Outdoors San Diego

San Diego Zoo

My first trip to the San Diego Zoo

Having lived in San Diego my entire life it might be shocking to know it took me 33 years before I ever made it to the “San Diego Zoo”.It was a cooler day in San Diego with overcast skies providing some flat light for our animal viewing and photographing pleasure. 

Photographing the San Diego Zoo

Having never been to the San Diego Zoo before I didn’t know what to expect as visibility to the animals. Or if there would be obstructing surfaces such as nets or glass. And yes there were plenty of nets and glass to shoot through ultimately making a slight loss in sharpness in some photos. But not interfering enough to make “bad photos”. 

My camera

On this day I brought with me my Nikon D850 as well as my trinity of nikon 2.8 glass. That is the:

  • 14-24mm f2.8
  • 24-70mm f2.8
  • 70-200mm f2.8

I opted to use my 70-200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter. That makes my 70-200mm f2.8 lens a 140-400mm f5.6. With basically no loss of clarity from an incredibly clear lens. The loss of 2 stops of light was unfortunate in some settings due to the dim flat light at some locations in the zoo. Shooting at f5.6 did ensure that all subject matter was infocus in relation to the background and really made some images pop! 

Taking photos at the Zoo

For my first time to the zoo and it being my first time in photographing the Zoo. I was happy with the images I got and look forward to making my way down there again to do so. I really feel like this is a place you could visit time and time again and surprise yourself with some amazing images.

Animals at the San Diego Zoo

Below are my photos from our visit to the Zoo.

Malayan tiger

Malayan tiger san diego zoo


zebra san diego zoo


orangutan san diego zoo
orangutan san diego zoo


gorilla san diego
gorilla san diego

Mandrill baboon

mandrill baboon san diego zoo
mandrill baboon san diego zoo

Red Panda

red panda san diego zoo
red panda san diego zoo


leopard san diego zoo


san diego zoo ducks
san diego zoo ducks
san diego zoo ducks


meerkat san diego zoo


alligator san diego zoo


flamingos in san diego


jaguar san diego zoo

Hamadryas Baboon

Hamadryas Baboon san diego zoo


kookaburra san diego zoo
kookaburra san diego zoo


elephant san diego zoo
elephant san diego zoo


lion san diego zoo


cougar san diego


lama san diego zoo

African Livestock

san diego zoo
san diego zoo
san diego zoo

Directions to the Zoo

Address: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Phone number

General inquiries: 619-231-1515

For all your photography needs

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