My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

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John Delgado
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My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by John Delgado »

Well - I did it ... yes, yes, yes ... I did it...!

Readers, FHF Members ... please post your FIRST in situ photographs. I want to see your first time in situ pics. And please ... if you have any critique, DON'T be shy ... I'm a grown man and I can take constructive criticism, I am here to learn. Help me to improve my photography techniques, please comment.

Many of you have seen my thread ---► Rattlesnake Handling YES or NO http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=21795

Many of you have commented in that thread and I thank you :) :beer:

Yesterday, April 16, 2015 it was 82º F - And it was a bright sunny day ... so off I went up to the hills. And for sure I did NOT think I would see anything. I am in Northern California and the ground is still a little damp in shady areas ... we have had rain off and on. So ... I went for the sunshine and scenery.

The den in these pics is a little cave-like hole under a giant lava rock(s). I have checked this little hole under this rock at least 20+ times last season and NEVER saw a thing, no snake tracks ... no NOTHING...! So, when I went down to check it this time I was certain I would see nothing. I step down from off to the side, grab my sunlight mirror to look inside the dark hole, and what in theeeeeee HALE...!!! :shock: Two gorgeous rattlers sitting there at the den entrance catching some rays :thumb: I FROZE in my rattlesnake hunter tracks like a statue made of stone.

I grabbed a shot of the two, and the big one in the back there looks like he had enough heat, as he was sitting right directly in the sun, and he moved off into the den very slowly as I watched ... I am certain he did not know I was there. The other one just a hair out of the sunlight stayed and I enjoyed about 20 minutes of total silence. And I NEVER moved so slow in all my life...! - It was EXCITING...!!!

I also have video, but to tell you the truth - The video is not as exciting as these pics. I'll post the video as soon as I brush up on my Adobe Pro editing tutorials, got a little rusty on the editing skills over the winter.

Enjoy ... and don't forget to post your FIRST TIME in situ photographs - thank you.

ImageLarry - 14 by johnedelgado, on Flickr

ImageLarry - 14 by johnedelgado, on Flickr

ImageLarry - 14 by johnedelgado, on Flickr

In these next two shots - he sees me, and he flicked his tongue a few times to get a reading. I stood still ... took these shots, and he maybe realized I wasn't a threat. After a few minutes he laid his head back down and ignored me. It was about this time I figured I had enough shots, and I stepped away quietly.

ImageLarry - 14 by johnedelgado, on Flickr

ImageLarry - 14 by johnedelgado, on Flickr

ImageLarry - 14 by johnedelgado, on Flickr

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Kent VanSooy »

FANTASTIC John! Those are so much more interesting than the classic pissed-off rattlesnake pose. You'll have a blast following this path.

My contribution is from 1988 (yikes!) - they barely had cameras in those days.

Image

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nhherp
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by nhherp »

Congrats.. !!!. Your whole spring and fall field scope was just born.. Finding. Enjoying and cherishing unknown dens. Your secret.


-N-

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El Garia
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by El Garia »

Great story and pics, John! Patient observation isn't for everyone, but as you know, is very rewarding if given the chance.

Cool post, John!

-Derek

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Stohlgren
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Stohlgren »

Awesome. Pretty exciting, isn't it?

When did you first check this site last year? Perhaps they leave the den pretty early in the year and that's why you didn't see them last year? Or maybe this site is not used every year? Or maybe it is not a den at all, but a transition site from den to foraging ground? You will learn a ton by continually visiting this site and searching for other sites in the area over the next few years. Carry a flashlight on you and if you check again and don't see any snakes, be sure to shine up under the rocks to see if any are hiding.

Photographically speaking, these are great. You obviously have to deal with tough lighting with the bright sun and the heavy shadows from the rocks. If you get out on a partly cloudy or overcast day, the clouds will give you more even light, but you did well.

Oh, and here is the first in situ I can find in my files, from back in the day when I used to pose everything. This little hog was spotted by someone in our group and was basking, it was not flared out in response to us.

