Photographing reptiles may seem quite easy to some, as they often don’t move around much (especially in the colder months). There are, however, a number of pitfalls that you can fall into if you are not careful. With many reptiles living predominantly on the ground, it may seem easier to photograph them from above, but you really need to get down low. Photos of reptiles/wildlife look so much better if taken from eye level. Also, try and photograph the amazing patterns in their eyes or skin, by getting as close as possible (except the venomous ones!).
Getting the photo of this Barking Gecko was quite a challenge, as it was fairly active. I used a macro lens on my SLR camera with a macro flash attached, making it portable. I then lay on my stomach and followed the little gecko’s every move. Apart from waiting for it to stop moving, I was also hoping for some sort of “behaviour” to occur, so patience was required. Due to the gecko’s shiny skin, I didn’t want to overexpose the photo and therefore added a diffuser over the flash, in order to soften the light on the gecko’s body.
Lying on your stomach, with elbows propped on the ground, isn’t the most comfortable of positions when you are trying to photograph a constantly moving reptile, but sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone. To get “the” shot, you need to be prepared when behaviour happens. In this instance, the Barking Gecko eventually poked out its tongue and I was ready. I focused on its eyes with my macro lens and pressed the camera’s shutter immediately.
By using the correct photographic equipment, a bit of improvisation and lots of patience, you too can take great shots of reptiles. It’s certainly fun trying and the end results are often very pleasing indeed.
If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.