How do I photograph through a wire fence?

How do I photograph through a wire fence?

Ever been to a zoo and tried to capture animals through that wire fence? It’s frustrating and annoying. You can see the wire in the shot, even when out of focus. But the fence is there for their protection and yours! Thankfully, there are a few tricks to help eliminate the wire, without resorting to Photoshopping it all out.

Shooting through the wire fence

Look at the above photo; all those white or light-colored patches are the green wire in front of the enclosure. Even though my focus is OK on the lion cubs in the background, the main problem seems to be where the sun hits the wire and lights it up. One way around this is to move (if possible) so that the wire is in the shade.

Make sure your focus point is on your subject and NOT the fence in the foreground. I found that using a focus point so I can move myself was helpful. That last point is also helpful if trying to shoot through long grasses and bushes.

With the below photo, I moved to a slightly more shaded position. When the light isn’t lighting up the wire, it disappears more. Makes for a nicer photo.

Same wire, but in the shade
Same wire, but in the shade
No Wire is even better
No wire is even better

Of course, if you can photograph you’re subject in the sunshine without the distracting wire in the way — even better! The other option (but not always possible) is to get the lens as close to the wire as possible and shoot straight through. Today, with the lion cubs, there were two fences, one to keep us back from the main wire fence.

1695035642 711 How do I photograph through a wire fence | Theedgesm

What gear did I use?

I used my Sony A7RV and Tamron 70-300mm lens. I shot on AP Mode, Auto ISO, a minimum shutter speed of 1/800 seconds and aperture of f/6.3. Initially, I had my minimum shutter on 1/125 seconds which is too slow at full 300mm. Remember to set your focal length at one and a half to double your shooting speed (i.e. 300mm lens needs a shutter speed of 1/450 second or quicker. I have found my Tamron 70-300mm works better with double i.e. 1/600 seconds).

Why not just Photoshop it out?

I could just attempt to Photoshop the fence out, but it’s long and boring and I was feeling lazy. I didn’t want to come home and edit all the photos with fences. So, I looked for a better position to help hide the fences.

The other point to make is not everyone likes Photoshop, or comfortable editing, so finding a non-digital fix was the way to go for me.

Meet the new kids on the block

Say hello to the new kids on the block. They are 15-week-old lion cubs at Werribee Open Range Zoo (Melbourne, Australia): Mwezi, Kianga and Jango (2 boys and 1 girl). So cute!