Sunday, November 14, 2010

The beauty of snakes - Houston Zoo

Red-Tailed Green Rat Snake, 55mm, f/4.5, 1/60
Everyone of us has some irrational fear of some sort, I do to. I used to be afraid of sharks and to a smaller degree, of snakes. Their beauty helped me overcome my fear. Both families are just fascinating. I have traded fear for caution.

Snakes are shy, they usually run away before you can even notice them. They will only attack at the last resort, although some are more aggressive than others. Inland Taipan, notorious to be the most poisonous snake inland will give a warning bite before injecting venom.

Copperhead, 55mm, f/3.5, 1/25s
Snakes can be lethal and therefore must be approached with extreme caution. I chose the easy option by  always keeping a glass between us (if they are poisonous) or by staying far away.
Snakes are also one the most beautiful creations of Mother Nature. I was amazed by the patterns and colors I discovered. Snakes are just masters in the art of camouflage and thanks to a very knowledgeable Houston Zoo's herpetology staff, I was immersed in a world I had no idea it existed. Having a passion for photography helped me taking the time to appreciate what I was seeing. Get close and stop for a while.

African Bush Viper, 55mm, f/2.8, 1/125s
I have been going many times and spent countless hours trying to photograph these creatures. A few challenges I had to face: low light condition, reflecting glass and last but not least, invisible snakes or fast moving snakes. Patience is the key and with the help of a good tripod, I managed to successfully capture some images. A 17-55 lens was enough to this point but as soon as I am getting a macro lens, I will go back there and spend much more time in the zoo's coolest place.

Gabon Viper, 55mm, f/2.8, 1/125s

Hognosed Pit Viper, 45mm, f/3.5, 1/40

Rhinoceros Viper, f/7.1, 1/4s

West African Green Mamba, 55mm, f/3.5, 1/13

Aruba Island Rattlesnake, 55mm, f/16, 0.8

Asian Green Rat Snake, 55mm, f/5, 1/5

African Bush Viper, 55mm, f/2.8, 1/125

Green Tree Python, 26mm, f/2.8, 1/6

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