TL;DR: More close-up shots from the zoo using my Canon R5 and RF 800mm f11 lens. This time, meet the charismatic sea lions and the ancient alligators in stunning detail!

Venturing back into the zoo with my Canon R5 and RF 800mm f11 lens, I encountered a new cast of characters, each with its own unique charm and story. From the playful antics of the sea lions to the stoic presence of alligators, these close-ups offer a window into their captivating world.

The Charismatic Sea Lions

Sea lions are known for their playful and social behavior, and these images capture their personalities perfectly. The first photo shows a sea lion with its head tilted upwards, whiskers prominently displayed, exuding confidence and curiosity. The Canon R5 and RF 800mm lens beautifully highlight the texture of its fur and the sparkle in its eye, bringing out the essence of this marine mammal.


The second photo captures a sea lion mid-call, showcasing its expressive nature. The clarity and detail achieved with the R5 are remarkable, allowing us to see each whisker and the subtle variations in its fur.


The third image features a serene portrait, with the sea lion gazing thoughtfully into the distance. The smooth background emphasizes the subject, making it the focal point of the frame.


The Ancient Alligators

Moving from the playful to the ancient, the alligators present a stark contrast with their armored appearance and calm, yet imposing demeanor. This close-up shot captures a trio of alligators in the water, their textured scales and rugged skin illuminated by the sunlight. The RF 800mm lens allows for an intimate perspective, bringing out the intricate patterns and the stillness of these prehistoric creatures.


Behind the Lens: Gear and Technique
For this session, I once again relied on the Canon R5 paired with the RF 800mm f11 lens. The long focal length provided the perfect combination of distance and detail, allowing me to capture intimate moments without disrupting the animals’ natural behavior. The f11 aperture, while a bit narrow, ensured that both the foreground and background remained in focus, highlighting the animals against their surroundings.

Tips for Aspiring Wildlife Photographers

  • Know Your Subject: Understanding animal behavior can help you anticipate the perfect moment to capture.
  • Blend In: Move slowly and quietly to avoid startling the animals. Patience is crucial.
  • Optimal Settings: Use a higher shutter speed to freeze motion, and be mindful of the light to ensure your subject is well-lit.
  • Experiment with Angles: Different perspectives can reveal new and interesting aspects of your subject.

Every visit to the zoo with my Canon R5 and RF 800mm f11 lens brings new opportunities to capture the beauty and diversity of wildlife. From the playful sea lions to the ancient alligators, each photograph tells a story and provides a glimpse into the lives of these fascinating creatures. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting, there’s always something new to discover and share through your lens.

Feel free to leave your thoughts or share your own wildlife photography experiences in the comments below!

Shot with Canon EOS R5 and Canon RF 800 f11 lens (Check BBPhoto for the gear I’m using!).
All photos are taken by me. If you want to know more, head to or for more info.

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