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Silver lining in the gray

Don't let the gray skies get you down. Overcast skies can mean great lighting for animal portraits!

Fancy yourself an animal photographer? Here are some helpful tips from Woodland Park Zoo's own staff photographer Ryan Hawk to make your photos really pop.

Tip 1:
Go gray. Clouds act like giant softboxes, providing bright, diffused light. Animals with light faces and/or dark fur, like Uzumma the gorilla above, photograph best under overcast skies.

Tip 2:
Early is best. Animals like the lion above explore their exhibits for food in the morning and many are most active at that time of day.

Tip 3:

Get eye level. Shoot from the same level as the eyes of the animal for more intimate portraits, like the one of Hadiah the tiger above.