Piers Blackett  

Snake at the Zoo by Piers Blackett

September 2023 - Snake at the Zoo

September 2023 - Piers Blackett


About the Image(s)

The image was taken at a visit to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The Snake was indoors among several displayed behind a plexiglass screen. Using my 100-500 RF lens on a Canon R5 I shot the image from a tripod at f/16, 1/20th sec, ISO 1250. For post-processing I used the Photoshop CR filter and the circular gradient to isolate the snake's head with the eye at the one third line. Within the gradient's ellipse I increased brightness, contrast and blacks. Finally I used the vignette tool to -75. Black and white conversion works but I prefer the subtle colors.

6 comments posted

Terri Adcock
A beautifully sharp and intense image. His eye is perfectly placed within the frame and I am enjoying the subtly of the muted tones in the colours of the scales

Totally out of your control but an added bonus would have been to see a flicker of the tongue   Posted: 09/02/2023 03:55:36

Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
The first thing I noticed was this snake's eye! Great editing. Love all the patterns and scales on this guy. I also like that you kept the DOF small enough so that the rear coil of the snake is slightly out of focus. To me, that feels as though he could go on and on. And I agree that the subtle color variation presents better than just B&W. Shouting anything behind plexiglass can be difficult. Nice work!
  Posted: 09/02/2023 10:07:20

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks. I was pleased to get close at 100mm.   Posted: 09/02/2023 18:16:27

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
I love the subtle tones of this impactful image. Well done.
Very nice focusing gradation on the backside for the snake, but I would have liked to see the foreground scales POP with clarity.
The eye is alluring, but, if it were mine, I might try to use a small mask to bring out some of the detail to accentuate the eyeball.   Posted: 09/03/2023 06:55:48

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Snakes are NOT my favourite creatures even though this was photographed with a 500mmm lens and through plexiglass. I think you were too close!
Well done Piers
I am immediately drawn to the eye which is lying neatly on the intersection of two "thirds lines."
The image is sharp and it has a very subtle colour palette.
I like the changing patterns of the snake's skin and I like the depth of field you have achieved. The foreground and the background are nicely out of focus putting the highlight on the creature's head and eye.
Well done and this is an excellent "Nature" photograph that I believe should do well in competitions

  Posted: 09/07/2023 00:35:29

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
So glad that it was behind glass! I like the way the coiled effect has my eye going through the entire image. Great detail, especially the eye. The only part that is a little distracting is the lower center is not quite as sharp as the rest, but that is getting a little picky for a great shot.   Posted: 09/07/2023 14:58:36


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