their home and we need to respect that.

So while the animals may not hold still, we need to hold our camera still to take good photos. Remaining steady is very important in photography. A still camera will take better photographs because, by not shaking, the lens can focus and the image will be clearer. We can hold our cameras still by:

  • Use a tripod where appropriate. This is the best way to hold a camera perfectly still.
  • Prop the camera on a steady object, like a railing or a trash container.
  • When handholding, brace yourself to keep your body still, such as by leaning against a tree or a wall, or keeping your feet apart, or sitting down.
  • Hold the camera close. The further we extend our hands and arms, the shakier we get.
  • Press the shutter gently. Don’t stab the shutter, but gently press and release.

Holding still is more important in low light as the camera shake will affect the photographs more in darker environments. In bright sunlight the camera’s shutter is so fast that it will compensate for our shaky hands. Buts let’s practice holding the camera steady on all our shots to get the best zoo animal photos we can.