Too many photographers?

Pinus strobus

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Dec 8, 2007
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I have been working in a zoo for the last week, photography is not my profession, and I thought it would be nice to get out after work and take some pictures of the animals. But, when I am working I see a ton of people coming through the zoo with all of their fancy camera equipment taking pictures of the animals. Seeing all of these people taking pictures has become kind of discouraging, and I dont feel like going out and taking photos in the zoo anymore. I understand that a zoo is an obvious hotspot for photographers because you can get close to wild animals and get some good pictures of them. Or maybe it is just because I dont like seeing the animals stuck in their cages.

I was wondering if anyone avoids going places to take pictures because there is always alot of other people there taking pictures, or has it ruined a favorite spot of yours?
i've never been to a zoo before.
Yeah captive animals don't do it for me either,.. except birds - they seem to like it. RE: too many shooters, there sure seems to be a major increase lately, me included - which must be a mixed blessing for those in the biz. I call it digital democracy, and point is just because people can afford a nice rig, it obviously does not mean they will do nice work. Probably brings prices down and keeps the market competitive.

RE: shooters at my favorite spot. I have learned to casually engage most of them and have made several new friends. I like to talk shop and exchange web galleries, or if they have tude, just back away and be glad I'm no snob.

I feel the each will capture similar subjects in nearly infinite ways (some exceptions - twin arches) and this motivates me to find a new angle on things and to continue experimenting with various DOF's and so on.

my .02

-Shea :p
I don't fact, I like makes me feel like less of a creep. When I walk around with my big zoom, depending on where I am, I feel as if I'm being labelled as a future child molester or something...or a peeping tom who can look into windows from 7 blocks away.
(everyone thinks 200mm is a godly zoom...)

Also, it's nice to meet fellow photographers. If they don't know what's up, and pretend they do...I just leave em...but if they ask for help, or they know what's up...they're fun to talk to.
You guys make a good point. Its a good way to meet other photographers, and maybe learn a little something from them too.
Nope I go deep into the Alaska wilderness to get my wild life photos, Its way more exciting then a zoo, And getting 10ft away from a grizzley bear with it just walking by its amazing. And climbing up a 7000ft mountain to get close to some dull sheep and watching them butt heads and run around is pretty cool. I like adventure too much to just go to a zoo and take photos.
agreed, even the birds are chained to the sky
-not my quote, forget who

although true
All we have at our zoos are asian and the occasional european tourists. That's both good and bad since they get out of your way when you have a big zoom, but they also get in the way a lot.
I was trying to think of a reply, but when I read Sideburns' I realized he said pretty much what I wanted to say. I'll add though that I also don't care that other shooters are around because i'm there to take my own photos, not worry about them.

In fact, this thread's kinda funny, I am supposed to be getting a 200-500 zoom within the next couple weeks from my friend's dad and I was going to take it to the San Diego zoo.. hah. Guess i'm cliché... *shrug*
Obviously if there are other photographers there then it is a popular thing to do...and this is not a bad thing. Pictures of animals are popular. You can make them your own by being creative though. That's what I would do. It is a little hard in a zoo because you are restrained to where they allow you to go, but you should be able to overcome it with some creative thinking.
I have a project under submission to the Arts Council to train the great apes and other suitable animals in captivity to use cameras and give Joe Public a taste of his own medicine.
I think the resulting pictures could be rather interesting...
I definitely agree that with more people around I feel like less of a creep as well. If it is an event like a festival I try to get photo credentials for it and then all is well.

It is fun to meet other photographers that have a clue about what they are doing. The digital price drops have made it easier for everyone to get a new camera. Every once in a while I see someone on ebay selling a like new 20D, 30D, etc, saying it's no better than a point and shoot.... proves the point that just because they have the hardware doesn't mean they know how or want to know how to use it!

Besides that... do you enjoy your photographs when you view them later... I would certainly hope that you do in some way, and that is what matters.
I don't mind when other photographers are around. It can definitely get discouraging if you look at it the wrong way, but i like to see it as making me think a little out of the box to get a different kinda picture that everyone else is going after. Helps sharpen my skills and bring something new to the table.
yeah there are a lot of photographers out there and sometimes it gets bothersome.

Seeing that your from Minnesota, you really should be able to escape the zoo and find some cool stuff if it really bugs you. The north shore is amazing and I highly recommend going up there for both wildlife and landscape photography.

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