I went to the zoo, zoo, zoo! (And you can come too)

Leaf-Cutter Ant

Leaf-Cutter Ant - Philippa Warr

It was a strange experience going to the zoo in an age when good technology is readily available, though. An awful lot of people stand in front of the animals just long enough to take a picture on their phone or their pocket camera and then move on. It’s like they won’t actually see the animal until after they go home and upload its image to Facebook.

Penguin

Penguin! - Philippa Warr

In doing so they miss so much. I love watching the animals and although I take a fair few photographs while I’m there I hope I never do so at the expense of actually seeing the creatures. I love watching them going about their business. Today a giraffe gobbed on another giraffe’s head (quite deliberately) and a burrowing owl seemed peeved about the racket a hairy armadillo was making in the next enclosure.

Teen Owls

Teen Owls - Philippa Warr

Another thing that happens is in low-light areas like the reptile house, using the auto settings means the flash goes off right in the animal’s face. I’ve always assumed that must be horribly stressful for them, hence I always make sure the flash is off when I’m taking pictures of creatures . The person taking the picture is also most likely just going to get a heap of images where the flash is reflecting off the glass of the enclosures so there’s not even a whole lot of benefit for them. Just learn how to use the thing properly!

Hermit crab

Hermit Crab! - Philippa Warr

What do you think? Are cameras and zoos compatible? Do there need to be more strict guidelines?

PS If you fancied looking at some more of the pictures they’re over on my Flickr account.

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