The very best times to capture the animals at the National Zoo in your camera are the morning hours when they come out of their cages and dens. Nature and wildlife photographer David Sendzul, who has spent years photographing within the zoo, leads this morning trek to all the best photo ops.
The National Zoo is one of the nation’s premier locations showcasing many species of wild animals from around the world. The many species will keep us entertained for the entire time we’ll spend photographing them. We’ll concentrate on the animals in both the indoor and outdoor exhibits. While we’re there, David will discuss how to read the light; how to anticipate the best action, and how to create the best possible images at each exhibit. We’ll also discuss long lens techniques, selective depth of field, and the importance of patience and of getting great backgrounds.
Among the animals, you might capture in your camera on this safari are the flamingos, herons, cheetahs, turtles, antelopes, gorillas, lions, vultures and maybe even the pandas! David will also provide tips on lens use, composition, ISO and white balance settings and moving quickly to get the best nature photographs.
See examples of the types of photographs you will be able to take under David’s guidance HERE.
"It was a pleasure to meet you and really enjoyed our time with you. Your knowledge and passion in wildlife really came through. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had some great pointers on shooting. Hope our paths cross again." ~ Mike
"I want to thank you for a wonderful morning of learning today. Your enthusiasm is inspiring and your teaching is nothing less than exceptional. This has truly been a great and valuable day that will forever be carried throughout my future of photography. I hope the future allows for another opportunity to learn from you." ~ Jerry Napier from San Diego, CA.
Long lenses are suggested for this class for the animals in the outdoor exhibits - a minimum of 300mm is recommended. (Long lenses like 400mm can be rented for the weekend at Embassy Camera, Pro Photo, F8 lens rentals, or at websites such as Lumoids.com, Borrowlenses.com, and Lensrental.com Bring shorter lenses for working with some of the indoor animals. Tripods or monopods are highly encouraged. We are offering this safari for animal lovers not just on weekends but also on weekdays to accommodate local residents, retirees, and out of town visitors.
Meet outside front gate of Smithsonian National Zoo, at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington DC. The closest Metros are Cleveland Park and Woodley Park on the Red Line. There is limited free parking on Connecticut Avenue and adjoining side streets on Sundays. For weekdays we suggest Metro. Limit of 5 people per safari.
DC resident David Sendzul is an avid nature and wildlife photographer whose images have appeared for many years on our website, on calendars, and in prints. He has participated in 23 of our safaris over the last 13 years. He knows the best angle at each enclosure within the Zoo.