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Friday, May 21, 2010

Philothamnus thomensis, Sâo Tomé Green Snake

I’m not a nature photographer. Never approached any kind of wildlife and to be very honest I don’t even have the tools for the business. Thus, I’d love to be good at that, even though I think is a very complicated technique because you not only have to be a good photog, but also have a good knowledge of the wildlife, their behaviour and move your fat ass a lot to find them.

Another major issue is the lenses you need to capture such distant subjects but hey, if this is really what you like, instead of spending money like me in 20 different wide angle you just save the $$$ and get yourself a nice 200-400mm and off you go to the bush. Nevertheless, one day I’d love to treat myself to a nice trip just for this purpose, I’ll swap the fish for the land based critters.

Anyway, there are times when things just happen in front of your face and you can grab the chance and do some “wildlife” work. One afternoon, back from fishing, when I returned to my room at the hotel I saw a little Green Snake jumping from somewhere around me and hiding in a little bush nearby. I got closer and saw this little nice fellow sticking its head right out of the foliage apparently curious about me. I dropped my stuff, headed for the camera rigged with the 18-200mm, grabbed the SB800 with a Lastolite Pocket Bouncer and went back.

After few shots, with the snake absolutely unmolested and comfortable during the photo session, I went back to the room to change the lens. The Nikon 18-200 (the first image as been taken with this lens, the other two with the 60mm) is probably not the sharpest lens around hence I decided to go for the Nikkor 60mm micro, and what a difference it makes. Thus, with that lens I had to get closer, something that didn’t make me feel too comfortable, not knowing what kind of snake I had in front. Eventually everything run smooth and I had my shots, some good some not, but I was pretty excited about my vis a vis with the little green snake. Back to Madrid I did a little bit of investigation and discovered that it was absolutely harmless. Glad to know that I didn’t risk loosing my nose on that shot

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