Turtle Family

If turtles stayed together as a family this is what it would look like. Got lucky finding these three together. Junior looks like he is talking to Dad. The peeling shell is interesting and I am not sure something I have ever seen before. The duckweed on the back of junior is another lucky break I got with this group.

Comments and critiques please. Always trying to improve.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500. ISO 500 F8 and 1/400.

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Ooh these guys are wonderful! Great catch! 2020 was a big painted turtle year for me, so I wrote a blog post about them. I think these are the western species (yellow plastrons v. red in eastern) and if my research is correct for this variety, the middle is the female. They are 30-50% bigger than males as adults and have shorter claws (check out the claws on the left one). Their shells also get deep and curvy as they age, the males’ stay flatter and more dish shaped.

But enough about that. This shot is great and I’m so glad to see the variation with them as they grow and mature. The duck weed makes for a terrific frame and I darkened down the bg and fg to keep your eyes on the herps. I also did some work with a brush tool to emphasize the scutes on the middle one (normal shedding, I love when I find this in the wild) - dehazing, lowering highlights, shadows and exposure for new shell, increasing texture and clarity for the shedding ones. Also dehazed the middle sized turtle’s carapace. Boosted the yellow channel and warmed up the overall image a little. A bit of sharpening. Phew.

Thanks for the extra effort and the biology. This was taken near Nags Head, North Carolina. Tons of turtles there. This group caught my eye as it appeared to be a family even though we know they don’t stay together as a unit. Got lucky all around. Not sure I have ever seen the peeling shell before so that was pretty interesting.

Hope you join this group. Very good stuff here. Nice people too.

Thanks for the extra effort. Appreciate your edit work and the biology. This was in Nags Head, North Carolina and there are lots of turtles there. Looked like a family unit even though we know they do not stay in groups like that.

Thanks Andrew - I’ve really got to get to the outer banks one of these days. Happy to help w/nature stuff and photo editing! In my experience, this type of turtle is WAY more sociable with each other than snappers, although they are a bit less leery of us in general.

Hi Andrew! What an awesome find! Love all the green everywhere to match the turtles! I think it’s a great composition. And being able to focus on three turtles is quite a feat in my opinion!