Gaboon Viper
by: © Kathleen Reeder
9
Overall
Rating
9
General
impression
10
Subject
of photo
8
Composition
& Perspective
9
Use of camera,
exposure
& speed
9
Depth
of field
10
Color &
Lighting
8
Focus
General
impression
A sharp, startling, and detailed image that seems to fulfill your mission. A few details can take this image further but as is it demonstrates skill and planning. The eye level perspective was a good choice.
9/10
Subject
of photo
Scary and dramatic and caught in a spot with no distracting foreground or background material. The tongue action is a bonus and demonstrates that you have patience and timing.
10/10
Composition
& perspective
The colors in the foreground and background create a great harmony in this image: not too contrasted and not so similar as to make the subject blend in. I realize you might not get too much choice with a snake, but an angle slightly more to the 3/4 profile would have taken this up a notch. At 3/4 profile you would see separation between the "nose horns" for more scary drama. The tongue is a great addition to the shot. I like the crop just to the head as it highlights the arrow shape of the head and forced to concentrate on the details like scales and color patches.
8/10
Use of camera,
exposure
& speed
Good anticipation to catch the tongue at full extension! I wonder if an even faster shutter would have got the tongue full in focus - you would probably have to do this with a tripod as well.
9/10
Depth
of field
If you could have had a tiny bit more focus on the left eye (background eye) it would enhance the visual description of this snakes head and its odd and large shape. I like the blur to the background and the fact that it is clean of distracting detail.
9/10
Color &
Lighting
Beautiful nature color pallet and sharpness of the scales. There is one band of sheen on the cheek that could be toned down in post production - it is a tiny bit distracting. The overall lighting conveys information about the snakes habitat: warm and dry.
10/10
Focus
I like the drop off of focus in the background (blurred background) and the detail of the scales that thus pops out. The tongue does not look fully in focus to me which is disappointing. Your shutter was fast but maybe not fast enough as it seems other details in the same plane like the far "horn" are in focus.
8/10
Description
Nikon D3s camera. I was on assignment at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. They wanted a close up of the Gaboon Viper with the background blurred. I wanted to highlight the  see all >
Nikon D3s camera. I was on assignment at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. They wanted a close up of the Gaboon Viper with the background blurred. I wanted to highlight the eyes and markings, and show the motion with the tongue out.
Technical Details

Nikon D3X

Lens: Macro
Exposure time: 1/800 ,
F-stop: F4
ISO: 200
Flash: None
Reviewed by GuruShots Pro
Gregory Sweeney
20+ Years
United States
Wildlife
33 Jobs
How to improve your photo
1.
Try an angled profile to try to get as many eyes in full or partial as possible. Always focus on the eyes and use dodge and burn techniques to enhance them in post production
2.
Take many shots and experiment with setting, in this case shutter speed to freeze the action
3.
Adjust your depth of field to include all of the details of the animal. For me in this photo, the back eye was important and I feel it should have been a little more in focus. This would also pull the snake out from the background color as well.
Get your photos reviewed by this GuruShots Pro
Gregory Sweeney
Experience: 20+ Years
Gregory Sweeney began his career as a wildlife photographer while working as a biologist with the National Park Service. Currently he specializes in underwater photography and African animals. He has a passion for wildlife and shares this passion with others while leading photo tours such as a...
Specialty:
Wildlife, Nature, Underwater, Animal
Location:
United States
Jobs: 33 Jobs
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