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Be very calm.. and don't move.

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Photographing snakes can be both challenging and rewarding. Snakes are elusive creatures that can be difficult to find, let alone capture on camera. It requires patience and a good understanding of snake behavior and habitat. One of the key things to keep in mind when photographing snakes is to always prioritize safety. It's important to keep a safe distance and not disturb or agitate the snake in any way. Using a telephoto lens can help you capture close-up shots without getting too close. The lighting can also be tricky as snakes often blend in with their surroundings, making it important to use natural light or a flash to highlight their unique features. With a bit of skill, patience, and the right equipment, photographing snakes can result in stunning images that showcase the beauty and complexity of these fascinating creatures.

While hiking in the mountains above Los Angeles taking shots of wildflowers with my macro lens I noticed a baby Diamondback Rattlesnake coiled up near some rocks. I was traveling light and only had one macro lens (60mm f/ 2.8) which was useless at the distance I was from the snake. So I inched forward to the point of about 6 feet away from the snake.

He wasn't moving so I figured what the hell, I crouched down and then laid down in the dirt. Stretched out now, my camera was about three feet from the 12-inch rattlesnake. He was still not moving. I must have shot a few hundred photos hoping to get this little guy in focus, no luck. So I inched forward about six inches more and my “pucker factor” kicked in, so I stopped and tried again. Still no luck. With my camera resting on the dirt I just laid there, low and behold the snake started to move. TOWARDS THE LENS…. I froze, with my finger on the shutter release. The little rattlesnake calmly posed a few inches from my lens.

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