Image

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Kelly Mc
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Kelly Mc »

That is an awesome shot. Truly a notable moment.

bgorum
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by bgorum »

Congratulations! You've taken an important first step into a much more interesting and exciting way of herping. As far as critique goes, I'll pass on one technical piece of advice. Stohlgren's suggestion about shooting when it is cloudy is a good one, but often times you don't have that luxury. Dealing with harsh lighting conditions is one of the biggest technical challenges to insitu work. Lots of people will use fill flash or reflectors to get some extra light into the shadows, but I don't like doing this around dens, since I'm always worried it will disturb the snakes. As an alternative check out a technique called HDR, (High Dynamic Range), photography. It basically involves taking several different exposures, each optimized for a different part of the scene, (i.e. shadows, midtones, and highlights), then combining the exposures using software to get detail in all those areas. A tripod helps when shooting the bracketed sequence, but you can also do it hand held by using your camera's auto bracketing feature and continuous-high advance setting. You have to be careful with the post processing technique though. People often overdue HDR and the pictures take on a very unnatural appearance. For nature photography you want to use the technique only to extend the dynamic range of the picture, not to make the scene look surreal or "artsy". Keep at it and good luck!

I'm afraid my first insitu pictures are so old that they are on film! Here's a favorite from last summer.

ImageGorum_140609_2849 by bgorum, on Flickr

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Owen
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Owen »

Like Darth Vader coming back from the dark side :lol: :lol: :lol:

I would post mine, but still not sure how to scan a daguerreotype plate :mrgreen:

Here's the most recent (yesterday) since I don't have the first:

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Soopaman
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Soopaman »

I still pose most colubrids for the well-lit field guide shot, but it's a major goal of my herping buddies and I to take in-situ photos when possible. Sometimes the snake sees us first and ruins the moment.


Here's one of my first in-situ, taken with a dinky point and shoot:

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Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix (Southern Copperhead) by Kyle L.E., on Flickr

First in-situ rattlesnake:

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Crotalus horridus (Timber Rattlesnake) by Kyle L.E., on Flickr

Favorite in-situ from last year:

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Pantherophis guttatus guttatus (Corn Snake) by Kyle L.E., on Flickr

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BillMcGighan
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by BillMcGighan »

Big Congratulations, John.
:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Absolutely great.


I'd put another up, but you have gotten contributions from the best of the best (- some other super photographers on the forum who may yet add pics!)

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John Delgado
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by John Delgado »

Kent VanSooy wrote:FANTASTIC John! Those are so much more interesting than the classic pissed-off rattlesnake pose. You'll have a blast following this path.

My contribution is from 1988 (yikes!) - they barely had cameras in those days.

Image
Mr. VanSooy - Thank you Sir. I see your pics all the time on http://www.naherp.com/index.php I am a fan :) Do you have a web site?

GREAT pics getting posted here ... I am thoroughly enjoying ALL of them.

What an experience, I never thought an in situ session could be so exciting. I posted the same images on another forum, a leading California firearms forum, where I've been a member at since 2007. And the reaction is wayyyyy better than all the long catch and release video I posted there last season. People are amazed that approaching a rattlesnake that close (actually about 4 or 5 feet using zoom)... they are amazed that being that close and NOT getting attacked [sic] was possible. But, of course we all know the answer to that.

I'm having a great time explaining to them that rattlesnakes are NOT what people think they are, they are NOT crazed killers...! - And they are not warm and fuzzy lick your face puppy breath either. But attacking killers - no.

I enjoy educating people on rattlesnakes ... I'm here to learn from you nice people.

Thank you ... please keep posting ALL them GREAT first time in situ photographs ... DOESN'T have to be rattlesnake ... IN SITU is IN SITU :thumb:

MCHerper
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by MCHerper »

Soopaman wrote: Favorite in-situ from last year:

Image
Pantherophis guttatus guttatus (Corn Snake) by Kyle L.E., on Flickr
That corn snake shot is phenomenal! The man-made elements in it really complement the snake. Love it!

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John Delgado
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by John Delgado »

Exactly - what MCHerper ^^^ said ... that one caught my eye too.

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DracoRJC
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by DracoRJC »

Good stuff man, I read some of your prior threads. Those in-situ shots are much more interesting and fun to take, aren't they? 8-)

Here's some in-situs of mine from this spring so far in Texas, hope you enjoy. Ripped from facebook though, so the quality isn't great - sorry, I'm lazy!

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Some in-situ crotes from this spring as well.

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Jeff
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Jeff »

Draco

Amazing spot on that alligator lizard.

Jeff

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jonathan
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by jonathan »

Here are my oldest in-situ shots I can find: from back in 2005 when I just took some random photos from a hike:

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I didn't have a camera most of the time back then, so didn't really get photos. But in 2007, I went on a hike in Utah with my fiancee and my friend Matt and took a camera. The following photos led me to the Utah Herpetological Society to ID these weird unfamiliar Utah lizards, which then led me (thanks to Brian Eagar) to the FHF. After that I learned much more about taking photos, though I still know less than 90% of the members.

