Incoming Water Snake

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Saw these snakes while sitting on the boat dock of my neighborhood lake.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Canon R7, 400mm f4 DO IS II, 1.4x extender III
ISO 640, f6.3, 1/800s, hand held


Well this is just awesome. I love swimming snakes. Either perspective works, but hat head on shot is just so cool. It could probably stand a little clarity in the face, but I like the gentle action of the ripples and sinuous body shape - those work well softer & less contrasty. The side view has the tongue!! Great catch there. The ripples just forward of it though look a bit too sharpened and my eye is always going to it rather than the snake. I’m so envious of your work with these guys. I just never see them no matter the hours in the kayak.

Hi Allen,
that looks beautiful. It looks like the snake in the first picture is trying to hypnotize you with its eyes. :slight_smile:
The ripples give you a sense of the speed at which the snake is moving towards you.

In the second image, I especially like the transition from light to dark in the reflection of the water’s surface. The dark surrounding lets the head of the snake and the ripples stand out really well.

Have you ever swum in the lake? It is probably a bad idea to swim with the snakes.

Hi Jens, thanks for the comment. Swimming isn’t allowed in the lake so I just stay on shore.

Hi Kris, thanks for the comment. I actually like the ripples showing the progress of the snake and to me add another point of interest worthy of attention. They were that distinct naturally - I didn’t sharpen them.

The green herons chose not to nest at the boat dock this year so I’ve at least enjoyed seeing the other wildlife up at the lake.

1 Like

I’m going to assume these are terrific shots because I would not have stuck around to try my hand at these! Snakes just aren’t my “thing”. Kudos for getting any photos at all!

Very interesting frame, I like the way, you managed to have full snake in the frame and those ripples really add to the image.
If you like, you may slighly boost the contrast in ripples.

I like both frames, particularly the head-on perspective with that undulating body behind. That one does appear to lack a bit of contrast (noticing it more in the face rather than the ripples, as Jagdeep mentioned).

I really like the snake coming at you, Allen. Maybe a bit more depth of field would have worked even better (enough to get the whole head in focus), but this is a great in-your-face image.

Dang, that first one is crazy! I like the shallow DOF but I also think if it were somehow fully in focus it could have worked as well. Just a preference though, works great how you’ve captured it.

Wow, Allen. Just wow! That first image with the shallow DOF is amazing! The head in focus, the tongue out, the way it is moving through the water. Of course it is somewhat luck to be there when something like that presents itself, but it takes skill to record it like that. Very well done.