Photo Spot Summary
Country: United States
State: Washington DC
GPS Latitude: 38.929615
GPS Longitude: -77.049782
Photo Spot Details
This is probably the closest you’ll get to wildlife that is not bear or deer in the DMV area. I took all of these photos with a 70-200 mm f/4L lens and even with the lens wide open, I still found myself having to shoot above ISO 800. If you have a fast lens with lens stabilization, you’ll have a much easier time getting tack sharp focus with less noise. Or you could be just a better photographer than I am.
Also the animals are surprisingly far away so I had to heavily crop the photos to fill the frame. With a crop sensor camera, I had a hard time filling the frame with larger animals like tigers. I would recommend bringing a lens longer than 300 mm. I was desperately wishing I had a 400 or a 500 mm lens.
You are welcome to bring a tripod here but I found it a bit inconvenient to set up just because of foot traffic. Considering that I went on a Wednesday afternoon, I imagine there are even more people on the weekends.
Aside from the indoor exhibits, the area is open and covered relatively well with trees. Although you get nice shadows, I would recommend wearing a large hat to cover yourself from the intense sunlight, especially on a summer day. Bring plenty of fluid to drink as well.