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First in-situ snake, a few months later:

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hellihooks
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by hellihooks »

guess this would be my 1st, from 2007... an intergrade gopher from deep creek
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NEVER occurred to me, before finding these forums, to take a pic... and it's taken me a while to reach the higher ideal of in-situ. I've never been zealous about photo quality, which is to say I've always been a 'voucher shot' guy.

For me... in-situ now adds a certain satisfaction when remembering encounters, in knowing that I in no way negatively impacted the herps I saw.

This is probably my favorite pic, of a natural 'good poser'. Not super... but even us voucher shot guys get lucky once in a while... he posed like this (looking right at me) just long enough for me to get one shot, out my car window, before taking off... :)
Image

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cbernz
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by cbernz »

From southern Florida in February 2005, my first trip with a digital camera:

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Green Salamander from Virginia in June 2005. One of very few in situ salamander photos I've ever taken:

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One of my first in situ snake photos, Northern Watersnake from NJ:

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One of my first in situ viper shots, Timber from NJ:

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NACairns
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by NACairns »

I have a few older shots but I have no idea where they are. This girl was hard to see waiting near a Neotoma nest.
ImageCrotalus molossus by nacairn, on Flickr

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chrish
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by chrish »

Here's a couple from 1985 -
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Here's a in situ.....with me in it from Nov 1965 -

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and another in situ (with me in situ) from 1966 -

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Well dang Chris, if it's bust loose the old guys time, here's yours truly, probably pretty darn close to that 1966 timeframe...check out my Dad's light meter on the fence post.

Those ozzy lizards in your pics must have been a rarity back in the day, right?

Image

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John Delgado
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by John Delgado »

chrish & VanSooy -- Haha ... really GREAT shots of the day back when, good to get some real Kodachrome in here for a change. Ya man ... They give us those nice bright colors, they give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day ... dang, I should write a song :mrgreen: And all the kids reading this go 'what ... what does that mean...!?!' :crazyeyes:

I was digging in some of the pics my wife and I took last year, my 1'st year herpin :lol: And I stumbled on these shots I took in June and July of 2014 ... and look, I was shootin' in situ (lizards, not rattlers) when I never even heard of the word 'in situ' until fall of 2014.

This first one is a personal fav of me and my wife ... this little guy we named him 'Picture Perfect Peter' Andf I will tell you for sure, this rock he sittin on is about the size of a washing machine and it's HIS ROCK. And the look he gave me ... we were NOT going to interrupt his sunshine time on his rock.

Northwestern Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis occidentalis
ImageNorthwestern Fence Lizard by johnedelgado, on Flickr

This next guy ... he is a Camouflage Ninja Master - And we named him 'Spyder Man' with a 'Y'

Northwestern Fence Lizard - Sceloporus occidentalis occidentalis
ImageNorthwestern Fence Lizard by johnedelgado, on Flickr

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ThamnElegans24
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by ThamnElegans24 »

Great idea for a thread. Unfortunately I don't have my older stuff on hand at the moment, but here are some more recent things.

Black-tailed Rattlesnake

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Common Side-blotched Lizard

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Yuman Fringe-toed Lizard

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Mohave Fringe-toed Lizard

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Desert Iguana

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Goode's Horned Lizard

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Sonoan Sidewinder

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Mohave Rattlesnake

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Ornate Box Turtle

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Mexican Hog-nosed Snake

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Desert Grassland Whiptail munching a Common Side-blotched Lizard

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More Black-tails

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Prairie Rattlesnake

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Red-spotted Toads

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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

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Red Racer

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And a Gophersnake

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I could keep going, but I won't. ;)

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BillMcGighan
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by BillMcGighan »

First still I could find (in situ) was this 1967 Southern Pacific I tracked from one sandy road, across a vacant lot, to another sandy road, in central San Diego County, CA.
This was taken with a Kodak Instamatic.


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But then I realized there was another even older, just not a still!
This was about 1963 or 1964. I was about 16.
Electricity wasn't invented yet, so we had to watch TV by candle light.


It was taken by a wind-up, 8mm, fixed lens, Kodak movie camera, which couldn't do sound. (This was even before super8 film, whatever that was.) The “viewfinder” was two metal squares that folded up or down, then used like peep sights on a rifle.


