Hi there!

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


So I was puttering around in my garden when this garden snake slithered past. I screamed and jumped about 3 feet straight up, then went to get my camera and long lens. Once my heart slowed, it was alot of fun watching the snake and trying to get the best shot, the best angle as he was moving around. He didn’t seem afraid of me, just curious. I like the expression on his face here, sort of a cautious “hi”. I did get a shot of his tongue flickering, but ended up preferring this shot.

Specific Feedback

Is there anything more I should have done to enhance the image?

Technical Details

Canon 80D, 70-200 lens at 192mm, 1/200 and f5.6 ISO 320
I used primarily LR Classic, and some Photoshop to get rid of some harsh highlights. I dabble in Photoshop, and run back to my safe place in LR. Learning Photoshop “one bite at a time” as Nick Page says :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I like it too, Mary. Seems friendly enough at this point in time. I really like the image and the story it conveys of a close encounter in a single image for the most part… :cowboy_hat_face:
Overall, I’m not a big fan of snakes. Too many close calls with rattlers as a kid… :weary:

1 Like

Another cool backyard wildlife photo. Sorry it scared you, but the feeling was probably mutual. Since I didn’t grow up with poisonous reptiles, I love snakes and saw the most amazingly huge fox snake the other day while driving. I stopped to herd it safely off the road, but alas, no photos. This one you got is so nice and close. Very sharp and I like how low down you got.

The saturation seems a bit much to me (again) and if you have room to the left, I think cropping with more room there will help. Generally it’s advised to leave more space in the direction an animal is looking and/or moving. It might also help to lower the exposure around this little cutie - especially the hot areas on either side. That might be hard to do, but could be worth the effort.

I hear you about learning Photoshop. After over a decade in Lightroom, I finally decided to tackle it and only used it for things I couldn’t do or couldn’t do well in Lr. From there I’ve come to love the TK8 panel and the precision it offers.

Hope to see more from your yard and garden! Again, welcome to NPN.

1 Like

Thanks again Kristen, I am enjoying the feedback.

Hi Mary! I love this photo! He does have such a cute, curious look on his face. You really captured it well. I really like how you have the framing grasses and clover around him because it gives a good sense of the size of the snake. It’s a very nice portrait.

Mary, I am not a snake lover, so we will just get that out of the way up front. That said, if a snake could have any cuteness to it, I think you captured that. Love way he is holding his head up and peering out of the growth at you. I think others have given some good advice to improve this image even more. I think I would have had to have a very long lens, and definitely image stabilizer to keep the camera steady while taking this subject. You did a great job.

Thanks Paul! Rattlesnakes, oh my goodness!!! I’ve never met one, and would like to keep it that way! Thank for your input :blush:

Thanks Vanessa, I appreciate your comments. It can be a fun challenge to photograph animals/reptiles along with landscapes to stretch those creative muscles.

Thanks for the feedback Shirley, much apprecited!

Hi Mary, I like snakes and enjoy seeing this one up close. Glad that the main focus is mainly on the eyes given the shallow DOF. I like the composition with the snake peering out at us from the undergrowth. I’m wondering if a higher ISO and narrower aperture would have helped show more of the snake’s head in focus but I’m not sure that would be possible with the 80D. There is some great software available now that is allowing me to increase the ISO past what I could before. Adobe has come out with a new Denoise feature which reportedly works very well in LR. I use DXO Pure Raw 3 which does well for me. Either way, this is a fine shot - glad you shared with us.

1 Like

Mary, I love this, especially the colour of that snake! One tiny thing I’d add to the suggested changes to render this photo perfect would be to clone out the small smudge-like marks under the head, beneath and to the left of its mouth. They might be noticeable when you hang it on your wall.

1 Like