Kentucky: Northern Water Snake

Canon EOS Digital Rebel
Canon 70-300mm lens

1/320th, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm

Saw this handsome guy next to a creek. This is a busy shot with the surrounding grass and parts of the snake’s body layered. What I like is that his head is prominent and sharp.

You may like, you may not like…I’d like to know which? Thanks for looking!!!


You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Hi Jim, I like this. As you say, the snake’s head is easily seen on top of the rest of the body. The snake contrasts well with the green grass. I’d double check the sharpening level on the head - seems slightly heavy. A well composed image.

Very nice capture. There’s a creepy factor to it though, for me. I have inherited my dad’s aversion to snakes. Seeing this scenario is one that would give me goosebumps on a hot day…

Dave thanks very much for leaving your thoughts. Probably 15 years ago or maybe more I’d have felt the same way. I’d see a snake and I’d go running the other direction pity anyone in my path. But I’ve been forcing myself to get over that and it’s been a struggle but now I even look for them And relish any opportunity to photograph them that I find. But I certainly know how you feel. LOL

I even had an opportunity to help hold a boa constrictor and rub around on a corn snake. Let’s say my temperature Rose quite a few degrees during those moments. LOL

Oh, man. Carreeeepy. I’m not as bad as a buddy of mine. I watched him jump out of the back of a pickup truck just in time to see a very nearby large Bull Snake quickly come out of a hole and, I swear he jumped right back into the pickup bed flatfooted without even turning around. It’s amazing what a little adrenaline can do.

The head really pops in this image, Jim, and the grass is uniform enough that it makes a good background.It’s fun trying to mentally untangle all those coils. It keeps me looking. My only nit is that the head is so much shinier than the rest of the snake that it looks a bit unnatural. I’m not sure what caused that phenomenon, just an observation.

Jim, this is a good look at this watersnake. There’s so much body, that I wonder if it wasn’t two mating, but only one head showing. That’s me “untangling the coils” and as Dennis says, its fun. I also agree with Dennis about the shine and color in the head relative to the rest of the body. I do see some of that shine and saturation in the sharp coils below and right of the head, so it may be a focus issue. (Thinking this way is what I call “critic’s view”, that so many images are heavily manipulated to be more dramatic than realistic., that a critic is always suspicious.)