The "in situ" part:

I took the camera out to my front yard to test shooting in sunlight and in shade; it actually had an adjustment for that which I assumed was an F-stop.

My little sister said she saw a garter snake near her sand pile; they were common where we lived; Garter Snakes, not sand piles.

I crept over and saw it, basking on the sand pile, not far from a rock wall.


The "contrived" part:
I grabbed some "night Crawlers", left over from a fishing trip, and tossed them, one at a time, near the snake. These large worms are candy to garter snakes!
Voila!





Think, if this Garter was alive, it would be over 50 years old! :oops: :roll:

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John Delgado
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by John Delgado »

BillMcGighan wrote:
This was about 1963 or 1964. I was about 16.
Electricity wasn't invented yet, so we had to watch TV by candle light.

Think, if this Garter was alive, it would be over 50 years old! :oops: :roll:
Eezus Keeeeeewrighst McGighan ... 1963 - 1964 ... any older than that and we'll be looking at hieroglyph :shock: :lol:

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chrish
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by chrish »

Kent VanSooy wrote:Those ozzy lizards in your pics must have been a rarity back in the day, right?
Those were both in our backyard in Sydney. They were literally in situ because my parents wouldn't have touched either the blue-tongue or the bearded dragon.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Kelly Mc »

I love pictures of big, dark, badass wild bearded dragons.

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Thanks Chris. And since I posted a non insitu-pic, I'll make up for it with a few of the real deal shots...

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chrish
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by chrish »

Kelly Mc wrote:I love pictures of big, dark, badass wild bearded dragons.
Of course that individual is bigger, darker and more badass not just because it is a wild one, but because it is P. barbata not P. vitticeps.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Kelly Mc »

Cool!

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krismunk
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by krismunk »

Not the first, but the oldest I had readily at hand - scanned slide from 1985.

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... & here's one of the newest - from last week.

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Funny thing is - all of my old pictures are in situ. The idea of photographing animals in hand never appealed to me, and it didn't even occur to me that you could pose animals as an easier way of getting - by a certain set of standards - good pics before I discovered a field herping community online some ten years ago. This meant that considering it too difficult by and large I didn't take pictures, content just to watch instead. Even after I started lurking online it took a couple of years before I started regularly photographing animals just to have something to share, a couple more before I started trying to pose my subjects for better photos. I never really got any good at this, though, probably because I don't particularly enjoy it.

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soulsurvivor
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by soulsurvivor »

Though not my first in situ Eastern Diamondback, this is one of my favorites. Hiked up this EDB last year. This animal was just doing its thing, maybe waiting for a prey item to come by. She was initially coiled in the middle of our path. We took photos and moved on. When we came back by an hour or so later, she had moved about ten feet to this cozy spot you see here. We never touched her, and she never rattled.

ImageEastern Diamondback by soulsurvivor08, on Flickr

~Bree

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John Delgado
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by John Delgado »

Nice job ^^^ I love EDB's - I may never see one in person, pics and video may be the nearest I ever get to one ... beautiful critters :thumb:

---------------------------

So ... earlier this week I'm driving down off the mountain, it's about 5:00 PM, on my way home from a very successful day with my C. o. oreganus family

...and, in the middle of the lonely one lane dirt road in the middle of nowhere - is this gorgeous Pacific Gopher Snake (PGS) - Pituophis catenifer catenifer

And so ... I stop my truck, grab my DSLR and video cameras and sneak up on this guy sleeping in the sun, soaking up the heat for what will be a chilly night. This guy was untouched during this photo session. He was sound asleep until near the end when he realized I was there ... BUT he did NOT MOVE.

I laid down flat on my belly, only inches away - face to face with this feller and he just gave me this look... 8-)

Apparently, he wasn't going to let me spoil his time in the sun, and you know what ... after the photo session I went and sat in my truck for about 30 minutes and let him get his heat on. Since he let me photograph him, I figure I should return the favor and give him his sun time.

Then ... I had to shoo him on his way so I could drive through ... he went off happily into the brush :)

This is my subject when I first walked up ...

ImagePacific Gopher Snake by johnedelgado, on Flickr

And ... this is what he gave me - Thank you Mr. PGS

ImagePacific Gopher Snake by johnedelgado, on Flickr

ImagePacific Gopher Snake by johnedelgado, on Flickr

Matt Arnold
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Re: My FIRST in situ photographs - POST YOURS

Post by Matt Arnold »

Here's my favorite of my short herping career so far -
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