Brookfield is much bigger than Lincoln Park. It’s a pay-admission zoo, and even a pay-to-park zoo, if you’re not a member. However, if you’re big on public transportation, the Metra lets you off just a few blocks from the zoo, so you can avoid the parking fee.
list of shooting suggestions on their website. Obviously, you’ll want your tripod and telephoto/macro lenses if you have them. Being bigger, and admission-based, they tend to have fewer school groups during the day, or at least they’re less concentrated.
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to see the whole of this zoo in one day. So you might want to download a map before you go and make a plan.
For example, this hyrax was taken in a very dark environment with an 8 second shutter at f4.5 on a tripod.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day there’s a fantastic exhibit, simply called, Butterflies! And it’s exactly what it says on the tin. About 20 species, hundreds of specimens, in free-flight around you in a big net house. The best way to get good shots is to get to the zoo a few minutes before it opens, and go straight to there once they let you in. (It’s just on the left of the North Gate) At that point the butterflies are lying around on rocks and the pathway (watch where you walk and put your tripod!) warming up and they haven’t been annoyed into finding hiding places yet. While they’re still cool from the night, they’re still and their wings are open. Great shooting!
The dolphins have returned to the Seven Seas exhibit, which was recently redone,
Likewise, for the next little while (until May 8, 2010) the bears are off exhibit as they get used to their new home.