Taking a picture of a snake’s tongue is hard!

Today my fiancée and I went out with a bunch of people to search for and take pictures of Timber Rattlesnakes and Copperheads. 

For background, I did not know that “herpetology” was a word until little over a year ago and now I’m out looking for venomous snakes! 

For the most part, in this year I’ve learned about herpetology, I’ve become comfortable around most reptiles and amphibians.  Today was the first day I met a snake in the wild though.  It was not as scary as I thought it would be.  I think this turned out to be the case because we didn’t run into any rattlesnakes.  We found about 4 Copperheads, but no Timbers.  But, even if I was not as enthused about the specific breed of snake, I still enjoy a challenge in photography.

We had a speaker at our club meeting a few months ago that actually did a presentation about herp. photography that I enjoyed very much.  One of the things he encouraged us to do was to kneel down to the animals level to get a better shot.  This is fine, especially when I have a long lens on and I don’t actually have to get close to the animal.  The other thing he said, more specifically for snakes, is to try to get a picture with their tongue out.  It ends up being a really cool shot!  However, what I have discovered is that taking a picture of a snake’s tongue is hard!

They flick it so fast that you barely have time to notice it’s out, click the picture, and it’s barely gone in again!  So your picture ends up with a tiny bit of the tongue out rather than a nice long tongue.

Copperhead with a tiny bit of tounge

little slow on the clicky click

Or, because the tongue is flicking, you get the tongue flipped up in its face or over on its eye or some other place that makes the picture not as good.

coppehead with tounge flipped up

see what I mean about a weird tongue position?

It took a very long time, but I did get a few good shots.

black rat snake

yes, this is a black rat snake and not a copperhead, sorry.

copperhead good bit of tounge

this is the best copperhead tongue I got all day. wow...that didn't come out right...


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