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Philadelphia, DC Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by DocPit_45, 6 Aug 2015.

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  1. DocPit_45

    DocPit_45 New Member

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    Irmo, SC, USA
    I'm going to be traveling from SC to PA to visit family. I'm thinking of visiting the National Zoo in DC and the Philadelphia Zoo to do some photography. I would appreciate it if any who are familiar with these zoos could tell me whether they are “photographer friendly.” For example, my online visits reveal that the Philadelphia Zoo has many wired enclosures for animals to move around. Great idea, but not so great for photography. Open areas are much better from a photographer's perspective. (I would especially like to get pics of a Komodo dragon.) If anyone can advise me as to whether a photographer is likely to get “clear shots” of a variety of animals at these zoos, I would much appreciate it. Thanks.
     
  2. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    I would consider both zoos to be photographer friendly. The wired pathways for the animals in Philly are simply pathways ro move the animals between the exhibit and I assume that the animals spend majority of their time in their regular enclsures which have glass barriers (cats and primates) or moats (outdoor gorilla and orangutan exhibits). The only exhibits in Philly where i never was able to successfully take pictures are the Andean condors enclosure (wire, and impossible to get close to) and some wired aviaries in the bird house (hornbills, most notably). Giant otters are also incredibly hard to photograph due to the glass in their exhibit being constantly splashed with water. I did not have much troubles with other animals in Philly. DC is also fine - most animals are in open or glass-fronted exhibits. Komodo dragons are behind glass both indoors and outdoors. Their exhibit is easy to miss because it is behind the main reptile house. You may have glare issues with glass, but I was able the to take some decent pictures of dragons there.
     
  3. DocPit_45

    DocPit_45 New Member

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    Thanks very much for the info. Much appreciated.
     
  4. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes you should get good photos at both. The cheetah exhibit at Philadelphia is completely unobstructed and great for photos. For exhibits with glass, I always keep a simple black cloth (napkin) in my camera bag to hold up to the glass to eliminate reflections.

    I was at DC while the new Asia section was under construction, but it appears to be very nice. Their cheetah exhibit is also photo friendly.
     
  5. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    Just visited National Zoo yesterday. Great open cheetah exhibit, sloth bears, and otters. Good sea lion, seal, wolf exhibits. Most of the big animal exhibits are very open. They have a great Amazon exhibit for large fish like arapaima. Small mammal house exhibits are mostly nicely planted for good photo backgrounds. Elephant exhibit very photogenic. The pandas were all on clear view, but passed out inside.