• Popcorn Zoo – Please make a donation

    Popcorn Zoo, N.J.
popcorn zoo photography


Vested Interest Fund –  Donate Here  Vests for Police Dogs. The Vested Interest Fund is a special fund that provides bullet-resistant vests at no cost to every working K-9 in New Jersey. The fund was established in memory of Solo, a three-year-old German Shepherd with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office who died in the line of duty on June 5, 1998.

If you would like your donation to be in honor or memory of a loved one, human or canine, the Society will send out an acknowledgment card to the individual or family. Once you have donated, please send them an e-mail with a “Vested Interest Card” in the subject line.

On behalf of all working K-9s in New Jersey, thank you for contributing to the Vested Interest Fund.

Would you like to make a real difference in the life of an animal that once knew suffering and pain, or faced an uncertain future? You can!  Through sponsoring one of the residents at Popcorn Park through the Wildlife Club, you can make that difference.

The Popcorn Park Wildlife Club is a unique sponsorship program designed to help support the residents of the refuge. Through a monthly donation, you will help provide all that is needed for that particular animal’s well-being, and in return, you will receive regular updates from your sponsored animal!

Find complete details about sponsoring a Popcorn Park resident in the Wildlife Club here. Whether you select a tiger or a parrot, you will make a real difference to a very special rescued animal.

There are several other programs to donate to thought the popcorn zoo – Please visit the page here.

Popcorn Zoo – NJ

Are you looking for a fun and unique place to take the kids to New Jersey while you do photography? Look no further than Popcorn Zoo! This one-of-a-kind attraction features over 30 species of animals.

The Popcorn Zoo is a great place to learn about different animals, as there are educational signs throughout the zoo. Kids will love seeing all the other animals, and they’ll be sure to have a blast feeding them popcorn!

Doing Photography at the Popcorn Zoo

One of the best things about the Popcorn Zoo is that it’s a great place to take photos. There are so many exciting animals and plants to photograph, and the staff is always willing to help you get the perfect shot. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just someone who enjoys taking pictures, the Popcorn Zoo is worth a visit.



Lens: Wide Angle, and bring your zoom lens to get up close.

Gear List at a Glance: Circular polarizing filter, neutral density filter, wide-angle lens, zoom lens, tripod.

When to Go: Weekdays, when it is slightly offseason, are best. The Popcorn Zoo is a tourist spot, so be prepared for people, but it doesn’t get too crowded. Remember, this is also a milky way dark sky area, so you might want to plan your trip around a new moon or the week before during milky way week.


This is a small zoo. You can walk around for an hour or two, taking animal photographs. There is some running water in the front of the park by the turtles, so bring a small tripod for this shot, but you don’t have to carry it around the whole park. It’s best to go on a bright sunny day, so the colors of the animals stand out, but a cloudy day will have to do if that’s when you go. Generally, on a sunny day here, you can set your ISO to 100 and shoot in shutter priority at 1/500th of a second. Don’t forget the white balance of sun, shade or clouds and you move through the park. Nothing fancy here as far as photography goes. We always use a circular polarizing filter for popping out the puffy white clouds, take the silver glare off the water, and saturate the colors just right.  If you would like to get a shot of the turtles with the milky water flow, bring your neutral density filter.


If you have moving subjects, you will want to shoot in shutter priority to assure your shutter speed is high enough to have your subject in sharp focus. For people walking by, approximately 1/250th of a second is appropriate, and adjust your ISO accordingly. If they are running fast, increase your shutter speed to about 1/500th of a second. A fast bird flying by would be shot at about 1/1000th of a second. If it’s a bright sunny day, go as high as  1/1200th of a second. Remember, the higher your shutter speed; the less light comes into the camera. It should not be an issue outside during daytime hours. For More Details, see our Shutter Priority Page.


You have moving waters here. You can do your long-exposure running and milky water shots. You will have to use a tripod for this effect. Your settings will vary depending on the lighting and your neutral density filter. You will shoot in manual mode for the milky waters. ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow. The aperture is f22. Your shutter speed will be the only variable depending on the light. Roll your shutter speed until your meter reads zero. (In the center)  Use your shutter release or your 2-second timer to prevent camera movement when exposing. You will want at least a 2-second exposure for milky water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun. 

If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you can buy one here. We highly suggest you do not go anywhere without one. It makes all the difference between lifeless images and outstanding, dynamic images.


Aperture Priority is often used to blur the background of your images and control your depth of field (how much from the subject to the background is in focus). For more information on this – see our Aperture page 


The higher you set it, the more light comes in when exposing an image. The higher the number, the more digital noise, so if possible, stay below 800. If you need to go higher to get the shot, you can use Topaz Denoise to filter out the digital noise later.


The best hotels while doing photography



Add your hotel here!

Do you want us to send our photography and ghost hunting friends to your hotel for their photography or ghost hunting trip? Put your hotel information here. We will put pictures of your hotel, the website link, the phone number, and your information on your hotel.

Would you like to be a featured hotel like this article or this one? Please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.

Hotel Information:

Clarion Hotel & Conference Center – $125.00 and up

815 Route 37 West, Toms River, NJ, 08755, US

Phone: (732) 341-2400 Fax: (732) 341-6469

100% Smoke-Free

area information - photography




1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 693-1900

Website: http://www.ahscares.org/default.asp

Hours:    11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week
Holidays:  11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Adults – $5.00, tax included
Seniors and Children under 12 – $4.00, tax included
Children under 3 – Free!
School or other groups taking tours – $2.00 per person, including tax
Free with Wildlife Club, Share-A-Pet or Zoological Society membership card

Refreshments: Cold drinks, ice cream, popcorn and peanuts available

Facilities: Picnic area

Pets: Not allowed in Zoo for safety reasons

Wheelchair Accessibility: The sandy terrain of Popcorn Park Refuge is not conducive to standard handicap wheelchairs or strollers. Upon request, a beach terrain wheelchair is available.

Feeding of animals: Feeding of animals in the Zoo is not allowed due to the animals requiring specialized diets; however, air-popped popcorn may be purchased to feed free-roaming birds and some of the farm animals.




Add your campground here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your campground to stay during their ghost-hunting trip? Put your campground information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and your information on your campground to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are good at getting there in the dark.

Would you like to be featured in an article as a place to stay while doing photography or ghost hunting? If so, please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.


Cedar Creek Campground

1052 Atlantic City Blvd. (RT 9)
Bayville, NJ  08721

From $44.00 offseason, non-hook up.





The food at the Popcorn Zoo:

Refreshments: Cold drinks, ice cream, popcorn, and peanuts available.

Facilities:   Picnic area

Near By Dining:

Colonial Diner The closest dining to the zoo. Bring some snacks since it is several miles away.

429 Lacey Rd # B
Forked River, NJ 08731

Add your Restaurant here!

Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your Restaurant after their ghost-hunting or photography trip? Put your restaurant information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and your information on your Restaurant to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you.

Check out this article at the link. Would you like to be a featured restaurant like in this article? If so, please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.




For this location, Read here.

 Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO such as 50 or 100.

If you photograph cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to help avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places, be careful!

Go to our Photography Store after reading about waterfall photography or neutral density filters.