On Sunday 7th February Photo Genius took 12 keen enthusiastic amateur photographers to Australia Zoo for a fun, informative and full day of learning about cameras and photography plus of course plenty of photo taking with of some of the zoo’s amazing and beautiful animals. Photo Genius tutor Paul Farris talks us through the day and the first Australia Zoo Photography Experience.
After much excitement and an early start we arrived at the world famous Australia zoo, after counting heads the first thing to do was dish out the loan tripods and monopods to everyone in the group (essential for avoiding blurry photos when using long lenses), we then followed our zoo guide to the training room for a short three hour theory session where we covered the basic essentials of photography including understanding Aperture, shutter, ISO, exposure, focus modes, depth of field and more. With the important theory covered we left the air conditioned comfort and set off for the ‘Croccoseumn’ for a welcome break and the chance to enjoy an entertaining display that included giant snakes, native birds that soared above our heads, plus of course those prehistoric legends, the big Saltwater Crocodiles. This was our first opportunity for everyone to test out the theory and also get the big telephoto lenses out as there was plenty of action to capture from our reserved seating area. After the excitement of the Croc’s we started the afternoon practical session with photos of the Alligators, Dingo’s, Cassowary birds and Binturong before taking our seats at the ‘Dingo Diner’ for a much deserved lunch break. Once refuelled and keen to take more photos the group took a walk through ‘Roo Heaven’ to be amongst the incredibly tame and very photogenic Kangaroos as well as say hi to a photo shy Echidna. With lots more to see we then walked through ‘The Wetlands’ which is home to some amazing birdlife, the variety of colours making great subjects for our keen photographers. Next up was the Koala walkthrough which is a great way to get up close and take some fantastic photos of these very cute animals. Friendly and helpful Australia Zoo staff were also on hand for anyone wanting to pet the Koalas or even grab a selfie! The ‘Rainforest Aviary’ was the next stop followed by the Birds of Prey and Wombats – a great mix of subjects that tested our students and their skills under a variety of changing light conditions then as the afternoon was drawing to a close it was time for the Tigers. When we arrived we found a gorgeous and very majestic Tiger resting on a rock in the warm sunshine and not in the least bit fazed by the 12 photographers who had their lenses honed in on his every movement, for many this was one of the highlights of the day. Our final stop of the afternoon was a trip to Africa and an opportunity to take photos of the Southern White Rhinoceros, Zebras and Giraffes, although they were some distance from us we had some large telephotos lenses and teleconverters to play with courtesy of Brisbane Camera Hire so everyone had the opportunity to zoom in close and capture some great photos of these amazing animals.
I thoroughly enjoyed a recent workshop with Paul and Andrew – this being my second workshop with PhotoGenius and like the first I came away with further confidence in using my camera and a greater understanding of how to snap that perfect shot. The day itself was well planned and faultless. Both Paul and Andrew willingly share their knowledge. I would highly recommend Photo Genius workshops to anyone with a love of photography – novice or not.
Desley Morrison –
The Australia Zoo experience was amazing! I really enjoyed the day and got some beautiful photos! Paul and Andrew were on hand to provide assistance and feedback on our photos to ensure we got the most out of the day. Absolutely a must do course!
Calum Watson – February 2016
The next Australia Day Photography Experience is on Sunday 13th March.
Watch this short video of our first visit to Australia Zoo
A small selection of images taken by our students
Many thanks to Bradley Phillips and Desley Morrison for the use of their photos.