How To Shoot Through Fences

If you’ve ever tried to take photographs at the zoo, you’ve most likely run into the problem of shooting through fences. This can be really frustrating. Luckily, there are 3 things you can do to decrease the appearance of  fences in your photographs.

The following tips can be used to eliminated chain link fences from your photographs. Both the photographs below are straight from camera and have not been edited in any way either than being re-sized and saved for web.

Believe it or not, the two photographs below were taken with the same camera, same lens, and almost identical settings. What is the difference? Position.

A typical photograph with a chain link fence in the way

For the first photograph, I was positioned about 2 feet away from the fence. Even with a long lens and a wide open aperture, the fence still shows up.

A photograph taken with the same camera and settings

For the second photograph, all I did was lean forward and place my lens as close to the fence as possible, while trying to line up with one of the holes. Since the subject is so far away, the long lens and wide open aperture effectively blur out any elements in the foreground.

We can’t guarantee these tips will always give you perfect results, but they are certainly the best option you have, unless you can get a private tour behind the scenes.


  • Use a long lens (200mm or greater)
  • Shoot wide open (f/4 or lower if possible)
  • Get as close to the fence as possible. Line up your lens with one of the holes in the fence.
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3 Responses to “How To Shoot Through Fences”

  1. bycostello says:

    shoot through a hole… kinda makes sence!!

  2. Yo_Spiff says:

    My solution these days is to use my Powershot G11 when I want to shoot through a chainlink fence. The smaller lens fit through nicely.

  3. Jonathan Eger says:

    Yes, smaller lenses make for a much easier approach :)