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Challenge: Outdoor Macro Shot II (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: 2013 Challenge shots
Camera: Canon EOS-7D
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
Date: Apr 14, 2013
Date Uploaded: Apr 14, 2013

[Apr. 21st, 2013 08:29:44 PM]

So my husband and I went walking at a park, and I was looking for macro opportunities. A dragonfly flew itself into the glass at the park office. I couldn't tell if it was on it's way out, or perhaps it was just a young one trying to figure things out. It did look pretty shiny (wing wise).

Anyway, I put it on my finger and moved it away from the door so it wouldn't get smooshed. Well, it stayed on my finger, so I figured I'd find the perfectly lit spot. We walked and walked, and found a wonderful reed!

Ummm... he wouldn't get off my finger...

and when he finally started trying, the reed wasn't strong enough and started really flopping.

Well, he was still halfway on my finger, so when I started to move away, he decide to come with me.

We walked some more, and finally found a beautiful stump!!

I set him gently on the stump, I took a shot, realized that I hadn't even begun to look at my settings -- they were all wrong! Changed them quickly, and was able to see him through the view finder as he took flight and flew away.


I didn't get the shot.

Then -- we saw this snake.

He was laying there -- sunning himself on the path.

I took a couple of quick pictures of his tail, thinking it might be interesting, but it wasn't enough.

I had no idea what he was, and yes, there are 3 venomous types of snakes in Virginia.

I hoped he wasn't one of those three types...

I laid down on my stomach on the path, took a shot, crawled closer on my belly (really trying to imitate the snake, actually, because I didn't want to get up and move and scare him. Do you know how difficult it is to crawl on your belly?? It's not very easy!!)

Anyway, he was extremely cooperative. He really did just lay there while I inched closer and closer to him.

The thing that was really quite aggravating, however, was that was pretty much when I moved that he would stick out his tongue. I would lay there for a long time, and he would just lay there. I'd lower the camera a bit to use the elbows to help slide along, and of course, he wanted to "smell" what was going on. I'd bring up the camera quick -- sure that he'd do it again.

And I'd wait.

And wait.

Snakes don't stick out their tongue very often! :P

Unfortunately, I cleared out the initial pictures that I made of his back/tail so:

1. It makes it harder to identify him, and

2. I don't have the exact time when I started.

But from what I have left of the pictures, I was laying there at least 7 minutes, trying to time tongue shots. It doesn't seem that long, now that I say it -- but when you're laying on your belly holding your camera, it seems a lot longer!

I had a blast shooting this. In looking it up from the bit I have, it looks like he's just a simple garter snake. Although he's a color neither my husband or I have seen in a garter snake. Normally we see them bright green and yellow. This one was a pale funky, yellowish green color with just a darker band. Anyway, he may have been a simple garter snake, but the thrill was not knowing how he was going to react while I was moving closer. I was hoping if he would strike, he'd hit the camera first. :)

Actually, he just kind of slithered away...

On the other hand, the very large, 5ft darker snake that we ran into and immediately slithered into the water -- that one I stayed away from!!

Regarding the challenge, I was worried that with so much of the snake in the picture, that some may question that this was a macro. But here's a 1:1 on a portion of him:

My favorite part is the overall shot is the bits of sand/dirt on his nose and even his eye. Only a very small amount was cropped from the right side of the picture. This is pretty much the full shot.

Thanks for the wonderful comments!

Place: 4 out of 144
Avg (all users): 7.0100
Avg (commenters): 7.6250
Avg (participants): 6.9020
Avg (non-participants): 7.1224
Views since voting: 1929
Views during voting: 229
Votes: 100
Comments: 15
Favorites: 1 (view)

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04/23/2013 06:04:33 PM
I don't like snakes. At all.

So I just looked really quickly and then came down here to type your congratulations.

Congratulations. It's a wonderful image that I absolutely hate. *grin*
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/22/2013 03:58:40 PM
Congrats on the HM. Sounds like you worked very hard for this great shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/22/2013 12:30:35 PM
Sharp as a pin... I never finished commenting but gave this a mighty score!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/22/2013 03:11:30 AM
And I was complaining for crawling on my belly to photograph a flower - that doesn't even bite!
Beautiful shot! This is amazing, love the story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/22/2013 03:11:03 AM
great and daring image... beautiful subject, and entertaining story like usual! congrats...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/22/2013 01:20:44 AM
Brave. Well deserved. Just rewards for your effort.

Message edited by author 2013-04-22 01:21:01.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/22/2013 01:02:52 AM
Congrats Wendy, great story... u must be feeling like the camera men in Animal planet or Discovery :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
04/21/2013 11:38:24 PM
Bet this freaked some voters out... nice timing.

Should have cloned out the dust in the eye. Changing the saturation (down in the background and up on the snake) might have added a bit of punch along w/ the red of the tongue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/21/2013 08:13:48 PM
Sharp, nice tones & detail.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/21/2013 02:04:12 PM
Tack sharp on the face. Nice composition
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/19/2013 03:42:58 PM
That is excellent timing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/18/2013 11:14:05 PM
Pretty cool image, I love the way the tongue is sharp but yet disappears into the background in a way that looks natural. The focus on the head is dead on and really well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/17/2013 09:11:13 AM
I can't believe how sharp that tongue is!! Excellent timing on this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/15/2013 08:45:34 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/15/2013 08:43:04 AM
Great focus and bokeh. I am shuddering. NOT a snake lover. YIKES!!! 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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