Out of The Muck and Mire + Repost

The American Alligator is an antediluvian reptile of respectable size. The world record for one caught is 1011 lbs and 15’ 9" in length. The record for one seen is 19.2 feet, found in Louisiana.

It is a primitive and notional beast, opportunistic in its hunting and eating habits. On any given day at the Savannah NWR, depending on the weather and prey available (fish is a favorite staple) 2 or 3 can be seen at the surface of the water during the Spring and Summer, up to 50 or more in a feeding frenzy when a large flush of fish have gotten trapped behind a tide gate. I have seen this twice in the last ten years, and it is a truly awesome sight! Alligators 10 to 12 feet in length slapping the waters to stun the fish.

This particular alligator was maybe ten feet long (a guess by the the estimated distance from eyes to snout of about 10 inches).

What technical feedback would you like if any?

The snout is out of focus. I didn’t feel this was objectionable as it gives a sense of perilous closeness, but what do you think? The top colored layer was merged with a partially opaque b/w image beneath it, which really brought out the texture of the skin, the eye ridges and the marsh gas bubbles. What do you think of it?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

My artistic goal was to make the gator look quietly sinister. Did that work?

Any pertinent technical details:

Camera Info: Nikon D500, HH, braced in SUV window
Lens: VR 300mm f/4E + 1.4x TC
Focal Length: 420mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
AF-Area Mode: Dynamic, 25 points
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/200s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: +1.0EV
Metering: Spot
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 800
Full frame
PP in LR/PS CC 2018, Topaz Studio, Camera Raw filter, TK sharpen for web @ 50%

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

Nice tight gator image. Sharp where it needs to be. The tight crop and the incoming pose do make him appear threatening. You might also try a black and white conversion?

Hmmm… looks more like IN the muck and mire to me, Phil. Interesting story and it’s good to know how to guess the size.

An interesting close up and I do find that eye quite threatening.
It appears bit tight especially on the RHS & bottom. I agree with David that it’s a suitable picture for B&W conversion.

Jagdeep Rajput

The out of focus snout doesn’t bother me at all since I’m drawn to the wonderfully sharp eye. I do believe that you met your goal of a sinister look. I agree with Jagdeep that I’d like to see just a but more room around the snout. Great photo.

B/W and more room right and bottom.

1 Like

I like both the original and the repost, Phil. The extra room is a definite plus. You might try playing with the lighting a bit to put a touch more emphasis on that wonderful eye.